Archive for March 2, 2009
I have fond memory of HP printer products. I remember back in my undergrad years, I hooked up an HP Inkjet 500 that I shared with my 7 other housemates. That thing was a tank. Everyone was printing their paper on it and we probably was using way above its rated cycle, but it worked for years after we abused it. At work, we often encountered HP Laserjet, which were just as tough.
I don’t know about how good the HP hardware is these days, but the software could use some dieting. Isn’t 190 Mb a bit big for a driver? Did the programmers get paid by lines of code? What’s in that thing? A lot of bloatware apparently. Here’s my tips on what to install:
- Download the Full Feature driver and not the Basic driver. If you install the basic driver, you’ll only have the ability to print. The scan and fax will not work. The driver is available at this location.
- Launch Driver.
- Click on Install.
- Press Next.
- Uncheck the Yahoo Toolbar and check the Advance Install. We don’t need the toolbar. Click Next.
- When prompted whether to automatically check for updates, click No and click next.
- On install options, select Custom Install. Click Next.
- On the Custom Installation screen, check only the following:HP Solution Center
HP Imaging Functions
OCR Software by I.R.I.S.
Even if you don’t use the OCR software, you will want to install the OCR software. Without the OCR software, you will not be able to scan to PDF. If you already have Photoshop or something, why bother. HP update would be nice, but takes up memory and resource as a background task. HP do not seem to update their drivers often. Why not just manually check every once in a while. The Web Printing is interesting, but we could do without it. The other stuff is just bloatware.
- Prompt for EULA, click I agree (what else are you going to do, disagree and have no driver?)
- Click Next to use default location.
- Follow the instruction on screen and complete the installation.
- After installation, launch HP Solution Center.
- In HP Solution Center, click on settings.
- Click on Scan settings->Scan to… Setup.
- Wait for a long time for the front panel list to appear. Select each item you want to be able to select from the LCD panel. Each item you add will appear on the printer’s LCD panel when you select scan to computer on the printer. If you do not select any options, you will not be able to scan to your computer and you will get a message “No scan options”. In my case, I added all of the items.
- Once all of the items are added, press Update the Device.
At this point the driver should be installed and you have roughly the minimal software for the majority of features.
After installing the driver, make sure you install the Critical Update to Correct a PC to Printer Communication Issue if you are using the wireless connection. Without installing this driver, scan to computers often fail.
Recently, my mom’s troublesome Brothers MFC-3360C All-In-One printer finally died. The printer was just pure evil. Dust would collect around the tray and make it impossible to remove the paper tray. The ink cartridge would run dry every couple of months even though no one printed anything because it continuously self-clean. I was not unhappy to see it go.
I replaced it with a HP Photosmart C7280 All-In-One. The printer looked solid and I hope that it will last longer than the Brothers, but our relationship soured quickly when I attempted to install the drivers. The driver failed with the following error:
Fatal error during Installation Module C:\Windows\system32\hpbmiapi.dll failed to register. HRESULT -2147221164. Contact your support personnel. Please go to http://www.hp.com/support for troubleshooting information about "Fatal Error" and "MSI.dot4wrp".
Since the CD install didn’t work, I downloaded the latest drivers from HP and they didn’t work. I tried to unzip the drivers and locate the hpbmiapi.dll and manually register the dll, but I ran out of disk space. I tried google and notice that many HP owners of a different printer had similar issues, but was resolved by a patch from HP.
I called HP customer support in hopes that they will have a patch for the C7280, but they were less than helpful. I mentioned that various other people on the HP forum had the same issue, but they told me that no one has reported this issue. After trying a few things, they declared that the problem was Microsoft’s fault and that I should call up Microsoft since they will know what the problem is. They wouldn’t escalate the issue because it was a Microsoft problem. Right…
This post gave me a clue:
The hpbmiapi.dll registration failed because of a dependency. Apparently hpbmiapi.dll is dependent on atl.dll (Active Template Library) to be registered. When it wasn’t, the install blew up when it failed to register hpbmiapi.dll. What the error message should have mentioned was the dependency.
To fix the problem, do the following:
- Check if atl.dll exists in your system directory. It’s usually in C:\Windows\system32. If it exists, go to the next step. If it does not, you may be able to install it by downloading and installing the Visual C++ 6.0 runtime at:
- Once it’s there, you can register it by running the following command in a command window (you must be an admin of the system):
- Now install the driver again. This time the install should work.
I am hoping that this article will help someone save a few hours of frustration. Sadly, I have had good luck with HP in the past. It’s clear that they are no longer the company they used to be.