…and Customer Support, bloody Customer Support.
The Canon printer came back with the U052 error again yesterday, and, after an hour’s cleaning, still persisted. So, decision made to bin it and look for a new one. Was going to go for a cheap Epson from Argos and bin that once the inks ran out, but visited Currys first, and they had a £49.99 offer on an HP Envy 5020, so plumped for that.
All set up and wi-fi connected OK, but when it came to setting up the drivers and bits on Windows, the nightmare began…
The “EasySetup” downloaded from HP was a mess: did a bit, saw the printer, then hung with blank screen. Clicking out of that gave an option to install drivers and software, so I did that. And that did install stuff but eventually went into a CPU loop when checking for network devices (even though it could see the printer). After uninstalling and reinstalling everything, rebooting, nothing changed: even though Windows could see the printer OK, any attempt to print failed. So I contacted HP support…
Gave them remote access and they spent 40 minutes doing all sorts of stuff, attempting to install using different methods, but all to no avail. At which point they washed their hands of it, and said I needed to contact Microsoft and say there was a print spooler problem with the printer.
So, with a feeling of dread and futility, I contacted Microsoft. And spent/wasted 2 hours in total with them trying to sort it by remote access. Three different people got involved, and gods know what they were doing or why (including service tweaks and Registry edits), but they had to escalate it to Level 2 in the end, with a call-back booked in 4 days time.
The MS people were not too bad overall, but did show signs of incredible thickness at times: like one bloke was trying to download printer drivers from HP by going to the HP Desktop section because I was using a desktop! I kept telling him he needed to be in the printer section, but he wouldn’t have it, until it finally dawned on him…
So, after around 6 hours spent trying to get the printer running, I was left for 4 days with a printer defined to Windows, but with no drivers… I decided to reinstall everything again, just so that it did have all the components, even though printing would fail.
The odd thing was, I could do a scan OK from the printer and it got picked up by Windows! And I could print OK from my phone. There was one error message that I thought might provide a key: attempting to print from Notepad gave a weird message “The parameter is incorrect”, so, as a last resort, I googled that – and got a hit… on HP’s support site… It was simply a matter of ensuring full access to every listed user in the Security tab for the Windows temp directory, as detailed here
Why on earth did HP not pick this up?! Yes, it’s not an obvious thing to consider, but the solution is there on their own site! All these hours wasted on the phone has not left me best impressed. HP said they would call back later this week to see how I got on with Microsoft, and I’m looking forward to that!
Well, HP did ring back. It seems they are not allowed to look at posts on their own forum! And he had no interest in what the solution was, so God help any other poor bugger who gets hit by this problem.