How to Manually Delete Print Shares or Printers

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Article ID: 102116 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

If you are troubleshooting Windows NT or applications that are running in Windows NT, you may need to verify that a print share or installed printer has been completely deleted. The following information shows the default locations in the registry database for references to installed printers or print shares in Windows NT versions 3.1, 3.5, 3.51 and 4.0.

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It is rarely necessary to remove a printer by altering the registry. In most cases, you can remove a printer in Print Manager or the Printer folder using the Remove or Delete Printer option. This immediately removes the printer, but internally the spooler marks the printer for deletion and does not actually delete the printer until the next time that the Spooler Service starts. Therefore, you should stop and restart the Spooler Service before attempting to recreate a printer, or before attempting to remove a printer port that a recently deleted printer was using. Also, you should close Print Manager or the Printers folder before restarting the Spooler.

In summary, if you use the Print Manager or Printers folder to remove a printer or printer port, then close Print Manager or the Printers folder, stop and restart the Spooler Service. If you reopen Print Manager or the Printers folder, and the printer or port is still present, then you should consider removing the printer or port by altering the registry.

NOTE: ALL references must be deleted to ensure complete removal of the print share or installed printer. You must also either Stop and Start the Spooler Service or shutdown and restart Windows NT for these changes to take effect.

Modifying the Registry

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  1. Run Registry Editor (regedt32.exe).
  2. Go to the appropriate registry location mentioned below for your version of Windows NT.
  3. Delete the registry information for printer(s) and/or server(s) you want to remove.

    NOTE: It is recommended that you first save each registry key before you delete it.
The following registry paths apply to Intel-based (x86) computers. If you are running an Alpha-, MIPS-, or PPC-based computer, substitute the x86 portion of the entries below with the correct processor type (Alpha_AXP, R4000, or PowerPC). Text enclosed in angle brackets (<>) or presented in italics refers to machine- specific or printer names. "\\server name\Printer" refers to the universal naming convention (UNC) path to the specific print share.

Windows NT 4.0

If the printer is installed locally (My Computer), the printer information is located in the following registry keys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-2\Printer Name

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers\Printer Name
If the printer is installed as a network printer (Network printer server or \\server name), the printer information is located in the following registry keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\Connections\server name

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\LanMan Print Services\Servers\server name\Printers\Printer Name

Windows NT 3.51

If the printer is installed locally (Create Printer), the printer information will be located in the following registry keys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-1\Printer Name

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers\Printer Name
If the printer is installed as a network printer (Connect to Printer), the printer information is located in the following registry keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\Connections\server name

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\LanMan Print Services\Servers\server name\Printers\Printer Name

Windows NT 3.5

If the printer was installed from Print Manager using the Connect To Printer option, the printer information will be located in the following keys:
HKEY_USERS\S-user id number\Printers\Connections\server name\Printer Name

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\Connections\\server name\Printer Name

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Devices

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version \PrinterPorts
If the printer was installed from Print Manager using the Create Printer option, the printer information will be located in the following keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Print Manager\Printers

HKEY_USERS\SID Number\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Print Manager\Printers

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Devices

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Printer Ports

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-1

Windows NT 3.1

If the printer was installed from Print Manager using the Connect To Printer option, the printer information will be located in the following keys:
HKEY_USERS\S-user id number\Printers\Connections\server name\Printer Name

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\Connections \\server name\Printer Name

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Devices

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\PrinterPorts
If the printer was installed from Print Manager using the Create Printer option, the printer information will be located in the following keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Print Manager\Printers

HKEY_USERS\SID Number\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Print Manager\Printers

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Devices

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Printer Ports

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers
There may also be references to printers in other ControlSets, such as ControlSet001, but because this may be the Control Set for the Last Known Good Configuration, it should not be modified.

NOTE: If you intend to manually remove a printer driver you must do so before manually removing the printer and shares, because the registry entry is deleted when you manually remove the printer and shares.

Properties

Article ID: 102116 - Last Review: May 24, 2007 - Revision: 2.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
Keywords: 
kbinfo kbprint KB102116

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