I haven’t done a tech rant in a while so I guess it’s time.
We have a several year old HP printer, a PhotoSmart C7280 all-in-one (print/fax/copy/scan). The printer runs like a clock. The HP software just died on me and as far as I can tell I can’t re-install it. I use the HP Solution Center about once a month to scan documents for a project I work on. Suddenly yesterday when I needed to scan some pages, it said (loosely translated) – I can’t run, I’m not completely installed. Re-install me.
I’ll spare you the intermediate (endless) details. I’ve spent at least 3 hours on this, that I needed to spend on other things. I have now downloaded the Win7 drivers for this printer from HP 3 times (311 MB), and every time I try to install them the install process tells me it’s missing a file, and it won’t tell me what file it’s missing. HP’s automated system then generates a “solution” – which mainly comes down to checking that the network is hooked up, the printer is working and findable, etc. I’ve done all that. I even did the part where they tell you to turn off everything in the Startup menu and turn off your firewall! (Do you know how fast Internet malwarebots can find a honeypot? Fortunately there’s also a firewall on the router.) Every time the installer runs it immediately says, “Missing file.” Whatever isn’t there is something it needs right away.
I’ve opened a question on the HP forum, but since both my printer and my PC are out of warranty I don’t expect much help. I’ve concluded that their driver file is defective and they don’t know or don’t care or both. Fortunately, the basic drivers are still there and I’ve been able to re-install the printer as a printer, but I can no longer scan to PDF, at least not with any control over the formatting. The infuriating thing is that the software still runs perfectly on my husband’s nearly identical HP Pavilion – we bought them at the same time (but I’ve added different stuff).
This is sad. Back in the day, H-P was the gold standard. If you had H-P equipment, you had The Best. Now they can’t write working installer software. Sic transit gloria mundi.