Sunday, June 15, 2014

"Installation failed" - cannot install HP 2600n to print over network

This is the usual story - printer works fine, laptop works fine, printer works from elsewhere in the network, blah blah blah.  The HP is hooked directly to the network without a print server PC attached to it.

The "Full" Hewlett-Packard installation package consistently refused to install the printer.  Which was strange, since it had been installed before!  And worked before!

Symptoms were that you would run the install, and after a few seconds of "Adding Network Port", it would say "Installation failed", and give you some bullshit instructions for fixing the issue.

Running the installation package from local drives vs. network drives made no difference.  Uninstalling and reinstalling the HP software made no difference.

I suspected that Windows 7 x64 was having trouble adding the virtual TCP/IP port.  I did some research and found a registry hack that purported to solve the issue.  I removed 5 port, four of which were "_1", "_2", etc. and were redundant.  This did not help.

Here is what finally worked for me. 

-  You need to know the IP address of the HP printer you are trying to install.  If you can't find that out from another PC or a router status page, I think you can print out a physical configuration page from the HP front panel somehow.  I don't know how to do that and some models might not support it, I suppose.

-  This worked after multiple attempts to install via the HP program, so I do not know if that is a necessary first step in order to get the right driver on your PC or not.

1.  Go to Devices and Printers in Control Panel, and click "Add a printer".

2.  Select "Add a local printer".  Don't use network printer!

3.  Click "Use an existing port".  Scroll down until you find the TCP/IP port that has the same IP address as the printer.

-  If you have more than one port with a matching address - probably with tags like _1, _2, etc. - just ignore them and use the first one that has no suffix tag.

-  If you can't find it, go to "Create a new port", "Advanced TCP/IP port Monitor" and follow the prompts.  Enter the IP address of the target printer.

-  If your PC doesn't have "Advanced TCP/IP Port Monitor", then I guess you can use a standard TCP/IP port.  I don't know as I did not have that issue.

4.  Find the HP 2600n driver in the list that pops up.

After that, hopefully the HP will install itself with next to no fuss in just a few seconds. 

Again, if you don't actually have the HP 2600n driver installed, you might have to go through the extra work of finding and installing the driver via Windows Update or by manual installation via "disk".  I did not have those issues; you can Google to figure these steps out.

To delete the unwanted / unused / unnecessary TCP/IP ports - the ones with _1, _2 tags - here's what to do:

A.  Go to the HP 2600n in the "Devices and Printers" panel of Control Panel. 

B.  Right-click and select "Printer properties".  Note this is not the same as "Properties" at the bottom.  This can be on the 2600n or (I think) on any other printer as well.

C.  Select the "Ports" tab.

D.  Select the unwanted / unused / unnecessary TCP/IP ports one at a time, and press "Delete port".

If you mess up, you can always re-create the port again and assign it to the existing HP 2600n printer that has already been installed.  So this seems low risk.

Now, on my system, the registry hack noted above showed 5 TCP/IP ports on the same address. 

Using the method described in A-D, above, the list showed 10 TCP/IP ports on the same address - including the 5 ports that I thought I had deleted!!!  WTF!?!?

So obviously the registry hack did absolutely nothing, and those ten ports - or, at least 5, of the 10 - were living someplace else on the machine.  The hack did not find them all and did not delete them as intended.  The "Printer properties" method found them all and appeared to work.

Now, you're unlikely to have issues with the "extra" ports once you've got your 2600n working again.  But you never know - the same issue could pop up again if you ever need to reinstall again.  So I recommend deleting what you do not use.

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