17 June 2007

The Brother Printer Installation on Windows Vista

Earlier this year, I bought a new Toshiba laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium pre-loaded after my previous XP laptop practically stopped working (think 10 - 15 minute start-ups and a fan so inefficient I'd had to place the computer atop a book for the last six months of its life). I only had three peripherals* to use on the new laptop, a mouse (which works fine), my phone (which after a few minor niggles is now up and running) and a Brother all-in-one printer, model number DCP-310CN.

According to the Brother website, the drivers for this machine were "built-in" to Vista (for simple functionality) and more advanced drivers were "under development". Let us pause briefly there. 'The drivers were "built-in" to Vista"'. Let me put forward a brief proposition - this statement is complete and utter bollocks. Bullshit of such fine variety it comes from a prize-winning animal. For when I connected the machine to my new laptop no drivers were found and the printer would simply not install, no matter what I did.

After a brief chat with the Brother customer support team, who confirmed what their website would not - that the printer would not yet work on Vista - I waited... and waited... and well, you get the idea, for the Brother developed drivers. Finally, they arrived and here's my step-by-step installation guide:
  1. Download and start to install the "Full Driver & Software Package". You will find that User Account Controls will prevent this application from properly installing and you will not be able to use the printer.
  2. Cry.
  3. Download and install "Printer Driver & Scanner Driver". By going into the printers folder, right clicking on one of the virtual printers you have (probably "Send to XPS" and "Send to OneNote") and then navigating to the "Advanced" tab under "properties" you will be able to fool Vista into believing that your virtual printer is in fact called "Brother DCP 310CN" by clicking the "New Driver..." button. Unfortunately you won't be able to get your computer to actually connect to the real printer.
  4. Cry.
  5. Download and install the "Add Printer Wizard Driver". Don't be fooled by the fact that in Vista the "Add Printer Wizard" is only used for non-USB connections and your printer is a USB machine.
  6. Go into Device Manager (either search for it or find it through the Control Panel).
  7. Prepare yourself, as you are about to find out that Device Manager does not in fact list all the devices on your computer by default. Oh no, to see that you must click "View", then "Show hidden devices". You should see an "unknown device" in the list.
  8. Right click on this unknown device and click "Update driver software" and then "Browse my computer for driver software". Put the folder where the drivers have been installed to in the dialogue box and click next.
  9. It should be plain sailing from here, but before you stop, wave goodbye to the two and a half hours of your life that you've just wasted, and maybe even print a test page:
And the last thing to do, print a test page:

I can't blame Brother for this fiasco. On any modern operating system it should be a piece of piss to install drivers and from the various forums/newsgroups/articles I've read trying to install this bloody machine it seems to be Microsoft's fault that I couldn't install this printer. I can't bring myself to say I hate Windows Vista however - aesthetically it's beautiful (largely thanks to Aero), it runs so much quicker than XP ever did and it has functionality coming out of its ears - Windows Sidebar, indexing, fast search and, of course, Mahjong Titans.


Android said...

Vista runs quicker? =/ Have you got like 10 gigs of RAM? =/

And on Home Premium, how many applications can you open at the same time?

Gavin Whenman said...

Nope, I've got one gig. :-)

Never tried to push it to its limits, but four or five are regularly open at the same time.

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Alex Walker said...

easy steps to install...useful stuff..thanks for sharing!!!

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Norma Glover said...
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