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Windows was unable to get a list of devices from Windows update

Posted on 2012-03-20
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Last Modified: 2012-10-19
Odd problem, more Windows weirdness - as we have all come to expect.

I have a user who does remote desktop from home to a PC at the office. She wants to be able to print to her home printer, OK, should not be that difficult - it's called printer redirection. I selected printers in her RDP connection under local devices, home printer did not show up.

The work machine is Windows 7, the printer is HP deskjet 920c, looked on the Win 7 machine and there was no driver for that make/model. Fine, I will go the HP site and download and install it. Can't do that as HP says it is not avalable for download, they say it comes with Win 7, they say to connect USB cable and Windows will detect and install the driver. I cannot do that because I am configuring this for printer redirection.

OK, figured I would try to add a new printer and let Windows update bring in the new driver - clicked on Windows Update from add printer, waited a long time while it looked for new drivers, finally it returned an extensive lsit, the driver for the 920c WAS there - sadly (and I am not going into the details) I did not select it at that time, I cancelled and was going to come back to it. Now when I go back and retrace the previous steps I just get a message saying Windows cannot get a list of devices and to try later (see attached). I have tried later and repeatedly and get the same message. I try this from other machines in the same office and it builds the list.

I Googled this message but did not get any useful information - would like to know why Windows refuses to build a list of devices from Windows update.
winunable.jpg
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Question by:Razorking
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37745040
Normally, as you note, running Windows Printer update will build the list. Try restarting after the update runs and see if the list is there.  The HP920C is on my Windows 7 machine.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:Razorking
ID: 37745170
I actually tried restarting 4-5 times - to no avail, it sill tells me it was unable to build a list and to try later
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37745312
Try running System File Checker. From an admin command prompt, run SFC /SCANNOW, allow to complete and restart.

Then again, try running Windows Printer Update (from within Devices and Printers). Allow that to complete, but do not add the printer. Cancel out and restart again.

See now whether you can see the list of printers. .... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:Donald Stewart
Donald Stewart earned 500 total points
ID: 37747617
Try using the microsoft catalog site and do a search/download from there


http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/
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Accepted Solution

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Razorking earned 0 total points
ID: 37782524
I finally figured out a workaround on my own. I found another Windows 7 machine that did have the printer driver on it I needed (because Windows update from add printer worked on that machine). Then I went to the file location for drivers in Win 7 - C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository - and I located the folder with the drivers I wanted (based upon date created date - I knew it was the newest one). I copied this folder out to a location where it was accessable from the other machine, then I did add printer on that machine and when it wanted a driver I pointed it to this folder - and it sucked these drivers in and installed the printer.
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Author Comment

by:Razorking
ID: 37783533
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for Razorking's comment #37782524

for the following reason:

I tried the other solutions offered but they did not solve the problem, had an idea of my own and it worked.
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Expert Comment

by:l33tf0b
ID: 37782555
Interesting, glad it worked out.  Where did you get the drivers on the good machine originally?
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Expert Comment

by:Donald Stewart
ID: 37783534
"I tried the other solutions offered but they did not solve the problem"

How did the below not work???

catalog
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Expert Comment

by:dennisexpert
ID: 38515887
Followed the procedure but not sure where the driver is for HP laserJet P2015 PCL6
Followed both the Microsoft download http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=HP%20laserJet%20P2015%20PCL6 
and also the \\wsanother\c\windows\system32\DriverStore\FileRepository
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