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HP Single-Function and Multifunction Printers - Windows: 'Device Setup Failed to Complete' or 'Unknown Device' Message Displays on the Computer During a USB Installation

This document is for all HP single-function and multifunction printers running Windows.

After connecting the USB cable during the printer software installation, one of the following issues occurs:

  • A 'Device setup failed to complete' or an 'Unknown device' message displays on the computer.

  • The Plug and Play installation fails to start.

  • A red X displays in the lower right corner of the computer screen.

There are several possible causes for a USB installation issue.

  • Malware, viruses, and some browser toolbars/plugins can interfere with software installation. Make sure that your computer has virus protection, is up to date, and is free from viruses and malware.

  • There might be an issue with the USB connection between the printer and the computer.

  • The full feature HP software prompts you to connect the USB cable at a certain time during the installation. If you connect the cable prior to the prompt, an error might display.

  • When you connect the USB cable to the printer and to the computer, Windows might automatically try to detect and install your printer with an in-OS driver. If an in-OS driver is not available for your printer, an error might display.

Windows 8

Troubleshoot installation issues on Windows 8 by checking the connection between the computer and the printer, refreshing Windows Device Manager, uninstalling and reinstalling the software, and then installing the printer on another computer.

If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, the information in this document might not match your experience. You can get the latest version of Windows 8 from the Microsoft Store.

NOTE: Some of the following solutions require you to restart the computer. Consider bookmarking this page on your Web browser, so that you can reference it after restarting the computer.

Solution one: Check the USB connection

Follow these steps to make sure that the USB cable has not come loose between the printer and the computer.

Step 1: Disconnect and reconnect the USB cable

Follow these steps to disconnect and reconnect the USB cable.

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer.

    Figure 1: Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer

    Image: Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the computer.

  3. Wait five seconds.

  4. Reconnect the USB cable to the printer and the computer. Apply some pressure to secure the connections.

  5. Make sure that the USB cable is connected correctly.

    Figure 2: Connect the smaller end of the USB cable to the rear of the printer

    Image: Connect the smaller end of the USB cable to the rear of the printer.

    Figure 3: Connect the larger end of the USB cable to the computer

    Image: Connect the larger end of the USB cable to the computer.
  6. Try the installation again.

Step 2: Test the USB connection

Select your USB connection type for the steps to test the USB connection.

  • The USB cable connects directly from my printer to my computer.

    1. Move the USB cable to another available USB port. For example, if the USB cable is plugged in front of the computer, move it to a port in the back of the computer.

    2. Restart the computer and the printer.

    3. Try the installation again.

  • The USB cable connects to a USB hub or a docking station for a laptop.

    1. Disconnect the USB cable from the hub or docking station, and then connect it directly to the computer.

    2. Restart the computer and the printer.

    3. Try the installation again.

      If the installation completes after connecting the USB cable directly to the computer, there might be a problem with the hub or docking station. Either leave the USB cable connected directly to the computer, or contact the manufacturer of the hub or docking station for troubleshooting.

Step 3: Try a different USB cable

Sometimes a USB cable can malfunction. Follow these steps to test the connection with a different USB cable.

  1. Replace the USB cable. HP supports USB cables less than 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches) in length.

  2. Try the installation again.

Step 4: Remove any additional USB devices that connect to the computer

If you have several USB-connected devices, such as another printer, the computer might not have sufficient power supplied to the USB ports to detect all of them.

  1. Disconnect all USB devices from the computer except for the keyboard, the mouse, and the printer.

  2. Try the installation again.

    If removing other devices resolves the issue, HP recommends installing a powered hub to connect multiple USB devices.

Step 5: Reset the printer

After you resolve all potential USB conflicts, follow these steps to restart the printer.

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.

  2. With the product turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.

  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

  4. Wait at least 15 seconds.

  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.

  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.

  7. If the product does not turn on by itself, press the Power button () to turn it on.

  • If the installation automatically continues and completes successfully, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the installation does not automatically continue, restart the installation process.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Refresh the Windows Device Manager

Follow these steps to refresh the Windows Device Manager.

  1. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search, and then type device manager.

  2. Click Device Manager in the results.

  3. Click the arrow () next to the following entries to expand them, and then look for your printer in each list:

    • Printers

    • Print queues

    • Universal Serial Bus controllers

    • Other devices

      • If you see a yellow exclamation mark () next to your printer or the phrase Unknown device, continue with the next step.

