I support 400 Windows 2000 workstations and 80 HP networked printers for a local government. A user recently called me to complain that his printers had disappeared from the printer folder. When the user tried to restore the missing printers, he received the error message Printer operation cannot continue due to lack of resources. The printer subsystem is unavailable.
I logged on as a local administrator to check the printer folder and found no printers listed. I checked the System log and found no errors. I then verified that the user's system had adequate hard disk space available. Finally, I guessed that the Spooler service might be causing the problem. I opened a command-shell window and ran the command
net start spooler
to start the Spooler service. When I rechecked the printer folder, the user's printers were restored.