After applying this "solution" I have no way of starting the spooler service, not even as Admin.

If I open services.msc as Administrator, that service has disappeared, as noted here (I wish I found that before).

How can I reset permissions for the spooler service?


The SYSTEM security context can reset it. You don't mention your Windows version, but in Windows Server 2008 and newer versions it can be a bit difficult to get a SYSTEM command prompt. It's very easy, though, to get the "Task Scheduler" in all versions of Windows to run a command as SYSTEM.

  • Dump the security descriptor from a known-good machine using the sc sdshow spooler command.

  • Create a scheduled task on the broken machine to run the command %SystemRoot%\system32\sc.exe with the arguments sdset spoooler <paste good security descriptor here>.

  • Set the task to run as SYSTEM

  • Manually run the task

Your service's security descriptor will be restored to normal.

  • 2
    I found easier to use PsExec. The full command was PsExec.exe /s sc sdset spooler D:(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)S:(AU;FA;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;WD).
    – Yajo
    Nov 21 '14 at 8:27

In addition to Evan's Task Scheduler method, I also had to

  1. Remove the following registry key (folder)


enter image description here

  1. Reboot the server

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