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Installing Printer Software for a USB Connection in Windows XP for HP LaserJet Printers

This document is for installing full-feature consumer HP LaserJet printer software in Windows XP.

This document explains how to install the print driver and software for your printer for a USB cable connection. There are several methods available to install the software and driver for your printer, including downloading the software and using the printer CD.

Learn more about the available installation methods

In-OS driver
For a new printer
Downloading the driver and software for free from the HP website takes more time than using the CD, but provides the most up to date software.
CD installation is a quick and easy method, but might not have the latest driver and software available, even for a newer printer.
Available through the Windows 7 operating system, this driver provides basic printer functionality.
For an older printer
Downloading the software provides the best results for your older printer. Even though it takes more time than using the CD, downloading the latest software can help you avoid installation issues.
The CD installation might not work if you are installing the printer on a computer running a newer operating system that released AFTER the printer released.
For customers who need basic printer functionality, or if updated full-feature HP software for the new version of Windows for your printer is not immediately available on the HP website.
About the software
The HP website has the most current driver and software available for your printer. HP often updates drivers and software AFTER the printer released.
The CD is only current to the date of the printer release.
The driver is available in the Windows 7 operating system. It automatically installs the most current driver when the printer is connected to the computer with a USB cable.

Install the software

Choose one of the following methods to install the software in Windows XP.

Method 1: Download and install the software from the HP website

Your printer might have more than one driver option on the downloads page. Options might include a Full Feature driver, a Basic driver, or a Host Based option.

Learn more about the available driver download options

The following information might help you decide which driver to download.

NOTE: Your printer might not support all of the following drivers.
Full Feature
HP recommends the Full Feature type of download, if available, to take advantage of all your printer features.
  • Provides full printer functionality.

  • Includes image-editing software and searchable help files tailored to your printer.

  • Includes HP Solution Center, software that helps you adjust print settings, and for supported printers, scan and copy settings. It also helps with printer maintenance, troubleshooting, software updates, and includes links to buy supplies.

  • You can choose a custom installation to select the specific software items that you want to install.

The Basic driver does not provide full printer functionality. For example, for multifunction printers, you can only scan an image from the glass one page at a time. Also, you cannot scan to an editable text file such as a PDF file or Word document, or scan with the button on the printer control panel.
  • Provides a limited set of basic print functions, and runs basic scan functions for multifunction printers.

  • Allows scanning from third-party applications in Windows.

  • Provides no HP scanning software.

  • Provides no copy or fax support for multifunction printers.

  • The smaller file size is faster to download and install than the Full Feature driver.

Plug and Play
Automatically installs the printer driver and the USB port.
NOTE: During installation, wait for the on-screen prompt before you plug the USB cable into the printer.
Host Based
  • Takes advantage of your computer's memory and processing power to complete print jobs.

  • Processes the print job on the host computer, rather than in the printer formatter.

Adobe’s PostScript software interfaces with your printer to produce sharp graphics and to handle multiple printing fonts.
Provides basic print and scan functionality.
NOTE: This section contains step-by-step instructions to download and install the software. You can also watch videos of the entire download and install process.

Video of downloading and installing the Full Feature driver and software

The following video demonstrates how to download and install the software in Windows XP.

If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here Non-HP site to play the video on YouTube.

Video of downloading and installing the Basic driver

The following video demonstrates how to download and install the basic software in Windows XP.

If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here Non-HP site to play the video on YouTube.

Follow these steps to download and install the software.

  1. Turn on the printer.

  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the printer and the computer (if you already connected it). If the printer is connected to your network, leave it connected.

  3. Go to HP Drivers & Downloads .

  4. If the Welcome to HP Support page opens, follow these steps:

    1. In the Enter product name or number field, type your printer model or number.

    2. In the Questions or keywords field, type driver, and then press Enter.

      You might need to select your printer model number from a list of similar printer models.

    3. Next to the image of your printer, click the name of your printer.

      Figure 1: Example of the link to your printer homepage

      Image: Example of the link next to your printer homepage
    4. On the HP support site, click Drivers.

  5. Select your operating system, and then click Next.

    A list of drivers and other downloads display.

  6. Scroll down the page, and then click Driver - Product Installation Software.

  7. Click Download next to the full feature software and driver listed, and then follow the prompts to save the driver to your computer.

  8. Open the folder where the software file saved (usually Downloads), double-click the file, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.

Method 2: Install the software with the printer CD

Follow these steps to install the software with the printer CD.

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from both the printer and the computer, if you already connected it.

  2. Press the Power button () or switch to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.

  3. Insert the printer CD into the CD drive of the computer, and then wait a few seconds for the software installer to start.

    If the installer does not start automatically, follow these steps to start it:

    Click Start (), click My Computer, and then double-click the CD drive.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to start the installation.

  5. In the Software to Install window, you might be prompted to install the recommended software or the minimum software.

    • Recommended: Click Next to install the recommended software. The recommended software provides full printer functionality and includes valuable software, such as the printer Toolbox and the Help and Learn Center. HP designed this type of installation to work for most users.

    • Minimum: Click Click here for more install options to install the minimum software. The minimum software contains only the print driver. Install the minimum software if the computer is low on hard disk space.

  6. When prompted to select a connection type, select USB.

  7. Click Next.

  8. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish installing the software.

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