Computer glitches

One day turning on my computer there was an unexpected message asking me to validate my Microsoft Office license.  I was unable to open any of the MS programs, so I had to fill out the form.  The usual stuff, name, e-mail, MS account and then fill in the 25 digit “product key.”  This is the code that comes with the original product, but where was it?  I had to search my files until I found it, and then entered it and lo and behold everything was Ok and I could open the MS programs.

But (and there is always a but), when I went to print something it wouldn’t print and I got the following message: “The active directory domain services is currently unavailable,” (!)  What does this mean? I also got another message:“Local print spooler services is not running.”  This even though the current printer was selected and all the programs showed that they could print. I know the spooler is the program that keeps the list of items to be printed and then prints them in sequence.  So I re-booted and then the computer asked me for my MS Office license again.  This time I got angry and deleted it, but I was still able to use the MS programs.  But the printing problem did not go away..

So I looked the former error message up on the web and got some suggestions of how to fix it, but it became too complex and since I could not print out the directions I gave up.  Then I rebooted again and checked the second message about the spooler on the web.  This gave me a relatively simple troubleshooting solution, that worked.  Here is what you do: Press the Windows icon (bottom left corner) and type “w”, then in the box at the bottom type “Troubleshooting.” In the dialog box select “view all” and you get a list of possible topics to troubleshoot (this can be very useful in general), finally you select “printer.”  Then the troubleshooting program does its thing and you select the printer you want to use and in this case it solved the problem.

What this process actually does is mysterious, but it seemed to remove all the active drivers of all the other printers except the one I wanted to use and then fixed the spooler.  But, of course, the next time I went to print the same error message came up.  So I repeated the process (no I am not insane) and this time so far it seems to work.  Now I wish someone could explain to me why I had to revalidate my MS license and why doing so screwed up the print spooler and the printing.  Maybe MS should be investigating this among other glitches.



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