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Deleting Printer drivers from Vista system

    Question

  • I recently bought two HP computers with Windows Vista Home Premium on them. I have been attempting to uninstall some print drivers to install new versions. I'm unable to do this. I receive an error that the drivers are in use "Failed to remove driver Canon MF6500 Series UFRII LT. The specified printer driver is currently in use". It doesn't matter which print driver I attempt to delete the message is the same. After a couple of hours on the phone with both Canon and HP, we're all stumped as to why I'm unable to delete any these print drivers. I have no problem deleting them from XP, but niether Vista system will allow it. Any help out there?

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008 2:23 AM

Answers

  • Hello Tomas,

     

    Thanks for your post!

     

    Generally, in Windows Vista, it is necessary to delete the printer before removing its driver.

     

    Therefore, in Print Management. You may delete the printer Canon MF6500 Series UFRII LT in Custom Filters – All printers, and then remove its driver in Custom Filters – All drivers.

    Hope it helps.

     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

     

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 6:32 AM

All replies

  • Hello Tomas,

     

    Thanks for your post!

     

    Generally, in Windows Vista, it is necessary to delete the printer before removing its driver.

     

    Therefore, in Print Management. You may delete the printer Canon MF6500 Series UFRII LT in Custom Filters – All printers, and then remove its driver in Custom Filters – All drivers.

    Hope it helps.

     

    Regards,

    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support

     

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 6:32 AM
  • A client of mine is having the same issue.  For me this printer was never locally attached but a shared printer on the domain directory had been its orignally installation source.  We wanted to move the print device so that it was instead shared from a different place in the office.  This meant it was to be from the Vista Biz machine.  After removing the printer and associated print device from the XP machine it was relocated.  Still having yet attached the USB cable I ran the installer to put the driver onto Vista.  It alerted me that an older driver exists and needed removed.  So I went first through Printer into Server Properties as Administrator and attempted to remove the listed Canon driver.  It is the same MF6500 as you mentioned, the multifunction printer/scanner/copier is model 6530 specifically.  I also received the same "can't do it - it in use message".  So I cannot install the software as I cannot remove some artifact that is being stubborn.

     

    I decided to call the manufacturer, Canon, for support.  After spending an hour or so with someone in Virginia I was unable to remove the driver.  This tech could not grasp the scenario I just articualated and the whole experience was a bit frustratrating.  So I've tried some other ideas but none has worked.  Since this printer was shared the tech believed that some print job was hanging up the process and that I would have to physically check every machines print spooler to be assured of success.  As of now that effort hasn't paid off but I have a lot of PC's to check still.

     

    This is a very painful experience.  There has to be a smarter way of managing print drivers so that an administrator can force the removal of a driver and/or trace the print job that is holding it up.

     

    ***update*** Day 2 brings victory to the battlefield

     

    OK a little dramatic title but it has been a contest of wills.   This Vista machine had 12 different user profiles that I had to go through one by one and look for and remove the artifact of the previosly AD published Canon printer.  Once the last profile had it removed it would then allow me to fully remove the driver package.  WHEW!  9 hours of fun.  Hope someone gains from my pain. 

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008 11:54 PM
  • This is what worked for me on a Windows 64 bit system.  Open the control panel and then open printers and then choose the printer you want to remove and delete it.  Then reboot the computer and when it is running again open control panel and then open printers.  When you get to printers if you do not see the File, Edit, etc menus at the top press the alt key and that will bring them up, it sometimes takes two presses.  Open the file menu and choose run as an administrator, then choose server properties and then drivers and click on the driver you want removed and remove it.  Choose the option to remove the entire package.  If, at this point, you get a message that the files were not removed because in use reboot the computer and repeat the process.  You should see that the printer desired to be removed no longer shows up in the list of drivers.

    If by any chance this does not work go into regedit and search for and remove all references to the printer.  I do not think that will be necessary.
    • Proposed as answer by Tony Rony Saturday, September 05, 2009 11:56 PM
    Wednesday, January 14, 2009 8:16 PM
  • Robert, Gosh ... I just wanted to warmly thank you for your post.  I was having a very similar problem with a different model Canon that had been installed to my system as a network attached printer.  However, my new need required that I install it directly instead.

    Since I already knew there were newer drivers for it, I didn't bother with the installation CD that came with the printer; I just went to the Canon Web site, downloaded the latest drivers, and I tried to run the Canon installation utility.  Imagine my disappointment when the Canon driver installation utility complained about finding an older version on my system and didn't offer to remove it.

    Then three hours of frustration finally ended after finally finding YOUR message immediately above.  I saw another answer to the original question for this thread, but I was very disappointed by not being able to find the interfaces mentioned in that answer.  Perhaps it's because I don't use the native Vista interface.

    Thanks again!
    Saturday, September 05, 2009 11:55 PM
  • I did something similar to robertbackus, but I didn't have to restart the machine.

    1. Delete the printer from control panel -> printers
    2. Open Services.msc and stop and start the Print Spooler service
    3. Open Print Management(Open command prompt, type in printmanagement.msc or type print management in to the start menu search box)
    4. In Custom Filters -> All Drivers right click the printer driver you want to remove and select Remove Driver Package
    5. Install new printer driver.

    Friday, November 13, 2009 12:05 AM
  • dvsangel,

    thank you so much! my computer kept saying my printer was offline even though it was on, plugged in, and showed no errors, so i decided to delete it, and then tried to uninstall the drivers, which would not happen because they were "currently in use." but instead of having to shut down, i was able to get it back up and running in a few clicks with your instructions!

    thanks again!