      • If you do not see your printer or a yellow exclamation mark in the list, go to the section to uninstall and reinstall the software .

  4. Right-click the HP device/Unknown device entry or the entry with the () symbol, and then click Update Driver Software. The Update Driver Software - Unknown Device wizard opens.

  5. Click Search automatically for updated driver software. Follow the on-screen instructions to refresh the device manager.

  6. Repeat these steps for all device entries with the () symbol.

Solution three: Completely uninstall and reinstall the HP software

Follow these steps to completely remove the HP software, turn off background programs, and then reinstall the driver.

Step 1: Uninstall the HP driver and software applications

Some HP driver and software applications might be partially installed on your computer. Follow these steps to completely remove the HP software.

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

  2. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.

  3. Right-click the Start button () or the lower left corner of the screen, and then click Programs and Features.

  4. Right-click your HP printer's name, and then click Uninstall.

  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall the software.

  6. Repeat these steps for each occurrence of your printer's name until none remain in the list.

  • What if an error message displays during the uninstall?

    If an error message displays while you are uninstalling the software, follow these steps.

    1. Click OK to close the error message.

    2. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search, and then type administrative tools.

    3. Click Administrative Tools in the results.

    4. Double-click Print Management, and then double-click All Drivers.

    5. Find every instance of the printer you are trying to uninstall, right-click the name, and then click Delete.

    6. Close the Print Management window, return to Programs and Features, and then continue uninstalling the remaining printer software.

Step 2: Remove unnecessary files and folders

Follow these steps to remove any unnecessary files and folders. It is important that you complete this step to make sure that any problem files are not reinstalled.

  1. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search, and then type Disk Cleanup.

  2. Click Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files.

  3. Select the drive containing the operating system and click OK.

  4. Disk Cleanup analyzes the hard disk and then presents a report with a list of options with check boxes next to them.

  5. Select the appropriate check boxes to remove unnecessary components. The Disk Cleanup utility frees hard disk space on the computer by doing the following:

    • Deletes temporary Internet files

    • Deletes downloaded program files

    • Empties the Recycle Bin

    • Deletes files from the Temporary folder

    • Deletes files created by other Windows tools

    • Removes optional Windows components that are not used

  6. After you select the components that you want to remove, click OK.

Step 3: Turn off programs that run in the background

When the computer is on, a software group called the Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) programs automatically loads. These programs activate computer utilities such as the antivirus software, but are not required for the computer to function. Occasionally, TSRs prevent the product software from loading so that the software does not install correctly. The MSCONFIG utility prevents TSR programs and services from starting.

  1. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Run, type msconfig, and then click OK.

    If the User Account Control window opens with the message Windows needs your permission to continue, click Continue to close the window.

  2. In the System Configuration window, click the option button beside Selective Startup, and then click the box next to Load startup items to remove the checkmark.

  3. Click the Services tab, click the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox, and then click Disable All.

  4. Click Apply, and then click OK.

  5. When prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.

  6. When the computer turns on, a System Configuration Utility message displays on the computer. Select the Do not show this message again check box, and then click OK.

Step 4: Reinstall the HP driver and software applications

Select one of the following methods to reinstall the HP driver and software applications.

Method 1: Use the HP Printer Install Wizard (Recommended)

The HP Printer Install Wizard quickly and easily finds the best Windows 8 print driver for your printer. To save time, try using this automated tool instead of the other installation methods in this document. Click the following link to download and run the HP Printer Install Wizard.

The HP Printer Install Wizard works with printers connected with a USB cable or with a wired (Ethernet) or wireless network connection. If you want to connect your printer wirelessly, but it is not on a wireless network, you need to temporarily connect the printer with a USB cable to run the Printer Install Wizard.

NOTE: The HP Printer Install Wizard is not available for all printers.
Link to tool
File size
> 1MB
Method 2: Download and install the print software from the HP website

After you completely uninstall any HP software from your computer, go to the HP website to download the most current version of your printer’s full feature driver. This makes sure that your printer has complete functionality.

NOTE: As an alternative method to downloading the software, you can use the installation CD instead.
Video of downloading and installing the Full Feature software with a USB connection

The following video demonstrates how to download and install the Full Feature software with a USB connection in Windows 8.

