I have a baffling problem that Windows support has thus far been unable to solve. Vista Home Premium (32 bit) came pre-installed on my new HP Pavilion desktop. I needed a new printer/scanner, so I did some research on Vista compatibility and determined that the Brother DCP-7020 multifunction was supported. Brother's website claims that the DCP-7020 drivers are "built in" to Vista, thus no need for Brother-provided drivers, although Brother does provide Vista drivers for the machine for download.
Set the machine up, plugged it in via direct USB connection to the computer. The printer seemed to install correctly, as Vista regnized the model and the popup in the system tray indicated that the drivers had been successfully installed. The printer appeared in the Printers folder. Printing a test page resulted in the error message "Test page failed to print. Access is denied." Printing also failed from all applications (Word, Excel, Firefox, Acrobat...) Error messages ranged from "Unknown Error" to "There are no printers installed." (This, despite the fact that not only is the Brother DCP-7020 clearly in the Printers folder, but so is the PDF printer that was installed with Adobe Acrobat Standard 8, not to mention the XPS Document Writer that *came* with Vista.) There does not appear to be any spooling occurring, as the printer icon never appears in the System Tray, not even for a moment.
The DCP-7020 scans and copies just fine, so I doubted that it was a hardware issue.
Brother tech support walked me through the obvious steps. Removed the DCP-7020 printer and re-installed using the latest Vista drivers and software downloaded from Brother's Website. Same problem persists. Eventually Brother begged off the problem as an OS issue.
Not wanting to deal with the ignorance from OEM's tech support, I called Windows tech support and paid $60 to obtain "solved or it's free" support ticket. The tech was very patient and methodical and knowledgable, thankfully, but between the two of us we could not solve the problem after two hours on the phone. Admittedly baffled, she referred the problem to a research team, whom I am still waiting to get back to me.
Last night I discovered that the problem extends *beyond* the hardware printer, however. I cannot print using either the Adobe PDF printer or the XPS document writer, either. (I never bothered to try either before installing the Brother printer, so I don't know if these issues pre-date my problem with the Brotehr printer.) So the problem evidently is a Vista or Vista-related issue and extends beyond the Brother printer itself.
There is only one account on the computer, for myself, and it has full administrator rights. The Windows techie suggested several solutions, all of which failed. We tried re-starting the print spooling service, shutting off Norton security center, switching USB ports, verifying the integrity of the USB controller, etc., etc.
I feel like I'm in the ninth circle of computer hell here. Any ideas?