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Using XP printer driver, not Vista's

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2007
Merak
 

Posts: n/a
Using XP printer driver, not Vista's
Hi everyone.

I'm having serious issues with my not-so-new HP DeskJet 5550 printer (USB
interface) in Vista Ultimate.
HP itself does not provide device-specific drivers for my printer on Vista,
so I am using the one that ships with Vista. However there are many
problems: most of the advanced functions do not work, including maintenance
commands like head cleanup/alignment; even the LEDs on the printer act
weird!

Now, I know from past experience that XP drivers *may* work with Vista, so I
tried to install the old XP driver. The problem is that, just after
installation, Vista replaces the XP driver with its built-in one. Even
worse, the Vista driver "propagates" to my two other networked PCs that
still use XP, giving horrible results.

Is it possible to block Vista from installing its built-in driver and let me
at least *try* to use the old one? I'd really like to try before buying
another printer that I currently not need.

Thanks in advance.

--
Lorenzo

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2007
Mike Hall - MVP
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Using XP printer driver, not Vista's
I also have a 5 series HP printer and, like you, do not have access to the
support console. While HP have made Vista drivers available, it is highly
unlikely that they will do any more for what is an old product. The features
lost were useful in their way, but not exactly critical to printer
operation.

If the features are of great importance, then you will have to purchase a
new printer.


"Merak" <merak@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:OTP3LIDDIHA.1164@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
> Hi everyone.
>
> I'm having serious issues with my not-so-new HP DeskJet 5550 printer (USB
> interface) in Vista Ultimate.
> HP itself does not provide device-specific drivers for my printer on
> Vista, so I am using the one that ships with Vista. However there are many
> problems: most of the advanced functions do not work, including
> maintenance commands like head cleanup/alignment; even the LEDs on the
> printer act weird!
>
> Now, I know from past experience that XP drivers *may* work with Vista, so
> I tried to install the old XP driver. The problem is that, just after
> installation, Vista replaces the XP driver with its built-in one. Even
> worse, the Vista driver "propagates" to my two other networked PCs that
> still use XP, giving horrible results.
>
> Is it possible to block Vista from installing its built-in driver and let
> me at least *try* to use the old one? I'd really like to try before buying
> another printer that I currently not need.
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
> --
> Lorenzo


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2007
Bob Headrick
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Using XP printer driver, not Vista's
"Merak" <merak@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:OTP3LIDDIHA.1164@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
> Hi everyone.
>
> I'm having serious issues with my not-so-new HP DeskJet 5550 printer (USB
> interface) in Vista Ultimate.
> HP itself does not provide device-specific drivers for my printer on
> Vista, so I am using the one that ships with Vista. However there are many
> problems: most of the advanced functions do not work, including
> maintenance commands like head cleanup/alignment; even the LEDs on the
> printer act weird!


You can perform the advanced functions from the front panel of the printer,
but it should not be necessary. The DeskJet 5550 performs automatic
alignment when a new cartridge is inserted. Manual cleaning cycles are
rarely needed - it is rare that an HP cartridge would need a manual cleaning
cycle even once over its entire life. That said, the following sequences
can be used. For all of these the printer should be turned on, then press
and hold in the power button while pressing other buttons the specified
number of times, then release the power button:

Automatic alignment: while holding in the power button press the formfeed
button three times, then release the power button.

First level cleaning: press the X button twice.
Second level cleaning: press the X button twice, then the formfeed button
once.
Third level cleaning: press the X button twice, then the formfeed button
twice.

Running unnecessary cleaning cycles will use ink and can shorten the
printer's life.

Regards,
Bob Headrick, MS MVP Printing/Imaging



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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2007
Merak
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Using XP printer driver, not Vista's
> You can perform the advanced functions from the front panel of the
> printer, but it should not be necessary.


Thanks for the information: I really could not find front panel key
combinations anywhere.

> Manual cleaning cycles are rarely needed - it is rare that an HP cartridge
> would need a manual cleaning cycle even once over its entire life.


You are right, but I often use refill kits (I know they are unsupported, but
the money save is relevant) and so my cartridges usually exceed their
operating life.

--
Lorenzo

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2007
huwyngr
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Using XP printer driver, not Vista's
In article <OTP3LIDDIHA.1164@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl>, Merak wrote:

> The problem is that, just after*
> installation, Vista replaces the XP driver with its built-in one... >

Is it possible to block Vista from installing its built-in driver and >
let me*at least *try* to use the old one?

I assume you are using the USB cable? In my experience this happens
with USB connected printers when you do not follow the instructions and
install the printer software before you connect the printer and its USB
cable to the printer.

<< Installation Instructions

Caution: The printer's cable (USB or Parallel) must be unplugged before
proceeding! >>

So unplug the printer and its cable from the PC; delete any printer
icons in the Printers folder and uninstall any HP software relating to
the printer that shows up in Remove Programs.

Then reboot the computer without the printer cable plugged in, install
the software and only connect the USB cable when the installation
procedure tells you to, or after you get to Finish if it doesn't tell
you.

I suggest you download the XP "full" software for your printer from

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/s...=en&cc=us&dlc=
en&product=71896&lang=en

hp deskjet 5550 printer software/driver: full feature - USB or parallel
cable

(Don't use Install it Now and Save it when downloading, not Run it)

and then install 5550-enu-win2k_xp.exe by right mouse clicking on the
file at its location on your PC, selecting Properties and then on the
Compatibility TAB check Compatibility set to XP Pro with SP2 and while
you are at it check the box for Run as Administrator on that TAB and OK
your way out.

When you have it installed I suggest you download and install the
update there using the same technique of compatibility/run as
administrator and you may want to try the Photosmart software they
offer if you don't have other alternatives.

That has worked for me and for others.

Good luck.

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