PUB97: Can't Load Printer Driver Error Printing to Outside Printer

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Article ID: 164581
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If you click Print to Outside Printer on the File menu, you receive the following error message:

Cannot load printer driver.

If you then click Outside Print Setup on the File menu, you receive this error message:

Windows is low on memory. Please save your work and close other programs before you continue working.

These errors occur even though you already ran the Outside Print Setup Wizard on your current publication.


These symptoms occur if one (or both) of the following printer drivers are deleted from your computer, but the information about them remains in your Win.ini file:

  • MS Publisher Color Printer
  • MS Publisher Imagesetter
When you click Outside Print Setup on the File menu, Publisher looks for the following lines in the [Devices] section of the Win.ini file:

   MS Publisher Imagesetter=pscript,FILE:
   MS Publisher Color Printer=pscript,FILE:

If these lines are present, Publisher automatically configures your publication to print to the MS Publisher Imagesetter (if you are printing in black and white or in spot color), or to the MS Publisher Color Printer (if you are printing in full color.) However, if the printer drivers are not installed on your computer, you receive the error messages.


If you receive these error messages, do the following:

  1. On the File menu, click Page Setup.
  2. Click Outside Print Setup.
  3. From the Name list, click the name of any printer. Click OK.
Now you can click Outside Print Setup on the File menu to change your target printer to one that is installed.

To prevent the error messages from occurring in the future, use one of the following methods:

Method 1: Reinstall the Outside Printer drivers

Use this method if you wish to restore Publisher's Outside Printer drivers.

If you are using either the Windows 95 or the Windows NT, version 3.51 operating system, follow the instruction in Help. Use the following steps to access this Help topic:

  1. On the Help menu, click Show Index.
  2. In the Type a keyword box, type the following: Outside Printer Drivers
The instructions appear in the right pane.

If you are using the Windows NT, version 4.0 operating system, you must reinstall Publisher to install these printer drivers:

  1. Rename the Setup.stf file located in the Microsoft Publisher\Setup folder.
  2. Start Microsoft Publisher setup.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Method 2: Edit your Win.ini file

Use this method if you do not want to restore the Outside Printer drivers.

  1. Open the Win.ini file in a text editor, such as Notepad. The Win.ini file is located in the \Windows folder.
  2. Locate the [Devices] section and delete the following lines: MS Publisher Imagesetter=pscript,FILE: MS Publisher Color Printer=pscript,FILE:
  3. Locate the [PrinterPorts] section and delete the following lines: MS Publisher Imagesetter=pscript,FILE:,15,45 MS Publisher Color Printer=pscript,FILE:,15,45
  4. Save and close the file.
  5. Restart your computer.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.

More information

While it is rare to have a printer listed in Win.ini after the driver has been deleted, it does happen occasionally. For example, this problem can occur if you restore a backup version of your Win.ini after you delete a printer driver.

You can use the Outside Printer feature in Microsoft Publisher without having the MS Publisher Imagesetter or MS Publisher Color Printer drivers installed. Your outside printing service may recommend a specific printer driver to use instead of these drivers. However, if Publisher believes its drivers are there, it tries to use them by default.


Article ID: 164581 - Last Review: June 22, 2014 - Revision: 4.0
kbnosurvey kbarchive kberrmsg kbprb kbprint KB164581

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