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Error Message: "Print Processor Is Unknown"

This article was previously published under Q153355
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you attempt to print or connect to a print queue, the following errormessage may appear:
Could not connect to the printer <printer> because the print processor is unknown.

In addition, printer icons may be missing from the Printers folder.
This error message may be caused by one of the following:
  • The default print processor Winprint.dll is missing on the computer. This file should be located in the following directory:

    %Systemroot%\System32\Spool\Prtprocs\W32x86 -or-
  • The winprint key is corrupted or missing or the data value contains a leading space in the following registry location:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\ Environments\Windows NT x86\Print Processors\

    NOTE: The above registry key is one path; it has been wrapped for readability.
If the Winprint.dll file is missing, expand Winprint.dl_ from the WindowsNT installation CD to the %Systemroot%\System32\Spool\Prtprocs\W32x86directory.

If the winprint key is missing from the registry. you must use RegistryEditor to add it. Use the steps below to add the winprint key to theregistry:

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wideproblems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them.Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use ofRegistry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.
  1. Run Regedt32.exe
  2. Navigate to the following registry location:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Print Processors\
  3. Click to select the Print Processors key.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Add Key, and then type "winprint" (without thequotation marks) in the Key Name field of the Add Key dialog box (leavethe Class field blank).
  5. Click to select the winprint key. On the Edit menu, click Add Value.
  6. Type the following values in the Add Value dialog box and then click OK:

    Value Name: Driver
    Data Type: REG_SZ
  7. For the String Value, type "winprint.dll" (without the quotation marks),and click OK.
  8. Restart the computer. After the computer restarts, you should be able toadd printers.
prodnt prt

Article ID: 153355 - Last Review: 12/04/2015 15:01:31 - Revision: 2.2

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5, Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

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