My HP Printer Driver has MPD

My HP printer driver has Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Why? Because while my printer – an HP Deskjet F4185 All-in-One – scans and copies everything just fine, its printing functionality is seriously messed up.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say I want to scan a photograph: I’ll put the photo on the scanning glass, turn the printer on, wait a bit for Vista to recognize the USB-connected device, run the HP Solution Centre software, and click the ‘Scan Picture’ button. The scanner with then do a quick scan of the entire scannable area after which I will select the bit I want scanned and will click ‘Accept’. The photo will now get scanned and saved to the ‘My Scans’ folder. Nice and simple, eh?

Now, let’s try printing a document: I’ll start Microsoft Word, type in some text, and click the print icon. This will pop-up the print dialogue box and I’ll select ‘HP Deskjet 4100 series’ from my list of printers. I will then wait about 4-5 minutes while Word “connects” to the printer. Once it does, I’ll click ‘Print’ and my document will get printed immediately.

Yes, for some reason the scanner driver connects and communicates with the computer just fine (and pretty much instantaneously) but the printer driver takes ages to do the same thing. Now if that isn’t MPD – in the computer software sense, of course – then I don’t know what is.

The good news: This is a “known issue” that HP is working to resolve.

The bad news: They haven’t fixed it yet.

The interim solution: Either I be willing to wait 4-5 minutes to print every document (which will be a real pain) or I copy the document(s) I want printed over to Nadia’s netbook (an Acer Aspire One that’s running Office 2007 on Windows XP) and print them off in just a few seconds.

Such is life.