Microsoft Print to PDF stops working requiring Windows re-install

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  1.    #1

    Microsoft Print to PDF stops working requiring Windows re-install


    Hi all,

    I have a Lenovo Yoga 910. It's a great little laptop. Truly the only thing flawed about it is the Windows x64 HOME operating system. It regularly comes up with glitches and failures (often in simple core features) that take hours of troubleshooting to sort out. In case this I am here now trying to sort out why Microsoft Print to PDF is so unreliable.

    I have just now attempted to print a webpage and now found that the Microsoft Print to PDF simply does not work. It does not work in any browser, app or program on the computer. The driver has simply failed and the print driver is no longer available.

    This is not the first time I have encountered this... in fact it's about the 5th or 6th time I've had this problem over the last 2-3yrs. The pattern I have noticed is that it occurs after some kind of automatic windows update (ie. you go to shutdown and get the "Update and Shutdown" prompt instead in the start menu). After restart BOOM - Microsoft Print to PDF no longer works. I have wasted hours and trawled the internet looking for solutions... there are plenty of people with the problem... not a lot of working solutions.

    I have tried (and usually they have failed) the following solutions (from around the internet):

    
    • Rollback to a restore point prior to the update (from safe mode bootup)
    • the SFC/scannow and DISM from elevated CMD prompt
    • remove and re-install from windows features
    • remove and re-install manually the device driver from Control Panel > printers
    • PLUS all the other solutions listed in the links below.



    These usually make things worse and end up with a bunch of coded errors (0x0000007e etc) that point to .net framework etc or other nebulous issues when I search further.

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    In all cases my only reliable solution is to download a windows image onto a thumb drive and do an 'in place re-install' of the operating system. I am tired of wasting my time on this. It goes without saying that I always have the latest version of windows installed and fully updated (as mentioned it is... from what I can gather... updates that appear to cause the problem) .

    Does anyone here happen to have a solution to this problem that won't take me more hours of troubleshooting to sort out? Otherwise it is just faster for me to do the re-install.

    I am happy to access the registry and system files/permissions if required.

    Here are some of the threads (and associated solutions) I have tried already trying to sort out this issue:

    How to Add or Reinstall the Microsoft PDF Printer - Microsoft Community

    Microsoft print to PDF stopped working after long time with no issues | Windows 10 Forums

    Fix Microsoft Print to PDF Not Working or Missing in Windows

    Fix: Print to PDF not working in Windows 10

    microsoft print to pdf not working - Microsoft Community

    Top 6 Solutions to Fix Microsoft Print to PDF Not Working on Windows 10 | Driver Talent

    Cheers,

    Growler
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 13,743
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1809
       #2

    HI Growler. Welcome to the TenForums @Growler505

    While I don't have a solution to your problem I do have a work around, I used Bullzip PDF printer.

    They have a free version that meets all my needs.

    https://www.bullzip.com/

    As well I would look into Macrium Reflect, again free, to do system images. A quick restore and you are back in business.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect

    Many members are users of this product and approach.

    Hopefully another member will have a solution to your question on MS PDF print.


    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 37,959
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18865
       #3

    Hello Growler,

    If you haven't already, you could see if doing a repair install may fix it for you without losing anything.

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    Thanks Ken and Brink for getting back to me so quickly.

    Yep... I have used 3rd party software previously. I was just hoping to avoid additional programs on my system replicating the jobs of supposedly built in MS functionality that doesn't work... But that is definitely one of the options - simply just don't use MS Print to PDF.

    I also agree Brink that doing the "in-place upgrade" or in-place reinstall will definitely work. As mentioned in my OP this has been the only solution the last 5 or 6 times.

    It is not a fast process however, so I was just reaching out to the community to see if you all have anything better/faster. However if guys like you Brink don't have anything additional (I'm a big fan of your work) I'm just gonna have to go for the in-place upgrade right away rather than waste more time trying to troubleshoot and find a better solution.

    I just wish MS would fix this problem as it has been coming up for me for years.

    Cheers all.

    Jeff
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 13,743
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1809
       #5

    You could also use a tool like Macrium to Image your system.

    A restore maybe faster than In-place.

    That said you would have to keep making new Images as your machine changes over time.

    In any event it is good to have images. Updates and program installs can always go sideways.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect


    I take an image every week and save multiple versions. Something goes bump, I restore. My data and programs are on different partitions.


    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 10,826
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    Growler505 said: View Post
    I also agree Brink that doing the "in-place upgrade" or in-place reinstall will definitely work... It is not a fast process however, so I was just reaching out to the community to see if you all have anything better/faster...
    I just wish MS would fix this problem as it has been coming up for me for years.
    I think the reason no one has worked out an easier fix is that it isn't that common a problem. If it occurs regularly for you perhaps there's something about the way you work that triggers it?

    A faster 'solution' than the in-place repair would be to have a recent system image that you could restore if/when stops working (Macrium is often recommended).
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    #7

    Yeah it's interesting Bree... Whilst it definitely isn't an common everyday problem for a lot of people, a quick Google search shows that I'm not alone and there others that have encountered it.

    I've been trying to work out if it is something I am doing but to be honest I don't have a lot on the laptop. I use my desktop for all the interesting stuff (photo/video editing, gaming, etc) and just use the laptop for travel and have basic office productivity programs & Netflix etc - it actually has very little on it that isn't stock.

    The only constant I have noticed, as mentioned above, is that every time it has occurred it was preceded immediately before by a windows update.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 13,743
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1809
       #8

    While this would be even more work, have you tried a clean install on this device and then tracked history after an update?

    One clean install may actually be less work /time than restore or repairs.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    Have you tired turning the Microsoft Print to PDF function off and then on in the Turn Windows Features on or off function?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    #10

    PJLLB said: View Post
    Have you tired turning the Microsoft Print to PDF function off and then on in the Turn Windows Features on or off function?
    Yes... Point 3 in my original list of attempted solutions, and the last screenshot posted. Turning it off results in me not being able to turn it on again. Turning it back on errors out with a code (0x800F0922) and tells me to reboot and try again... which also does not work. Googling the code points to a .net framework issue and a whole new lot of troubleshooting/solutions which do not work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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