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Manually remove all printer drivers

by ACalcutt last modified Nov 16, 2011 08:17 AM
fix for a computer that is not installing the drivers correctly (usually noticeable by having less tabs in printer preferences then user should have)

Method 1 (Try First) - Force reinstall of a single corrupt driver

  1. Find your driver name. (ex.“HP LaserJet 4050 Series PCL6”)
  2. Remove all printers using the driver from step 1
  3. Open Regedit. Remove the folder that matches the printer driver name under the following folder.
    (on 32 bit(x86) computers)
    “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-3”
    (on 64 bit(x64) computers)
    “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers\Version-3”
  4. Restart the print spooler service
  5. Reinstall the printers you removed. Windows should download the correct version of the driver and the printer should now work


Method 2 (Last Resort) - Remove All printer drivers

  1. Reboot into safemode (you will need the bitlocker key if the machine is encrypted). Log in as Administrator
  2. Remove the contents of the following folder
    (on 32 bit(x86) computers)
    “C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\W32X86”
    (on 64 bit(x64) computers)
    “C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64”
  3. Open regedit. Remove all the folders under
    (on 32 bit(x86) computers)
    “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-3”
    (on 64 bit(x64) computers)
    “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers\Version-3”
  4. Reboot into normal mode and log in as the user. GPO should reinstall the department printers and the proper drivers.
  5. Verify All printers

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