IE7 Printer Conflict and a Firefox 2.0 Question

Sunday, November 5, 2006

When I tried to install Internet Explorer 7, the software for my Hewlett-Packard printer/scanner stopped working. HP tech support told me to uninstall IE 7. Should I?

That sounds too weird to be true -- how can a Web browser break your printer's software? -- but it's real. Hewlett-Packard spokesman Russ Twoey confirmed this bug with its HP Director program but said the following routine can allow users to keep IE 7.

First, open HP Director as usual. It will appear hidden, but pressing the Alt key and space bar at the same time will bring up a window-size menu; select "Minimize" from that. Now click the HP Director button you'll see in the taskbar at the bottom of the Windows XP desktop. Repeat these steps each time you run Director.

Twoey said HP is working on an IE 7-compatible version of Director but did not say when that would arrive. If you'd rather revert to IE 6, open the Add or Remove Programs control panel, select "Windows Internet Explorer 7" and click the "Remove" button.

I upgraded to Mozilla Firefox 2, and now I can't block tracking cookies in this browser.

Old versions of Firefox could be set to refuse the cookies -- little, inert text files -- set on your computer by advertising networks. But version 2 buried that setting in a misguided attempt at simplifying its Options window.

Instead of clicking one checkbox, you'll have to do this: Type "about:config" into Firefox's address bar, then type "network.cookie.cookiebehavior" in the "Filter" box. That will leave one settings line visible; double-click it, type "1" in the "Enter integer value" box, then click OK.

-- Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071

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