I've got a hairy one for you. We have a small office with an IT infrastructure solely based on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 (not my fault...) and less than 50 users. All users are on AD, we do organize everything in groups, and no user is left with dangling permissions on its own - all permissions are granted through groups.

Our dedicated Print Server, also a Win2012 R2, spools printouts for six Lexmark and HP printers. Only logged in Domain users are allowed to print. Everyone prints, everyone's happy.


We have this one user that's not being able to print. He used to, and in fact his job requires that he prints truckloads of pages a day (around 4000/month). But, a couple of days ago, the printer turned its back on him. Everyone prints but this one guy. Nothing changed on his AD Profile, as I'm the only one with permission to do so for all users. He's not being able to print since then.

Today, another user had the same issue. She was able to print until 11AM, then suddenly the printer stopped responding. Now, everyone else is able to print but these two people.

The two users belong to the same groups as everyone else, but whereas everyone prints, they can't.


  1. On the Print Queue, that user's job gets deleted after a short while
  2. This happens on all printers
  3. Not a driver issue on the workstation, because other users logged on that computer can print
  4. Not a driver issue on the server, because everyone can print but these users
  5. I've got this error on EventViewer. Same error for both users
The document Print Document, owned by userling, failed to print on printer
Lexmark Mono 14. Try to print the document again, or restart the print spooler.
Data type: RAW
Size of the spool file in bytes: 1861588
Number of bytes printed: 0
Total number of pages in document: 2
Number of pages printed: 0

Win32 error code returned by the print processor: 
3. The system cannot find the path specified.

Log Name: Microsoft-Windows-PrintService/Admin
Source:   PrintService                 Logged:      7/3/2019  4:46:01 PM
Event ID: 372                          Task Category: Printing a document
Level:    Error                        Keywords: Classic Spooler Event, Document Print Job
User:     FANCY_DOMAIN\userling        Computer: PRINT_SERVER_HOSTNAME 
OpCode:   Spooler Operation Failed     

The important message is (I guess):

Win32 error code returned by the print processor:
3. The system cannot find the path specified.

Which path the message is referring to? Has anyone stumbled with this before? Any ideas?

  • Sounds like an issue with the users profile?
    – Davidw
    Jul 3, 2019 at 21:48
  • I think you're right, but I'm lost. Where do I look first?
    – Henrique
    Jul 3, 2019 at 21:55
  • What's the client OS?
    – Davidw
    Jul 3, 2019 at 22:32
  • Windows 10, all workstations.
    – Henrique
    Jul 3, 2019 at 22:50
  • 1
    You can try to run Procmon on the server while reproducing the problem, then, look for "NAME NOT FOUND" in the Result column, or "NAME INVALID" for example. This can help us find which file "The system cannot find" (process name should be svchost or spoolsv, or something close to that)
    – Swisstone
    Jul 5, 2019 at 5:02


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