I have never had a problem with my Inspiron 1721, running Vista SP2, connecting to my HP 6500 e709n with a USB cable, at least not until about a month ago. My scanner stopped working followed by my entire printer because of my attempts to fix the scanner problem which was shown as no connection. I tried replacing the USB cable but when I plug it in, windows detects it to the point that it lists it under "unknown devices" in the device manager. When I click on it, it tells me that there is no driver installed for the printer. I have the original installation CD and the Manufacturer's updated software, neither of which (according to my computer), have the driver information on them. If I go to the printers tab under the start menu and try to "add a printer" it gives me the option to add a local or a wireless, network or Bluetooth printer. Under the option for local printer it says "use this option only if you don't have a USB printer. (Windows automatically installs USB printers when you plug them in.) My computer most assuredly does not automatically install them and I don't know how to go about manually adding a local printer that is a USB printer. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Lastly, if anyone has a fix as to why the HP6500 All-In-One printer, scanner, fax no longer works with regards to the scanner, not from the front control panel of the printer, nor through the HP Scanning software nor even the MS Paint or Windows Photo Gallery backdoor option which normally works. I think it is all tied to the USB cable not working to connect the two machines together. Sorry it's so long, just had to let it all out. Thanks for any help or guidance you can lend.
I have several error messages that have popped up along the way and I would be happy to email them as an attachment to anyone whom might be willing to try and help. Unfortunately I can't find a way to copy them onto this message.