Driven crazy by lack of a printer driver.
November 17, 2010 9:59 AM   Subscribe

I bought a new computer (stalkers may check out my previous 'asks') running 64 bit windows 7, and I'd like it to connect to my HP 6840 wireless printer; that is, I need an appropriate driver. HP's website says that windows 7, has the driver built in and all I have to do is connect the printer via usb cable and stand back. Well, I tried that and several other things but my Windows 7 home, even after running update, has no driver for my printer (which it correctly identifies). HP tech support is of no help, merely repeating the same advice as the web sites I've already seen. I know such a driver exists because other people have solved this problem. How can I get it?
posted by Obscure Reference to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Maybe you could try a Vista or Windows XP driver. No guarantees that would work, though.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:09 AM on November 17, 2010

To clarify: You've allowed the 'Add Hardware' wizard to go online to look for a driver, right?

Running Windows update by itself will not update the driver list.
posted by schmod at 10:15 AM on November 17, 2010

Best answer: Having performed the (Windows7x64 Plug-and-Play printer install) operation you describe many times for various models of consumer printers, I am surprised to hear it's not working properly for you.

Are you getting a specific error message when you connect the printer to the computer? Does the printer work when connected to other computers? Is the Windows 7 computer connected to the internet when you attempt the install? Are other USB-connected devices working properly on this computer?

The answers to these questions can help isolate what the cause of this problem is. I discourage you from attempting to find a driver download because if it's not posted on the HP site it almost always simply does not exist.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 10:17 AM on November 17, 2010

Make sure Windows Update is set to go out and pick up driver updates, just in case something's wonky. Instructions on how to do it here (The Configure Windows Update to automatically search for updated drivers section).
posted by deezil at 10:22 AM on November 17, 2010

Your best bet for getting this printer installed wirelessly will be with a different computer.

You can install this printer on Windows 7, but it will use only a default HP printer driver. The reason you are not getting the driver to work properly is that you need to have Windows Updates active. Have the Add Hardware Wizard search for the driver to go online to find the driver. It should find it.

Once you get this done, great, you have a USB printer and the appropriate driver. Problem is, you will not be able to get this printer onto the network. The mechanism the printer uses to hop onto the network is through the HP Toolbox or install disc, which doesn't work with Windows 7. The way this installs to the network is that while being installed, you connect a USB, the HP Setup or HP Toolbox send the network information to the printer, then it gets on the network. Last step is to disconnect the USB. You can't run this program with Windows 7, so you are stuck at a USB printer. A Mac won't work either; they never made the program for OS 10.x. You will need a Windows XP or Vista computer to get the printer on the network. Once the printer is on the network you go through the Add a Printer Wizard or change the port on the driver from USB to TCP/IP.

Expect absolutely no help from HP Tech Support on this. The printer was released roughly in 2004 and anything over 5 years old is obsolete in HP's eyes. I'm surprised there is a Windows 7 driver at all.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:27 AM on November 17, 2010

This thread might help.
posted by essexjan at 10:31 AM on November 17, 2010

Response by poster: BigLankyBastard had it. The process of moving my computer to the proximity of my printer to connect the cable (following the same instructions given in essexjan's link) disconnected me from the internet. Although the previous attempts told me it couldn't find a driver on the internet, or via windows update, Windows7 was strangely silent about its attempts to find a driver in this last case and I just assumed it tried the internet and failed. Now, with a replaced cable, my connection is back and it found a driver. We'll see (shortly) whether Mr. Fabulous's warnings bear out, or if the switch to wireless actually works.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:40 AM on November 18, 2010

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