Dear HP Printer Division

I’m having a pretty good week so far if I can be so bold. Nice and busy, but not crazy busy. Just about perfect. Perfect except for 1 thing. It may seem minor to some of you, but it is making me absolutely batshit crazy.

Everyone one of my customers this week have had printer problems. Every one of the printers was an HP. And every one of them took me no less than 2 hours to complete if it would even complete at all.

Whiskey tango foxtrot, over?

Let’s start with the size of the **basic driver** download for a PC (Windows, all versions, all bits). For most of these downloads the file size was a compressed 205MB or larger. I had 2 of these drivers, uncompressed, that weighed in at 1.5GB. **Gigabytes** people. For **basic** drivers.

Next up was the installation. On a brand new and fairly buff Windows 7 machine, one of those drivers took almost 8 minutes to install and required a reboot. The longest of the printer driver installs was 45 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly. Almost 1 hour to install a printer. Sure it was XP. Sure it was a Celeron processor. Sure it only had 1GB of shared RAM. Is that an excuse? When I can install video drivers on that same machine in less than 5 minutes? No, it’s not.

Maybe I’m too old school in my thinking. I remember when a driver was nothing more than a few .inf files, maybe a .dll or two. Fit on a floppy disk and installed in just a few minutes. I guess that is no longer the case. Or, probably more like it, HP is getting lazy and/or Microsoft is making them include a but of crap that isn’t even needed but they think it is.

If you are looking for what the problem with Windows is gang, just look at the printer division of HP. Bloated software that performs poorly and clogs the system with files and features that aren’t needed or required.

I know I am repeating myself, but printers are nothing but a waste of time, energy and money. I went paperless a few years ago on **everything** that doesn’t require my signature, perhaps you should encourage your users to start doing the same thing.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at, host at and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.


  1. Uggh. I despise HP printer software. I had to talk my mom through an installation on her G3 iMac (running Tiger – that’s the best it can do!) last night. Sadly, in her small town, the best source for a replacement printer when hers died was Wallyworld, who apparently didn’t have many choices on offer.

    Completely unrelated: We met at Santa Anita during MTTS 2010, when I gave you a t-shirt (I hope it fit!) as inducement to sell me one of the special edition badges. I have just ordered a 2011 Clubman S, hope to have it early next year. I’ll have to bring it over once I’ve got it broken in . . .

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Of course I remember you and I wore the shirt during MTTS and have since worn it a few other times.

      Thanks for the coffee too!

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