I've seen this problem on WinXP, Win2K, and on Win9x machines attached to a WinXP LAN and/or VPN. The problem occurs randomly, after long periods during of stability. Even the fixes here mentioned have eventually failed.
The only seemingly permanent fix has been to use the NET command, with the PERSISTENT parameter (on WinXP and Win2k only)to direct printer output to the LPT2 port; i.e. "NET USE LPT2: \\printerhostsharename\printerdevicename PERSISTENT:YES."
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