HP LaserJet 1012 Printer Drivers for Windows 7

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Update: It seems (so far) that scripting a stop and start of the Spooler service can eliminate the need to turn the printer off and on. At least as long as you don’t print too much during the automatic scheduled task interval. – Will add new post when I have more data to go on. Grab the Best Hubris RSS Feed to read it right away.

HP printers have been solid workhorses for some time. Many IT pros swear by HP printers and won’t buy anything else. As Microsoft Windows 7 becomes more commonly installed and the default operating system installed on most new computers, upgrading old HP printer drivers to Windows 7 is more important.

Unfortunately, HP has decided to abandon a large group of HP printer owners. Numerous HP printers, particularly inexpensive “low-end” models have been assigned by HP to “Category 6”. Category 6 printers will not be supported under Windows 7, which means that Hewlett Packard will not be offering new print drivers for those models of LaserJet, InkJet, and All-in-One printers.

Of course, HP is doing its best to spin the situation by pointing out how many other printer drivers it is offering, and offering its more gullible customers the chance to participate in a special HP printer upgrade program for owners of obsolete printers. Too bad that the so-called special pricing upgrades offered by HP don’t compete with the best deals that a savvy consumer can find on the Internet or by watching the sales ads in the Sunday newspaper.

No Windows 7 Drivers for HP Printers 1012 and More

Obviously, the decision to not provide Windows 7 drivers to loyal HP customers is motivated by money. Although possibly a good financial move in the short-term, the lasting damage to HP’s reputation among customers, end-users, and technology professionals may well prove to be a much bigger expense than simply coding a few printer drivers. All of which raises the question,

“Why is HP not making Windows 7 print drivers for the HP 1012 and other printers?”

The full-answer lies within the walls of HP, but some information can be extrapolated.

First, HP fell victim to the business strategy of trying to bundle HP printing software with its printer drivers under Windows XP. These printing bundles provided little to no value and came with enormous overhead. Often, these printer bundles came with numerous printing utilities that customers never used and the bloated the size and complexity of updates from HP. Professional systems administrators and businesses stripped out the extra software immediately and used just the plain driver, while less savvy end-users ended up installing the software, but never using it.

However, since the software had been offered by HP and touted as improving the printing experience, HP was obligated to support and update not just the printer drivers, but the software bundles as well. This proved to be an added expense with no value because most people did not see any benefit from the utilities they were duped into downloading.

The extra HP software allowed HP engineers to code to their own internal standard instead of being confined to the actual computing standards being followed all over the world. For example, the HP Laser Jet 1012 print driver claims to support either PCL5 or PCL6, although the driver output from both modes does not conform to PCL standards. It is this bad business decision that is forcing HP to abandon so many of its good customers by not updating the drivers.

In order to fully support lower-end HP LaserJet printers that got these half-standards drivers, HP would have to fully recode the whole driver in order to generate the proper output to the printer hardware from inside Windows 7. The existing hooks and printer driver components supplied inside of Windows 7 by Microsoft as part of the operating system would not be usable because they only generate true standardized PCL output streams. The HP LaserJet 1010 series would not be expecting pure PCL commands and would produce errors.

Unsupported Personality PCL LaserJet 1012 Error Message

Many users have tried to continue using their LaserJet printers in Windows 7 by using another printer driver. Most theorize that a “close” model number would provide good enough printer driver support for their specific HP LaserJet model printer. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, since the true determining factor of whether or not the driver will function properly is whether or not the printer shares the same kind of pseudo-PCL code as the alternate driver.

For example, most LaserJet 1012 owners first try using the LaserJet 1015 driver. While some users report success, most find that they get errors right away, and most other begin to notice more and more errors as they try and use the wrong driver.

Fortunately, the LaserJet 3055 printer driver for Windows 7 appears to be able to allow the LaserJet 1012 printer to run under Windows 7. However, many users note that even that will eventually fail with a Unsupported Personality: PCL error message being printed on the page. Some users can clear the message by deleting the print job and power cycling the printer.