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

  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 4: 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 3: Install with the Windows Update driver

Follow these steps to allow Windows Update to install the most current in-Operating System (in-OS) print driver for your printer.

  1. Make sure that the printer is turned on.

  2. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search, and then type Change device installation settings.

  3. Click Change device installation settings.

  4. If it is not already selected, click Yes, do this automatically (recommended), and then click Save changes.

    NOTE: Windows 8 might prompt you to restart the computer. Make sure that you bookmark this page so that you can quickly access it again.

    Your Windows 8 computer can now automatically detect the most current in-OS print drivers and then download and install them using Windows Update.

  5. Reconnect the USB cable to the printer, and then to the computer. The drivers should install.

    • What if an error message displays during the installation?

      If the Windows Update installation does not begin automatically, follow these steps to add the printer using Devices and Printers.

      1. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search, and then type Devices and Printers.

      2. Click Devices and Printers.

      3. Click Add a printer. The computer searches for available printers and then displays a list of printers.

      4. Click your printer, and then click Next. Windows automatically detects your printer and then installs the correct driver.

      5. After the installation completes, the Add Printer window displays. Either accept the default printer name or rename it, and then click Next.

      6. Choose whether you want to set the printer as the default printer, and then click Finish.

Step 5: Enable startup programs

Once the driver has been installed, follow these steps to enable the startup programs.

  1. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Run, type msconfig, and then click OK.

    If the User Account Control window opens with the message Windows needs your permission to continue, click Continue to close the window.

  2. In the System Configuration window, click the option button beside Normal Startup.

  3. Click Apply, and then click OK.

  4. When prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.

Step 6: Restart the computer

Restart the computer. When prompted, connect the USB cable to the printer.

Solution four: Install the printer on another computer

If you have another computer available, try installing the printer on that computer. If you do not have another computer, continue to the next solution.

  • If the installation is successful on the other computer, install a USB powered hub on the first computer. If the installation still fails after installing a USB powered hub, contact the computer manufacturer to address issues with the first computer.

  • If the installation still fails, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Service the printer

If you have tried all of the solutions in this document and still cannot complete installation, continue to the Service the printer section at the end of this document.

Windows 7

Troubleshoot installation issues on Windows 7 by checking the connection between the computer and the printer, refreshing Windows Device Manager, uninstalling and reinstalling the software, and installing the printer on another computer.

NOTE: Some of the following solutions require you to restart the computer. Consider bookmarking this page on your Web browser, so that you can reference it after restarting the computer.

Solution one: Check the USB connection

Follow these steps to check the USB connection from the printer to the computer.

Step 1: Disconnect and reconnect the USB cable

Follow these steps to disconnect and reconnect the USB cable.

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer.

    Figure 5: Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer

    Image: Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the computer.

  3. Wait five seconds.

  4. Reconnect the USB cable to the printer and the computer. Apply some pressure to secure the connections.

  5. Make sure that the USB cable is connected correctly.

    Figure 6: Connect the smaller end of the USB cable to the rear of the printer

    Image: Connect the smaller end of the USB cable to the rear of the printer.

    Figure 7: Connect the larger end of the USB cable to the computer

    Image: Connect the larger end of the USB cable to the computer.
  6. Try the installation again.

Step 2: Test the USB connection

Select your USB connection type for the steps to test the USB connection.

  • The USB cable connects directly from my printer to my computer.

    1. Move the USB cable to another available USB port. For example, if the USB cable is plugged in front of the computer, move it to a port in the back of the computer.

    2. Restart the computer and the printer.

    3. Try the installation again.

  • The USB cable connects to a USB hub or a docking station for a laptop.

    1. Disconnect the USB cable from the hub or docking station, and then connect it directly to the computer.

    2. Restart the computer and the printer.

    3. Try the installation again.

      If the installation completes after connecting the USB cable directly to the computer, there might be a problem with the hub or docking station. Either leave the USB cable connected directly to the computer, or contact the manufacturer of the hub or docking station for troubleshooting.

Step 3: Try a different USB cable

Sometimes a USB cable can malfunction. Follow these steps to test the connection with a different USB cable.

  1. Replace the USB cable. HP supports USB cables less than 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches) in length.

