I hate wireless printers, or more accurately I hate the installation processes for them. Some work fine others are temperamental, to say the least.
Here’s a bit of advice with regards the wireless HP Deskjet 8500 and other models and in particular if you are trying to re-install the printer and follows a lengthy session trying to get one recognised by a Vista system.
First and foremost and THE place to start if you are reinstalling…
STEP 1: Take a bit of extra time and download and run the scrubber / driver removal tool from the HP support web site. Using this tool prior to trying the reinstall could you save you a lot of aggravation. I would also recommend re-starting the system following removal of the driver.
STEP 2: Download the latest driver for your model from the manufacturer website, for HP the link above. You can use your installation disks if you have them but I would go for the current driver set if you have web access and the time to download it.
STEP 3: Most wireless models have the ability to enter the wireless encryption key via the printer control panel. It will be in a menu section called network or wireless set-up. Connect your printer to the wireless network by using this method, selecting your SSID (network name) and entering the key (wireless password).
STEP 4: <<Optional>> Make a note of the IP (network) address of the printer (e.g; 192.168.1.66). If it is not shown on the printer control panel use the menu to print out a printer configuration sheet and the address should be shown (you may need this later)
STEP 5: You should now be Ok to install the driver software from the download or the disk. Note that some models require that a USB cable be connected. Rather annoying for some as printers often ship without a printer cable these days and if you are a home user installing a wireless model you may not have a USB cable. Fortunately most current wireless printers do not require this.
STEP 6: Hopefully you won’t need a step 6 but if your printer still doesn’t load then try a re-install with the USB cable connected. Following installation you can then switch the printer to a wireless connection by running the software again or manually adding the printer via Add Printer in Windows Control Panel.
Note: You may need to run the driver scrubber again (see STEP 1) before trying to reinstall
Hope this helps but I also hope you won’t need this post!