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I helped a customer with a Windows XP computer who purchased a brand new HP Deskjet 2542 to get his printer (which says on the box that it supports XP!) to work. The first printer I had him take back due to it not printing any documents at all and the alignment page missing many lines of information. The second printer would print an alignment page but would not print ANY documents, not even a printer test page. Here’s what I initially tried to get it to work:

  1. Updating the printer firmware
  2. Changing the USB cable
  3. Changing from USB to wireless connectivity
  4. Changing the network connectivity from JetDirect RAW on port 9100 to IPP
  5. Updating the driver from the provided CD to the latest driver from HP
  6. Changing the print processor from “XPS_EP -> RAW” to “WinPrint -> RAW”
  7. Trying random HP printer drivers that come with Windows XP
  8. An uneventful exorcism

Nothing worked until I tried the HP PSC 950 driver. After installing the printer, I brought up its properties, then used the “New Driver” button on the Advanced tab to switch the printer driver. The HP management software works regardless of the actual printer driver selected and the HP PSC 950 driver prints consistently. It’s sad that HP’s own drivers don’t work but a random old HP printer driver that probably shouldn’t work does the job.



  1. Your fix for getting HP 2540 to work with XP is brilliant! I had struggled for ages to nil result until I read your guidance. Had almost given up and contemplated buying another printer.
    Thank you,

    Rog, Essex, UK

  2. Amazing! I’ve been trying to fix this issue for days and have visited multiple websites, including HP’s, and nothing worked! This worked like a charm and was SO easy to do. Thank you soooo much!

  3. This worked for windows Vista as well thank you, I thought nothing would work

  4. Brilliant – hp were useless.. thank you!

  5. I also found that if you put the document into Google Drive and then print it from Chrome it works every time.

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