If you are getting the printer driver unknown error chances are you already pulled out half of your hair looking for the answers. 16 hours is what I spent on this issue. I can not recall a time when I had to spend so much time on one stupid issue. Why it happens in the first place I do not know but I do have a solution.

I have seen the Printer Driver Unknown error only on HP printers. Please post a comment with your model and brand so others may find if this works for them as well. I don’t see why it would not. This works for Vista and XP.

Unplug the USB cable first from the printer. MUST!!

Onto the fix. The first thing to do is uninstall all printer software. Go into the control panel and then add remove programs and remove all printer software. While in the control panel go into installed printers and remove the printer. Just right click and delete. It is also wise to remove the driver from the list by clicking the File menu, click Server Properties, and then click the Drivers tab. In the Installed printer drivers list, click the driver you want to remove, click Remove, and then click Yes to confirm.

Now reboot your computer. You have to re-boot to fully uninstall all the software.

One done we are going to temperarily turn off Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) programs and other background programs

1. Click Start and then click Run. The Run window opens.
2. In the Open: box, type msconfig, and then click OK. The MSCONFIG utility window opens.
3. Click the General tab.
4. Select Selective Startup.
5. If there is a check mark next to Load Startup items, click the check mark to remove it.
6. For Windows XP systems only – Click the Services tab and place a check mark in the Hide All Microsoft Services box. Select Disable All.
7. Click Apply and then click Close.
8. Click Restart to restart the computer.

Now re-boot the computer again. Once re-booted you will see a box pop up saying startup menu has changed. Just click the Ok box.

You are ready to re-install the software now. DO NOT plug the printer in untill you are propted by the software to do so. You printer should install just fine now.

One the software is installed you may be asked to re-boot again. Do so.

After the re-boot go back into the msconfig menu and undo what you did above. You want these services to be normal. Now re-boot again and all should be good with the world.

Let us know if this worked for you and what brand and model you have. Also describe any issues you have with this article so we can improve it and make it easier.

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