  2. Try the installation again.

Step 4: Remove any additional USB devices that connect to the computer

If you have several USB-connected devices, such as another printer, the computer might not have sufficient power supplied to the USB ports to detect all of them.

  1. Disconnect all USB devices from the computer except for the keyboard, the mouse, and the printer.

  2. Try the installation again.

    If removing other devices resolves the issue, HP recommends installing a powered hub to connect multiple USB devices.

Step 5: Reset the printer

After you resolve all potential USB conflicts, follow these steps to restart the printer.

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.

  2. With the product turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.

  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

  4. Wait at least 15 seconds.

  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.

  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.

  7. If the product does not turn on by itself, press the Power button () to turn it on.

  • If the installation automatically continues and completes successfully, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the installation does not automatically continue, restart the installation process.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Refresh the Windows Device Manager

Follow these steps to refresh the Windows Device Manager.

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), type devmgmt.msc in the Search programs and files text box, and then press Enter. The Windows Device Manager opens.

  2. Click the arrow () next to the following entries to expand them, and then look for your printer in each list:

    • IEEE 1284.4 compatible printers

    • Universal Serial Bus controllers

    • Other devices

      • If you see a yellow exclamation mark () next to your printer or the phrase Unknown device, continue with the next step.

      • If you do not see your printer or a yellow exclamation mark in the list, continue to the section to uninstall and reinstall the software .

  3. Right-click the HP device/Unknown device entry or the entry with the () symbol, and then click Update Driver Software. The Update Driver Software - Unknown Device wizard opens.

  4. Click Search automatically for updated driver software. Follow the on-screen instructions to refresh the device manager.

  5. Repeat these steps for all device entries with the () symbol.

Solution three: Completely uninstall and reinstall the HP software

Follow these steps to completely remove the HP software, turn off background programs, and then reinstall the software.

Step 1: Uninstall the HP driver and software applications

Some HP driver and software applications might be partially installed on your computer. Follow these steps to completely remove the HP software.

  1. Unplug the USB cable that connects the printer to the computer.

  2. On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), and then click Control Panel. The Windows Control Panel opens.

  3. Click Programs and Features. A list of installed HP programs displays.

  4. Click each of the HP programs listed in this step, and then click Uninstall.

    • HP Deskjet/Officejet/Photosmart software

    • HP Imaging device functions

    • HP Customer Participation program

    • HP Solution Center or HP Director

    • HP Photosmart Essentials or Express, HP Photosmart Premier, or HP Image Zone

  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the HP software removal.

    CAUTION: If asked to remove shared files, click No. Other programs that use these files might not work if you delete the files.
  6. Disconnect the power cord from the printer, and then restart the computer.

Step 2: Remove unnecessary files and folders

Follow these steps to remove any unnecessary files and folders. It is important that you complete this step to make sure that any problem files are not reinstalled.

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), type %temp% in the Search programs and files box, and then press Enter.

  2. Click Organize, and then click Select All.

  3. Click Organize again, and then click Delete.

    CAUTION: An 'Access is denied' error might display. If you receive this error, close the error message, and then continue deleting the remaining files.

Step 3: Turn off programs that run in the background

When the computer is on, the Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) software programs load. Occasionally, TSRs prevent the product software from loading, and the software does not install correctly. In Microsoft Windows 7, the MSCONFIG utility prevents TSR programs and services from starting.

  1. Click the Windows icon ().

  2. In the Search programs and files box, type msconfig, and then press Enter. The System Configuration Utility window opens.

  3. Click the General tab, and then click Selective Startup.

  4. Remove the check mark next to Load startup items.

  5. Click the Services tab, and then click the Hide all Microsoft services check box.

  6. Click Disable all.

  7. Click Apply, and then click Close.

    NOTE: If an 'Access is denied' error message displays on the computer when you make changes, click OK, and then continue. The message does not prevent you from making changes.
  8. Select Restart to apply the changes to the computer.

    NOTE: After the computer restarts and the desktop displays, you might get a prompt stating 'You’ve used system configuration utility to make changes to the way windows starts.' To prevent this message from displaying again, select Do not show this message again.

Step 4: Reinstall the HP driver and software applications

After you completely uninstall any HP software from your computer, go to the HP website to download the most current version of your printer’s full feature driver. This makes sure that your printer has complete functionality.

