Skip to comments.Print Country -- Scum
Posted on 11/26/2008 4:58:37 PM PST by Still Thinking
I needed to reload the driver for my HP 5650 due to a recent rebuild of my PC, and I was hesitant to go to HP, because I wanted the driver, not 80MB of ads and crapware/spyware.
So I went to Drivers.com, gave them all kinds of personal information to be able to login only to learn this was a printer they didn't have the driver for. Then I went to Print Country, who advertises "free drivers" answered a somewhat less intrusive list of questions, submitted X-rays and a DNA sample, and got my download link -- to the HP driver site!!!!!
So after asking unnecessary and personally identifying questions, I got....nothing! Yet for some reason, they still think they're entitled to use the contact information to send me ads. I don't respect this way of doing business, so I told them in my response email I'd be telling all my friends about them, and that's what I'm doing.
For the list
Expect a boatload of spam and viagra ads next.
I'd still rather have an HP printer with the multiple print cartidges for photos . . .
Niagara is the version for women.
Well, the part I was afraid of with a driver from HP wasn’t so much emails and so on, as bloated software to clog up the PC and suck up CPU cycles when about all it’s good for is to sell ink cartridges (and maybe phone home, who knows).
There’s also a good trick for splitting out the driver from the crapware if they don’t offer them separately. Install the driver, including crapware on a PC you don’t care about, then share the printer. When you set up another PC on the network to use the shared printer, Windows will give you the choice of using the copy of the driver on the PC where the printer is shared, or copying it to the local machine. If you choose to copy it, Windows copies only the driver, sans crapware. Then you can blow it off the machine (real or virtual) where you first installed it.
HP packages all kinds of bloatware with their print drivers. Their laptops are awful. They get hot as an frying pan and the laptop casing falls apart. No more HP for me....how’s that for innovation Carly?
Yeah, but it’s not specifically an HP problem (with the drivers). Everybody does it. I remember an Epson I wanted to use at a customer site once, and I downloaded the 100MB “driver”, installed it, then did an uninstall, knowing Windows hardly ever deletes drivers, but the uninstall took the driver with the crapware! It’s like they’re telling you after you paid good money for their $hit, that you’re not allowed to actually get any use out of it if you don’t want to run their adware/crapware/spyware. Anyway, that’s when I learned that little trick I mentioned in #7 to get the driver without the bloatware.
And like I said, I do have to give HP (partial) credit for making available a “driver only” package that actually almost is.
Yeah, I love how Snarly Carly responded when people were asking her about shipping engineering/manufacturing jobs overseas. She said that noone’s job belonged to them. OK, I say keep the tech jobs here and outsource top management to Mumbai if that’s the case.
Q: I needed to reload the driver for my HP 5650 due to a recent rebuild of my PC, and I was hesitant to go to HP, because I wanted the driver, not 80MB of ads and crapware/spyware.
A: Elsewhere in the thread- it’s been noted that HP has a ‘drivers only’ option for this printer that comes with less unneccessary crap bundled. Contolling what gets through- from this install and any others that you’ve acquired over time can be accomplished many ways, but keeping it simple and easy is usually appreciated.
Download CCleaner and install. I use this thing frequently- the only complaint is that I’d be careful to uncheck the install option that installs the Yahoo toolbar. I hate toolbars. All of them. Unneccessary drain of resources without contributing anything that I want.
In CCleaner, go to Tools—>Startup. You’ll see a list of things that automatically start every time you start your computer. Some of them do useful things, others are just slowing your machine down. You don’t need any of them to boot, so you probably won’t get yourself into much trouble here. I’d leave alone any that have to do with the anti-virus or anti malware software that you may be running. Right-click on any items that have anything to do with HP and select ‘disable’. Reboot and they’re gone. If you decide that you can’t live without something that you’ve turned off, just go back in, right-click on it, select ‘enable’, and reboot again.
You’re right about everyone packing drivers like that...100MB is ridiculous. Good idea on outsourcing exec mgmt - no more golden parachutes
Oh, OK. That sounds similar to a couple products I already use (including the one that I mentioned I used to get rid of the small amount of crapware installed by the “driver only” install). That one is Autoruns.exe from Mark Russinovich’s Sysinternals.com (since ingested by Microsoft), and I also sometimes use Mike Lin’s Startup.cpl.
I didn’t really post to get help so much as to give Print Country the bad publicity they so richly deserve and let people know NEVER to give them any info as they use it and then don’t give you in return what you thought you were getting.
Winternals utilities a more comprehensive approach- I didn’t know if you’d be comfortable with that. Since you are- so much the better. Just turn off all of the HP nonsense, and off you go. :-) Happy Thanksgiving.
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