Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lexmark Printer Service/Print Spooler Bug: XP Systems

Because of a flaw in Lexmark's printer driver and software removal and uninstall utility. After removing a Lexmark printer driver and software from an XP system, may create "Printer Installation Failed: RPC Server Unavailable" and/or "Print Spooler Service Is Not Running" error messages.

The first thing you always need try if you are having any kind of basic software problems, is to try uninstalling and reinstalling the appropriate drivers and software, and/or visit the manufacturer's website and download and install the latest drivers and software for your device. If this does not fix your printing issues, the problem probably lies within Windows itself. (Unless of course, your device is physically broken or you have a broken cable). But what I have seen over the years is that customers with these specific "Printer Spooler Service" or "RPC Server Unavailable" errors happen to to use or have had used a Lexmark printer.

So really quick, here is the definition of what a Windows Service, like the Print Spooler Service, basically is: (Taken from Wikipedia.org Link)
"A Windows service is an application that starts when the Microsoft Windows operating system is booted and runs in the background as long as Windows is running."
*Quick explanation of What Is RPC and How Does it Work.

The Print Spooler Service itself basically is a Windows service that starts when your computer starts, and is constantly running in the background of your operating system to load files to memory for printing. What I would find is that there would be a service installed in the computer from Lexmark called the "LexBce Server". The LexBce Server Service is installed by the Lexmark printer's software to configure the onboard network print server.
*The print server
accepts jobs from computers and send the jobs to the appropriate printers.

When the service installs itself however, it installs itself so the Windows Print Spooler Service becomes dependent upon it. So disabling the LexBce Server Service will make it so that your Print Spooler Service can no longer run. Which in effect disables all printing on your computer. Also, without the Print Spooler running, an installation of a printer is not going to be possible and you are going to most likely get the "RPC" error that was mentioned at the begining.
*The LexBce Server Service can also come pre-installed on some Dell computers that are packaged with "Dell" printers; that's because they are made by Lexmark.
**The LexBce.dll, a file related with the LexBce Server, is also related to
the software "MarkVision for Windows" also a product of Lexmark.

So, do all Lexmark printers install this service? I can't say for sure. What I do know is that if you are using a Lexmark printer or have had a Lexmark printer, you could have the LexBce Server Service installed on your computer and may eventually experience the discussed issues. Same scenario for previous owners of Lexmark printers. The un-installation of Lexmark printer drivers/software might have left this service behind. The bottom line is that if LexBce Server Service was, or is, on your computer and happens to fail or is disabled instead of removed during software/driver removal, say hello to the Lexmark Print Spooler bug!

*I originally wrote this blog working at Battle Ground Computers, back when I was a manager at their store; it was a great find of mine so I wanted to re-post it on my new blog with some updated and edits. My original blog posting; http://tinyurl.com

1 comment:

  1. I had TWO Lexmark printers many years ago, only because the first was defective. My experience was so bad with all aspects of the Lexmark that I vowed I would NEVER have another! Too many glitches!