HP Photosmart is a piece of shit (& the programmers should be forced to eat each others beards)

This post is a rant, because HP software made me rant. It contains language that may offend some readers, so don’t read it if you are easily offended. If you work at HP, you are welcome to provide feedback and comment. Better still, write some decent software and then email me a link. K? Thx, bai.

Okay, here’s a rant for you. Can I just say that HP’s Photosmart software is such a piece of crap, that I would rather eat my own hair than use it? Unfortunately HP printers are also so crap, that I have no choice but to. So hair-eating will ensue.

Let’s start from the top. My beloved EPSON CD/DVD printer died (and I need one for my line of work). So I went looking for a replacement. The EPSON replacement was “out of stock” everywhere I looked, and the reviews of it mentioned some issues with the paper pickup. That’s okay I guess since I”m only printing on discs, but do you think I could find one of these printers in the country? Nope.

What about Canon? Well, their disc-printing solution was up in the $800 range. Too much, considering I only print one disc a week. It would take forever to pay itself off. It was also an A3 printer or something; too big – I already have a “nuclear reactor”-sized networked colour laser printer (or so my friend reckons :P) that takes up a lot of space – it’s just that it doesn’t print on discs, hence the requirement or a separate one.

HP. Hrm, HP. Let’s give them a try. JB Hi-Fi was doing the HP Photosmart C5380 “all in one” multifunction, which also happens to print onto discs, for $127 (FYI, I just looked on JB’s website and it’s down to $99! – maybe it’s so cheap because the software is SO BLOODY CRAP!!!!, but I’ll get to that shortly, LOL). So I bought one. Be warned that JB Hifi will try hard to upsell you the “exclusive” 2 sets of ink… available half price, but ONLY if you buy them right now, while you’re in store.

This is, of course, how HP and JB make their money. Cheap hardware with no margin (possibly even at a small loss for HP; you never know) – but lots of markup on the ink. Unfortunately for them, I buy my ink on eBay (or online at other stores) at 1/3 of the price anyway. It works fine and is still genuine. So JB and HP can go and have a little threesome with their ink kit because I don’t want it, but thanks anyway, Mr JB PowerSalesman with dollarsigns for eyes… *fake smile* 😛

So I took the printer home and installed it on my Windows 7 64-bit machine, because the box said it would work. Little did I know that it doesn’t work with the Windows 7 RC (release candidate) that I’m running – only with the final release. My god. Someone at HP really went AWOL with their drivers and ensured the Windows version number was set to 7101+ (I run build 7100). While I could probably hack a .INI file on the CD to make it work I don’t know how or where to start. Knowing HP, it’s bundled into their bloatware and not a standard driver file, like everyone else. No, HP has to do it their way.

So it wouldn’t install on my main machine *grumbles* (nb. I will eventually upgrade to the final Windows 7 release, but not until I have to – in April this year, or something like that, when my v7100 RC expires). Not a huge problem… so I go and install it on my Media Centre PC, which sits next to my main PC anyway. It’s not ON all the time (only at night or when somethings being recorded), but I can turn it on to print, I guess. Not a huge issue. But the media centre Pc doesn’t have a keyboard, screen or mouse attached, since it’s all network driven. I VNC into it. Again not a huge drama, but lots of small drama’s are slowly building into a slightly bigger one :S.

So I install their software. It works, finally. After like 30 minutes of doing god knows what to my hard drive, it installs. And that’s when it starts bombarding me with shit. Register for this, get cheap ink, register your printer, take a survey, do you want to sign up for emails? Automatic updates? What about notifications from HP? What about a free counselling session from using shitty software? How about a free voucher for a shrink because you get asked too many stupid questions from our dumb software?

So finally, I get past all the crap and can begin printing. Yay. Except the software is soooooo lame. Lame is a bad word for it. Dumbed-down, that’s better. Seriously – their printing software is made for either under 8’s, or over 90’s. Seriously! The interface is hopeless. For example, if you want to add multiple photos to a disc print, you cannot just drag & drop like on Epson’s PrintCD software (the one I used to use). You have to manually add image “watch folders” to the HP software, then place your desired image into one of those folders, THEN you can add it onto the CD. And only one. Not multiple photos.