As it turns out, the error is caused by a mismatch in how the LaserJet printers implemented the PCL standard. The LaserJet 1012 printer outputs additional unsupported data with every print job. Eventually, all of the “extra” data fills up the buffers and the printer stops working. Additionally, the LaserJet 1012 uses a hacked printing methodology that prints everything as Raster-graphics and not vectorized. The LaserJet 3055 driver by default is set to vectorized which causes more serious errors.

Fortunately, users of LaserJet 1012s can use the 3055 driver successfully if the printer properties are changed to raster-graphics from vectorized and the printer is powered off every so often. A good trick for personal users of LaserJet 1012s is to attach them to a power strip used to shut down the computer on weekends or overnight which will cause the printer to power-cycle on a regular basis. Users with higher-end powerstrips like the APC Power-Saving Surge Protector can plug the printer into one of the managed outlets which will cut power to the device whenever the computer is turned off.

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59 thoughts on “HP LaserJet 1012 Printer Drivers for Windows 7”

  1. The Ponz says:

    Emil’s workaround for the 1012 still works. Thanks, Emil!!!

  2. Minnim says:

    Hi, I’d appreciate if you could advise:

    I’ve 32-bit Win-7 Home.
    After ENDLESS sweat, somehow I got the printer defined as HP laserjet 1012 (with green checkmark in Devices-and-printers).
    Port is: DOT4 generic Ieee 1284.4

    There’s NO printer icon in the systray (notifcation) area

    …thus cannot pause/cancel print jobs if I in error sent too many webpages to print

    While notepad & word documents & web-pages do print,
    …yet Win-Photo-printer doesn’t print, since it refuses to install printer via add-local-printer, Win-Update, etc.
    rather just error messages.

    By comparison – FireFox enabled me via its toolbar File/Print dropdown to switch from onenote2007 to the HP-LJ-1012 printer. In that way, I finally got web pages to print, though without the ability to cancel jobs via systray, as stated above.

    I’d appreciate if you could offer good fixes for my above issues.

  3. Jack G M says:

    Wow, Thank you sooo much for your work around! I have been trying to keep my HP1012 working on my Windows 7 64bit computer and finally with your help it works like a charm! JGM

  4. Brian says:

    Used the 1015/3055 trick to Update Driver and it worked. Will be sure to power down and clear the buffer and avoid PCL errors. Thanks so much for posting help on HP 1012 driver with Windows 7.

  5. AS says:

    WOW ALL of you Thanks

  6. Emily says:

    I have a new Sony All in one Vaio with Windows 7 and an HP1012 laser printer which is a real workhorse. I was so frustrated when it did not work with Windows 7. I found your site in a Google search and followed Emil’s advise posted January 23,2011, and “voila” I am back in business. Thank you internet community for sharing your successes to we newbies.

  7. v says:

    Thanks so much. Used the the driver for HP LaserJet 3055-PCL5 that comes with Windows 7 and it worked out perfectly for me. Just had to remember to use Port: DOT_001

  8. Fred Hendrick says:

    I bought your program and ran it. My HP 1012 still is silently ignoring priting jobs.
    What about a refund. You said it would work.

    1. WGHubris says:

      Fred, I don’t sell or offer any program other than the instructions listed here. I don’t sell ANYTHING at all on this website.
      I’m not sure where or how you bought a program but it wasn’t from this web site. Check your receipt to find out who sold you whatever you bought.

      1. w carl mayer says:

        I just had the same experience. I clicked on what looked like a download for a LJ 1012 printer driver that would work in Windows 7. I paid almost $40, but I did not get what I thought I was getting. I will cancel the order.

        I hope the article is correct, as I would like to use my 1012.

  9. SpoiledK says:

    @Irene and Richard

    I too have my printer attached via a wireless printer hub. I’ve edited the .inf file as instructed, but I kept getting errors:

    “The selected folders does not contain a matching driver for “hp LaserJet 1012”.

