OFF: "Cannot change printers" and Similar Error Messages

This article was previously published under Q140754
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When you print from a Microsoft Office for Windows program, you receiveone of the following error messages.


Word cannot change printers. No printers are installed.
Word cannot print due to a problem with the current printer setup.


There is no printer installed. Use the Printers option in Control Panel to install a printer.


There is no printer installed.
The printer could not be found.


Unable to complete the print operation. There is no default printer. Use the Control Panel to select a default printer.
These error messages may occur if one of the following conditions is true:
  • You do not have a Win.ini file.


  • The Devices section of the Win.ini file is missing.


  • The Devices section of the Win.ini file contains incomplete or incorrect information.


  • The Win.ini file exceeds the 64 KB size limit.


Note that if you remove the Win.ini file, or if it becomes corrupted, and youthen restart Microsoft Windows 95, a new Win.ini is created. However, thenew Win.ini contains only the Desktop or Embedding sections. The Devicessection is missing.

For additional information about this problem and Microsoft Word 97, pleasesee the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
162411 OFF97: Page Fault in MSO97 When Printing

Method 1: Reinstall the Printer Driver

When you use this method you create the required information for theDevices section as well as write the correct entries for the Ports, PrinterPorts, and Windows sections in the Win.ini.

For more information about performing this task in Windows, see yourWindows printed documentation or online Help.

Method 2: Correct an Entry in Win.ini

Locate the Win.ini file and correct the Devices section. To do this, followthese steps:
  1. On the Windows 95 taskbar, click Start and point to Find.
  2. Click Files Or Folders.
  3. In the Find All Files dialog box, click the Name & Location tab.
  4. In the Named box, type Win.ini.
  5. In the Look In box, choose the name of your hard disk.
  6. Select the Include Subfolders check box and click Find Now.
  7. Right-click the Win.ini file and click Open.
  8. In the Win.ini file, find the [Devices] section.
  9. The Devices section should list the friendly name of the printer followed by an equal sign, the driver name, comma, and then the port or network path. If the [Devices] section is missing, add it. The following is a sample [Devices] section:
          [Devices]      HP LaserJet 4/4M=HPPCL5MS,LPT1:      HP LaserJet IIISi=HPPCL5MS,\\Server\Sharename						

Method 3: Create a New Win.ini

If neither Method 1 nor Method 2 resolves the problem, you can create anew Win.ini file with the correct information.

Rename the Win.ini to Win.old, and reinstall Windows 95. Windows 95detects that you are reinstalling, and a dialog box appears with the"Run Setup Again?" title. The dialog box gives you two options. Selectthe first option (to restore Windows files that are changed or corrupted)and reinstall Windows 95.

This method recreates a new, complete Win.ini with all of the requiredsections.
8.00 word7 word95 off97 word97 printing default printer control panel installed drop-down cannot change ini

Article ID: 140754 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 11:04:00 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Office 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office 95 Standard Edition
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  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
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