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February 5, 2008 9:33 PM   Subscribe

Two printers, one laptop with Vista, no drivers found.

On a whim, I purchased a HP printer to go with my HP laptop which has Vista (laptop is about a month old). Everything was going well in the installation until I got to the part where you connect the USB cable and turn the printer on. I immediately got the message "Windows needs to install driver software..." I clicked locate and install, but it said it could not be found. It said "insert disc that came with this printer." The disc was already in, but okay, so I took it out and put it back in. Again it could not find it and then said it would search windows. No dice. I went to the HP website, downloaded the driver thinking something was wrong with the CD, and it still said it could not find the drivers.

After talking to tech support for a couple of hours, I eventually decided I was tired of fooling with it and returned the printer. I had actually had my eye on a Canon anyway and only bought the HP printer because it was on sale.

Well, low and behold I get my Canon printer today and the exact same thing happens. Everything is fine until it asks to plug in the USB and turn on the printer, then the exact same messages I was getting before. I've uninstalled and reinstalled the software, chose custom install and only installed the drivers, downloaded the drivers off the Canon website, all to no avail.

What am I doing wrong? I've turned off every possible security setting, and the USB cable i'm using is brand new (someone had suggested that might be a problem). When googling I see other people with Vista have had similar problems, but no real solutions are given.

The printer in question is an all-in-one Printer/Scanner/Copier Canon Pixma MP610.
posted by Ugh to Technology (8 answers total)
Very difficult to diagnose from here, but I find Windows constantly has problems with USB devices if you plug the USB device in before you install the driver.

This is a pain because often windows has drivers for your device, but you'll never know until you plug it in.

Has your printer appeared as some kind of unidentified USB device in the Device Manager? If so, unplug the printer, use Device Manager to uninstall that device, reboot, install your drivers, then plug your printer in. See how that goes.
posted by Jimbob at 9:37 PM on February 5, 2008

I should add that if you have actually installed the Canon drivers, you probably want to uninstall them first as well before you unplug the device and try again.
posted by Jimbob at 9:39 PM on February 5, 2008

Generally I've found the driver software (and software "solutions") found on the bundled cds with printers (not to mention just about every other accessory) to be worse than useless.

I would download *only* the Windows Vista printer drivers (32-bit linked, look for the 64-bit on the same page if that is what you need) and install those, then connect the printer. Make sure you uninstall any software you may have previously installed before doing this.

Once you have the printer installed and test printing fine then you can usually go back and (again, download from the website) install the various applications.
posted by wfrgms at 9:40 PM on February 5, 2008

Oh, I may have got things the wrong way round...the printer may need to be plugged in for you to find and delete the unidentified USB device... In any case. Try to get your system back to how it was before you started messing with the printer (Restore points, maybe?), then install the drivers before you plug it in.
posted by Jimbob at 9:42 PM on February 5, 2008

After the first printer I made 100% sure that the usb cable wasn't even close to the printer until after it told me to connect it.

I'll uninstall everything and try just the Windows drivers and see if that works. Thanks for the suggestions so far. I can't think of anything more annoying than trying to solve someone's technical problems with so little to go on, but I was just at my wit's end.
posted by Ugh at 9:47 PM on February 5, 2008

Search for the "infcache" problem in Vista.
posted by krisjohn at 12:16 AM on February 6, 2008

Oh, thank you Krisjohn. That definitely looks like it may be the problem.
posted by Ugh at 7:26 AM on February 6, 2008

Windows Vista automatically reads the printer software, so don't install any.

When I got a new Dell latop with Vista Home Premium, I just plugged in the usb attached to my old printer and it automatically read everything.
posted by Jay Reimenschneider at 10:05 AM on February 6, 2008

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