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Error message on a Windows Vista-based or Windows Server 2008-based computer that does not have a parallel port: "The Parallel port driver service failed to start"

Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify 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 XP and Windows Vista
An error message that resembles the following may be logged in the System log on a Windows Vista-based or Windows Server 2008-based computer that does not have a parallel port:
Event Source: Service Control Manager
Event ID: 7000
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: Computer_Name
The Parallel port driver service failed to start due to the following error:
The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.
This error message is logged after you disconnect the computer from the docking station, and then you restart the computer.

For example, this problem might occur in the following scenario:
  • You configure a Windows Vista-based computer for use with a docking station.
  • The docking station has an attached printer that requires using the parallel port (Parport) service.
  • You disconnect the computer from the docking station, and then you restart the computer.
This problem does not occur on 64-bit versions of Windows Vista.

Note When this event is logged in the System log, it does not indicate that there is any serious problem with the comptuer.
This problem may occur if the parallel port (Parport) service is enabled and if the parallel port is not connected.

Note The Parport service is not listed in Computer Management and is inaccessible.
Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

These errors can be safely ignored if you have removed the parallel port connector or if you are using a printer that is connected to the parallel port connector of a docking station.

Alternatively, if you do not require the parallel port, you can disable the Parport service in the registry to stop the error messages from being logged. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then click regedit.exe in the Programs list.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  3. Right-click the Start entry, and then click Modify.
  4. In the Value data box, type 4, and then click OK.
  5. Exit Registry Editor.
You can use the following values for the Start entry.
Value Description
2Automatic. This is the default setting.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

Article ID: 935497 - Last Review: 04/02/2008 00:01:48 - Revision: 3.0

Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Starter, Windows Server 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems

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