    Did you install with connection to the computer first, then through the wireless printer hub?


    1. Irene says:

      I’m afraid I may not be savvy enough to figure out your specific issue. I did not need to connect my printer to the computer, but I did need to delete the virtual port in order to do a clean reinstall of the printer on the server.

      After I extracted the Vista 64 driver, I did a get very similar error message when I tried out Richard’s original recommendation to replace HP.NTAMD64.6.0 with HP.NTAMD64.61.1. There was only one instance of that specific term. I then fiddled around and replaced all instances of “NTAMD64.6.0″ with “NTAMD64.6.1″ (dropped the “HP”). I just looked at the file, and the file has about seven instances of “NTAMD64.6.0” that needed to be changed. I made no other modifications to the file and saved the changes under original file name (“hpc1015w.inf”), overwriting the original file.

      After that, I did not have any problems when I selected “Have Disk” during installation and specified the extracted folder with the modified file.

      I just looked at the file, and the file has about seven instances of “NTAMD64.6.0” that needed to be changed.

      By the way, this solution still works. I have not needed to turn off/on my printer.

      Good luck!

  10. Jason Sands says:

    Using the Lexmark T620 driver works just fine. I’ve used that driver on many customers’ printers and it usually works.

  11. Irene says:

    Just a point of clarification, I extracted the files from the downloaded zip file and then modified the INF file in the folder created after the extraction. Sorry for any confusion.

  12. Irene says:

    I am not a techie, but am willing to fiddle with the computer a little. I felt compelled to write a comment thanking Richard for his 12/10/10 post because I have been searching for months for a solid solution to this issue.

    I have tried 3055 driver and while I do not mind turning the printer on and off or futzing with the spooling schedule, I would get the PCL error message in the middle of print job. This would especially occur when printing files or webpages that contained graphics or other content more complex than text.

    My printer is hooked up to a wireless print server and I couldn’t use the solutions requiring the printer to be connected to the computer via USB port. I got error messages when trying to install the Vista drivers.

    Desperate, I tried Richard’s solution. I modified (in Notepad) the INF file located in the Vista 64 driver zip file. I do have one edit to the solution: I replaced all instances of “NTAMD64.6.0” with “NTAMD64.6.1” (not “HP.NTAMD64.6.0” as Richard had initially indicated). I did a clean install of the printer and pointed to the modified INF file via the “Have Disk” option during printer setup.

    I have tested this by printing out 2 large picture files (16 MB each), a large PDF file and a couple webpages with several pages of content, trying my best to jam up the printer with graphics. Like Richard said, it is (so far) working like a charm…no pesky PCL error message AND the printer model is listed as HP LaserJet 1012! I hope this sticks.

    Thanks again, Richard.

  13. Emil says:

    After using this solution for a while, I got the “Unsupported Personality: PCL” error. As suggested by others, this is solved by turning the printer off and on again when this happens, or periodically to reduce the chances of this error occurring.


  14. legaldr says:

    I followed the instructions of Ariwood 9/2/10. Printer works. I will monitor the performance and report any problem. Thank you all.

  15. Emil says:

    My solution to the HP LaserJet 1012 Printer problem for Windows 7:
    Use the driver for HP LaserJet 3055-PCL5 that comes with Windows 7.
    It works fine so far, maybe because I have a new computer and Windows 7 has the latest updates:
    1. Start
    2. Drivers and Printers
    3. Add a Printer
    4. Port: DOT_001
    5. Next
    6. HP
    7. HP LaserJet 3055-PCL5
    8. Next
    9. Printer Name: HP LaserJet 3055-PCL5 (use this name for 1012)
    10. Next
    11. Do not share
    12. Set as Default
    13. Print Test Page
    Thank you Hubris for the information on this problem

    1. David V says:

      Thanks a million for these instructions. Works perfectly!

    2. amanda fusaro says:

      Thank you so much. I run the 1012 series and just got a new computer with windows 7. These instructions worked perfectly. Thanks again!!!!!!!

