network printing

Windows Breaks Network Printing Again

Another Windows 10 update, another network printing bug.

Windows 10 bug
This week, Windows 10 users have been expereincing network printing issues after installing the following cumulative updates:

  • KB5006670 (Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H1 and 21H1)
  • KB5006674 (Windows 11)
  • KB5006667 (Windows 10 version 1909)
  • KB5006714 (Windows 8)

Upon installing these updates, users have been unable to print on their network printers, receiving errors stating: 0x00000709 or ‘Element not found‘ when trying to print to a network printer. The PrintNightmare bug has been around since July, with Microsoft releasing fixes for it, yet the error still persists.
Since this error can be exploited by threat actors and ransomeware gangs, Microsoft has had to change the Point and Print feature to combat this. While this does fix the vulnerability, it also causes more errors with printing to network printers.

How To Fix Network Printing Issues

First Method: Uninstall the KB5006670 update

The first and most common fix is to uninstall the KB5006670 update by using the command prompt:

  • Search for ‘Command Prompt’ in the start menu, right click and select ‘Run as Administrator’
  • Paste the following command into the Command Prompt:
wusa /uninstall /kb:5006670

While this can fix the error, it will also remove fixes for over 70 vulnerabilities including one major vulnerability that is being actively exploited, which means this method isn’t ideal.

Second Method: Replace C:WindowsSystem32Win32spl.dll

Some users have had success replacing the Win32spl.dll DLL file with the September 2021 version to fix this issue.

“KB5006670 replaces C:WindowsSystem32Win32spl.dll with version 10.0.19041.1288 which halts printing
We replace this dll with version 10.0.19041.1237 that was installed September’s Cumulative update
The attached batch script will copy your “good” dll file to each computer this runs on from a server location and rename the “bad” dll. I run it as a startup script for ease”

Since this DLL could have been changed for security reasons, this change can also reduce the protection from vulnerability exploits on your PC.

Third Method: Recreate printer queues on the print server

Other users have reported that by reinstalling their printers on the print server, their problem was resolved. By removing and reinstalling the printer with Admin rights, the queues will be rebuilt which can allow the printer to work.

Fourth Method: Enable the CopyFiles feature

Some HP printer drivers require a feature called CopyFiles which was disabled by Microsoft in December. There is a hidden Group Policy that can let you reenable it. To do so, create a Windows Registry value under the HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindows NTPrinters key named CopyFilesPolicy. When set to ‘1’, CopyFiles will be enabled again.

Final Method: Use a print server to share the printer on the network

The last method that will require a bit of setup, is to stop sharing the printer on the network through the PC it is connected to, and instead use a print server to connect the network.

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