Wednesday, February 6, 2008

VISTA Printing Problems

Not Security Related ....

I have been getting a lot of requests from my friends for help with printing issues under Windows Vista. Practically every solution so far has involved sticking the older printer in a skip and getting a new one, so fed up have people become of trying to get their old printers up and running.

My recent experience at home has been that if the printer doesn't work with updated files from the manufacturer's website - and let's be honest, many don't - then you are left with a fairly simple choice: buy a new printer, or return to Windows XP.

Don't try to install XP drivers under Vista in the hope they might work. They don't. People have had plenty of trouble upgrading to Vista from a working XP installation, never mind trying to add a bit of XP where it isn't wanted. While some XP programs can be installed and sucessfully run, printer drivers don't seem to be falling into this category.

You end up with a shed load of spooler subsystems app errors and are then reduced to either a total wipe and reinstall of the OS, or a fun time trawling the Registry trying to locate and delete all references to the badly behaving drivers. That's actually not so bad, but only if you know precisely which ones are causing the problem in the first place.

If you really are totally stuck with this printer issue, you could download and install Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 on a Vista system ( has to be Business, Enterprise or Ultimate Edition), install XP and run the printer from there. Bit of a pain, but a workable solution or buy a Vista compatible printer:)

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