Lost communications with Printer

March 4, 2007 at 17:41:34
Specs: Win XP/SP2, P-4/768 RAM
I broke down and allowed WIN XP to download and install critial updates. My HP Photosmart 7350 no longer works. Message was that windows lost communications with printer.

I downloaded current drivers from HP tried to reinstall. System required a restart but still can't communicate.

Windows "found new hardware" coudn't do USB or Dot something.

Any suggestions as to how I can get the use of my printer again?

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March 4, 2007 at 19:57:48
Try reinstalling your MOBO chipset drivers.

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March 4, 2007 at 20:35:57
Your information is not specific enough.

Using Automatic Updates or installing only the Critcal and Security updates for XP from the Microsoft Update site usually does not affect devices, but if you elected to install updated drivers for any hardware or your printer, I do not recommend you do that - many people have reported problems with those - update the drivers using the proper procedure on the manufacturer's web site if you need to update drivers - if you are having no problems don't try to fix what ain't broke.

If you search the HP site in Support and Troubleshooting using Photosmart 7350 and look for the EXACT message you are getting you may find the answers you need.

Error Message:

Computer is not connected. To save photos, connect printer to computer. Press OK.


Communication error. Check computer connection. Press OK to continue. The printer cannot communicate properly with the computer. A driver may not be working or a cable may be loose. Ensure that the USB cable is securely attached to the computer and to the USB port on the back of the printer.


If the hardware is secure, check to ensure that the driver is installed.

Ensure that the card reader icon is displayed next to the clock in the lower-right corner of the screen.

Ensure the printer is connected directly to a USB port on the computer or through a powered USB hub.

If you DID install drivers for the printer with Windows Update,
the first thing you should have done is to try to roll back the printer drivers to the previous version.
You could try that now.

Whenever you install drivers for the HP printer, you must follow the proper procedure - e.g. you may have needed to Un-install the previous drivers BEFORE you tried to install them again.

In addition, HP drivers often do not Un-install cleanly - a lot is left behind on the hard drive and in the Registry, and if that is where the errors are, the errors will still be there when you re-install the drivers. You may need to find and use a HP utility that will clean up what the Un-install leaves behind, then re-install the drivers.

"Windows "found new hardware" coudn't do USB or Dot something."

Again, useless information unless you quote the exact error message.

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March 5, 2007 at 15:30:43
The HP Photosmart 7350 printer was working fine immediately before I allowed the Windows Update.

The initial warning was "Lost communication with the printer."

Downloaded drivers from HP, then tried to install them. They would not install

Uninstalled printer. Attempted to reinstall.

Install Wizard came up DOT 4 USB Printing Support - 1st I checked not to connect to Windows Update - Got: There was a problem installing this hardware Photosmart 7350 An error occurred during the installation of the device. The system cannot find the file specified.

Second time: 1284.4 compatable the: Cannot install this Hardware - and same error message.

Install wizard keeps popping up "click finish to cancel." But the wizard keeps popping up until I unplug the printer.

Yes, I left it unplugged until instructed to plug it.

I found the error on HP site, I did a System Restore with the printer unplugged. I still could not install the printer. Same situation. I am unfailiar with the registry consequently did not try to check control set in registry keys.

I have an old HP 812 and am wondering if I could install it or is the problem going to be endemic to all HPs.

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Related Solutions

March 5, 2007 at 21:43:17
"The HP Photosmart 7350 printer was working fine immediately before I allowed the Windows Update."

You have not told us whether it was driver updates for the printer or not.
If that's what it was, you should have tried rolling back the driver before you did anything else.
It's probably too late to try that now.

"Downloaded drivers from HP, then tried to install them. They would not install
Uninstalled printer. Attempted to reinstall. "

You were supposed to unplug the printer USB, then Uninstall the software, then install thew software again.

"I did a System Restore with the printer unplugged."

That might have worked if you did that BEFORE you uninstalled and tried to re-install the software.

The HP software cleanup utility I was referring to before doesn't seem to apply to the Photosmart printers.

Disconnect the USB cable from the printer to the computer.

Use the Uninstall program on the Cd that came with the printer, or use the Uninstaller located in the Start menu --> Hewlett-Packard --> (...)

Use the following procedure to install the Printer software:

HP All-in-One, Deskjet, and Photosmart Printers - Printer Software Installation Stalls or Stops for Printers Connected by a USB Cable to a Windows Vista Computer

Good luck!

I have an old HP 812 and am wondering if I could install it or is the problem going to be endemic to all HPs.

It might work, if it's old enough that it doesn't have any files in common. Uninstall the software for the Photosmart first. There might already be support for it in XP as a matter of fact - you may be able to select it from a list when you connect it. If it is parallel connected, make sure the printer port in the bios Setup is set to EPP before you connect it. If you have or can find install instructions, follow them.

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March 6, 2007 at 16:31:36
I just got my printer back working again. The Photosmart 7350.

I tried the downloaded HP Install Program again. This time after it restarted the computer, the wizard did not pop up again.

I clicked on the setup.exe file again. The program then installed itself properly and I am printing as normal.

It was M$ Windows XP Critical Update from their M$ Update Page that triggered the problem. I will not allow that again!

I do not know what is different now so that the program installed but I will accept it as one of the arcane mysteries of PCs.

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March 7, 2007 at 06:45:39
It's good to hear your problem is solved.

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