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A Peripheral Device (Printer, Camera, or Scanner) does not Work (Windows Vista)

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This document pertains to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows Vista and devices that attach to the computer (peripherals).
Are you connecting a peripheral device to a computer with Vista and having difficulties? This document addresses some of the most common issues that can occur.
If you cannot find a solution in this document, go to the support web site for the model of peripheral (not your computer). The support site for your HP computer has general troubleshooting information about devices that can be connected to your computer. For detailed information, visit the manufacturer's Web site, find and click the support option from the site's main page, and look for product support information. For peripheral products by HP, HP has created support sites for each HP product. For example, if you have an HP DeskJet 6988 Printer, a quick search from the HP Support & Drivers page reveals an entire support site for the HP DeskJet 6988 product, complete with Vista drivers and many helpful support documents.
Use the following steps to install a peripheral in Vista.
  1. First, find out if your peripheral is supported in Vista. To find support information or a driver, refer to the section Is my peripheral supported in Vista?
    If you can't find a driver or support information, continue using these steps anyway to see if Windows Vista contains "built-in" drivers that you can use.
  2. If you have already connected the peripheral, disconnect it from the computer and then restart the computer.
  3. If you installed peripheral software that was not designed for Vista (Windows 9x, Me or XP), uninstall that software now. Use the uninstall method suggested by the documentation that came with the peripheral. If you do not know have the manuals or you still do not know how to remove the software for your printer or peripheral, then click Start , Control Panel, and click Uninstall a Program. Look through the list of software and look for the name of the product or manufacturer in the software titles. There might be more than one software name associated with the product.
    If you have a printer, you can remove the printer driver by clicking Start , Control Panel, Printers, and then right-clicking the printer and selecting Delete. Doing this will only remove the printer driver. Most printers have other associated software that should be uninstalled before deleting the driver.
    If you have problems uninstalling software, consult the manufacturer's support Web site to see if there are any known issues or software that will forcibly uninstall the product's software. If the product is an HP Printer, make sure you look on the printer's support site and software and driver download page.
  4. Install a Vista compatible driver for your peripheral and connect it after the drivers are installed. Make sure you carefully follow the instructions that come with the driver. After the driver is installed and the device is connected, you are finished.
    If you cannot find a driver for your peripheral, keep following these steps to see if your peripheral is supported natively in Vista.
  5. In Windows Vista, click Start and then Control Panel.
  6. Select Classic View from the left side of the window.
  7. Double-click Add Hardware.
  8. Select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced) and click Next.
  9. From the list of Common hardware types, select Show All Devices and click Next.
  10. Select the manufacturer from the left list, and then look for the model name of the peripheral in the right list.
    Figure 1: Add Hardware window with manufacturer and a peripheral model name selected
  11. If you can find the model name in the list select it and click Next. Follow the instructions to install the driver. For printers, do not print a test page when instructed to do so, wait until the printer is connected. Connect the peripheral after the drivers are installed. You are done.
    If you cannot find your peripheral's model name in the list, it may not be supported in Vista.
Almost all new HP and Compaq computers that come with Vista do not have older style ports, such as parallel ports. Newer connections, such as USB and FireWire, are much faster and easier to use. If your computer does not have the port needed to connect a device, use one of the following alternative methods:
  • Use a converter cable or adapter. For connecting a parallel device, for example, you can try using a parallel to USB adapter cable. These special cables can be purchased from many computer supply stores or online at fairly low cost. They can be comparable in cost to normal parallel cables. One nice feature of a parallel to USB cables is that they can be disconnected and used on other computers with minimal hassle. If you decide to use a parallel to USB adapter cable, be sure to read the installation instructions carefully before connecting it to your computer and printer. You may need to install software before the cable can be used.
    NOTE: To connect a device that requires an ECP parallel port, install an ECP compatible card instead. To avoid possible problems, do not use an adapter or converter cable.
  • Purchase and install a port expansion card on your computer. The expansion card must be compatible with Vista. Install the new card according to its instructions. Make sure it is fully installed and configured, according to the instructions that come with the card, before connecting the peripheral device. If purchasing a parallel expansion card, to avoid more possible connection problems, make sure it is bi-directional and ECP compliant.
Try the following steps to reset the print job and the printer:
  1. Go to the computer. If possible, save all open work and try to close any open software. You probably will not be able to close software programs that are currently sending print jobs to the printer, but close as many as you can.
  2. Right-click the printer task tray icon and select Open All Active Printers and Faxes.
    Figure 2: Tray icon menu selection: Open All Active Printers and Faxes
  3. Select Cancel All Documents. You may need to do this more than once if the print job is not removed from the list.
    Figure 3: Printer: Cancel All Documents selection
  4. Regardless of whether the print jobs were cancelled or not, go to the printer and read any error messages or error conditions (blinking lights) coming from the printer. Sometimes the messages shown are helpful, other times not. If the message instructs you to do something, such as "Clear a paper jam", do so at this time. If you do not know what to do or what the error code or blinking light means, open any access doors and look for problems, such as paper that is stuck inside the rollers.
  5. Turn off the printer and disconnect the power cord.
  6. If any problems were found earlier, such as stuck paper or a stuck print cartridge carriage, take this time to address the problem. Rotate paper rollers by hand to help remove stuck paper and clear a blocked carriage.
  7. With the printer off, shut down the computer.
  8. Go back to the printer, plug in the power cable, and turn on the computer.
    The printer should make normal startup noises after it has been turned on. Wait until these startup noises are gone before continuing.
  9. If the printer displays more errors, read the error and responds to its instructions.
    NOTE: For some combination printer/scanner/copier devices, pressing the black copy button while the computer is off can unlock the printer.
  10. If the printer appears to be ready, turn on the computer and try printing again.
    If the printer is still stuck, you can try re-powering it, as was done previously. If the printer problem continues, try to find more detailed support information from the printer manufacturer's website. If that manufacturer is HP, more detailed support information can be found on the printer models web page.
The webcam must be selected as a source device in whatever software you are using. The source device selection can be hard to find and is not always labeled consistently across the many software applications that are capable of using webcams (such as instant messaging and video editing software). For more information, please refer to Troubleshooting Webcams in Windows Vista (in English).
Before you can use your peripheral in Vista, you first need to find out if it is supported.
If your peripheral is an HP product, enter its model name into the HP Support & Drivers page to find out if a Vista driver is available. If using an HP printer or camera, you may also read HP Printers and Digital Cameras - Products Supported in Windows Vista (in English).
If your peripheral is from a manufacturer other than HP, visit the manufacturer's support web site to find drivers and support that relate specifically to the model name used.
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