Printing with Vista

Windows Vista is the latest version of the Windows family to hit the shelves. It’s been out for nearly a year now, but there are still a few issues completing common tasks such as setting up a printer. Surprisingly, there are still a large number of printers that are not “officially” supported by their manufacturers to run on Windows Vista. This walkthrough will guide you step-by-step on how to setup one of these tricky network printer installs that even the manufacturers say shouldn’t work…


For this walk-through we will be setting up the HP LaserJet 1012 black and white printer in a network environment. This printer is one of the most popular laser models found in small businesses and home offices. The 1000 family of HP laser printers also include the LaserJet 1010, LaserJet 1015, LaserJet 1018, LaserJet 1020, and the LaserJet 1022. These are all basically the same printer, which model you happen to have just depends on when it was purchased. And according to HP’s website, none of these printers are fully supported to work on Windows Vista with the exception of the LaserJet 1015.

* you can click on the thumbnail photos in this document to enlarge them…

Step One: Start Menu

We need to get into the printer setup window, so click on Control Panel in the start menu.


Step Two: Control Panel

Click on Printer under the Hardware and Sound section in the Control Panel.


Step Three: Printers

Now that you are in the Printers window, you can see a list of printers that are already installed on your computer. Click on Add a Printer a the top of the window.


Step Four: Choose a local or network printer

Click the bottom selection for Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer and then click Next.


Step Five: Searching for available printers

As Vista searches for all the printers that you can connect to, keep an eye out for the one you are looking for. When you spot the one you want, select it and then click Next.


If you don’t see the printer you are looking for, click The printer that I want isn’t listed. You will then be able to browse the entire network for the printer. Once you find the printer you are looking for, you can continue on with this walk-through.

Step Six: Connecting to printer…

Vista now attempts to connect to the printer. This usually does not work successfully the first time with this model printer.


Step Seven: ERROR # 1

At this point you will see the first of the errors associated with this model printer.

Windows cannot connect to the printer. The local print spooler service is not running. Please restart the spooler or restart the machine.

Click OK to close the error message. Then right-click on Computer in the start menu and select Manage. This will open the Computer Management Console so that we can restart the spooler service.


Step Eight: Computer Management Console

On the left side, double-click on Services and Applications, and then single-click on Services. Now, a long list will be displayed on the right side. This list is all the services that run your computer, in alphabetical order. Scroll down till you see Printer Spooler and then right-click on it and either select Restart or just select Start (whichever one is available to you at the time). The spooler service will start back up and then you can try to connect to the printer again…


Step Nine: Connect and ERROR #2

Go back to the printer window, select the printer again like we did back in Step Five, and then click Next. You will then probably see the error below…

Adding the printer connection failed. The local print spooler service is not running. Please restart the spooler or restart the machine.



And maybe this error also…

Spooler SubSystem App stopped working and was closed. A problem caused the application to stop working correctly. Windows will notify you if a solution is available.



You know what to do now… Go back to the Computer Management Console and start the spooler service back up again like we did in Step Eight. Then go back to the printer window, select the printer again like we did back in Step Five, and then click Next.

Usually, the third time is the charm in this printer setup. But, in case you still get errors after the third time, just keep trying… I have seen it happen up to five times. Continue on to Step Ten when you stop seeing the printer spooler error.

Step Ten: Success!

When you finally see this screen, you will actually be setup to use the printer. Use the button to print out a test page and see for yourself. Then click Finish!



* Having other Windows Vista problems? Let me know and I will write a new walk-through on how to get around it!

About the author

RJ Ponzio

RJ founded Shore Web Tech LLC in 2011. The mission of Shore Web Tech (SWT) is to help small and medium local businesses take advantage of today's affordable technology solutions. RJ currently holds Google's "AdWords Qualified Individual" certification.


  1. Steve Codling

    thanks so so much for your help… how did we ever figure anything out about computers before the internet anyways?

  2. Joel Friedman

    Thanks very very much. And I had to restart the spooler only once!

    Cheers, Joel

  3. Terry

    Fasntastic! Worked a charm.

  4. Jolene

    What would I have done without this post? Thank you so much for taking the time to explain so clearly how to resolve this issue. Amazing! The test print was successful and a joy to hear!

    Many thanks! Jolene

  5. Dennis Gorelik

    Thanks for the tip!
    Who could have though that Vista is so buggy and would have conflicts with print spooler :-O

  6. Richard

    Thanks for sorting out the printing problem and for restoring marital harmony! (We are sharing a printer again!)

  7. Bill Martin

    I just used this printer fix on my new
    Windows 7 installation. Gee, it looks
    like they carried over some Vista features to the ‘new’ Windows 7.

    Don’t you love Microsoft!

  8. RJ Ponzio

    Yes, so far my opinion of Windows 7 is that it is basically Vista, only a bit more reliable. I have noticed an improvement in speed and Windows 7 also seems to work with more components out-of-the-box. Only time will tell though, I just wish I didn’t have to pay for a working version, Windows 7 should have been a free upgrade from Vista.

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