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We have recently rolled out 100 laptops running Windows 8.1, some of our users are having a problem with printers being offline. It appears to happen when they take the laptop home to no WiFi and then return to work and are reconnected to the WiFi. Restarting the print spooler doesn't always fix the issue, nor does restarting the pc. It only seems to affect the users who don't connect to a network at home.

To replicate the problem:

  1. I took one of the problem laptops.
  2. confirmed that printing was working.
  3. Shut it down.
  4. Walked a block off campus until I was well out of WiFi range.
  5. Started the laptop, and logged in as the owner.
  6. Shut it down again.
  7. Walked back onto our campus.
  8. Started the laptop again and relogged in as the owner.
  9. Network printers were now offline.
  10. The Event Log didn't show any thing obvious.
  11. Restarting the spooler didn't bring them back online. Nor did restarting the whole pc.
  12. After several further restarts the printers came back online.

Any idea?

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I'm with @HopelessN00b, printers suck! How are your clients connecting to the printers? I have a Sharp copier that seems to use some odd custom "Printer Port" setup rather than old school LDP to port 9100. It is a huge pain on the servers that are sharing it, as they seem to not survive a reboot and stay connected....sometimes. I switched the setup to old school LDP and the problem went away. Just food for thought. –  MikeAWood Mar 7 at 22:15

3 Answers 3

Open the Services console.

Start (or restart) the Printer Extensions and Notifications service.

Stop, wait for 5 secs and the Start the Print Spooler. Normally not enough to Restart.

Voilà the printers are online again - until your next network change or dropoff...

Tor

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We have the same problem with users disconnected from the network (either wifi or drop cable it doesn't matter) when they go home or to a meeting.

I confirm that restarting the spooler is a good workaround, better than a restart. But our users have no admin rights to do it so it's not a good solution. They need to call the helpdesk almost everyday.

What I had to do is disabling the snmp status on the server (W2008R2) for the 200 printers. It seems to solve the problem.

I forgot to change the settings for a few printer last week and some of our users are still impacted. I change the setting this monday morning (march 10th 2014).
I'll be back in a few days to tell you more.

We also noticed that the guy from IT staff with full admin rights are not impacted at all.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

This was a bug in Windows 8.1 that has now been fixed. The KB article 2961042 has the details. The fix is in the update rollup May2014.

Thanks to HopelessN00b for the forum link that was eventually updated with solution.

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