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HP Photosmart Printers - "Parameter is Incorrect" or "Operation Could not be Completed" Error During Installation in Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP


After plugging in the printer during the printer software installation process, an error message appears that includes the phrase The parameter is incorrect.
If the Windows Add Printer wizard is used instead, an error message appears after the file copy screen that includes the phrase Operation could not be completed.
There are other causes for the Operation could not be completed version of this error. This document only covers the issue that also causes the The parameter is incorrect version.
Clicking Finish or OK in either case, ends the installation with no printer added to the Printers folder, so printing is not possible.


Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP require files named printupg.inf and printupg.PNF to be found in the Windows .inf folder. If these files are missing or damaged, no printer can be installed, and the existing files need to be removed if present, and a fresh copy of printupg.inf restored from the Windows backup archive.
The Windows CD-ROM disc, computer manufacturer recovery disc, or a complete archive folder in the computer named i386 must be available to complete this procedure. The i386 sub-folder found in the Windows or WINNT Driver Cache folder is not the complete archive, and will not contain the required files.
Perform the following procedure to correct the missing or damaged files:
  1. Verify that the computer is currently showing all files. Follow the steps below to do this.
    1. Double-click My Computer on the first screen or in Start menu.
    2. On the Menu bar, click Tools, then Folder Options.
    3. Click the View tab.
    4. Under Hidden Files And Folders, select Show hidden files and folders.
    5. Deselect Hide extensions for known file types and Hide protected operating system files.
      Be sure to return all three of these settings to their previous condition when done installing the printer software.
  2. Double-click the hard drive icon that Windows is installed in, the name usually ends with C:.
  3. Double-click the Windows or WINNT folder icon.
  4. Double-click the .inf folder icon.
  5. On the Menu bar, click View, then Details.
  6. Click the word Name above the list of folder and file icons until the list is in alphabetical order.
  7. Scroll down the list to the section where files starting with the word print are located.
  8. If files are found named printupg.inf or printupg.PNF, rename them using the following procedure:
    1. Right-click on one of the files, then click Rename.
    2. Click at the right edge of the file name to remove the highlight from the name.
    3. Press the Backspace key on the keyboard three times to remove the inf or PNF letters.
      Do not delete the period in the name or press Enter.
    4. Type the reverse of the three letters, then press the Enter key on the keyboard. For example, inf would be replaced with fni, and PNF would be replaced by FNP.
    5. If the other file is present, Repeat Steps a through d.
      Renaming the files is safer than deleting them. If the following steps cannot be completed, the filenames can be restored. The issue will not be resolved, but the computer will be returned to the condition it was in before the procedure was started.
  9. Insert a new copy of printupg.inf into the inf folder using the following procedure:
    1. Determine where the correct i386 folder is by double-clicking My Computer on the first screen or in the Start menu, then double-clicking the icon that ends with C:.
      If the i386 folder is not displayed, click the Up or Back arrow at the top of the window, then try any other icons that look exactly like the one already tried, one at a time. If the i386 folder is still not found, insert the Windows or computer manufacturer recovery CD-ROM disc and double-click each icon that looks like a CD-ROM disc one at a time.
      To find the i386 folder, it may be necessary to double-click the folder icons that are shown after double-clicking a recovery CD-ROM disc icon.
    2. Make a note of the path where the folder is found, including the drive letter at the end of the icon name. If folder icons were double-clicked during the search, do not use the i386 folder found after double-clicking the Driver Cache folder. For example, if the i386 folder was found on the recovery CD-ROM disc in drive G:, in folder Archive, the path would be G:\Archive\i386.
      • If the folder was found in the computer's hard drive, the path will probably be C:\i386.
      • If it was found on the Windows CD-ROM disc inserted in the drive icon ending in M:, the path would be M:\i386.
    3. Click Start, then Run.
    4. In the Run box, type CMD, then click OK.
    5. At the blinking cursor in the black box, type the following statement, where PATH is the actual path determined in step a above and _ is the underscore key, which requires holding the Shift key while pressing the Dash key: EXPAND PATH\printupg.in_ C:\XXX\inf\printupg.inf.
      Be sure to include a single spacebar key after the underscore. Replace the word XXX with Windows or WINNT, depending on which folder was found in step 3 above.
    6. The text that Windows displays in the black box will now indicate if the file was found and expanded or not. If the text includes an error message, type the statement above again at the blinking cursor, checking for accuracy. Ensure that all backslashes and the single blank spacebar key after the underscore (Shift+Dash) are included, and that a full colon is typed after each drive letter.
      If another error is displayed, verify that the PATH being typed is correct by referring to step a above, then type the statement again
    7. After the file has been successfully expanded, close the black box. The missing printupg.PNF file will be created by Windows when it is needed.
  10. Uninstall and reinstall the printer software by using the procedure recommended in the documentation that came with the printer.






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