    Saturday, November 14, 2009 3:59 AM
  • I struggled with same problem on a Xerox Workcentre 7345 MFP. The resolution is all about timing.

    1. Delete the respective printer queue(s) for the driver you want to remove
    2. Open up Print Server properties -> Drivers tab. Keep this window open and highlighted on the driver you want to delete
    3. Open comand prompt as administrator
    4. Type: net stop spooler
    5. Type: net start spooler
    6. *quickly* delete the printer driver from Print Server propties. You have only a couple of seconds before the system locks itself again.

    I have tested this both on Vista and Windows 7. I hope this helps some of you from banging your heads on wall.

     

    • Proposed as answer by Davinci1983 Tuesday, April 27, 2010 3:38 PM
    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 3:38 PM
  • Or you can just use a script to do the same thing and not be in a rush:

    ------------------------------------------------

    net stop "Print Spooler"
    net start "Print Spooler"

    cscript "%systemroot%\system32\prndrvr.vbs" -d -m "EXACT DRIVER NAME" -v 3 -e "Windows NT x86"

    ------------------------------------------------

     

    • Proposed as answer by Darius Lovitt Tuesday, July 26, 2011 5:48 PM
    Tuesday, August 10, 2010 1:21 PM
  • I am running into a similar issue.  I have some xerox printer there were shared from a print server.  I have removed the printers and restarted.  Whenever I try to remove the driver I get the message "Failed to remove driver Xerox Phaser 4500N PCL6. The specified printer driver is currently in use.
    Failed to remove package prnxx005.inf. Driver package is in use."  I have restarted several times even with turning e3verything off in MSconfig.  What else can I try?
    Thursday, September 16, 2010 6:23 PM
  • Did you try the script trick yet?

    I cannot take credit, I found it on the internet, but it works for me.

    Letting the script instantly remove the driver after Print Spooler has been restarted usually works.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010 11:54 PM
  • Thank you so much Davinci1983!!  Took a couple of tries to get the timing down just right, but it worked like a charm!!

    Thanks!!

    Monday, January 24, 2011 9:13 PM
  • I struggled with same problem on a Xerox Workcentre 7345 MFP. The resolution is all about timing.

    1. Delete the respective printer queue(s) for the driver you want to remove
    2. Open up Print Server properties -> Drivers tab. Keep this window open and highlighted on the driver you want to delete
    3. Open comand prompt as administrator
    4. Type: net stop spooler
    5. Type: net start spooler
    6. *quickly* delete the printer driver from Print Server propties. You have only a couple of seconds before the system locks itself again.

    I have tested this both on Vista and Windows 7. I hope this helps some of you from banging your heads on wall.

     


    This worked for me, unbelievable.

    Took me about 5 tries to restart the spooler service and click remove print driver before I got the timing right.

    Trick seemed to be, as soon as you click restart service, start clicking remove driver (dont wait for it, or you'll be too slow).

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 4:13 AM
  • I had a similar situation- couldn't remove drivers from Remote Desktop Session Host servers (w2k8r2).  After trying everything I could think of (I didn't try the "Magic Timing" method mentioned above) I finally manually removed the drivers and their files.  In reg go to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\drivers\Version-x.  I scanned the key for my problem driver name, opend the "Dependent Files" key and noted all of the assiciated files as well as the files mentioned in the other keys- deleted all of them on the system itself (C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64\3) and then deleted the whole driver key under HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\drivers\Version-x in the reg. 

    Lionel needs to unmark his answer as correct, because this is how, in theory, you remove a driver, but in practice on win7/2008 machines, the practice is very different.  C'mon Microsoft- look at all of the posts on the internet and even on your own technet sites about this problem and FIX it.  I waste a day trying to get a driver off of a machine.  That's wasted time I can little afford.


    DLovitt
    • Proposed as answer by Darius Lovitt Tuesday, July 26, 2011 5:48 PM
    Tuesday, July 26, 2011 5:47 PM
  • This is not working for me. Still getting "The specified printer driver is currently in use". BTW for an x64 Win7 system the command syntax is

    net stop "Print Spooler"
    net start "Print Spooler"
    cscript "%systemroot%\System32\Printing_Admin_Scripts\en-US\prndrvr.vbs" -d -m "HP Universal Printing PCL 6 (v5.5.0)" -v 3 -e "Windows NT x64"
    pause

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:25 PM
  • From another forum found this answer:

    1. First we removed printer in "Devices and Printers"

    2. Then we stopped print spooler
    3. In registry we opened HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Print Processors\
    4. We renamed all Print Processors that were listed. Like Winprint to Winprint.old, Hpcpp107 to Hpcpp107.old, and so on ...
    5. We started print spooler
    6. Removed driver pack in Print Management MMC

    6a. in my case after renaming the registry keys the driver "magically" disappeared from Print Management MMC!!

    6b. stopped print spooler before step 7

    7. Reopened registry location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Print Processors\
    8. Renamed back all Print Processors back to Winprint.old to Winprint, Hpcpp107.old to Hpcpp107, and so on ...
    9. Restart print spooler
    10. Installed new printer drivers
    11. Tested printing

    Maybe this procedure will also help someone else with similar problems :)

    The above procedure was found at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itprogeneral/thread/b6c03300-fbed-4604-85fe-edbb811d769e

    • Proposed as answer by George Perkins Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:43 PM
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:43 PM