HP Software sucks.
Sucks Sucks Sucks!
I spent several hours today attempting to set up my new printer. The first fifteen minutes went by with a breeze, unplugging the old printer, plugging in the new, and testing out the nifty copy feature.
Then came the dreaded HP Software install. I dropped in the CD and let the process begin.
First I was presented with a choice of an extremely bloated install (~400 mb of data) or a wildly ridiculously bloated install (1.2 gb! Seriously, wtf?!). I opted for the smaller install, which then kicked off the installation of a crapload of useless, buggy HP software, all completely unrelated to actually configuring the printer.
Finally as the install nears completion, the installer decides the computer needs to be rebooted. I go for it, figuring what else is new? The computer reboots, I log on, and the software picks up.
The Windows gives me a great message saying that it has detected some unauthorized activity. On top of installing more crappy, buggy software than even moderately necessary, the fundamental software required to make the whole shebang work actually accesses Windows in an authorized fashion? What kind of crappy programmers work at this company?
Having demonstrated that before the software was released no one at HP actually attempted to install it on a Windows XP computer, I step through a few more screens of the install wizard, give up on the harrassment for my registration info, and attempt to use the printer.
Whoops, the printer is now permanently stuck at offline. That big, fat HP software can scan (nifty), but as a printer it’s a total failure. Go freakin’ figure.
I poke about, trying to reinstall the key software or to re-add the printer. Nothing doing.
I read the HP website, and their great advice is to uninstall and then re-install the whole software package. Great, that’s how I want to spend another hour. And why the hell would it work the second time if it didn’t work the first?
I downloaded the corporate drivers, installed those, and success! I can print.
So I try launching one of those bloatware programs that are supposed to control the printer. It does some “re-configuring”, insists on rebooting, and then doesn’t find the printer nor can I print anymore. Totally useless.
Now I’ve removed all the bloatware (except HP Image Zone Express, which refuses to provide any method to uninstall). I’ve removed and reinstalled the corporate versions of the drivers. The printer works again.
Now to see if it will still work after a reboot.
Nice work, HP programmers. You get a C for Craptastic.
Update: I did get the corporate edition drivers to work, but I had to manually configure some steps after I rebooted the machine. And there’s still no way to remove Image Zone Express. Seriously, HP, you clearly haven’t laid off the right people.