We deployed a number of new machines this week, and we received this error on every single one of them whenever we tried to add printers. If you tried to start the spooler and then tried to add the printer, it would just crash again.
After some investigation, it turned out that the VMware Tools software had mistakenly been deployed to these machines (obviously in error, since they are not virtual machines). That in and of itself isn’t a problem – you simply uninstall it and you should be on your way. However what *didn’t* happen during the uninstall was there should have been a registry key deleted which wasn’t and was causing issues.
The key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Monitors\ThinPrint Print Port Monitor for VMWare
By deleting that entire key, we could start the print spooler and add the drivers correctly.