You can’t even move the text box around, it’s position is preset. And what if you want to start off with a simple blank disc design and just add some text? No. You have to go through the 5 question wizard each time you want to print. Do you want labels? A small Cd print? A big CD? A round one? Square one? One shaped like my finger? Cause that’s what I’m giving you at the moment, HP Photosmart. The it’s… “Do you want wedding style or sports?” …Movies? Home? “Fun”? “Kids”? “Family”? What about ASS. Do you have an ASS style, Hewlett Packard? Cause that’s where I’m going to shove this disc in a minute.

Then you have to edit the text. Add your photo. Oh wait, the photo is on MY OTHER COMPUTER because you won’t work on Windows 7 RC, stupid printer. Let me browse to the network. Oh – wait… that’s right, you can’t. You can only access photos on the local drive. So I copy it across to the desktop. Try again. Oh, no – wait, you can’t. It has to be in a frickin HP Photoass 5500 or whatever “watch folder”. So I copy it across and add it to the HP Photo Album [OF PAIN!] or something. Add it. Finally, a photo on the disc (this has taken 10 minutes so far). What about a second photo. Yes… a second photo. Now that would look really lovely, just to the side there – about 2cm by 2cm in size. Just lovely. Oh and in black & white would look beautiful against the colour – with a 3 pixel keyline border in white. Oh wow, that would be so awesome. Oh wait, you can’t add two photos. And you can’t add a border. YOU CAN’T EVEN MAKE A PHOTO BLACK & WHITE.


Grrr… die Hewlett Packard PhotoSmartDumb! Die! I hate you. I cannot wait for an Epson or something to come out… because rather than sell you, Mr HP printer, for a measly $99 dollars, I will get far more enjoyment (and hence, value for money) from dropping you out of the window of a 10-storey building – or hititng you with a sledgehammer. Better still, I will get Dale to drive over it with his car. And then I will take you to mum’s place and burn you in the bonfire area (yet to be built, hey mum? :P) out the back. Actually, I won’t do that – the fumes would be bad for the environment.

But getting Dale to drive over it with his car, or getting Barry to drop one of his concert speakers on it, or smashing you into little pieces with a hammer will be a LOT more fun than selling you to some other poor soul – unless that said poor soul is under 8 or over 90, of course – in which case, you can have it. No wait, I will PAY YOU to take it off me. C’mon Epson… bring on the replacement so I can ditch this HP POS ASAP. I’m counting on you… 😀



  1. Saturday January 9, 2010  3:56 pm by Eddie Reply

    I bypass PhotoSmart and just use Windows 7 to print and scan stuff. I agree. PhotoSmart is a piece of junk. Someone should be hung for that.

  2. Saturday January 9, 2010  4:44 pm by Andy Reply

    Thankfully all my paper-based printing and scanning needs can be fulfilled on the "nuclear reactor" (FujiXerox beast :P)... however, I still need to use the HP for my on-disc prints.

    I *wish* I could use another program to print onto discs instead of the Photosmart junk... but I haven't been able to find one as yet :(

  3. Friday January 29, 2010  12:33 pm by David Reply

    If you're really going to destroy the HP PhotoSmart, please video record it. We want to see it :D

  4. Monday August 9, 2010  9:59 pm by Aussie Gal Reply

    I got the exact same shitty deal! Bloody JB HI FI and HP I hate this printer, I HATE IT! I am seriously ripping my hair out here! I tell it to print something and it waits 10 mins then cancels itself! HP PHOTOSHIT!

  5. Sunday August 29, 2010  10:19 pm by ann tinder Reply

    I have this printer and it's awful, he scanner is the worse part for me, it can't even scan pictures without asking a million question, i have gone back to my epson dx5000, this is a dream to scan with, you press a button and bam it's scanned....not with this HP piece of crap, it want to crop, it wantsto get rid of scratched or dust marks...LMAO i can see this printer would do someone who is into archiving photo's and mucking around their entire life...but not me

    marks out of 10........... 2

  6. Saturday October 30, 2010  6:11 am by Frank Reply


  7. Wednesday December 8, 2010  8:59 am by jean2009 Reply

    Photosmart C4640 is a piece of crap...not 6 months old and won't print.
    Really they should give you the printer free just to buy their overpriced cartridges and then for it not to work. Where do they make these things...probably child slave labor.

