Rapidly flashing pointer in Word 2007


Today I visited a customer who had emailed me earlier this week with an odd problem.  Her computer had automatically installed updates the night before (she got the successful update installation message the next morning) and immediately noticed that when in Word 2007, her pointer rapidly flashes between a regular pointer and the “spinning circle” symbol.  Upon digging into this, I could not figure out which update related to the cause of the problem, but I finally did figure out that it had something to do with her network printer.  If I went to the print screen in Word and changed the current printer the pointer went back to normal immediately. As soon as I chose the network printer again the cursor flashing started immediately.  Once Word is closed, the cursor flashing stops immediately as well.

So how did I fix this?  Well, I first started trying to remove updates.  There were about 15-20 updates, and after the first 2 or 3 I gave up and decided to play with the printer driver instead.  First things first, clean installation of the print driver.
I deleted the network printer and set a local printer as the default printer.  Pointer was fine when I opened up Word.  I then opened the “Printer server settings” and deleted the driver package from the Drivers tab.  I also deleted the port that the network printer was using.  Basically, I wanted to set the printer back up as a new printer, ensuring that no registry keys got left behind.
After complete removal of the printer and it’s associated drivers and ports, I re-installed the printer using the latest driver from Xerox.  I think it was actually the same version as was previously installed.  After reinstalling the printer and setting it as the default printer again, I opened Word 2007 and…Wa La! Problem was resolved.  Just to check, I opened the print dialog box in Word to make sure that the selected printer was in fact the system default network printer, and it was.  So feel free to try this if you have encountered similar issues.
Comment if you have any problems or questions.  I intentionally did not give step by step directions as this is more for advanced users.
Thanks for reading and hope this tip helps you out!
Notes: System was Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, Microsoft Office 2007, and all available updates from Microsoft had been installed.

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