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Accursed HP Printers

Yesterday, I swapped out a computer for a member of our staff. She uses her computer day in and day out, and the old Pentium 4 machine she had was just not cutting it anymore. Although it still works perfectly, speed had become a major problem. As such, a replacement had been purchased some time ago, but I was unable to place the computer into the office until yesterday.

The new machine is a Core i3 and runs Windows 7 x64. It screams along and is responsive in the way new computers are. I duly copied over all her documents, installed a couple of custom programs and so on. Then came the time to install the printer in her office. It’s an old HP LaserJet 1010, a real workhorse of a printer. It’s not flashy and is not fast, but these printers just keep working and working. That is, until the printer met Windows 7. If you are interested, here is a link to the specs of said printer: HP LaserJet 1010 Series Specifications 

There are no drivers for this printer in Windows 7, and a look on HP’s website only reveals Vista drivers. A little further digging reveals that this printer is not supported in Windows 7, although bizarrely enough it’s supported under Mac OSX 10.7, a much newer OS than Windows 7.

I tried using the Vista x64 driver, which installed fine. The printer even printed a test page. However, when you right click the printer under Devices and Printers to configure Print Settings, it causes Windows Explorer to crash. Each and every time, Windows Explorer will crash if you try to configure the printer. This was obviously unacceptable, so I set out to discover if there was a work around. It turns out that the only way to make this printer work reliably is to assign another HP LaserJet model as the driver, in this case the HP LaserJet 3050 driver. It does leave an Unidentified Device under Devices and Printers, but there is nothing that can be done.

The thing that angers me about this is that we have a slightly later model around the school as well: the HP LaserJet 1018 – Specifications here. For all intents and purposes, the devices are near identical. They take the same cartridge, print at the same speed and look near identical, apart from the colour. The 1018 is supported under Windows 7. What’s even more frustrating is that there is a driver for Mac OSX 10.7 for the 1010, but no driver for Windows 7. Hell, all HP had to do is tweak the Vista driver slightly and make it available for Windows 7.

While I understand that the 1018 is a later model by a year or more, there really is no reason why the 1010 can’t be supported under Windows 7. This is one area concerning HP printers that I really don’t like, and I’m not the only one. I will look and see if the Universal Print driver won’t perhaps support the 1010, though I’m probably going to be out of luck on that one as well.

  1. November 12, 2011 at 05:20

    I also experienced troubles with HP installer for my printer before. I had to install and uninstall twice before it worked with my pc. I opt for HP and even Canon or Epson because of the advantages of its cheap printer cartridge. There are generic cartridges that are compatible with these printers too.

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