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Nov. 20th, 2017 @ 08:29 pm Printer support weekend
Current Mood: calmcalm

Saturday I went to my parents’, to help my father with his printer — or at least, to try again to get it to work with his laptop after a Windows 10 install.

No matter what I tried, we couldn’t get the driver installed. And without the driver, the printer doesn’t work (duh)! Looking online, there were people who got it to work with the newest driver package, but also people who couldn’t… And the error message when trying to install the driver said something about not being able to install kernel drivers.
I googled on this message, and it turns out that drivers need to be signed through Microsoft before they can be installed on Windows 10. And of course HP hadn’t done that. And here’s the kicker: that setting is disabled when it’s an upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to 10. That explained why some people could get it to work (they were on an upgraded system) and some could not (because they had a clean Windows 10 install). My dad, on a clean Windows 10 install, had this activated!
There was a workaround: you could turn it off in the Group Policy Editor. But there was another catch: my father runs Windows 10 Home, which doesn’t include this tool… And the advice of people in the know is not to try to add the tool to a Home edition because it will seriously mess things up.
So that prompted more googling, which yielded a spreadsheet which details which policies translate to which Registry settings. Somehow I found the right setting, flipped that bit, and suddenly I could install the driver!
It was fun to see my parents and have lunch with them and the like, but this whole thing was seriously un-fun! At least it’s resolved now.

Yesterday we went to visit klik’s mother, to help her with her printer. We advised her a cool double-sided printing colour laserprinter, because she sometimes has to do large print runs. However, it was very slow to print — we’re talking 12 hours for 20 pages!
She lives at the north side of the Veluwe, the most forested area of the Netherlands. It started all off with pines being planted to provide struts for the mines in Limburg, but after those were closed down, the forests remained. It’s now slowly transitioning from “production forests” to more natural forests, with more diversity. It is also the area with the most wild deer and boars.
What with the fall colours, it was beautiful driving through the forest lanes!

Here’s two crappy cellphone pics through the windscreen of a moving car to give you a little impression.

The printer issue was ultimately ‘solved’ by using a USB cable instead of printing over wifi. We also had a great dinner at the Greek restaurant in town.

When we drove back home, through the dark, we talked about what would happen if we were to hit a deer or a boar on the road. Surely the car would be a total loss! To alert drivers to the wildlife, wooden cut-outs of boar and deer have been placed next to the road — but since we drive over that road often, we’re not impressed by that. So when we saw a boar rooting through the mud next to the road, we almost assumed that it was one of those cutouts! It stayed clear of the road, though, so there was no harm done. First time I saw wildlife there!

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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From:kristy
Date:November 20th, 2017 09:16 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad you got the printer issue resolved. I use a USB with mine.


Great pictures!

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From:fub
Date:November 22nd, 2017 08:12 pm (UTC)
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In general, USB works best. But now everybody wants to print from their laptop, and we get weird things like printers being their own wifi hotspots and stuff like that. That's just... brittle.
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From:ashmedai
Date:November 20th, 2017 10:33 pm (UTC)
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I really like the fall colors!

I'm always nervous about wildlife on the roads here, and we've had a couple of close calls recently. I never saw much wildlife in the city other than birds, but here in a very rural area it's like a bloody zoo out there, haha.
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From:fub
Date:November 22nd, 2017 08:35 pm (UTC)
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Hitting large wildlife is a good way to wreck your car -- so it is to be avoided! But I've never seen any wildlife there -- this was the first time. So I'm not too worried: they seem well-behaved.
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From:meringues
Date:November 21st, 2017 06:59 am (UTC)
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oh wow that's a lot of hoops to jump through just to install a bloody printer
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From:fub
Date:November 22nd, 2017 08:37 pm (UTC)
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You can't expect normal users to be able to solve these issues, and HP isn't interested in supporting its old printers like that. It's completely ridiculous.
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From:changeling72
Date:November 21st, 2017 08:52 am (UTC)
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Out printer doesn’t work on my laptop or Chris’ desktop - probably for the same reason. Bloody nightmare.

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From:fub
Date:November 22nd, 2017 08:47 pm (UTC)
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I mean, it's a printer -- just how hard can it be? Apparently these things have become so complex over the years that it's just gotten impossible to predict what you need to do to get it to work. Disappointing.
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From:lisa_thecat
Date:November 21st, 2017 06:49 pm (UTC)
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Lovely autumn colors in your drive!

Printers work in mysterious ways. They should be very simple, but they tent to not work how you expect them to work. I've had a lot of 'paranormal' printer experiences at work because when you enter into equations 2 servers, another one in Germany and a local network, things go crazy. With printers sometimes you just need an exorcist...
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From:fub
Date:November 22nd, 2017 08:54 pm (UTC)
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"Paranormal printer experiences" sounds about right!

At work, we've had some fun instances of people checking in on servers to see if they were still working correctly, and their printer drivers actually broke the servers. It's horrible.
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