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I'm trying to do uninstall a printer driver using the command line in Windows XP. I've figured out that I should use this command:

rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /dd /m "HENGSTLER C-56 THERMAL PRINTER" /h "Intel" /v "Windows 2000 or XP"

(Funny thing here, if i type /v "Windows XP" as it says in the help for printUIEntry it doesn't work at all.)

When executing this command I get an error message saying:

Operation could not be completed. The specified printer driver is currently in use.

When I try to uninstall the printer "manually" with either the uninstall tool or just deleting it in "Printers and Faxes" in the Control panel it works fine. Does anyone know of a way to force the deletion or maybe stop the drivers first? (It might be worth noting that the printer is not in use.)

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can use regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print\Printers and delete the print driver key from there manually. Once you do that just restart the print spooler and your ready to go. This will leave the files behind, but will remove the driver from the lists.

The issue is that some user on the system has the printer installed and if you simply delete that printer from the user you can then delete the driver without issue. Using the registry method you can delete drivers that do things like cause the print spooler to crash, as managing the drivers requires the service, wonderful chicken and egg issue if you ever run in to it.

Note: registry editing warnings apply, be careful what else you do in there.

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Thanks, that works fine! – olofom Jul 21 '11 at 7:53

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