23 January, 2016 (published)
23 January, 2016 (last modified)

Solving problems with Windows printers and printer drivers

printerI have two HP printers that are a few years old: LaserJet 4050 and Color Laser Jet CP2025. Both printers are connected to local desktops through a USB connection. Both printers witnessed my upgrading from Windows 7 up to Windows 10. I kept on having problems: the operating system did not recognize the printers, so I had to add them manually. Basically the communication between the printers and the OS failed. So I removed the printer devices and added them again. No avail. Downloaded HP printer drivers. Even worse because they only have a Universal Printer Driver.


A symptom I discovered is that when I removed a printer device and added it again it had in its name added something like "Copy 2", as if the earlier printer had not really been removed, but just made invisible to the user. An additional symptom was that the virtual USB ports had strange numbering: only USB001 and USB004 for instance.

Then I discovered thus blog post.  The moral is that you really have to manually delete all the printers that do not function properly:

  1. stop the print spooler service
  2. delete the content of the folder windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS
  3. run from a cmd window the utility printui /s /t2 and delete all failed printers manually
  4. restart the spooler service

In my case this solved all problems. The OS immediately recognized my two printers and connected them to the right printer driver.



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