Article ID: 154541 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q154541
Windows NT client workstations may open large numbers of \pipe\spoolss connections to a print server. This usually occurs when you start an application (such as Microsoft Word) that queries printers. The spoolss process on both the client and the server will open a large number of handles related to these connections.
When the application opens the printer, the spooler detects that some of the printer attributes on the server have changed and the local cache is invalid. The client then refreshes the cache, including form information. For each form, a WM_DEVMODECHANGE is issued, which causes the problem. When winword.exe sees this message, it thinks the printer configuration has changed and reopens it. A lot of these messages are sent, causing Word to go into a tight loop opening printers.
A Remote Procedure Call (RPC) requires one named pipe instance for every active RPC call. Because there are all these OpenPrinter calls (which are hanging), RPC needs many named pipes. RPC won't destroy these instances until all context handles (that is, all OpenPrinters) have been closed.
Obtain the fix referenced below. Apply this fix to the Windows NT client system(s) to correct the problem.
For related information, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(https://support.microsoft.com/kb/182333/EN-US/ )Excessive Processor Usage on Print Servers
Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT versions 3.5 and 3.51. This problem was corrected in the latest Windows NT 3.51 U.S. Service Pack. For information on obtaining the Service Pack, query on the following word in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (without the spaces):
S E R V P A C K
Article ID: 154541 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 3.1