    3. C Y says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this very useful info. My wife loves her 1012 and now we can continue to use it with our new computer. Thanks again.

    4. Richard says:

      I tried it & it won’t work. I’m working with an USB port & I don’t know the port number. Please help.


    5. gyusz14 says:

      Thank you so much! It’s perfect.

    6. Dhananjay says:

      its really awsome, working excellently on my windows7 and HP laserjet 1015 🙂 thanks emil….

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  18. Unknown Person 689 says:

    WINDOWS 7 (64 Bit) Driver for HP1012 (HACK)

    You should have windows 7 x64, starting with the printer plugged in via USB, and recognized as HP 1012, but sorted under “unspecified” in the devices & printers list and not working.

    Download “lj1010serieshb-vista64.zip” from the following address:

    Unzip the driver “lj1010serieshb-vista64.zip” then:

    1. Control panel / devices: “add a printer” -> “add a local printer” -> “use an existing port:”, “USB001 (virtual printer port for USB)”
    2. Update printer list by clicking “Windows Update” button
    3. Select manufacturer: “HP”, printers: “hp laserjet 3055 PCL5 (HP)”
    4. Click “have disk…” and open the hpc1015w.inf driver file
    5. Select “Hp LaserJet 1012 HB” in the “choose your printer” list that pops up
    6. Type a name for this dummy printer (something other than what you want your printer to actually be called). The print drivers are now installed, but they aren’t yet associated with the printer hardware.
    7. Go to the laserjet 1012 icon sorted under “unspecified” in devices (this is your actual printer, which isn’t associated with working drivers yet). Right click -> “properties” -> hardware tab -> “properties” -> driver tab -> “uninstall”. The printer should be removed from the devices list.
    8. Unplug your printer’s usb cable and plug it back in.
    9. The printer should pop back up in the “unspecified” list, then the driver should be associated with it automatically and it will move to the “printers” list.

    It should now be working.

    Credit should go to Someguy222 who came up with this trick.

    1. Hoib says:

      Post #9 – This looks good. Except, my problem is, I’m on Windows 7 32-bit, and not Windows 7 64-bit. I wonder how these instructions change in relation to that? If this method is employed, are we still subject to buffer overflow in the 1012 with the requirement that the print queue be dumped (turn off/turn on)?

      1. WGHubris says:

        Hoib, Wish I could help, but I don’t have 64-bit running on my system so I don’t have any idea.

  19. Richard says:

    Rather than going to all this trouble, just get the vista drivers from HP and edit the ini file..

    Replace all instances of HP.NT.6.0 with HP.NT.6.1 (x32) and HP.NTAMD64.6.0 with HP.NTAMD64.6.1 (x64)

    Works like a charm, says LaserJet 1012 and hasn’t failed yet

    1. WGHubris says:

      Mine finally works, so I won’t be messing with it to try out your method, but if it works that well, then I hope others have luck with it.

  20. Lozada says:

    I had the same problem with my hp 1012, no more future purchases. But for now, I install driver hplaserjet 3055, I change from vectorized graphic to raster, and I took port Dot 001 and is working, now even better because I have again the feature of printing by both side of paper which I lost when change from xp to Vista. So Try this to see if it work for you. Luck

    1. WGHubris says:

      I tried the LaserJet 3055 approach and kept ending up with those errors after printing for a little while. If you turn your printer off frequently, you don’t have those issues, but otherwise, it didn’t work for me.

  21. Michael says:

    A printer cannot be permanently deleted while it has an incomplete or errored print job. “Cancel all documents” under “See whats printing” will remove the printer.

  22. Michael says:

    Wow yes it works! Thank you. But not without a confusing struggle. I found setting to a port that would work to be quite difficult. In my case only DOT4_003 works. The presence of other printers creates problems. I had installed a HP1015 driver (experimentally) and its entry in the Ports table won’t go away. I have deleted the HP1015 printer but it still remains in the port table. An explanation of how to use the ports window (and get rid of deleted printers from it) sensibly rather than randomly would be hugely helpful.
    Also because of the problem in getting rid of all traces of a printer, when I tried to delete and then add back the HP3055 I would end up with two HP3055s in the ports table. Very puzzling.
    And clicking “Apply”(when active) in the ports window has a very puzzling effect.

