My Printer Stopped Working, now what?

Update: If you’ve already tried everything below, see the sequel to this article!

Tales from the Help Desk?  It’s time for another Tech Tip Tuesday!

Ever hear of someone taking a few seconds to “reset the print spooler” and their computer magically started working for them?  Sometimes it really is that easy.  Resetting the print spooler takes about 10 seconds and is far more efficient than rebooting your whole computer.  So if you’re asking how do I restart the print spooler?  There are several ways.


If you’re familiar with the Command Prompt you can simply load one up and type in the following two commands:

net stop spooler

net start spooler



You’re done!  Your printer should start spitting out pages again.


If the command prompt feels just a little overwhelming for you, don’t worry – there’s an easier point and click way to do it.  If you’re in Windows XP, click on Start then Run, type the word “Services” and press Enter or click OK.  In Windows 7, click on the start menu and “search” for the Services console.




Once the Services console is loaded up, scroll through the big long list.  Don’t let the quantity scare you, you’re just looking for the Print Spooler Service.  Once you find it, RIGHT CLICK on it, then click RESTART from the right click menu.  A progress bar will pop up for a few seconds saying that it is stopping, then another will pop up saying it is starting.  And you’re done!




One more method for getting to the “Services” console that works in Windows XP / Vista / 7 – Right Click on the My Computer or Computer icon, then click Manage from the right click menu.  Then, on the left side, click Services.  You can memorize this process, then no matter what computer you find yourself working on, you can most likely find the quickest way to reset the print spooler.

2010–Villagers–Becoming a Jackal


It’s time for another Music Monday!


When I first heard about Villagers last year, I pretty much immediately fell in love.  Villagers are an indie folk band the likes of which you should expect to see on tour with Mumford and Sons in the near future.  Then again, it might be an overload.  We might have to use the Villagers to finally make the Avett Brothers famous among more than stoners.


Villagers were brought back o the forefront of my attention over the weekend when they released a new live album in Europe.  I’ve been listening to that, which mostly contains the same tracks you see on this album, except for two tracks and adding two new songs (On a Sunlit Stage and In a New Found Land you are Free).


It made me go back and listen to this album just one more time.  It starts out with a complete slap in the face to pop music: a track that lasts five minutes.  Several songs aren’t afraid to use a little bit of quiet space between them before jumping right in to the next song.  The pacing is fantastic.  While the songs are all quite relaxing, you’ll find yourself tapping your foot with a track or two along the way.


For me, the album really reaches its peak during the song The Pact (I’ll be your Fever).  It’s the type of song I keep expecting to at least hear on indie radio stations, but around here I get no such joy.  It’s one of the more upbeat songs on the album, using quaintly romantic lines like “do what you did yesterday / go on repeat it. / ‘cause my heart is only on fire / when you are the teacher. / So you take the torch and I’ll / Follow the leader / you be my master / and I’ll be your fever.”


If you want the kind of album that will just play on the in the background and never get in the way, except for the occasional friend of yours asking “what is this wonderful music?” then this is the album for you.  It doesn’t jump out as exactly one of the best albums I’ve ever heard – but I wanted to bring Villagers to your attention, because I only expect them to grown in popularity, much the way Mumford & Sons has over the last year.

Xbox 360’s License Migration Tool

The Xbox 360 was really the console that made downloadable content a standard.  Weather it was horse armor or Xbox Live Arcade games, or even movies and music, Xbox Live has really made downloading to your console a standard in the gaming industry.


Unfortunately, thanks to software piracy that even I was a part of in my younger days, it became necessary for Microsoft to tag the things you download with licenses that tie directly to the console you’re downloading them to.  But what if you suffer from the dreaded 3 Red Lights?  Or if you just wanted to buy a bigger hard drive, or to buy the latest and greatest Xbox 360 Slim?  Where does all of that money you spent on downloads go?  Lucky for you, there’s the Microsoft License Migration Tool.  It’s a little bit of a pain in the neck, but it’s far better than losing the hundreds of dollars you may have spent if you’re like me.


The website does a great job of walking you through the process, I’ve had to do it twice myself (once for a Red Ring of Death and once when I upgraded to an Elite).  It really is pretty simple, and if you have questions, you’re in luck, because Microsoft has a Frequently Asked Questions page about the process, so you can read up, be confident, and migrate!