Friday, October 22, 2010

Adobe Acrobat printer spool

One of those automatic updates for Adobe Acrobat came down the line last week and failed to install properly with Vista locking up as it tried to work.

One restart later and I found that Acrobat thought it had the latest version and thus no updates were necessary. Hmm guess it worked then, certainly opened everything up okay.

Nope. Yesterday I went to turn a spreadsheet into a PDF and found the printer was gone. There's no way to install it so I had to head into the Control Panel and do a repair. Off it chortled in the background while I carried on with other work. As some information was needed to takeaway I hit print to send it to the local printer and received the message that there were no printers installed.

Yep in order to repair itself and re-install the printer driver Acrobat had to turn off the printer service. As the repair involved downloading things this meant I had to wait for over five minutes for it to do its thing.

What on earth is the need to stop the printer service just to add or remove a printer?


Unknown said...

Is it an HP printer. nightmare. 3 weeks with it actually removing the printer on every reboot. fatal errors on every install. eventually sorted with turning off read only in a folder, but much deeper than you would imangine. In fact, the hp guy on the phone, said, "what did you do, I need to write that down." still not actually sure. tech schmec.

FlipC said...

As it happens yes, but that printer was fine it was the Adobe PDF printer that turned off the Print Service.

As for errors, Vista at the least changed some of the security settings as I discovered when a new programme tried to install itself off root; and I've still got programmes that want to do a restart despite that not being a requirement since XP.

Orphi said...

Interesting. I've been working for this company for 8 years. 100% of our printers are HP, and they all run off a single file server. So far the only glitch I've seen is one printer where the print queue wouldn't empty.

As in, like, you'd print something, it would come out of the printer, but the job would stay in the queue forever. Not really a problem, except that if you ever needed to reboot the print server for some reason… every document ever printed would start printing again. (!!)

The solution is to just periodically empty the queue (as administrator; regular users don't have permission). But if you forget to do this…

That was a long time ago. Since we moved to Server 2000, I haven't seen any print glitches at all.

Well, not from the laser printers anyway. Sometimes somebody tries to get me to set up a “home” printer as a networked printer. That almost never works properly. Still, you get what you pay for…

As for Acrobat, it's probably trying to stop the spooler for a sec, change something, and then start it up again. Except that's the point where it falls over. Still, that is quite odd. It's probably loading a new stream processor or something. In general, the reason applications require Windows to restart is that they're altering the deep innards of the OS (which, you'd think, should never be necessary for any reason…)

FlipC said...

For business I've never had any problems with HP.

With Acrobat I see no requirement to stop the Print Service, one would expect that to install a printer it would have to be running.

As for restarts, we've both gone over this - it's a legacy. Either they're using old installation software that needs a restart to re-read the registry; or they can't be arsed to do it themselves.