Friday, March 13, 2009

Applications began to crash and printer list will not show

Vista got it's nickers in a twist on a laptop and caused numerous unwanted behaviour recently.  Paint.NET crashed, Word 2007 would not open, and the Control Panel-->Printers would not complete to show known printers.
Word apparently, upon start-up, attempts to make use of the default printer, and since the Control Panel couldn't list the printers, Word found itself in a nice little Frank Sinatra state (do-be-do-be-do).
I found Excel to be working okay--apparently it does not need to know about the default printer at start-up.
It was unknown at the time how Vista got inself into this state, but it became very clear to me that one of the components was a remote network printer--which was currently not available.  The computer hosting the remote printer was in an error-free state (off).  Rebooting the laptop did not solve the problem--the nickers were twisted so tight that some serious tools might be required.
Instead of reporting printer not available Vista simply hung up and left the user in a state of no repair--rendering the machine useful for a door stop or at best a poor writer's lap desk.
To fix the issue I simply turned the remote computer on and ensured the remote printer was available.  Then rebooted the laptop that was left for dead.  Nickers were immediately untwisted and all was well again.
What concerned me was that if the laptop was out of range of it's default printer or the remote printer server was removed from service and the nickers became twisted there was no way to untwist them.  So to prevent from getting caught with our pants down again the default printer is no longer a remote printer.

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