May 28, 2016 by phicks2012
I do a lot of publishing — mostly newsletters, flyers, programs, and such for my SCA Shire (Sol Haven), and while I also publish our newsletter (The Equinox) electronically I do print out physical copies. Likewise, event programs need to be printed out, and so do flyers. That means I need to have both my desktop printer and my copy machine working. Having them ignore me is just — well, just “tacky”!!
So the other day when I asked my computer to print out a copy of something and the menu only gave me the option to “save as pdf” I was confused. When I couldn’t change my options to “print”, I was baffled, and when I went into my “devices and printers” folder and discovered that neither of my printers appeared anymore — okay, I freaked!!!
I tried everything I could (in my only marginally programming saavy way), and when rebooting and other options failed to work for me, I finally called Microsoft in desperation, figuring that this was obviously a Windows problem so they ought to be able to help me fix it. Right? Right.
They sort of did some basic (and ineffective) troubleshooting, but then informed me that they could do nothing else for me unless I shelled out nearly $200 for a year-long technical support “subscription”. Wrong? Wrong!!
Having just been forced to spend $520 on tractor parts, and to hire a plumber to unclog a rental unit toilet, I simply had no wiggle room in the old budget for anything of the sort. Hell, I was probably going to be counting pennies and living on Ramen for the rest of May, so there was just no WAY I could do that — but in the meanwhile I was literally vibrating with stress. Yes, I know people say that, but I was shaking like I was sitting on one of those old Magic Fingers mattresses!!
The problem seemed to be that the “print spooler” had stopped working, and refused to be restarted, and I was getting an error message when I tried to restart it, or to add a printer, or really when I tried to do anything at all that was print-related. Okay, I know my system is getting a bit long in the tooth, as computers go, but really!!!! Can you tell me Microsoft couldn’t have talked me through starting the spooler back up?
So I called my favorite local computer store, PC Afterdark, and threw myself upon the mercy of a tech named Trevor. He said that he’d seen something indicating that a recent Windows update might be responsible (take THAT Microsoft!), talked me through several options, didn’t ask for a penny, helped me to “run as administrator”, gave me some commands to type in, and then when I tried again to re-enable the spooler — A MIRACLE!! It worked and my printer and my copier both magically reappeared in my Devices and Printers folder!!! God willing, the problem will not be repeated!
So this is for you Trevor, and for you PC Afterdark!! You saved the day, and when the time comes for a new computer you are DEFINITELY going to see me coming through the door!
THIS is why this is my favorite computer store!!!