Trouble deleting or canceling a print job in Windows?

The glitch I had in printing was that I was unable to cancel a bad print job from the printing queue. It simply sat in front of the queue of print jobs without being printed or deleted. I am running Windows XP Professional, however, this experience may happen on all Windows operating systems.

The reason for this glitch is that the print manager was not able to delete the spooler file caching the print job. Therefore, the solution is to remove the print job manually.

1. Locate the print job under the print spooler directory. It’s usually under
%SystemRoot%\SYSTEM32\SPOOL\PRINTERS
where %SystemRoot% is the installation directory of Windows OS.

2. You can find the files according to time stamp and size, and try to delete them, however, it usually doesn’t work because there is a lock on these files by the “Print Spooler” service.

3. Click “Control Panel” -> “Administrative Tools” -> “Services” and find “Print Spooler”. The “Status” column shows “Started”. Right click the service to “Stop” it.

4. Leave the “Services” open and go back to the directory in Step 1 to delete those files.

5. Go back to the “Services” windows and right click the “Print Spooler” service to “Start” it again.

Now happy printing again!

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Even More Unpleasant Tax Return Filing Experience

I have been quiet for a while. The reason? Quite exhaustive travels, reading a good investment book and filing for tax returns.

Tonight I had been working on a state income tax return, whose tax forms were in encrypted PDF format. It means that you can only print it to a physical printer, but not save it with data filled in, which is really a pain in the neck. I could not file online because of some complicated issues. However, I would like to fill the data in the pdf files electronically since it’s cleaner and I can also keep an electronic copy of my tax returns. I do not understand why they wanted to create even more trouble for poor people who need to file off-line! It’s a well-known trade-off between convenience and security, however, I can not believe that people would create such unnecessary inconvenience for no gain in security at all!!!

I was a bit nervous because it was not easy to work back and forth between 7 forms (Federal plus State) and quite a few browser windows without making any mistakes. I was unlucky with my computers many times, thus, even I didn’t close any window mistakenly, the applications and Windows may well crash when I was working.

After a whole night’s hard work, I finally got to print them out before losing them despite a glitch in printing. Whew!