NOTE: As an alternative method to downloading the software, you can use the installation CD instead.
  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 8: 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.

Step 5: Enable startup programs

Once the driver has been installed, follow these steps to enable the startup programs.

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), type msconfig in the Search programs and files text box, and then press Enter. The System Configuration Utility window opens.

  2. Click the General tab, and then click Normal startup.

  3. Click the Services tab, and then click the Hide all Microsoft services check box.

  4. Click Apply, and then click Close.

  5. Click Restart to apply the changes the next time the computer starts.

Step 6: Restart the computer

Restart the computer. When prompted, connect the USB cable to the printer.

Solution four: Install the printer on another computer

If you have another computer available, try installing the printer on that computer. If you do not have another computer, continue to the next solution.

  • If the installation is successful on the other computer, install a USB powered hub on the first computer. If the installation still fails after installing a USB powered hub, contact the computer manufacturer to address issues with the first computer.

  • If the installation still fails, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Service the printer

If you have tried all of the solutions in this document and still cannot complete installation, continue to the Service the printer section at the end of this document.

Windows Vista

Troubleshoot installation issues on Windows Vista by checking the connection between the computer and the printer, refreshing Windows Device Manager, uninstalling and reinstalling the software, and installing the printer on another computer.

NOTE: Some of the following solutions require you to restart the computer. Consider bookmarking this page on your Web browser, so that you can reference it after restarting the computer.

Solution one: Check the USB connection

Follow these steps to check the USB connection from the printer to the computer.

Step 1: Disconnect and reconnect the USB cable

Follow these steps to disconnect and reconnect the USB cable.

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer.

    Figure 9: Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer

    Image: Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the computer.

  3. Wait five seconds.

  4. Reconnect the USB cable to the printer and the computer. Apply some pressure to secure the connections.

  5. Make sure that the USB cable is connected correctly.

    Figure 10: Connect the smaller end of the USB cable to the rear of the printer

    Image: Connect the smaller end of the USB cable to the rear of the printer.

    Figure 11: Connect the larger end of the USB cable to the computer

    Image: Connect the larger end of the USB cable to the computer.
  6. Try the installation again.

Step 2: Test the USB connection

Select your USB connection type for the steps to test the USB connection.

  • The USB cable connects directly from my printer to my computer.

    1. Move the USB cable to another available USB port. For example, if the USB cable is plugged in front of the computer, move it to a port in the back of the computer.

    2. Restart the computer and the printer.

    3. Try the installation again.

  • The USB cable connects to a USB hub or a docking station for a laptop.

    1. Disconnect the USB cable from the hub or docking station, and then connect it directly to the computer.

    2. Restart the computer and the printer.

    3. Try the installation again.

      If the installation completes after connecting the USB cable directly to the computer, there might be a problem with the hub or docking station. Either leave the USB cable connected directly to the computer, or contact the manufacturer of the hub or docking station for troubleshooting.

Step 3: Try a different USB cable

Sometimes a USB cable can malfunction. Follow these steps to test the connection with a different USB cable.

  1. Replace the USB cable. HP supports USB cables less than 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches) in length.

  2. Try the installation again.

Step 4: Remove any additional USB devices that connect to the computer

If you have several USB-connected devices, such as another printer, the computer might not have sufficient power supplied to the USB ports to detect all of them.

  1. Disconnect all USB devices from the computer except for the keyboard, the mouse, and the printer.

  2. Try the installation again.

    If removing other devices resolves the issue, HP recommends installing a powered hub to connect multiple USB devices.

Step 5: Reset the printer

After you resolve all potential USB conflicts, follow these steps to restart the printer.

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.

  2. With the product turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.

  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

  4. Wait at least 15 seconds.

  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.

  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.

  7. If the product does not turn on by itself, press the Power button () to turn it on.

  • If the installation automatically continues and completes successfully, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the installation does not automatically continue, restart the installation process.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Refresh the Windows Device Manager

Follow these steps to refresh the Windows Device Manager.

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), type devmgmt.msc in the Start Search text box, and then press Enter. The Windows Device Manager opens.

  2. Click the plus sign () to the left of the following categories to expand them:

    • IEEE 1284.4 compatible printers

    • Universal Serial Bus controllers

    • Other devices

  3. Find the printer model name in each of the categories you expanded in the previous step. The printer might display in more than one category.

