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The question I need to ask is has anyone heard of getting a "driver not installed" error when clicking on a printer's properties on Windows 7, and is there a workaround?

Here are the details of the problem.

One of our users has a Windows 7 desktop, and an HP LaserJet 4050 T connected to via a parallel-to-usb converter. The PLC5 universal driver was installed for series 4050 printers.

I needed to install the PLC 6 driver, which completed successfully. The user is an administrator of the system, and I was prompted to and accepted running as Administrator to install the driver.

After the install, I went to see the 4050's properties and was prompted that the PLC6 driver was not installed. I believe the PLC6 driver was installed, because the PLC5 driver resulted in receiving an official HP error page indicating the printer was "not set up for collating" as the second page of printing two copies of a one page email. This problem did not occur with the PLC 6 driver.

Oddly enough, setting back to PLC5 produced the same error about the PLC5 driver not being installed. I ignored/dismissed the error box (did not re-install the driver), and reproduced the error, with the second page being the HP not set up for collating error page.

Any thoughts on what is causing this and how to clear it would be appreciated. The closest fix I could find was on a Microsoft tech page, and they had me clear winsock out of a Administrator run command line, followed by a reboot. That did not fix the problem.

I have also found this

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/5101195b-3aca-4699-9a06-db4578614e2d/changing-driver-results-in-printer-driver-is-not-installed-error-on-server-2008?forum=winserverprint

and will look into trying some of these suggestions, which appear to me to be a "shotgun" approach to fixing the problem.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would follow this procedure:

  1. remove all instances of that printer from Devices and Printers
  2. Run from command prompt as Administrator: rundll32 printui.dll, PrintUIEntry /s, select tab drivers and remove all related drivers.
  3. Extract driver .exe archive from HP.
  4. In Devices and Printers select Add printer wizard, choose correct printer port and select driver .inf file from extracted archive, then choose your printer.

Hope it helps. :)

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I'll go try this out, but it may take me a while. If it works, I'll accept your answer. I already know about "mark as answered" good manners. Thanks. –  octopusgrabbus Oct 31 '13 at 15:56

Save yourself frustration and give up on the USB->Parallel converter. In my experience, they suck and hardly ever perform bi-directional communication properly.

A lack of bi-directional communication may very well be why the printer is failing when trying to retrieve the (extended) printer properties, and erroneously reports the driver isn't installed properly, instead of an actual communications error.

HP's full client drivers often expect, and depend on, full communication with the printer to provide information like ink statuses, available printer features (Collating for example) and such.

Since it's a desktop computer, consider buying a PCIe parallel card (~$50), or possibly a new USB-native printer.

The cheaper alternative is probably to revert to a basic, network friendly driver that's missing all these 'extra' features. That's probably why the HP Universal Print Driver was being used in the first place, as it's much more forgiving when bi-directional communication isn't available.

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Thanks. I can't give up the parallel to usb converter. The new Lenovo desktop has no parallel port, and we're not replacing the printer. If we chucked out perfectly good stuff, we'd be wasting taxpayer's money. Sometimes, you have to use what you have already. Besides printer works fine, and only properties is acting up. –  octopusgrabbus Oct 31 '13 at 16:17
    
If the new Lenovo is a "desktop" then why can't you use a PCIe parallel adapter to add one? I also have to ask, is paying for your time and effort really cheaper than buying a new $300 printer, or a $40 adapter? I hope not. :D Anyhow, if you want to do it on the cheap, stop trying to use the full-featured driver(s), it'll probably never work and you'll go nuts trying. ;) –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 31 '13 at 16:25
    
We'll certainly consider that. A PCI adapter is fairly cheap, and that might be the problem. –  octopusgrabbus Oct 31 '13 at 19:47

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