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I've got a development machine, which has been severly abused when it comes to installing and removing printer drivers.

I'm now at the stage where I want to install some sample printer drivers from the DDK (WDK), but unfortunately I get the message 'Unable to install printer. Operation could not be completed (error 0x000003eb).

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So I tried installing the same printer driver built from the DDK in a clean Win 7 x64 VM, and it works, so the only thing I can imagine is that the driver store or driver folder may be slightly corrupt from the many previous printer drivers I had installed.

So my question is, is there anyway I can clean my system of old printer drivers / file? Or any repair functionality in windows that may replace the common windows printer drivers?

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The way I solved this issue is by doing the following steps:

  1. Go to the Print Server Properties dialog and remove each old driver (package and driver) no longer needed on my machine. Note: To uninstall the package without recieving access denied issues, you need to click Change Driver Settings first.Print Server Properties

  2. Spin up a VM containing a clean image of your operating system

  3. Copy all the Microsoft printer driver files from the clean VM image to the corrupt machine. You can find them on a x64 system at C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64\3.

  4. Restart and profit!

Clearly there is a chance that following these steps could make your situation even worse XKCD, so really make sure that you want to follow these steps and understand the repercussions! :)

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