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updated 12/28/2009

My conclusion: If a printer is not already specified as supporting Windows 7, it is a waste of time trying to make it work. My advice to others is that if your time is worth anything, it may be cheaper to buy a new printer.  An alternate solution could be the printer-sharing switch described at the end of this page.

I had four printers on my LAN before Windows 7: (And I bought a new one because of Windows 7)

hp LaserJet 1300 PCL6:
This printer installed correctly using driver selections in Windows 7 64-bit. No problems, but not the printer I want to use on a regular basis.

Brother MFC-8840DN:
There is no selection in Windows 7 for this LAN printer. It seems to print fine by calling it a MFC-7840N but it leaves out the scanning functions. I sent email on 11/14/09 to Brother asking for the correct driver. I received email from Brother 11/16/09 telling me that the Windows drivers will install automatically when the printer is (directly) connected to the computer. I responded 11/16/09, telling them this is a network printer, not connected directly to the computer. I asked again when a driver will be released. Brother responded 11/19/09 "Brother does not currently have any plans to release additional Windows 7-compatible drivers and software for this model. The in-box drivers provided with the operating system should be used instead." There are no "in-box" drivers with Win 7 64 bit that support this printer, except, of course, the 7840N that I found by experimentation. It's time to retire this printer/fax/scanner!

Canon iC D860 (plus Canon D1150 bought for Win 7):
The iC D860 printer does not work with the Windows 7 computer, but it works fine over the LAN from other computers. I sent email on 11/14/09 to Canon asking for a driver.

I received a response from Canon that says "Regrettably, Windows 7 x64 drivers are not available". Canon offered me three printers "at a reduced price". The three printers offered in their response are iC D1120 for $419, D1150 for $499, and D1170 for $669. None of these are in the current Windows7 printer driver list. As an Axis 1650 printer driver is used to put the iC D860 printer on my LAN, I filed a support case with Axis to see if they have a suggestion for Windows 7. Axis replied that Canon provides support for the Axis 1650, and referred me back to Canon.

I sent email to Canon 11/18/09 asking for verification that the new printers would work as network printers with a Windows 7 computer. Canon also has a rebate program that would sell the printers to me at a cheaper price than what they quoted as "a reduced price"; I asked them for clarification. I got that verification and a super price on a new printer.

I decided to buy a new Canon D1150 to use with Windows 7. I bought it directly from Canon on their "Loyalty Program" for $229 plus tax delivered. This printer lists for $599 and is discounted to $487 on Amazon. I couldn't pass it up for $229. I received it 12/3/09. It prints two-sided, is a fax machine and a scanner. It has occupied a lot of my time learning about it and getting it going on my network with the other computers, besides the Win 7 computer. I am pleased with the D1150; it works great over the LAN from both the Win 7 and XP computers. I have had several very positive communications exchanges with Canon, both in sales and in technical support, and I am very happy with them. Both hp and Brother could learn from Canon. See 11/23, 12/3, 12/5 and 12/6/09 entries on the Current web page for more on the D1150..

hp photosmart 7550:
This printer is connected via USB to a host computer on the LAN running XP Pro. Other computers print fine to the hp 7550 over the lan via the host computer. There is no driver available for this printer under Windows 7. I sent email to hp on 11/14/09 asking  for help.

I received a response on 11/14/09 from hp technical support person "Kanchan" telling me to connect the printer directly to the Windows 7 computer using USB, and to select the driver for a Deskjet 5550 printer. This seems to work, but I don't know if the computer can be shared with XP computers on my LAN. I asked hp if sharing will work. The 11/15/09 response from "Kanchan"  is that they haven't tested it yet, and they asked me to get back to them with my observation and result.

I was not able to make sharing work, so I initiated another request for assistance. on 12/15/09 they told me to download a 367MB file and then run it to extract files from it. Their download server was very slow; this took 10 minutes to download. I followed their instructions, and after wasting several hours trying different approaches, I gave up and told them it doesn't work. Technical support person "Soumitri"  responded 12/17/09 with an apology that I was sent the wrong reference, "due to an inadvertent system error". They sent me another link, and instructions that were supposed to let me connect the printer to my XP computer and share it with the Win 7 computer. Not only did this not work, but it disabled the existing sharing that allowed my wife to print to it from her XP computer. I reverted to an older system image to restore what was previously working. I am extremely unhappy with hp's technical support. Technical support person "Pradyut" said they would escalate my issue to a "Case Manager". Technical support person "Avijit" followed up with an email that said "Your information and all information of this situation have been forwarded to our Concerned Department."

To add insult to injury, I then received a telephone call from Case Manager "Melissa" in Canada. She had not bothered to read any of the email correspondence! She said she would do so later. She provided zero useful information. I received a Customer Service Evaluation query from hp, and I was able to answer their question, "If you could change one thing to improve the escalation process, would would that be?". My answer was "I was insulted by the fact that the case manager did not read the issue correspondence that was forwarded to her before she called me. This was entirely improper and a further waste of my time."

I will go out of my way in the future to avoid purchase of any Hewlett Packard equipment so that I can avoid their "customer support" joke.

I resolved the problem by purchasing an IOGEAR GUB211 2-port printer sharing switch for $17.99 from Amazon. It allows the printer to be plugged directly into my XP computer where it has been and also into the Windows 7 computer. The switch installs simply and works like magic. Either computer can print to the photosmart 7550.