TCP/IP Printing Service Hangs If Started Before Spooler Service

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Article ID: 189224 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q189224

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For information on how to do this, view the "Restoring the Registry" online Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key" online Help topic in Regedt32.exe.
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After you apply Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3, the TCP/IP Printing service stops responding (hangs) if it is started before the Spooler service is started. In addition, the Stop/Start button in the Services tool in Control Panel is unavailable when TCP/IP printing is selected and one or more of the following error messages may occur:

Could not start the TCP print server service on (servername)
Error 2186: The service is not responding to the control function.


The TCP/IP Printing service depends on the Spooler service and may become nonresponsive when attempted to run without the spooler service running first.


You can work around this problem by starting the Spooler service prior to the TCP/IP Printing service.

You can resolve this problem by adding the following registry key to the TCP/IP Printing service:

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serous problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.

  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  2. Locate the following key in the registry:
  3. On the Edit menu, click Add Value, and then add the following registry value:
    Value Name: DependOnService Data Type: REG_MULTI_SZ Value: Spool
  4. Quit Registry Editor.
When you stop the spooler service, it will also stop the TCP/IP Printing service. When you restart the TCP/IP Printing service, without starting the spooler service, it will start the spooler service first.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 4.0.


Article ID: 189224 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
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