Compatibility feature/device drivers?

  polymath 21:33 26 Nov 2008

I have an HP Deskjet 970Cxi doing sterling service, but Vista Home Premium's driver for it only enables a few of the things it'll do in 98SE. The HP website's only suggestion is to buy a newer printer.

I had a go at installing the Deskjet in Vista using the original HP disk and the Program Compatibility Wizard, but couldn't do it.
The properties for the installation program on the disk lack a Compatibility tab. Does this mean it's outside the scope of the 'programs' that can be run in Compatibility Mode?

  sunnystaines 13:31 27 Nov 2008

I used to have a HP Deskjet 970 it worked in w98, XP, and vista. I have since given it away with drivers when I bought an all in one hp. the w98 drivers on the printer cd, the other ones I am sure were loaded automatic when I installed both XP and Vista.

  Woolwell 15:17 27 Nov 2008


I suspect that you will not be able to access all of the old features ever with Vista. By the sound of it HP haven't updated the software and will not as it is not cost effective for them to do so.

  polymath 17:08 27 Nov 2008

Thanks sunnystaines.
I have the original driver on the HP CD, but can't seem to persuade Vista to use it.
Installing the printer in my Vista-preinstalled computer is indeed automatic - that's part of my problem. Vista detects it's 1 of 2 printer models and, once selected, Vista quietly installs its own basic driver in a flash, before I can stop it.

The test print (headed 'HP Deskjet') from my 98SE computer has blocks of colour and some other graphics. Vista's test print (though headed 'Windows 98') consists only of plain text (apart from a coloured Windows logo), and that reflects what Vista's driver will print (i.e. text documents). Images (basically what I do) are impossible. When trying to print from the web, even my itemised phone/ISP bill is garbled.

I'm as happy with the printer as when I bought it, and want to try all possible workarounds before buying a second one. HP's not interested in writing a new driver for an 8-year-old printer, but presumably Microsoft has no interest in obstructing the use of existing peripherals. That's why I'm wondering if Vista's Compatibility features extend to drivers; I don't know what Vista means by 'programs' in this context. HP not facilitating full use of the printer in Vista doesn't necessarily mean it's not possible.

I did find a bit of info on compatibility on the Microsoft site, but no mention of what types of programs it's for. Apropos of not seeing a compatibility tab when viewing the driver properties in HP's disk, MS states 'Adjustments to the Program Compatibility Wizard can be made using Group Policy'. But to find out what adjustments, I'd have to go to the MS site for IT professionals, and I don't know if we mere mortals can access that.

Browsing there would be difficult for me anyway; having had brief access to broadband, I've lost it (temporarily or forever, I don't know). I can only access the internet from my old computer, with my dialup account at 12kbps max. (which is why I'm asking here; the PC Advisor site is more considerately designed than some!)

  polymath 17:12 27 Nov 2008

Sorry Woolwell - hadn't seen your post, as having to compose mostly offline. Yes. Re HP, 'nail' and 'head' come to mind!

  Woolwell 18:07 27 Nov 2008

Drivers are for the OS. Drivers for Win 98, XP or for Vista and they are not compatible.

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