Splwow64.exe process doesn't end after a print job finishes in the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

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Article ID: 2815716 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a computer that is running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • You print something by using a 32-bit application.
  • The print job is finished.
In this scenario, the Splwow64.exe process does not immediately end.

Note The Splwow64.exe process is used to translate the driver model of a 64-bit operating system and a 32-bit program.  

Cause

This issue occurs because the Splwow64.exe process stays in the memory for additional time to increase system performance after a print job is finished. Therefore, the Splwow64.exe process does not end as expected when a print job is finished.

Resolution

After you apply this hotfix, the hotfix sets the default time-out value for the Splwow64.exe process to remain in memory to two minutes. Therefore, the Splwow64.exe process shuts down two minutes after the last print job is finished. Additionally, you can configure this time-out value by changing the registry value in the "Registry Information" section.  

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix Download Available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft website:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note The "Hotfix Download Available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, you must be running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

For more information about how to obtain a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
976932 Information about Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

Registry information

To configure the time-out value, follow these steps.

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. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then right-click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print
  4. Point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  5. Type SplWOW64TimeOutSeconds as the registry entry name, and then press Enter.
  6. Double-click the SplWOW64TimeOutSeconds entry that you created in step 4.
  7. Enter a value in the Value data box, and then click OK.
Note You must enter a value that is greater than 0 (zero) in the Value data box. The value that you enter is the number of seconds that the system periodically waits while the system checks whether the Splwow64.exe process must be unloaded. The Splwow64.exe process is unloaded when the number of seconds that is specified in SplWOW64TimeOutSeconds elapses since the last 32-bit print process has closed. Therefore, when a service process prints, the print capability is not released until the service closes and at least the time that you specify in the Value data box passes. For example, if you type 15 in the Value data box, and the last 32-bit process takes two minutes to print and close, the print capability is released between two minutes and 15 seconds and two minutes and 30 seconds. If no time-out value is specified, the default time-out value is two minutes.

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.

File information

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The global version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 file information notes
Important Windows 7 hotfixes and Windows Server 2008 R2 hotfixes are included in the same packages. However, hotfixes on the Hotfix Request page are listed under both operating systems. To request the hotfix package that applies to one or both operating systems, select the hotfix that is listed under "Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2" on the page. Always refer to the "Applies To" section in articles to determine the actual operating system that each hotfix applies to.
  • The files that apply to a specific product, milestone (RTM, SPn), and service branch (LDR, GDR) can be identified by examining the file version numbers as shown in the following table:
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    VersionProductMilestoneService branch
    6.1.760 1.22xxxWindows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2SP1LDR
  • The MANIFEST files (.manifest) and the MUM files (.mum) that are installed for each environment are listed separately in the "Additional file information for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2" section. MUM and MANIFEST files, and the associated security catalog (.cat) files, are critical to maintaining the state of the updated component. The security catalog files, for which the attributes are not listed, are signed with a Microsoft digital signature.
For all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2
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File nameSplwow64.exe
File version6.1.7601.22252
File size67,072
Date (UTC)15-Feb-2013
Time (UTC)04:40
Platformx64
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For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2
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File nameSplwow64.exe
File version6.1.7601.22252
File size160,768
Date (UTC)15-Feb-2013
Time (UTC)04:10
PlatformIA-64
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Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More information

For more information about the similar issue that occurs in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
972616 You cannot use the "runas" command to print from different user accounts in a single session from a 32-bit program on a computer that is running 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Additional file information

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Additional file information for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

Additional files for all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2
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File nameAmd64_microsoft-windows-p..ng-spooler-splwow64_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22252_none_262c9590c1d73909.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size2,644
Date (UTC)15-Feb-2013
Time (UTC)05:55
PlatformNot applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-p..ng-spooler-splwow64_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22252_none_ca0dfa0d0979c7d3.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,846
Date (UTC)15-Feb-2013
Time (UTC)04:42
PlatformNot applicable
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Additional files for all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2
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File nameIa64_microsoft-windows-p..ng-spooler-splwow64_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22252_none_ca0f9e030977d0cf.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size2,643
Date (UTC)15-Feb-2013
Time (UTC)05:06
PlatformNot applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-p..ng-spooler-splwow64_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22252_none_ca0dfa0d0979c7d3.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,846
Date (UTC)15-Feb-2013
Time (UTC)04:42
PlatformNot applicable
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Properties

Article ID: 2815716 - Last Review: April 9, 2013 - Revision: 1.0
Applies to
  • Windows 7 Service Pack 1, when used with:
    • Windows 7 Enterprise
    • Windows 7 Home Basic
    • Windows 7 Home Premium
    • Windows 7 Professional
    • Windows 7 Starter
    • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1, when used with:
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
    • Windows Web Server 2008 R2
Keywords: 
kbautohotfix kbqfe kbhotfixserver kbfix kbsurveynew kbexpertiseadvanced KB2815716

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