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Print screen and snipping tool not working

Print screen and snipping tool not working


After much Googling, searching on other forums and searcing here without any result, I'm gonna give asking here a go. Hopefully someone can help me.

At random Print Screen stops working.
If I want to make a print screen of my screen and I try to copy this into photoshop or paint, I just paste black image/background. If i try to use Alt + Print Screen, to make a print screen from a single window. My screen turns black and then back to normal, but there's no prints screen made.

If I try it with the Snipping Tool in Windows, I get the following message:
"the snipping tool is not working on your computer right now"

I found a few possible solutions on Google:
Running Outlook office diagnostic , but that did not work.
Restarting of some services, but that doesn't work either
Copy files from /Windows/System32 into a different folder, but that does not work or the solution is for 64bit version of Vista.

If print screen/the snipping tool doesn't work, there's no way I can get it to work again unless I reboot. Which is a solution, but also very irritating.

Does anyone have an idea of how to fix this?

I use:
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 with latest updates
UltraMon to share my screen for two screens
Norton 360

If more information is needed please let me know.


RE: Print screen and snipping tool not working

This is a long thread with several suggestions and solutions scattered throughout.

Snipping Tool Fails

Can you isolate any other possible causes by perhaps testing in Safe Mode, or using the Clean Boot routine?

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

950093 How to use the System Configuration utility to troubleshoot configuration errors  in Windows Vista;EN-US;950093


RE: Print screen and snipping tool not working

Hi linney,

Thanks for your reply. I will take a look on monday I think. I don't have the time today and I won't be in over the weekend to try any of this.

RE: Print screen and snipping tool not working

Hi linney,

Looked into the above and it's tricky to pin point an exact cause.
When I reboot it's fixed and I can't "force" print screen/the snipping tool into malfunctioning.

It looks more like a gfx card driver memory leak combined with ultra mon.

RE: Print screen and snipping tool not working

Have you gone down the update the video card driver path, and testing with another user profile?

RE: Print screen and snipping tool not working

I updated the gfx card drivers 2 days ago.
As well as ultramon.

Problem still occurs.

Q: Have you ruled out other programs that may mess with the HotKey combination, or are hooking into the keyboard?
Yes, I don't have any programs like that installed. Keep in mind, that after a reboot the print screen/snipping tool work. They stop working after a while. A day or so, I think.

Q: to print the screen, have you tried the combination SHIFT & PRINT, instead of the ALT & PRINT?
Just tried shift & print after alt & print did not working and the same result. I end up with a black image.

RE: Print screen and snipping tool not working

I believe that the problem lies with the Snipping Tool and that due to it's malfunctioning, interferes with the PrtScrn function...

check to see if the following are active and running:


   Add Tablet PC Components

   1. Navigate to Control Panel >> Programs Click on Turn Windows features on or off
   2. Check Table PC Optional components and 0k to install.

    Enable Service

   1. Type services.msc in StartSearch or in Run dialog box
   2. look for Tablet PC Input Service
   3. Click to jump on Properties page and enable the service. Set it to Automatic
Source: Ramesh Kumar MVP


To Re-install the Snipping Tool:
Control Panel > Classic View > 'Programs and Features'> 'Turn Windows features on or off' > Remove the check mark from the 'Tablet PC Optional Components' > OK. Exit and reboot the computer.

After the restart, go back into Control Panel and repeat the same procedure
Add the check mark to the 'Tablet PC Optional Components'
Reboot the computer again, to reinstall this component.

If it still doesnt help then for most issues relating to Windows OS components, here is a generic solution.

Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories and right-click
on the Command Prompt and choose "Run as administrator". Type in: sfc /scannow and press your Enter key

Else, boot from your Windows Vista DVD, select the System Repair
Option > Repair Computer > Select your
installation of Windows > select Startup
Repair option and follow instructions.

you could also try freeware tools such as:

Screenhunter 5.1
Faststone Capture v 5.3 (v5.4+ are all Shareware)


"If it works don't fix it! If it doesn't use a sledgehammer..."
How to ask a question, when posting them to a professional forum.
Only ask questions with yes/no answers if you want "yes" or "no"

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