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HP Printer driver vanished and unable to install back

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HP ENVY Laptop - 13-ba0512na
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)



I bought my new HP laptop HP ENVY Laptop - 13-ba0512na along with my new HP printer HP Deskjet 3700 series. I had the printer added, driver installed and all working fine for the past 4 months. All of a sudden I was not able to print today, while checking I could find my printer in windows 'Printer & Scanner' screen in control panel  BUT with the tag as 'Driver is unavailable'.


I launched HP SMART app and could see the printer showing as 'Ready' but when clicking on 'Print Documents' it was asking me to 'Install Printer' which I clicked but it just goes on endless loading loop and before finally failing with error message as ' There was a problem during installation. To manually install the printer driver' and just takes me back to windows 'Printer and Scanner' screen where my printer is already available.


In short, I could not install printer driver back into my laptop, which is as ridiculous as it sounds as both the printer and laptop are brand new with latest spec, not some old machine which could struggle with updates.  


I tried all ways I cold right from removing the printer, fresh add back in and what ever you can think off, but nothing worked so far. To be honest, it has been a very frustrating and would greatly appreciate any help.


Note: I am able to print via my smart phone app but that is of less help as I need printer to be available from laptop. 

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Welcome to the HP Community.

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Normally, the regular "uninstall" and reload steps should work.

There might be pieces of old printer software that are "stuck" and need to be removed manually.



  • Check that Windows Updates are current / installed - Restart the computer if you install updates
  • Run the "offline" version of the old Doctor software to try and fix whatever is wrong
  • Manually uninstall / check-remove and then reload the software
  • Sometimes printer software "just works better" if you connect the printer using a TCP/IP port


Offline Doctor

 Use this version


  • Download and Save the doctor to your computer
  • Open File Explorer > Navigate to the folder in which you saved the file (likely Downloads)
  • Execute the doctor – Answer any prompts /  let the process complete
  • Restart the computer, log in, and wait for the final steps in the Doctor to finish.
  • Check for any difference.


Original Notes – Contributed by ShlomiL


Connection Issues

  • Print and Scan Doctor Version creates a secondary queue for printing with TCP/IP port.
  • Be sure to restart your PC and allow the utility to complete the process, then check for any difference.


  • Try printing and check for any change, if the same remains try printing using the newly added print queue copy (Copy1) and check for any difference.


After the Offline Doctor completes…

Verify / Adjust the “Default” printing device (Default Printer)


Settings > Devices > Printers and scanners

UNCHECK (clear box) Let Windows manage my default printer

Select (Left-Click) your printer from the list of printers > Manage > Set as Default



Open Control Panel > icon view > Devices and Printers > Right-Click on printer > Set printer as Default


NOTES – When Selecting Default Printer 

  1. Do not select the printer marked as “Scan Only / DO NOT DELETE”
  2. Do not select the printer marked as “Fax”


Example Default Printer:  Set “Default” Printer = HP OfficeJet Pro 9020 series PCL-3 (Net)

ReferenceHP Printers - Printer is Offline (Windows) > Step 2: Manually set the default printer



Manually Remove / Reload the Software


The Detailed Procedure – “All the bits and extra steps”


Use this method when there are problems reinstalling the software.


Start - “All the bits”


Printer Software – Blocked in Security Software


Check your Security Software to make sure the printer software is not being blocked.  Most Security software will allow you to make an exception for applications / software you want to use on your computer.


If you make changes to the security software setup, Restart your computer and log in.



