Solved – Cannot install USB Printer (the parameter is incorrect)
After cleaning up a virus infection a customer’s laptop came back to me because they could not install their Kodak ESP-3 printer on it. All attempts to install the printer resulted in failure with the cryptic error message being “the parameter is incorrect”. The only reference to a problem in the Event Log was an entry saying “KSDip.dll failed to unregister”, which I got each time after uninstalling the Kodak software (this error message turned out to be a red herring).
After a lot of wasted effort I finally came back to something that I was suspicious of from the beginning. The customer was a university student and apparently the university had loaded some software by Pharos Systems on the computer. The Pharos software, I guess, does some kind of tracking of print jobs, perhaps on shared printers – I’m not that sure exactly.
I should mention that I was suspicious of the Pharos software from the beginning because it would cause the system to make the “Windows Critical Error” bong every so often. To make a long story short, Pharos takes over the USB Monitor and Port functions and, it seems, keeps users from installing printers onto them.
This thread by another poor slob who could not install a USB printer gave some good hints as to where to look for the problem, and Microsoft was some help as well. The key, if you need to work around Pharos (which refused uninstallation on my computer) is to get the extra Pharos references out of the USB Monitor and Ports sections of the registry and to add the default keys back in.