  8. Wednesday May 18, 2011  10:04 pm by wbb Reply

    I have suffered a bad case of the HP Photoshits for many years now. The printer cost a bomb because I wanted a wireless one and I've never been able to cut my losses. It has caused me more grief than I can begin to describe here.

    God the stories I could tell. (Found this post searching for "HP Photosmart is crap" tonight while reinstalling a-bloody-gain so I can print the kid's homework.)

  9. Monday May 14, 2012  1:25 am by Grbray Reply

    Does anyone at HP use their own crappy products? I think the best punishment is to make everyone at HP use their own shit.
    How the hell a company the size of HP keeps going with nothing but crap for products is mind boggling!

    • Wednesday June 13, 2012  7:23 pm by thepandahaus Reply

      I'm with you on this one! Even their website is a fugly monstrosity that's very hard to use... just like their products! :P

      • Sunday March 29, 2015  12:50 pm by Kathy Reply

        I agree!!!

  10. Sunday June 17, 2012  4:43 am by Leddabenita Reply

    Hp photosmart Premier Photo software 6.5 does not work and it is a waste of time

  11. Thursday November 29, 2012  11:56 am by payasyougo Reply

    Unlike my POS HP Photsmart Plus printer, my Toyota works just fine. I hope one day to see a HP executive crossing the street in front of me. Unintended acceleration happens.

  12. Thursday November 14, 2013  1:09 pm by Henry Condon Reply

    JUST bought HP 6700 Officejet. It constantly jams; I mean every other time! I'm not taking it back, gonna throw it in the trash and try to find a better product! What a piece of crap!!

  13. Monday December 30, 2013  3:28 am by Barrie Reply

    My piece of shit tells me to close the DVD tray when I'm trying to print on CD & then ruins a piece of paper & wastes the EXPENSIVE ink by printing on paper.

  14. Friday January 24, 2014  11:57 am by Alan Reply

    HP Deskjet F4480. Never got a decent print out of it. Colors were always messed up. Now, it can have anywhere from 1 to 100 sheets of paper in it, and it always says "printer out of paper". Hopeless POS. Die, HP!

  15. Friday January 24, 2014  10:18 pm by Zebadee Reply

    The truth hurts! My one just feeds the envelopes through without leaving an address on them- which was the whole idea. Maybe we could form a self-help group...... my 5520 could be next-

  16. Sunday December 28, 2014  11:12 am by John Reply

    Trying to use HP Photo Books and have to say I wholeheartedly agree. I am so !@#$# frustrated with this piece of crap.

  17. Sunday January 25, 2015  12:30 am by Wes Reply

    HP envy 120

    We bought this printer for my wife since it was wireless, she used it maybe 25 times in a 12 month period only to print. The first time we tried the scan feature it wouldn't work.

    I called HP and the printer is 24 days out of warranty so they will not replace it. But they will allow me to upgrade for a discounted price.

    Answer me this... WHY would I upgrade when the product I bought cost me over $300.00 dollars, and is still basically new, with only 25 pages printed out on it. So I upgrade from a piece of junk to another piece of junk so I can experince the same thing again.

    I am DONE with HP, I have had several of their products over the years but it seems like the quality is getting lower, the price is the same or higher and the "CUSTOMER SERVICE" is SUB-PAR!!!


  18. Sunday February 1, 2015  3:33 am by Marjorie Reply

    Purchased an HP Photosmart 5520 that after 1 year would not print black, thought it was the ink so purchased new one, still no go. Had purchased a warranty at the time so The Source sent it in for repairs & it couldn't be repaired so they sent us a new one (actually probably a demo) that wouldn't load on the disc they sent so used my set up disc from the original but it still would not print black or blue (I've wasted a lot of ink testing this thing) so back I went last night, bought a black & blue, still no print. HP sight is NO HELP AT ALL. So I guess this is going back too. So frustrated, I googled HP Photosmart is a piece of shit and this sight popped up. Go figure. After reading other posted about HP I have to cut my losses & move on but to where. I want a printer scanner but don't know what to move to. It is just for home use. WHY is this so difficult. Any suggestions out there? I AGREE, DIE HP

  19. Sunday March 29, 2015  11:55 am by Kathy Reply

    I hate out HP Photosmart 7520 bought from JB Hifi at Leichhardt - it's a piece of crap! It is still under warranty - in fact we now have the 2nd printer which is a replacement for the first faulty one we bought. They are crap, crap, crap! I'm so angry - just 3 weeks ago I had to uninstall, then re-install this 2nd bit of rubbish! It worked like a dream for just under 3 weeks, now it's behaving really badly AGAIN. I've had enough. As for HP and their 'help' - God!! ... is it really possible to be so useless?

