Windows Vista Does Not Install USB Printer

Posted on 2012-03-18
Last Modified: 2012-04-08
I have had trouble installing my HP Deskjet F4180 Printer.  I had previously had it installed, but it stopped working, so I deleted the printer and restarted.  Now, when I plug in the printer, Windows makes the noise indicating a USB device has been plugged in, but the printer does not appear in the Printers list.  If I try to add the printer manually, it never works.

I've downloaded the latest drivers from HP, but it still does not add the printer to the list.

Any ideas?
Question by:Orcadian
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37735774
>>> I had previously had it installed,

Go to Devices and Printers and find the Printer Server Properties. I am in Windows 7 just now and Vista is different as is XP. But find the Printer Server Properties in Devices and Printers. Now click on the Drivers tab and locate the F4180 driver (and there may be more than one). Delete the F4180 Driver(s) and any other useless drivers for which the printers have been removed already. Removing a printer does not uninstall the driver. So delete the driver(s).

Now restart and try running the latest driver install again. ... Thinkpads_User

Author Comment

ID: 37735784
When I delete the device from the Device Manager, and then plug it in, Windows claims it has been installed and is ready to use, but it still does not appear in the printers list.
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37735826
Printers are not managed by the Device Manager and that may be your issue, especially if you are deleting a USB port.

In Vista, go to Start, Printers or Start, Control Panel, Printers and open the Printers window. First, see if the F4180 is still installed as a printer. If so, remove it.

Now remove the driver. In the Printer window, File, Server Properties, and a new sub Window opens. Go to the Drivers tab. The F4180 driver should be in there, so delete the driver. Remove the printer first, then delete the driver. See below:

Now restart and try again. Please come back and let us know what happens.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

ID: 37735830

I uninstalled the printer driver as you suggested.  When I plug in the printer, Windows again recognizes and installs the printer (as shown in the previous attachment).  Windows claims it is ready to use, but it still does not show up in the printer list.

I noticed in the print Server Properties (Run as Administrator) there are two ports: "DOT4_001" and "DOT4_002" with descriptions "HP Deskjet 4100 printer."  I tried to delete them, but got the error message "Selected port cannot be deleted. The request is not supported."  I read on another forum that these ports are automatically deleted by windows after "a few reboots" -- but they have not disappeared yet.
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37735859
There are a couple of other things to try:

1. Try stopping / restarting the Print Spooler Service. See this article from HP for doing that:

Restart after this and see if you can now remove the driver (Drivers tab).

2. You can try running the Windows Printer Update. Do this as follows: Add a Printer, Local Printer, Existing Connection, Next. Notice the Windows Printer Update beside the Have Disk button. Run the Update. It will take a long time (20 minutes or so). Allow to complete, and the cancel (do not add a printer).

Restart after step 1 and 2 above and then try again. Please come back and let us know what happens. .... Thinkpads_User
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 37736636
>>    I had previously had it installed, but it stopped working    <<  this raises the question : is the printer bad or OK?   to know - test it on another PC
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37737023
True, but the driver should install anyway, and it is not doing so here. .... Thinkpads_User

Accepted Solution

Orcadian earned 0 total points
ID: 37804909
In this case, it appears that the HP printer software and drivers were crashing during the installation process.  When I completely removed all HP printer related bloatware, rebooted, and then reinstalled the software, the installation completed successfully.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37820958
This was the solution to my issue.

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