Error message when you try to add a printer in Windows XP: "Printer driver was not installed Operation could not be completed"

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Article ID: 281534 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you click Finish in the Add Printer Wizard in Windows XP, you may receive the following error message:
Printer driver was not installed. Operation could not be completed.


This behavior can occur if you install a Microsoft Windows 95-based, Microsoft Windows 98-based, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition-based printer driver in Windows XP. The Windows 95-based and Windows 98-based printer drivers are incompatible with Windows XP or Windows .NET.


To resolve this behavior, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Visit the Windows Update Web site and install the latest printer driver

To detect and install the latest printer driver to use in Windows XP, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Method 2: Contact the printer manufacturer to obtain the latest printer driver

For more information about hardware and software vendor contact information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

If you are not comfortable with obtaining the latest printer driver, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

More information

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
891721 You receive a "Printer Driver was not installed" error message when you try to remotely install the first printer on a Windows Server 2003-based domain controller
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.


Article ID: 281534 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 1.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
kbresolve kbenv kberrmsg kbprb kbprint KB281534

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