Installing a Network Shared HP LaserJet 4050 in Windows 7 x64

This is fairly specific but was difficult to find a fix for. The HP universal print driver cannot be used when installing a LaserJet 4050 that is not attached directly to your PC. The problem is down to the plug-n-play ID for the printer not being found and the driver not installing correctly. Thanks to the guys on the HP Support Forums I found a solution.

Initially I tried just installing the universal printer driver and adding a network printer (with the correct machine and printer name) but it couldn’t find the driver. I even manually selected the download folder for the driver “C:\HP Universal Print Driver\pcl5-x64-5.5.0.12834″ but it wouldn’t have it.

Next I tried adding a local printer on LPT1 (with no physical printer present) and using the same driver. This didn’t work.

The solution is to add a local printer using LPT1 then click the “Windows Update” button, wait a few minutes then select Manufacturer “HP” and Printers “HP LaserJet 4050 Series PCL 5″. This will install a working driver, which is then used automatically when you add a network printer.

Reduce the size of the winsxs directory in Windows 7 using DISM

Looking for ways to shrink the massive Windows 7 install? The winsxs folder was 6.7GB on my tiny 60GB SSD, way too big for something that seems to just hold service pack backups. Microsoft are AWFUL at explaining how to deal with this, numerous searches always come up with “Don’t touch it, it’ll break Windows!”. Thanks to some helpful people on Technet the solution is to use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool (DISM). Just type the following in a command prompt:

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

Instantly reduced my winsxs folder from 6.7GB to 4.5GB, which is a fair chunk of space on an SSD.