    Figure 12: Multiple entries of a printer in Device Manager

    Image: Multiple entries of a printer in Device Manager
  4. Update the printer device driver:

    1. If the printer name displays with a yellow exclamation mark next to it, right-click the printer name, and then click Update Driver from the list that displays.

      If the words Unknown Device display in any of the categories, right-click Unknown Device, and then click Update Driver from the list that displays.

      The Hardware Update Wizard dialog box displays.

    2. Select No, not this time to decline to check online for software, and then click Next.

    3. Update the printer device driver in Device Manager for each Unknown Device and each printer that has a yellow exclamation mark next to it.

  5. Disconnect the USB cable from the printer.

  6. Insert the HP software CD in the CD drive, select Install the software automatically, and then click Next.

  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish installing the software. When prompted, connect the USB cable to the printer.

Solution three: Completely uninstall and reinstall the HP software

Follow these steps to completely uninstall the HP software, turn off background programs, and then reinstall the software.

Step 1: Uninstall the HP driver and software applications

Some HP driver and software applications might be partially installed on your computer. Follow these steps to completely remove the HP software.

  1. Unplug the USB cable connecting the printer to the computer.

  2. On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), and then click Control Panel. The Windows Control Panel opens.

  3. Click Programs. In the list of installed programs, click your printer, and then click Uninstall. Make sure that you remove all of the following programs, if they are present:

    • HP Deskjet/Officejet/Photosmart software

    • HP Imaging device functions

    • HP Customer Participation program

    • HP Solution Center or HP Director

    • HP Photosmart Essentials or Express, HP Photosmart Premier, or HP Image Zone

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the HP software removal.

    CAUTION: If asked to remove shared files, click No. Other programs that use these files might not work if you delete the files.
  5. Disconnect the printer from the power source, and then restart the computer.

Step 2: Remove unnecessary files and folders

Follow these steps to remove any unnecessary files and folders. It is important that you complete this step to make sure that any problem files are not reinstalled.

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), type %temp% in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.

  2. Click Organize, and then click Select All.

  3. Under Organize again, and then click Delete.

    CAUTION: An 'Access is denied' error might occur. If so, click to close the error message, and then continue deleting the remaining files.

Step 3: Turn off programs that run in the background

When the computer is on, a software group called the Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) programs automatically loads. These programs activate computer utilities such as the antivirus software, but are not required for the computer to function. Occasionally, TSRs prevent the product software from loading so that the software does not install correctly. In Microsoft Windows Vista, the MSCONFIG utility prevents TSR programs and services from starting.

  1. On the Windows taskbar click the Windows icon ().

  2. In the Start Search box, type msconfig, and then press Enter. The System Configuration Utility window opens.

  3. Click the General tab, and then select Selective Startup.

  4. If there is a check mark next to Load Startup items, select the check mark to remove it.

  5. Click the Services tab, and then click the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.

  6. Click Disable all.

  7. Click Apply, and then click Close.

    NOTE: If an 'Access is denied' error message displays on the computer when you make changes, click OK, and then continue. The message does not prevent you from making changes.
  8. Select Restart to apply the changes to the computer during the next restart.

    NOTE: After the computer restarts and the desktop screen appears, you might get a prompt stating 'You’ve used system configuration utility to make changes to the way windows starts.' To prevent this message from displaying again, select Do not show this message again.

Step 4: Reinstall the HP driver and software applications

After you completely uninstall any HP software from your computer, go to the HP website to download the most current version of your printer’s full feature driver. This makes sure that your printer has complete functionality.

NOTE: As an alternative method to downloading the software, you can use the installation CD instead.
  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 13: 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.

Step 5: Re-enable startup programs

Once the driver has been installed, follow these steps to enable the startup programs.

  1. On the Windows task bar, click the Windows icon (), type msconfig in the Start Search text box, and then press Enter. The System Configuration Utility window opens.

  2. Click the General tab, and then select Normal Startup.

  3. Click the Services tab, and then select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.

  4. Click Apply, and then click Close.

  5. Click Restart to apply the changes the next time the computer starts.

Step 6: Restart the computer

Restart the computer. When prompted, connect the USB cable to the printer.

Solution four: Install the printer on another computer

If you have another computer available, try installing the printer on that computer. If you do not have another computer, continue to the next solution.

