Microsoft KB Archive/246838

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Article ID: 246838

Article Last Modified on 5/24/2007


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition

This article was previously published under Q246838

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


When you try to start the Spooler service, you may receive the following Dr. Watson error message:

An application error has occurred and an application error log is being generated.
Exception: access violation (0xC0000005), Address:

Also, you may receive the following error message:

Application exception occurred:
App: spoolss.dbg (pid= )
Exception number: c0000005 (access violation)


This behavior can occur if a print monitor utility or printer spool file or files are damaged. This can occur when you use a third-party print monitor utility or Microsoft Windows NT print monitors.


WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To resolve this issue, perform the following steps, testing to determine if the issue is resolved after each step, and if it is, do not perform the remaining steps:

  1. Configure the print server for online use:
    1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Services.
    2. Click Spooler, and then click Startup.
    3. Configure the Spooler service to log on using the System account and to interact with the desktop, and then click OK.
  2. Eliminate any extra .shd and .spl files:
    1. Remove or rename the .shd and .spl files from the various spool folders located in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Spool\Printers folder. Note that you lose pending print jobs, but the configuration information should be intact.
    2. Remove or rename any unused or old .tmp files in the Temp folder.
  3. Delete the printer through the registry, and then reinstall it:

    NOTE: Normally, you can delete a printer by using the Delete Printer command. However, the printer is not actually deleted until the next time the Spooler service starts. Because in this case the Spooler service does not start, you cannot use the Delete Printer command. Deleting the following keys from the registry requires you to reinstall the printer drivers and recreate the printers, because the printer is deleted from the print share.
    1. Use Registry Editor to delete the appropriate registry keys:

      Local Printer

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print \Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-2\printer name

      \Printers\printer name

      where printer name is the name of the local printer.

      Network Printer

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\Connections\server name

      \Print\Providers\LanMan Print Services\Servers\server name
      \Printers\printer name

      where server name is the name of the server the printer is on and printer name is the name of the network printer.
    2. Restart the computer, and then reinstall the printer.
  4. Delete the print monitor from the registry:
    1. Use Registry Editor to locate and delete the print monitors from the following registry key:


      NOTE: Each print monitor is listed in a subkey of this registry location.
    2. Restart the computer.


For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

102116 How to Manually Delete Print Shares or Printers

NOTE: If your computer spool folder is not in the default location, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

123747 Moving the Windows NT Default Paging and Spool File

Additional query words: nt 4.0 exception spooler application printing

Keywords: kbprb KB246838