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Cannot install printers RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a new Dell computer and a new model HP Pro 400 color laserjet printer. I crashed the computer during the HP software installation. I know what caused the crash so that is no problem. The software automatically uninstalled. Now I cannot add almost any printer getting:"Unable to install printer. Operation could not be completed (error 0x000003EB)". By saying almost any printer, I mean I can go to Add Printer, select almost any manufacturer, select almost any model, select LPT1 or an IP port (doesn't matter), and I get the error. The only exception is that I can install any PostScript printer. I can duplicate this problem on multiple computers as long as I get the right circumstances. I can probably fix this by reinstalling Windows, but I would like to know what HP software changed, and I would like to fix it. I feel like this could be an easy fix if I only knew where to look. I've done all the usual things. I forgot to say that it looks like the drivers install, at least they show up in Printui /s. I can delete the drivers. I called HP, they remoted in, and said the problem is in Windows because it will not install other printers. This is driving me crazy looking for a solution. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks!
    • Edited by catman81 Friday, September 21, 2012 11:47 PM
    Friday, September 21, 2012 10:43 PM

Answers

  • This steps do work well for me.

    Do them at your own risk.

    Backup registry before you do anything!!!!

    Stop "Print Spooler" service first


    Then base on your platform delete all keys below the version-3
    for 32 bit
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-3

    for 64 bit
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers\Version-3


    go to the folder "3"
    C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\w32x86\3
    rename it to "3.old"

    Start the "Print Spooler" again and install your printers

    • Marked as answer by catman81 Tuesday, September 25, 2012 1:08 AM
    Saturday, September 22, 2012 4:32 AM

All replies

  • Not sure if this is what you did but usually you install the printer software first then plug in the printer and let the computer set it up.
    Friday, September 21, 2012 11:20 PM
  • I installed the printer correctly. I think the HP software changed something during installation that it did not undo because of the crash. Thanks for the input anyway!
    Friday, September 21, 2012 11:43 PM
  • Could do a system restore back to before you tried to install the printer and start from there.
    Saturday, September 22, 2012 1:00 AM
  • This steps do work well for me.

    Do them at your own risk.

    Backup registry before you do anything!!!!

    Stop "Print Spooler" service first


    Then base on your platform delete all keys below the version-3
    for 32 bit
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-3

    for 64 bit
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers\Version-3


    go to the folder "3"
    C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\w32x86\3
    rename it to "3.old"

    Start the "Print Spooler" again and install your printers

    • Marked as answer by catman81 Tuesday, September 25, 2012 1:08 AM
    Saturday, September 22, 2012 4:32 AM
  • This was right on, especially some files in folder "drivers\x64\3". HP software did not know how to remove the files or replace them with good files. Thanks!
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 1:15 AM
  • OMG I  LOVE LOVE LOVE you!!!!!  Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.
    • Edited by kdg12345 Friday, August 23, 2013 5:22 PM
    Friday, August 23, 2013 5:21 PM
  • And a heartfelt thanks from me too!
    Monday, September 16, 2013 12:29 PM
  • Wow! This worked!

    I have been working on this issue for a week. Called HP helpdesk last night because I was so frustrated. They charged me $26 and they couldn't fix it. I asked for my money back, but they said it was a microsoft problem, so no refund. I called HP again this morning and the rep said they would refund the charge.

    I can't believe this solution finally fixed it! But it did!!!

    Monday, December 2, 2013 3:47 PM
  • PERFECT!!
    Tuesday, July 1, 2014 2:46 PM
  • It worked, thanks a lot..

    Thursday, January 21, 2016 12:23 PM
  • Great! It worked like a charm!
    Wednesday, May 11, 2016 2:43 PM
  • This steps do work well for me.

    Do them at your own risk.

    Backup registry before you do anything!!!!

    Stop "Print Spooler" service first


    Then base on your platform delete all keys below the version-3
    for 32 bit
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-3

    for 64 bit
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers\Version-3


    go to the folder "3"
    C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\w32x86\3
    rename it to "3.old"

    Start the "Print Spooler" again and install your printers

    Thanks ! It works for me. Nice Job
    Monday, August 29, 2016 8:19 AM
  • Works, big thanks
    Thursday, December 15, 2016 10:00 AM
  • I was really hoping this would work, but didn't help my situation. I'm getting the same error when installing a Kyocera FS-4200 printer, but still got the error after completing the steps. I'm able to install other printers and just not this exact printer. I will keep searching. 
    Tuesday, September 19, 2017 6:12 PM