FIX(?): Pharos printing system causes spooler to crash

I've been having this problem since I did my in-place upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 back in October.

Pharos is a network printing system used by many college and universities, which provides print-to-pay services. For mobile printing from a laptop, the software has to be installed along with the drivers for the printer. I had it installed and had been using it with Vista for a year before upgrading Windows. Though it worked fine with Vista, the installer didn't like Windows Vista--I needed to shut off UAC just for it to install. When I upgraded to Windows 7, it made printing impossible by causing the print spooler to crash repeatedly.

To fix the problem, all I had to do was uninstall the Pharos software, which wasn't made easy since the uninstaller would fail before actually doing anything. (Something to do with a server being unreachable, which it complained about even when on the campus network.)

In order to actually uninstall the Pharos software, I ended up needing to use Perfect Uninstaller, a pay program that scans for associated files and registry entries and deletes them, but for those with enough time and experience you can manually do this.

I'm not absolutely sure if this has fixed all the printing problems on my system, but it has made it so the spooler stops crashing. Being away from my school and personal printers for the holidays, I can't test if they will work now. For all I know, the Pharos software might work with Windows 7 but when installing the very old, XP only, drivers for my Dell 725 color printer it messed up the whole thing. I certainly don't remember the spooler crashing before attempting to install the Dell 725 drivers, but I also didn't need to print anything before then. I do know that even though the Dell 725 drivers were completely useless on my other Windows 7 machine (without Pharos) it never had any spooler crashes.

If I'm eventually able to use Pharos in Windows 7, I'll post it on the forums here.

I hope somebody finds this useful; there was absolutely no help for this specific problem when I searched for it and it has been a constant source frustration since I upgraded to Windows 7.


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Thanks for the tip, itsonlyinsane, and welcome to the forums. I, for one, have never heard of the system until now. It seems you did the right thing by uninstalling the software by any means necessary. Of course, as the old saying goes, maintaining a working backup is king. I suggest you do this straight away for your print server systems. Have you considered running the print server off a Windows Server platform like Windows Server 2008? There are many unsupported print devices out there. Few being sold in stores, but many old models. As a workaround, some people are either keeping their old systems on their network or running copies of Windows XP in a virtual machine like VMWare, Virtualbox, Microsoft Virtual PC, etc. You might consider this as a temporary workaround. Offhand I can recommend VMWare Server to you, which is a free product. This is incumbant on whether the host machine(s) on your network have virtualization capability on the CPU and enough memory to handle virtualizing XP just for printing.

This could be a temporary fix for your problem, but the ultimate solution will be for Pharos to upgrade their software for Windows 7 and for you to consider investing in Windows 7 supported peripherals. Canon is great with drivers. The computer manufacturers like HP and Dell must provision only a certain amount of R&D into driver development and in many cases do not support newer operating systems. They must feel it is financially beneficial to do this, because naturally, now there would be a need to buy a new printer. Companies like Canon and Lexmark are a little bit better with the driver support.

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