Printer driver was not installed. Operation could not be completed (error 0x00000002)

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I hate Windows debugging. Just some fancy errors and not even the event log provides acceptable information.

All the information I found on google were truisms: Deinstall the driver, bla bla. Of course, I have deinstalled all I could find and I did not explicitely install something from a vendor.

I think (though not sure) the problem is in my case that I tried to migrate my printers from a Win8 machine which did not really succeed. In my case, it was a HP printing driver.

Among many things I tried:

  • Deleting everything that has to do with HP (the printer, the port, the driver)
  • Fiddling around in HKLM/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Print: Deleting everything related to HP
  • Fiddling around in c:\windows\sytem32\spool: Deleting everything related to HP

After a long time I found the problem in my case: There is a directory in c:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository which is related to HP (the driver), also the date of the directory was quite new. It exists although the driver should have been removed completely. Deleting does not work. So I got the "RAPR" tool, this indeed listed one HP driver. Deleted it, directory was gone and now it worked :)

During the course of debugging I also got the problem that Adobe PDF did not work any longer. The event log complained that AdobePDF.dll could not be found although it existed (where is should be).

Re-Installing Acrobat did not help.

Solution: Installing 8.1 update helped: Be aware: activation necessary!

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