I have an IBM X3850 with 48GB RAM, 2TB hard drive, four NIC cards and 2 Xeon 1.7GHz CPUs.

I am running VMware ESX. I believe that was the paid version. If not, then it is ESXI.

I have 7 virtual servers on this physical server. All run Windows Server 2003.

On one of the servers, I continuously see 100% CPU usage. On task manager, I am able to see that the Print Spooler is causing this. I have 30 different HP LaserJet printers and two HP copiers.

I believe that this is a driver issue. But I can't figure which driver is causing this. Is there any software for Windows Server 2003 that can find bad printer drivers?


You can remove printer drivers using the "Drivers" tab of the "Server Properties" accessible from the "File" menu of the "Printers" dialog.

Unfortunately, there's no built-in tool to "find bad printer drivers". I'd start by looking at printers that have jobs "jammed" in their queues when the CPU on the server begins to spike. If no jobs are being left "jammed" you might turn on "Log spooler information events" (on the "Advanced" tab of the same "Server Properteies" dialog) and start Performance Monitor logging "% Processor Time" to a file. You should be able to correlate the spike in CPU to print jobs logged in the event log by the print spooler.

Failing all of those methods, move half of the drivers / printers to another server (which may be painful, assuming you don't use scripts or Group Policy to populate client printer lists automatically) and perform a binary search (move half, move half of the half where the failure occurred, continue) until you find the failing driver.


Kyocera Australia has a "Driver Removal Tool" that lets you completely remove drivers so you know there won't be version conflicts or corrupt files incorrectly skipped during a reinstall.

I'm not aware of anything designed to check drivers for corruption, but you may be able to track down issues by process of elimination simply by trying to print to different printers in turn.

If all of your HPs are network versions you may find HP's universal driver a good fit, though I've found it sometimes troublesome to work with in the past if you're using network print servers from other manufacturers.

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