Finding this thread caused me to register just to throw in my two cents... after first getting a HP computer, the first step after the first start-up is uninstall... uninstall... uninstall... all the extras, games, helpers... Instead of HP update, just know your model number and swing by their site once in a while... but that hasn't even been necessary for me, as I find windows update tracks most of what I need.
As for printer drivers
... I got this 5600 all-in-one unit, HP wants me to install a 450MB process (that comes with three services) just to print "hello world." What I did (last time*) was disable the printer - uninstall the driver
- run a search of my hard drive for "HP" - uninstall or remove all offending programs, files, folders... then simply restart. On reboot, Windows should find a "disabled device without a driver
" and automatically use a generic Microsoft driver. I've used XP, Vista, and now 7; each one was able to automatically find and enable my printer.
*this time I just installed the OS (Win7) and did not install any HP crap.
That said: FIRST THING you might want to do is set a restore point. Click "Control Panel," click "System," click "Advanced System Settings." In the pop-up window, select tab, "System Protection." The option at the bottom "create restore point right now" is your friend.
My last computer was a Compaq (which ran HP crap,) my latest is straight HP, so I have like five years experience in dealing with HP software - and I haven't found that I needed any of it.