    1. WGHubris says:

      Glad it worked for you!

      Mine runs on DOT4_002. I’m not 100% sure how the whole DOT4 thing works or why it insists on incrementing even if previous ports have been deleted or are unused. The only solution I have right now is to try all of the DOT4 ports until one of them works.

  23. Sam says:

    I have been searching a long time to find a way to use my existing HP 1012 printer with Windows 7. Excellent information.
    Your solution worked.

  24. RobertJ says:

    Excellent article about the LJ1012 Win 7 issue.

    I originally used the LJ1015 Driver from Win7 and it seemed to work fine, but eventually the unsupported Personality Error would rear it’s head.
    I have to see how good the LJ3055 driver works.

    Switching the Printer off/on will probably be unavoidable.

  25. Manno Franca says:

    Thank you so much for your help!
    I was going to buy a new printer and decided to make the last research about my laserjet 1010.
    I ended up on your website and decided to try the way you explained.
    It works just fine!
    Thank you!!

    1. WGHubris says:

      Glad I could help, and save you the cost of buying a new printer. I had the same motivation!

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  28. Harith ali says:

    thank you guyz!!!

    first the idea of making the device driver 3055 is amazing , it makes the Printer go faster and faster and that wht i wanted

    i dont have a problem with drivers but i was having a problem with delay

  29. dave says:

    Wow! fianlly it printed. I was thinking of writing a naasty letter to HP about amount of landfill they are creating but not keyiong some simple driver.

    It didn’t work at first although I switched to rasterized graphic on the 3055.

    The switching to the generic port was the solution for me.

    the 1015 solution by Airwood may be better but for now I don’t want to jinx it!

    Thanks for posting everybody! I was tearing my hair out with deadlines.

  30. Lynne says:

    Which PCL do you recommend the 5 or 6?

    1. Tim says:

      I had to use 5 as 6 did not work and did not have an option to change to raster graphics from vector.

  31. Bill says:

    Thanks for clarifying that. I should have known you were talking about the driver at that point.

    I look forward to seeing how well you make out with the host-based driver (is that the universal driver?).

  32. Bill says:

    Good info but I’m confused on one point. You said, “Additionally, the LaserJet 1012 uses a hacked printing methodology that prints everything as Raster-graphics and not vectorized.” and then at the end you said, “Fortunately, users of LaserJet 1012s can use the 3055 driver successfully if the printer properties are changed to raster-graphics from vectorized and the printer is powered off every so often.”

    Is there a typo in there? Perhaps you meant to change the printer to vectorized from raster?

    I’m still struggling with the 1015 solution for now, but if the 3055 might potentially work better then I would be willing to give it a go. I’m just not in a position at the moment to purchase a new printer (and I’ve always been an avid HP fan up until now).

    1. WGHubris says:

      The sentences aren’t as clear as they could be. I bang out BestHubris articles as fast as I can in my spare time 🙂

      Basically, the HP LaserJet 1012 driver prints everything as Raster-graphics. So, if you want to use the 3055 driver, you need to change it so that is also uses raster-graphics. Otherwise, the printer won’t understand the data it is receiving. By default, the 3055 driver is set to vectorized.

      I am working (successfully so far) on a better solution using the HP LaserJet 1012 host-based driver. It does not seem to require the resets that the 3055 driver does. I’ll update with a post on how it goes once I have enough confidence that it is an actual solution and not just being lucky so far.

  33. ariwood says:

    Easy Fix for 1012 Win7 driver. Follow the steps below

    the 1012 printer (listed as incompatible with win7) will work fine with the 1015 driver (listed as compatible) for basic printing.

