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Old 30. Apr 2010, 05:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Infected Printer Driver..need Free Universal one!

I recently did a re-install of Win XP on my laptop, after first backing up all I wanted to keep to a external HD. Once I had everything back again and the system was up and running like new, I plugged in the "HP Deskjet F2280" printer I have, only to find out I didn't have the driver needed to make it work!

I went online to the HP site and downloaded all the relevant software..including the driver in question..installed everything..rebooted, plugged in the printer and set about priniting.

About two minutes into printing, one of the anti-virus programs I have running popped open a window telling me my laptop had been infected by/with "hpqdirec.exe" and that it had effected certain system restore points..as well as making files with names starting with the likes of "A000***.." appear on my system!

I have tired to delete/remove this by uninstalling all the HP stuff I just installed..as well as deleting the HP directory by hand..and all and any mention of HP in the system Reg, but still no joy..the thing seems to be stuck on my PC and is still showing up as a trojan!

Now I am left with no printer driver for my printer..having read all over then net that the file in question (hpqdirec.exe) doesn't seem to do anything..has no user window known..and can be used by hackers to do all kinds of stuff on and with your system!

I would have thought HP would pull something like this if is was such a blatant "back door" or system weak spot..but then again, could it be a "false call" by the anti-virus programs and we..myself included..are making too much out of all of this?

With that said..does anyone know of some sort of "universal printer driver"..if such a thing exists..that I can use instead of the generic HP on that "appears" to be infected or is a trojan? If so, then please post and let me know as soon as you can, as I REALLY need to get back to printing as soon as possible!

I did search on the main site, but it didn't return anything I could use..hence me posting here on the forum.

Hope somebody replies to this soon..

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Old 07. May 2010, 03:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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OK..it's been a week now since I made the post above..and everything is still the same.

If anyone knows of any way around this..or even if..say..some "PDF" driver would do for my HP Deskjet printer, then please let me know. I just don't want to compound the problem by installing something that might screw things up even more when I try to use it.

Hope somebody can come back to me on this soon.

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Old 07. May 2010, 03:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not convinced that this file is truly infected. It could have been a false positive. I'd suggest downloading the file and submitting it to VirusTotal to see if it truly is infected.

In the mean time, I'd run MalwareBytes and Super Anti-Spyware to see if they come up with anything. As a last resort, I do an online scan with HouseCall.
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Old 07. May 2010, 06:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kendall View Post
I'm not convinced that this file is truly infected. It could have been a false positive. I'd suggest downloading the file and submitting it to VirusTotal to see if it truly is infected.

In the mean time, I'd run MalwareBytes and Super Anti-Spyware to see if they come up with anything. As a last resort, I do an online scan with HouseCall.
Thanks for the reply, Kendall..and the advice in the same.

I thought the same as you, as the anti-virus program that called it was Avira..which can be a bit "jumpy" at the best of times..so I carried out a search online and it seems this is an on-going issue that has been returning results by various programs for a while now.

There also seems to be little, if any, details as to just what this file is or what it's meant to do..either legitimately or otherwise..which isn't good in of itself.

As for running the programs you mentioned above..I have. In fact, I have Super Anti-Spyware running all the time..along with Avira, Spybot S&D, Online Armor Pro and WinPatrol Pro.

As is usually the case..not all programs spot the same things at the same time..hence most of us tend to run more than one all the time. But, as you rightly pointed out, this could be a false positive..and I would normally be inclined to think the same..but in this case I doubt it, given the amount of search results I got back on this issue/infection.

At this stage, I would be just happy to find some driver that will "take over" from the generic HP driver, so as to side-step it altogether.

Is there one out there?

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Old 07. May 2010, 09:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As this query is product specific, maybe the best place to post it is in the HP forums. Historically, some HP software is known to cause issues so you're more likely to get a fix for it here.

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/
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Old 07. May 2010, 11:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightCowboy View Post
As this query is product specific, maybe the best place to post it is in the HP forums. Historically, some HP software is known to cause issues so you're more likely to get a fix for it here.

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/
I appreciate your reply, MidnightCowboy..as well as the link you included. Having said that, I hope I do not offend you when I say I wouldn't have posted here if all I wanted was a "fix" for the HP driver I originally had installed.

I posted here in the "General Computer Support" section of this "freeware" forum because I was and still am looking for a "universal" printer driver..as I do not want to install yet another one from HP..given the on-going issue as I outlined above.

In short..I am looking for a freeware alternative to that being offered by HP..and, in the end, is that not what this forum is all about..finding and recommending freeware..as well as offering support/guidance on the same to those who want to use it?

It looks like I have no choice but to follow the link you posted here and check it out at least..even though I was looking for something different. Still, my thanks once again for taking the time to post and for offering the same said link and advice.

All the best..

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Old 07. May 2010, 12:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi again,

I just wanted to add my apologies if my reply above comes across as being a little arrogant or abrupt..as I didn't mean it to sound like that at all..but after reading it now, I can see how it might be viewed as being that way.

Thanks once again for the advice and input on this and I will post again if and when I do get a result on this.

Regards for now..

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Old 07. May 2010, 06:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No need to apologize. We all know how frustrating these things can be. The reason you probably never got an answer to your original question is probably that none of us know the answer. I am not aware of a "universal driver" that would work in this situation.

My best advice is to download an HP driver but scan it first with VirusTotal, Hitman Pro or any other software you can think of to make sure it's clean before using it.

I'm sorry that we don't have a better answer for you.
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Old 09. May 2010, 11:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kendall

..The reason you probably never got an answer to your original question is probably that none of us know the answer..

..My best advice is to download an HP driver but scan it first with VirusTotal, Hitman Pro or any other software you can think of to make sure it's clean before using it.

I'm sorry that we don't have a better answer for you.

Hi again, Kendall..

Just wanted to say thanks for the help/advice both you and MidnightCowboy posted..as well as for being so understanding with regards to how frustrated I was due to this issue. What you said about folks not having the answer here may well be true..but the fact you guys take the time to post anyway speaks volumes about both you and this forum in general!

Anyway, all that aside, I just wanted to update all concerned / interested in this issue about how I got on.

In the end, I followed the link MidnightCowboy posted above and downloaded the windows HP driver install file..ran it, but this time instead of installing all the options, I merely went with just the driver itself and one other bit of kit needed on my XP system..and everything went well and as it should.

I did scan the install file before running it but it came up clean in the end..so it looks like it could well be a false-positive in the end, as suspected.

My thanks again for the help and advice..hope I can return the favor the some time.

Kind regards to all..

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Old 10. May 2010, 08:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I used hp printers for years. Hardware wise they are rock solid. It is amazing how engineers can design such amazing devices then the software coders screw it all up. The last printer I had gave me fits, because the software was so temperamental, and it wasted tons of paper because it would often go haywire printing pages of gibberish because of the faulty drivers. Then one day quite by accident I discovered that HP often has "minimal" or "basic" drivers for printers hidden away on their site. I downloaded the one for my printer and all my troubles went away. I never so much as had a hiccup from that day forward. Still I hate that HP has begun to force so much bloatware on their customers just so they can print.

I found the basic driver for your printer on the HP site, and it is a 38mb download as compared with the standard driver/software of 135mb. Perhaps this is what you have already installed as you mentioned above. I know it is not the universal driver you and the rest of the world would like to have, but you will find your computer will love you a whole lot more with the light version. There are also some small utilities available for the printer.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/s...3390947&os=228
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/s...roduct=3390947
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