Clients Open Many \Pipe\Spoolss Connections to WinNT Print Server

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Article ID: 154541 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

Windows NT client workstations may open large numbers of \pipe\spoolss connections to a print server. This usually occurs when you start an application (such as Microsoft Word) that queries printers. The spoolss process on both the client and the server will open a large number of handles related to these connections.

CAUSE

When the application opens the printer, the spooler detects that some of the printer attributes on the server have changed and the local cache is invalid. The client then refreshes the cache, including form information. For each form, a WM_DEVMODECHANGE is issued, which causes the problem. When winword.exe sees this message, it thinks the printer configuration has changed and reopens it. A lot of these messages are sent, causing Word to go into a tight loop opening printers.



A Remote Procedure Call (RPC) requires one named pipe instance for every active RPC call. Because there are all these OpenPrinter calls (which are hanging), RPC needs many named pipes. RPC won't destroy these instances until all context handles (that is, all OpenPrinters) have been closed.

RESOLUTION

Obtain the fix referenced below. Apply this fix to the Windows NT client system(s) to correct the problem.

MORE INFORMATION

For related information, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

182333Excessive Processor Usage on Print Servers

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT versions 3.5 and 3.51. This problem was corrected in the latest Windows NT 3.51 U.S. Service Pack. For information on obtaining the Service Pack, query on the following word in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (without the spaces):
S E R V P A C K

Properties

Article ID: 154541 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 3.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
Keywords: 
kbnetwork kbprint KB154541

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