  • If the installation is successful on the other computer, install a USB powered hub on the first computer. If the installation still fails after installing a USB powered hub, contact the computer manufacturer to address issues with the first computer.

  • If the installation still fails, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Service the printer

If you have tried all of the solutions in this document and still cannot complete installation, continue to the Service the printer section at the end of this document.

Windows XP

Troubleshoot installation issues on Windows XP by checking the connection between the computer and the printer, refreshing Windows Device Manager, uninstalling and reinstalling the software, and installing the printer on another computer.

NOTE: Some of the following solutions require you to restart the computer. Consider bookmarking this page on your Web browser, so that you can reference it after restarting the computer.

Solution one: Check the USB connection

Follow these steps to check the USB connection from the printer to the computer.

Step 1: Disconnect and reconnect the USB cable

Follow these steps to disconnect and reconnect the USB cable.

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer.

    Figure 14: Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer

    Image: Disconnect the USB cable from the rear of the printer.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the computer.

  3. Wait five seconds.

  4. Reconnect the USB cable to the printer and the computer. Apply some pressure to secure the connections.

  5. Make sure that the USB cable is connected correctly.

    Figure 15: Connect the smaller end of the USB cable to the rear of the printer

    Image: Connect the smaller end of the USB cable to the rear of the printer.

    Figure 16: Connect the larger end of the USB cable to the computer

    Image: Connect the larger end of the USB cable to the computer.
  6. Try the installation again.

Step 2: Test the USB connection

Select your USB connection type for the steps to test the USB connection.

  • The USB cable connects directly from my printer to my computer.

    1. Move the USB cable to another available USB port. For example, if the USB cable is plugged in front of the computer, move it to a port in the back of the computer.

    2. Restart the computer and the printer.

    3. Try the installation again.

  • The USB cable connects to a USB hub or a docking station for a laptop.

    1. Disconnect the USB cable from the hub or docking station, and then connect it directly to the computer.

    2. Restart the computer and the printer.

    3. Try the installation again.

      If the installation completes after connecting the USB cable directly to the computer, there might be a problem with the hub or docking station. Either leave the USB cable connected directly to the computer, or contact the manufacturer of the hub or docking station for troubleshooting.

Step 3: Try a different USB cable

Sometimes a USB cable can malfunction. Follow these steps to test the connection with a different USB cable.

  1. Replace the USB cable. HP supports USB cables less than 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches) in length.

  2. Try the installation again.

Step 4: Remove any additional USB devices that connect to the computer

If you have several USB-connected devices, such as another printer, the computer might not have sufficient power supplied to the USB ports to detect all of them.

  1. Disconnect all USB devices from the computer except for the keyboard, the mouse, and the printer.

  2. Try the installation again.

    If removing other devices resolves the issue, HP recommends installing a powered hub to connect multiple USB devices.

Step 5: Reset the printer

After you resolve all potential USB conflicts, follow these steps to restart the printer.

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.

  2. With the product turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.

  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

  4. Wait at least 15 seconds.

  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.

  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.

  7. If the product does not turn on by itself, press the Power button () to turn it on.

  • If the installation automatically continues and completes successfully, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the installation does not automatically continue, restart the installation process.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Refresh the Windows Device Manager

Follow these steps to refresh the Windows Device Manager.

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click Start, and then click Run. The Run window opens.

  2. In the Open text box, type devmgmt.msc, and then press Enter. The Windows Device Manager opens.

  3. Look for your printer in the Other devices or Universal Serial Bus controllers lists.

    • If you see your printer with a yellow exclamation mark next to it, or the phrase 'Unknown device,' continue with the steps in this procedure.

      Figure 17: Example of Device Manager entries with yellow exclamation marks

      Image: Example of Device Manager entries with yellow exclamation marks
    • If you do not see your printer in the list, or there is no yellow exclamation point, discontinue the steps in this procedure and continue to the next solution.

  4. Right-click the HP device/Unknown device entry, and then click Update driver. The Welcome to hardware update wizard opens.

  5. Select Install the software automatically, and then click Next. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish refreshing the device manager.

  6. Repeat these steps for all device entries with a yellow exclamation mark.

Solution three: Uninstall and reinstall the HP software

Follow these steps to completely uninstall the HP software, turn off background programs, and then reinstall the software.

