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How to Get Windows 7 to Install Printer Drivers

Updated on June 19, 2011
Screenshot of HP Installer Error Message
Screenshot of HP Installer Error Message

In October 2009, Microsoft introduced Windows 7 as its new operating system, and since then it has proven to be a reliable and popular product. Unfortunately, it is not perfect. One of its compatibility glitches causes untold frustration to owners of printers, scanners and fax machines.

The following example of such a situation is for an HP Color LaserJet CM1312, but apparently it will work with printer drivers from other manufacturers as well.

The following error message will appear if your Windows 7 driver installer aborts an otherwise seamless download or install process:

"This software cannot be installed using the "Run as .." command. The installation cannot continue until this is resolved. Required Action: Click Cancel to exit this software installation. Log off and then log on as a user with administrator privileges. (Contact your system administrator for more information)".

The files you need exist in two places, but Win 7, in its efforts to “improve the installation process”, somehow blocks your access to them. Assuming you do have administrative privileges, here are the steps to take:

1. If you have the original CD for the printer, the files you need are on there, but you have to work around Win 7 to transfer them. Open your Control Panel, System, Device Manager and find the appropriate folder. For our example, it is under Other Devices, then HP Fax. (this is the folder for both fax and scan)

2. Right-click on the HP Fax folder and choose Update Driver Software. This will prompt you to insert your CD and voila! it should finish the installation.

If you don’t have the original CD for your device, all is not lost. Windows 7 Installer extracted the files you need and stored them in a Temporary Folder. In our example, they could be found at C:/HP_CM1312_USB_Express_Install. Use the same procedure from the Control Panel but tell it to use the temporary folder instead of the CD.


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    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I recently installed Windows 7 and had a similar problem.The installation disk for my printer did not work. I did get the printer installed by windows but don't remember how.

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