HP 2840 AIO Color Laserjet not for Vista

I recently bought an HP 2840 AIO Color Laserjet from Office Depot on clearance.  It came with 2 CDs, one for Windows and one for the Mac.  I tried the one for Windows on my Vista PC, but the software was only for XP or lower.  So I downloaded the Vista drivers only and Vista software.  I’ve never liked HP’s full software installs because they usually don’t let you do a “custom” install, allowing the user to choose what software to install.  But I guess enough people complained because HP seems to be allowing custom installs on at least some of their printers.

Anyway, I figured I’d give the Vista software a shot because I had read something about scanning over the network (I connected the HP directly to my network).  So I preceded with the install, receiving the ability to either install drivers only or all software (not quite custom, but an improvement).  I went with drivers only and got through without any problems.  Afterward I was able to print and scan to the HP from Vista.

However I wondered about faxing over the network, so I decided to first do a full install to XP in case I didn’t like it.  Everything installed fine and I was able to print, scan, and fax over the network from XP.  So, not letting a good thing stay good, I decided to install all the software to Vista.  This ended breaking everything.  Now I couldn’t print, scan, or fax.  I went online and read people complaining about the shoddy Vista support, and now I saw why.

Next step – to remove all software from Vista and try the drivers only install.  The uninstall worked (although I was annoyed that every time I ran the software it insisted on a reboot afterward – completely ridiculous).  The drivers only download install unfortunately was only for a USB connection and had no network support option, so it met the Recycle Bin.  Round and round we go back to square one.

So I reran the software install, making my original choice again of drivers only and ended up with print and scan support working.  Only thing that needed tweaking was Acrobat.  When scanning, I chose the WIA – HP Laserjet 2840 driver but also had to go to Scanner Options and under User Interface choose “Show Scanner’s Native Interface.”  I also downloaded a firmware update which works through the print driver, so make sure you can print before doing this, otherwise it won’t work (like it did for me when I tried it after I futzed up everything in Vista).

Funny aside to all of this was the Mac install.  The Mac disk actually only supported through 10.4 (Tiger) but installed on my 10.5 Mac Book Pro.  Too bad scanning and faxing were grayed out.  Back to the Internet for more updated drivers.  At least the Leopard software worked as well as the XP load did (not like Vista).  I had full print, scan, and faxing capabilities (makes me want to tell people complaining about Vista support to switch to a Mac).

I haven’t used the printer too much, but a printed some scans of a 90 year old document for my son and they looked amazing.  I think I’m going to enjoy this AIO device.

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