First, thanks to all who posted this thread--You saved me the trouble of reinstalling Win XP! My problem and solution was slightly different, so I'm posting what I did, here:
As described above, I clicked [Start], then [run], then entered services.msc in the command line window.
Print Spooler was turned off. When I tried to restart it, I got
'error 1068 - The dependency service or group failed.'
Browsing through the properties of print spooler revealed that the spooler depends on the LexBCE service.
2) LexBCE service
LexBCE service was also in the 'services' list.
When I tried to start it, I got
'Error 2 - The system cannot find the file specified'
Browsing dependencies showed me that LexBCE (whatever that is!) was looking for a tiny program, 'c:\WINDOWS\System32\LEXBCES.EXE'
3) Finding LEXBCES.EXE
I used Windows explorer to search out LEXBCES.EXE, but no luck. It simply wasn't there.
4) Restoring LEXBCES.EXE the kludge way
I went to another computer, and found LEXBCES.EXE; Downloaded it to a flash drive, and inserted it into the C:\WINDOWS\System32\ directory.
When it didn't work immediately, I restarted the computer--
Voila! My entire list of printers reappeared, and it all seems to work again.
Thanks again, everyone!
Hardware: Toshiba Tecra A7 laptop, 0.5 GB RAM + 80 GB HDD,
Software: Win XP Pro, dual booting with Ubuntu Linux 9.10