Step 1: Uninstall the HP driver and software applications

Some HP driver and software applications might be partially installed on your computer. Follow these steps to completely remove the HP software.

  1. Unplug the USB cable connecting the printer to the computer.

  2. On the Windows taskbar, click Start, and then click Control Panel. The Windows Control Panel opens.

  3. Double-click Add/Remove Programs. In the list of installed programs, click your printer, and then click Add/Remove. Make sure that you remove all of the following programs, if they are present:

    • HP Deskjet/Officejet/Photosmart software

    • HP Imaging device functions

    • HP Customer Participation program

    • HP Solution Center or HP Director

    • HP Photosmart Essentials or Express, HP Photosmart Premier, or HP Image Zone

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the HP software removal.

    CAUTION: If asked to remove shared files, click No. Other programs that use these files might not work if you delete the files.
  5. Disconnect the printer from the power source, and then restart the computer.

Step 2: Remove unnecessary files and folders

Follow these steps to remove any unnecessary files and folders. It is important that you complete this step to make sure that any problem files are not reinstalled.

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click Start, click Run, and then type %temp% in the Open box.

  2. Click Edit, and then click Select All.

  3. Under File and Folder Tasks, click Delete the selected items.

    CAUTION: An 'Access is denied' error might occur. If so, click to close the error message, and then continue deleting the remaining files.

Step 3: Turn off programs that run in the background

When the computer is on, a software group called the Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) programs automatically loads. These programs activate computer utilities such as the antivirus software, but are not required for the computer to function. Occasionally, TSRs prevent the product software from loading so that the software does not install correctly. In Microsoft Windows XP, the MSCONFIG utility prevents TSR programs and services from starting.

  1. On the computer, click Start, and then click Run. The Run dialog box opens.

  2. In the Open field, type msconfig, and then click OK. The System Configuration Utility window opens.

  3. Click the General tab, and then select Selective Startup.

  4. If there is a check mark next to Load Startup items, select the check mark to remove it.

  5. Click the Services tab, and then click the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.

  6. Click Disable all.

  7. Click Apply, and then click Close.

    NOTE: If an 'Access is denied' error message displays on the computer when you make changes, click OK, and then continue. The message does not prevent you from making changes.
  8. Select Restart to apply the changes.

    NOTE: After the computer restarts and the desktop screen appears, you might get a prompt stating 'You’ve used system configuration utility to make changes to the way windows starts.' To prevent this message from displaying again, select Do not show this message again.

Step 4: Reinstall the HP driver and software applications

After you completely uninstall any HP software from your computer, go to the HP website to download the most current version of your printer’s full feature driver. This makes sure that your printer has complete functionality.

NOTE: As an alternative method to downloading the software, you can use the installation CD instead.
  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 18: 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.

Step 5: Re-enable startup programs

Once the driver has been installed, follow these steps to enable the startup programs.

  1. On the Windows taskbar, click Start, and then click Run. The Run window opens.

  2. In the Open field, type msconfig, and then click OK. The System Configuration Utility window opens.

  3. Click the General tab, and then select Normal Startup.

  4. Click the Services tab, and then select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.

  5. Click Apply, and then click Close.

  6. Click Restart to apply the changes the next time the computer starts.

Step 6: Restart the computer

Restart the computer. When prompted, connect the USB cable to the printer.

Solution four: Install the printer on another computer

If you have another computer available, try installing the printer on that computer. If you do not have another computer, continue to the next solution.

  • If the installation is successful on the other computer, install a USB powered hub on the first computer. If the installation still fails after installing a USB powered hub, contact the computer manufacturer to address issues with the first computer.

  • If the installation still fails, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Service the printer

If you have tried all of the solutions in this document and still cannot complete installation, continue to the Service the printer section at the end of this document.

Service the printer

Contacting HP for service in Asia Pacific.

If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, you may need further assistance from HP to remedy your concern.

Please contact HP using one of the options found at Contact HP to obtain service.

Contacting HP for service in all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.

If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, service the product.

Determine if your product is in warranty or out of warranty. If you need help determining your product’s warranty status, go to HP’s Warranty Check Tool .

  • If your product is in warranty, Contact HP to obtain service.

  • If your product is out of warranty, Contact HP to find an authorized service provider or to setup service (fees might apply).

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