Microsoft, why does this have to be so freaking hard?

by Volker Weber


There is a simple b/w Samsung laser printer on my network. I don't print often, but this little machine gets the job done. I can print via AirPrint from my iPhones, my iPads. It works with all the Macs and I made it work with every single Windows computer. It never worked out of the box, I always had to download a driver from Samsung and now HP. But I got it to work.

Not with the latest Surface Pro.

While I can still print from every single machine I have, Surface Pro insists on telling me it does not have a driver for this printer. Well, I also connected it via USB and then it works immediately. Not over the network, although it does spot the printer and identifies it correctly. But then it keeps telling me it does not have a driver, which, to be honest, it could have downloaded without asking me to go to Samsung and find it in the first place. This isn't rocket science. Apple can do it, on both macOS and iOS.

So what did I do until now? I dropped a PDF on OneDrive, opened it with the iPad Pro and printed it. Over AirPrint. Since I did not have time to nail this new challenge.


I wrote recently about the importance of degrading smoothly (though it was in a different context). One of the issues that Microsoft seems to have is the inability to recognize "I can't find a highly specific driver for this exact model of this device, but I'll bet this slightly earlier or more generic driver will work." Especially with printer drivers, this should be a no brainer, as they don't actually change that radically.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2019-01-19

Ich muss meinem Yoga Tablet auch gefühlt alle drei Monate den Samsung Drucker neu installieren.

Robert Treuenfels, 2019-01-19

Doing the same fir different reasons. My personal devices print all nicely on my Brother MFC, but I am not admin on my work computer, so I can't install the driver. I would also bet that Windows actually includes a generic driver that is perfectly good enough for the basics. But I simply cannot use it...

Ragnar Schierholz, 2019-01-19

"In March 2002, Apple Inc. adopted CUPS as the printing system for Mac OS X 10.2.[5] In February 2007, Apple Inc. hired chief developer Michael Sweet and purchased the CUPS source code."

Apple solved it by taking maintainership of CUPS and building it into OS X. Printing since then was problem-free for me at least....

With Microsofts current state of love-affair with open-source one would expect them to adopt cups as well?!

Daniel Kirstenpfad, 2019-01-19

You might want to try the Samsung Universal Print Driver 3, d/l from HP these days >

Thomas Cloer, 2019-01-19

Daniel, unless you upgrade the Mac to a new OS X version which drops support for color printing on your existing Deskjet. Yes, I have been there.

Volker Weber, 2019-01-19

Thomas, I did. As you can see the printer works with USB but not on the network. It's a network issue deep down in Windows that manifests itself in the printer problem. I can also not access my router in Edge, but I can in Firefox. It's just one of these convoluted problems that take forever to solve in Windows.

Volker Weber, 2019-01-19

Ah, I see. I have an older MFD from Samsung and the driver usually works fine for me when printing wirelessly (which I rarely do, to be honest).

Thomas Cloer, 2019-01-19

At least this Problem: "I can also not access my router in Edge" is a known issue (KB4480116) of the January Update: "After installing KB4480116, some users report that they cannot load a webpage in Microsoft Edge using a local IP address. Browsing fails or the webpage may become unresponsive."

Gerhard Heeke, 2019-01-19

Thank you, Gerhard. Brilliant hint. Workaround fixes Edge but not the printer issue. That apparently needs a fix from Microsoft.

Volker Weber, 2019-01-19

MS having some issues on useability:

My old Dell Latitude Laptop does not show the Windows 10 1809 Update. All other Updates for Windows 10 1803, Defender, Office, etc. show up and install without problems.
Except an HP printer driver. I don´t have or had any HP device.

MS says, there are no more blockers in the updating process.

So, when i still get no update: what is the reason?
It would be fine to have a user-readable message like: "you don't get the update because you have software x or hardware y installed."
With this information i could take steps to resolve the problem or just give up, if it is not solveable.

I could use the media creation tool to force an upgrade. But i just want to know what is wrong in my system.
I do not really need the upgdate. I´m just curious and MS is not helping.

Hans Giesers, 2019-01-20

@Volker Re workaround
Am I correct in thinking you tried you tested adding and this did not solve the problem?

Hypothesis: The protocols are separately filtered, and communication with printer happens over another port...

If adding exceptions to the trusted zone with the internet options is implemented by changing windows firewall settings, you may also get it working by adding an exception for the printer to the firewall settings.

Another hunch: I've had trouble accessing stuff on the local network in Windows when Windows viewed my newly added network adapter (as in I updated the driver and suddenly local network stuff is problematic) as being in a 'Public' network instead of a 'Private' network.

That problem is solved by telling Windows the current network is a 'Private' network.

Does this help?

Lars Berntrop-Bos, 2019-01-21

My first attempt was to disable the firewall completely, which did not change anything. I also made sure that Windows sees me on a private network.

I cannot really nail it down since a second Windows machine with the same configuration does not exhibit this behavior.

Volker Weber, 2019-01-21

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