How to completely remove malfunctioning printer drivers in Windows 7?

Posted on 2010-01-04
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I was about to install a printer on Windows 7 (64 bit) when a power failure occurred. After the power was restored, Windows booted normally but the spooler crashed every time I tried to print or view the properties of the newly installed printer.
I managed to remove the printer and the driver from printer device management. However I am unable to reinstall the driver / printer (see screenshots attached).

This should be the English translation:
1. Add Printer Driver Wizard.
Unable to install HP psc 2400 Series, Typ 3 - Usermode, x64 driver. Could not complete operation (Error 0x000000c1).

2. Printer device management.
Failed to add driver. Could not complete operation (Error 0x00000578).

Updating the driver through Windows Update or Device Manager also fails.

Is there a way to clean the spooler or force a reinstall of the driver? I already tried cleanspl.exe but it won't work on Windows 7.

Thanks for your help. Please be patient about an answer from me. I will be able to try it again next weekend.

Question by:DaLe
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Download the Windows Installer cleanup utility.exe from MS site.

    May not be listed for win 7 but should work.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    You might want to try Print Detective from Citrix. You can find it here:
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    use ccleaner ultily to complete remove registry and software installation on the machine
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    Here,for other system but basically the same :

    To completely remove a Printer and Print driver, perform the following tasks:

    1. Remove the printer from Print Manager
    2. Delete the printer Drivers located in %windir%\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86\2 and/or \0 and/or \1
    3. Edit the registry and delete the driver references at:

    Hkey_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\WIndows NT x86\Drivers\Version-1     for NT 3.51

    Hkey_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\WIndows NT x86\Drivers\Version-2     for NT 4.0


    For a Network printer, edit:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\Connections\<Server Name>

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\LanMan Print Services\Servers\<Server Name>\Printers\

    4.Delete all the contents of C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Temp

    5. Restart the computer
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    easier  way :
    uninstall software
    then go to printer section right-click your printer>select properties
    in the drivers tab, you can remove them !
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment


    Delete the contents of both of these folders. BE WARNED! this will also delete the drivers for any other printers that you have, simply select the appropriate drivers for them in your add printer wizard and things will be back to normal.

    This will allow you to restart your spooler without it crashing so you can re-install your drivers.

    Author Comment

    Hi all,
    thanks for all the suggestions. Unfortunaltely none of them worked. All the clean up utilities didn't work or didn't find the printer driver. As I mentioned, I already managed to remove it from printer device management. Removeing the spool\driver\xxx directories and registry keys also didn't work. It seems like there is a malfunctioning part cached somewhere.
    Any other ideas?
    Thanks in adcance.

    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Description:  This removal utility solution is intended for users to remove the HP All-in-One software from their system. If problems arise while installing or uninstalling the HP All-in-One software, download this removal utility to uninstall the software before attempting reinstallation.
    LVL 22

    Accepted Solution

    I do not think remnants of previous printer driver are the issue here.
    More probably a corrupt installation/registry.
    So I would, (just my opinion), reinstall everything once more.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    i would start by doing a repair - seems a corrupt OS to me :      

    Author Comment

    Hi everyone,
    thanks for all your support. I finally ended up reinstalling the whole system. I first tried to map a network printer with the same driver, needless to say it failed too. Then I realilzed that I also could not add new components to Microsoft Office. It really seems like there was more wrong than I expected. However, after reinstalling Windows everything worked like a charm.

    Author Closing Comment

    I tried to avoid a reinstall. But it looked like the only clean option.

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