  20. Saturday July 11, 2015  3:47 pm by Nola Nowland Reply

    You are absolutely right about HP, if my 7520 Photosmart is anything to go by. I've had it for about 3 years, if that, but it's always been slow, clunky and temperamental, as were the 2 previous HPs before that. Never again. I'm done with HP. AND DONT GET ME STARTED ON THE COST OF THEIR INK CARTRIDGES!!!!

  21. Monday August 24, 2015  4:21 pm by Rashan Reply

    I miss my beloved canon mp270 - It was an old thing, but never did I have a problem with it in all of my 5-7 years of having it.
    Then I buy this piece of crap HP 5520 and it has been difficult from the very beginning.
    NOTHING that any other low budget printer can't give me


    - That stupid bloody 'tray' that consists of a thin little fold out plastic arm that bends the paper or just plain drops it on the the floor
    - Ridiculously long set-up program
    - Ridiculously long load up times for print outs
    - OH, and , ERM - Starts to have brain-farts after only a year of use - A year, I might add in which I wouldn't have done more than 10 printing AND scanning jobs.
    - I have to go through about 4 stages of cleaning and realignment and then it still smudges the lines across the page if I go down the road in frustration to get a coffee, then I reload the paper to finish the print job, AND IT SMUDGES UP AGAIN - forcing me to cancel the print job and re-program the print from the smudgy page onward again - bear in mind that this happened after I realigned and cleaned the damn thing AS WELL AS CHANGING ALL CARTRIDGES, got the dreaded smudge again, THEN REDID THE CLEANING AND REALIGNING AGAIN!!! That's 4 times!!! After only using it about 10x in a year.

    I don't care about any counter arguments - this thing is a piece of crap:

    Easily the WORST PRINTER I HAVE EVER BOUGHT IN MY LIFE!!! That Has cost me over $150 of wastage in ink, color, and black and white. Hell, I thought that the separate color ink was supposed to save money!!! Instead it has cost me much extra due to the smudge factor!

    My conclusion is

    DON'T BUY HP - They will try to rip you off by selling pieces of crap that don't work just enough to cost you more in maintenance and ink.

  22. Sunday March 6, 2016  8:52 am by AStare Reply

    Absolutely HATE my HP 7520 Photosmart all-in-one. NEVER works when I need it. There is ALWAYS an ink cartridge either low or dead. The paper feed only works half the time. The scanner is rarely accessible because the entire unit has somehow fallen off my WiFi and I have to go through the entire setup to get it back on. Oh, and for a color "photo" printer, this is kind of a big deal: I've NEVER printed a photo off of this thing that even looked halfway decent EXCEPT for the "Bird of Paradise" flower print they provide as the example for the 4x6" photo tray. It's a horrible, awful, no-good, very-bad printer and I could very easily be persuaded to end its existence with a sledgehammer...especially since I have a new Canon Pixma Pro-100 on the way from Amazon as I'm writing this.

  23. Tuesday May 2, 2017  1:37 am by Hans Reply

    Just saw the post while googling HP 5520 is crap!

    That printer never worked properly, I contacted HP (in Switzerland), and of course they don't give a shit, they have sold their piece of crap, so then get lost!
    Systematically, when I print a new page, that crappy printer (HP 5520) makes a very loud noise to bring the sheet of paper, then it get jammed! Once that first paper has been removed, then I can go on and print my work.

    I will never buy again any shit from HP, If you read this comment, don't make the same mistake I did, if you need to buy a printer, choose another brand!

  24. Sunday May 20, 2018  4:09 am by John Sawyer Reply

    I just threw mine in the trash!!!! HP has lost its way. I will NEVER buy another piece of HP shit in my life. FUCK HP!!!

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