Printers and Windows 7

Dear Computer Lady,

My printer is not compatible with Windows 7,in fact I have 3 printers that won’t work.

Should I cancel Windows 7.??

Thanks, Marilyn

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Dear Marilyn,

I wish I had more information about your printers, how old they are, how well they work, how expensive they were, and what kind of printers they are.

Since I don’t know those things, I am just going to give you some general guidelines for you to consider when making decisions about printers and operating systems.

The first thing to look for is updated drivers on the printer manufacturers website. Many companies will provide updated printer drivers on their websites when a new operating system comes out. If, for example your printer is an HP printer, you can go to www.hp.com and search for your model printer. Then you will be able to see if there are Windows 7 drivers provided for your printer.

Some printer manufacturers are better at releasing updated drivers than others.

If you find that your printer does not have updated available, you will have to decide what to do with your operating system. You could install a previous version of Windows on your new computer. I don’t know if this is something you are comfortable doing yourself, but if not, you could have your local computer shop do this. Keep in mind, however, that it is probably less expensive to just purchase a new printer that supports Windows 7 than it is to buy a copy of Windows XP and hire someone to install it on your computer for you. Not to mention the fact that your computer will be less secure with an older version of Windows installed than it would be with Windows 7 installed.

Another option available to you would be to install Windows 7 Professional (instead of the home version). Windows 7 professional allows you to install a nice Virtual XP mode which would then allow you to run older programs and hardware. Again, you will have to compare the cost of upgrading to Windows 7 professional against the cost of just purchasing a new printer.

HP Laser Printers

In the future, when purchasing a printer, you might want to think about a business class printer. Most printer manufacturers provide more support for their business printers, and will keep writing updated software packages longer than they do for home printers. A nice laser printer will last a lot longer, and cost you less in toner than you spend in ink for a home inkjet printer.

I hope this helps, Elizabeth

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