    1. you can plug your 1012 in, it will try to install itself and fail.
    2. open “devices and printers” (you can type that into the start menu to find it)
    3. it will show up as an “unspecified device”. right-click and choose properties.
    4. under the hardware tab, select the “generic IEEE…” function and click properties.
    5. you have to click on “change settings” first for it to let you mess with the driver.
    6. on the driver tab, click update driver and choose the “browse my computer…” option.
    7. then choose the “let me pick from a list…” option.
    8. choose “printers”, then the HP LaserJet 1015 (it might complain about incompatibility).

    it should install (and show up as) the laserjet 1015.

    note: if you have vista, the available 1012 driver is very slow between pages. you can change that to the 1015 driver too to make it faster

    1. WGHubris says:

      I started with that “fix”. I seemed to crash on any print job with more than a minimum of graphics, like a multi-page print from a webpage, or a newsletter built in MS Publisher.

      I have seen this posted, but I’ve noted two things. First, it seems to suffer from the same Unsupported Personality error after being used for a while, and two, it seems to give users lots of trouble when trying to share the printer with other users. However, if anyone is still grasping for an answer, here is another option.

      Thank you for posting your solution for us!

      1. Gary says:

        Today, the 1015 driver w/ DOT4_001 port workaround stopped working for me after a few months of success (the “Unsupported Personality: PCL” message would print).

        I tried many of the solutions from the most recent posts, but ariwood’s is the only one that’s working for me. I hope it lasts; I’m crossing my fingers. The main takeaway for me is to keep trying every workaround until you find one that finally takes. They’re all terrific, and I’m sure there are factors with your individual computer that allow some to work and some not.

        Kudos to everyone who’s posted their solutions — thanks for sharing!

  34. Mike says:

    I have been trying like crazy to figure out how to install the hp 3055 driver to my hp 1012 printer in Windows 7. The printer shows up in my devices window but to no evail will it accept the 3055 drivers. Anything I download from the net is an .exe file and will not install either. Anybody that can help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. WGHubris says:

      Most of those EXE files are just self extracting archives, so it may not run anything at all. If it does run some setup program, I’m sure part of that would be to detect the HP 3055 printer, which it will not.

      Instead, use the ADD Printer utility in Windows 7 Control Panel. Try switching from the default LPT1 to DOT4 USB Generic port. Then, select the 3055 driver on the next screen. Either take what is there or use “Have Disk” and point it to your EXE file.

  35. Frank Peters says:

    Thanks for this. We bought a Brother this time but still need the HP1012 for the cabin.

    1. WGHubris says:

      Not sure how I feel about Brother at this stage. Other Brother printers I have had have been a nightmare. One did not even make it through one ream of paper before the fuser (or something like that) was “scored” resulting in a line down every printout. Replacing that one part was going to cost $85. Considering I bought the printer for $125, that seemed like a big ripoff.

      On the other hand, I have a Brother MFC-845CW a good color all-in-one inkjet printer and it has run for several years without any real problems other than going through ink pretty quickly. (Other reviewers have hated it though, so who knows.)

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  38. Ken Bittell says:

    Thank you for sharing information on using the hp1012 printer with Windows 7. I had previously found information on the web about using the 3055 driver with the hp1012 and Windows 7 and was able to get my sister’s hp1012 working with her new Gateway computer running Windows 7. However after a while it stopped working and displayed the Unsupported Personality: PCL error message.

    My sister was about to give up and buy a new printer when we found your web page explaining the cause of the they error and the need to clear the buffers periodically by powering off the printer. We cycled the power to the printer and it’s working again.

    Thank you for making the effort to share this information.

  39. Kata Blurk says:

    Thanks a lot for info on HP Laser Jet 1012! Got driver for the 3050 and it works to with Windows 7 – deafult istallation with raster-graphics and not vectorized.
    All that i needed was the info of switching of from time to time 😀

    1. WGHubris says:

      Glad to help. The turning off thing is the key. Otherwise, eventually you start getting those Unsupported Personality: PCL messages and then think that it is not working.

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