Uninstall Existing Printer Software (Full Feature Software)


Control Panel > icon view > Programs and Features >

Find / Select > Uninstall the printer software


If software will not uninstall, appears to be removed and it “still hanging around”

Microsoft:  Fix problems that block programs from being installed or removed


Revo Uninstaller (Free version)


After the software is removed, Restart the computer and log in


Check and Remove Section



After all checks > If any devices are removed, Restart the computer and log in



1.  Check / Remove - Printer Drivers – Lurking in Devices and Printers


Control Panel > icon view > Devices and Printers

Left-Click on any unwanted Printer found in the Printers list

(Top Ribbon) Click Print Server Properties > tab Drivers

Select each unwanted entry > Remove > OK to exit menu

Back in Devices and Printers > Right-Click on the printer > Remove Device


2.   Check / Remove – Printer folder/files in C:\ ProgramData


Open File Explorer > Navigate to C:\ProgramData > Open folder Hewlett Packard

Delete any Printer related folders / files


3.   Check / Remove - Printer Software – Lurking in the Device Manager


Control Panel > icon view > Device Manager

Expand category Printers

If any unwanted printer name or “Unknown Device” is listed,

Right-Click on the printer / device > Uninstall


Expand category Imaging Devices

If any unwanted printer name or “Unknown Device” is listed,

Right-Click on the printer / device > Uninstall


 4.    Check / Remove  - Printer Software – Lurking in the User Account


Windows key + X + R (Run command) > type %temp%

Delete the files in the Temp folder (Ignore files that cannot be removed)


Open File Explorer > Navigate to C:\Users\YourAccount\AppData\Local\HP

Remove / Delete any folder named for the printer you wish to remove


End Check and Remove Section

After all checks > If any devices are removed, Restart the computer and log in



Installation – Full Feature Software


  • If using USB, disconnect the USB cable between the printer and the computer before starting the installation.  Connect the cable when instructed to do so (toward the end of the installation procedure).


Printer Software

  • Home Page - HP Easy Start
  • Open Category Software and Drivers
  • Topic: Software-Utility
  • Download and save the current version of the Easy Start wrapper to install your print software


No Easy Start for your older model? 

Look for – Download-Save-Install the Full Feature Software (Printer Software)


  • Open your printer Support Website  
  • Open Category Software and Drivers
  • Full Feature Software might have been relocated to subcategory Software-Utility
  • Installation package name might be Print and Scan Driver and Accessories


Basic Instructions


  • Download the Full Feature Software installation package or the Easy Start wrapper
  • Open File Explorer
  • Navigate to the folder in which you saved the installation file  (likely Downloads)
  • Right-Click on the installation package and “Run as Administrator
  • If using Easy Start > When asked, opt for "Full Driver" (exact wording might vary).
  • After the software is installed, Restart the computer and log in



  • For printer supporting OCR, be sure not to remove the option to install with the full driver.  OCR will be available as “Scan as Editable Text” in HP Scan (part of the full driver software).


  • Both the HP Smart Application and the Full Feature Software can be installed on the same computer – when available, consider installing Full Feature Software first.


HP Documents

HP Easy Start Home Page

HP Printers - Finding Drivers, Apps, and Updates for HP Printers

HP Printers - Uninstalling the Printer Software (Windows)



Method - Create TCP IP port


Find printer's IP /  IPv4 address

Print a Configuration Page


Tap on the wireless icon on Printer Control / Display Panel

Control Panel > icon view > Devices and Printers

 Right-Click on the printer > Left-Click Printer Properties

 Select Tab Ports  > Add Port

 Select Standard TCP/IP Port > New Port and follow the wizard.
 Use / Enter IP address for the printer.

Example - How-to “Create TCP Port” Contributed by greenturtle

Video:  Create & Use TCP IP port
“Note that you can ALWAYS revert back to the original port that the HP software installed by selecting the HP port within the Ports tab (in Printer Properties)”




Printer  Home Page - References and Resources – Learn about your Printer  - Solve Problems

 “Things that are your printer”

NOTE:  Content depends on device type and Operating System

Categories:  Alerts, Access to the Print and Scan Doctor (Windows), Warranty Check, HP Drivers / Software / Firmware Updates, How-to Videos, Bulletins/Notices, Lots of How-to Documents, Troubleshooting, Manuals > User Guides, Product Information (Specifications), more

When the website support page opens, Select (as available) a Category > Topic > Subtopic

HP DeskJet 3700 All-in-One Printer series 


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