The specified print monitor is unknown


When trying to install a shared network printer in Windows Vista, you get an error which states:

Windows cannot connect to the printer.
The specified print monitor is unknown.

The Cause

This is a bug in Vista. If you disable the UAC, Vista is seemingly unable to add a network printer.

The Fix

To fix this, you’ll need to install a “Performance and Reliability Update”, KB938979. Bizarrely, this update is listed as Optional by Windows Update, and so you may not have installed it. I shall refrain from commenting further on the lunacy of this 😉

Written by Phil Wiffen

Phil is an IT Professional working in Cambridge, England. He generally blogs about useful solutions that he comes across in his work/play.


Satria Wibawa

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