HP Printers – Love & Hate

For years, I seem to have a love and hate experience with HP Printers, especially with the accompanying software. With the centralized laser printers in my office, things are normally OK, you give a print command it prints. The issues are only with the All In One Printers – should we be calling them super smart printers?.

HP Add a Device
HP Add a Device

I use dedicated HP All-In-One Printers (Photosmart 7288 and 6188) at my work and at my home. While I love the HP software for scanning, I am at loss on few other things.

  • Why does the installation need to take so much for installing a simple scanner and printer software?.
  • Every time I turn on the PC why should the HP software keep checking for updates – is scanner and printer so cutting edge that you need daily updates for new technologies?
  • In Vista with UAC turned on, every time when it checks for updates it pops up the UAC elevated privileges dialog for the HPUpdate.exe program. My wife is always at loss on why this comes every time she logs in?.
  • Frequently the HP software loses the networked printer. It says “No supported device can be found”. Maybe it is users’ fault or some configuration changes that was done. The way to resolve it is to get your installation media (or downloaded driver file) and run the installation again. In the installation dialog you see “Add a device” option (see the image on right). When the application can’t find a device why can’t application (Solution Center or Photosmart essential) itself display an option to search for a network printer and add it instead of requiring a rerun of the installation. It is not available today.
  • When I rerun the installation today for this problem it displays the dialog shown below. I was puzzled for few minutes. Then pressing “OK” made it run fine. Why can’t the software first check whether the necessary files are found in the path (that it anyway seems to detect) then if the files are not found display this dialog.
HP All in One Series Installation Media Required
HP All in One Series Installation Media Required
  • The last item I have is on Paper Jams. When a paper jam happens, the printer says clear the jam and press “OK”. But I am at loss on how to clear the paper jam – there is absolutely no instruction, and the space in the paper tray is so small that you can’t insert your fingers and pull the paper out.