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Fatal Error 'Error 1304. Error writing to file C:\window\inf\HPxxxxx.inf' (MSI Error 1304) Displays During Software Installation in Windows XP

  • PrintPrint
This document is for HP printer software installations in Windows XP for all HP LaserJet printers and for all HP inkjet printers released in 2009 or earlier.
While you install the HP software, a fatal error message displays on the computer: Error 1304. Error writing to file C:\window\inf\HPxxxxx.inf.
This error message displays in Windows when there are too many files in the INF folder.

Solution one: Delete all 0 KB sized files in the Windows INF folder

Follow these steps to show the hidden INF folder in Windows Explorer and delete the files that are 0 KB in size.

Step 1: Unhide the INF folder and sort the 0 KB sized files

Follow these steps to find the INF folder and sort the 0 KB files.
  1. On the Windows taskbar, right-click Start, and then click Explore All Users. Windows Explorer opens in a new window.
  2. In the Windows Explorer window, click Tools, and then click Folder Options. The Folder Options window opens.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. Select Show hidden files and folders, and then click OK.
  5. In the left pane of the Windows Explorer window, scroll to the Windows or WinNT folder, and then click the expand icon next to the folder.
  6. Scroll down to the INF folder, and then click on the folder icon to open it in the right pane.
  7. In the Windows Explorer window, click View, and then click Details.
  8. In the right pane, click Size until Windows Explorer arranges the files from the smallest file size to the largest file size.

Step 2: Delete all files that are 0 KB from the INF folder

Follow these steps to delete all files in the INF folder that are 0 KB in size.
CAUTION:Only delete the files that are 0 KB. If you delete any other files in the INF folder, Windows might not function correctly.
  1. On the right side of the Windows Explorer split window, click the first file that is 0 KB in size, and then scroll down the list to the last file that is 0 KB in size.
  2. Hold and press the Shift key to select all the files, between the first and last file, that are 0 KB.
  3. Press the Delete key to confirm the file deletion.
    NOTE:If you delete the incorrect files, click Edit, and then click Undo Delete to restore the files.
  4. Close all open windows, and then restart the computer.
  5. Restart the software installation.

Solution two: Uninstall and reinstall the HP software

Follow these steps to uninstall, and then reinstall, the HP software.

Step 1: Perform a level-three uninstall

Use one of the following methods to uninstall the HP software.
If you have not previously downloaded the software from the HP website, follow these steps to remove the software.
  1. Disconnect the USB cable from both the product and the computer (if you already connected it).
  2. Turn the product on.
  3. Open a new window to browse to the Get Software and Drivers page: Get Software and Drivers .
  4. Check the instructions on the page, and then click the Plus sign (+) next to the correct heading for additional instructions:
  5. Click the Plus sign () next to Driver, and then click the driver that you want to download.
  6. Read through the minimum system requirements and additional instructions. You can also click View directions () for complete download instructions.
  7. Click Download. This option allows you to install the software at any time after the download completes.
  8. Click Save, and then browse to the location on your computer where you want to save the file. Consider saving the file to your desktop for easy reference later in these steps.
  9. Click Save. The software downloads to your computer.
  10. When the download completes, click Start, and then click Search. The Search Results window opens.
  11. Under What do you want to search for?, click All files and folders.
  12. Type Uninstall_L3 in the first search box, and then click Search.
  13. Double-click the Uninstall_L3.bat file. If there is more than one file in the search results, expand the In Folder column, and look for the file that is located in the Temp folder with 7zXXX.tmp in the filename (XXX varies by driver version). The HP uninstaller opens.
    NOTE:If the Welcome to HP! screen opens, click Cancel or Exit.
  14. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the level-three uninstall.
If you have and want to use the HP software CD, follow these steps to remove the software. Otherwise, use the previous method to remove the software.
  1. Insert the HP Software CD into the computer's CD drive.
  2. If the Welcome to HP! screen opens, click Cancel or Exit.
  3. On the Windows taskbar, click Start, and then click Run. The Run window opens.
  4. On the Run window, click Browse. The Browse window opens.
  5. Navigate to the CD drive on your computer (you can find the CD drive by clicking My Computer, usually), right-click the file, and then click Open.
    NOTE:If you double-click the file, the HP Installer launches. Click Exit, and then right-click the file to open.
  6. Double-click the Utility folder, and then double click the ccc folder. A list of files on the software CD displays.
  7. Double-click the Uninstall_L3.bat file. The Run window opens again, with the path to the Uninstall_L3.bat file displayed.
  8. Click OK to start the level-three uninstall, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 2: Reinstall the HP Software

HP recommends that you download and install the software from the HP website. This software is the most current and contains updates that might not be on your software CD.
If you have already downloaded the software, you do not have to download it again. Otherwise, follow these instructions to download and install the software.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the printer and the computer (if you already connected it). If the printer is connected to your network, leave it connected.
  3. If the Welcome to HP Support page opens, follow these steps:
    1. In the Enter product name or number field, type your printer model or number.
    2. In the Questions or keywords field, type driver, and then press Enter.
      You might need to select your printer model number from a list of similar printer models.
    3. Next to the image of your printer, click the name of your printer.
      Figure 1: Example of the link to your printer homepage
      Image: Example of the link next to your printer homepage
    4. On the HP support site, click Drivers.
  4. Select your operating system, and then click Next.
    A list of drivers and other downloads display.
  5. Scroll down the page, and then click Driver - Product Installation Software.
  6. Click Download next to the full feature software and driver listed, and then follow the prompts to save the driver to your computer.
  7. Open the folder where the software file saved (usually Downloads), double-click the file, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.

Related support links

HP Support forums

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