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M281cdw Driver Installation Failure - Error 5

HP Recommended
HP Color LaserJet MFP M281cdw
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I'm trying to update MFP M281 HP printer drivers and add the HP fax utility over a wifi connection. 


Printer connected via strong WiFi signal

Using Installation Utility Manual Search finds the printer, identified correctly by DNS and MAC

HP Color LaserJet MFP M281cdw

Lenovo Legion y7000

Win10 64 bit Build 18363

Bitdefender 2020 fully disabled

Computer boots as Administrator

Printer driver works only when selected from an application

Clicking on the Desktop Shortcut starts Driver Installation Utility

Same error occurs when attempting installation via USB cable

No Fax or any other utility is avalable



1. Using latest HP *.exe driver/software package returns Error 5


2. Using the Command Prompt to force Administrator mode (net user administrator /active:yes returns System Error 5





Level 16
Level 16
28,084 27,807 4,879 11,010
Message 2 of 2
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HP Recommended

When you try installing or uninstalling the HP Basic Device Software for your printer, a form of the following error returns:



Note: if you have an HP Computer, follow the steps within the HP PC Solution section and do not follow any further steps within this section


  • From the search bar type CMD, right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
  • Copy the following command, then right-click the Command Prompt dialog and select Paste, then press Enter till any command completes
  • processing:
    takeown /f %windir%\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository /r /d y
    icacls "%windir%\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository" /grant %username%:(OI)(CI)F /T
    for /d %G in ("%windir%\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\hpwia*") do rd /s /q "%~G"
    takeown /f %windir%\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository /A /r /d y
    Note: This provides your user full permissions to the File Repository system folder and deletes all HP's folders from within the system folder
    Note: if you receive any Syntax error and your operating system language is in a different language than English, review the following Takeown command documentation from Microsoft for your language and modify the syntax accordingly.

  • From the Start menu click the Gear icon, select Apps and uninstall the HP Basic Device Software for your printer.
  • Download and install the latest HP Basic Device Software for your printer as necessary:

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