2011-07-23

HP drivers: still terrible after all these years

Poking around on my Mac the other night, I noticed something odd: with nothing in particular running, the system load average was pegged above 1.0. A quick glance at the process table revealed something called HPShortcutManager.app sitting there, quietly laying siege to a processor core.

I like to know my enemies before I destroy them. A quick search led me to a fascinating thread on the HP Support Forum, detailing how anyone who is so bold and daring as to install the HP scanner drivers on a Mac is doomed to suffer the loss of a CPU core, unless the user actively intervenes to prevent it.

Of the available (trivial) workarounds, I opted for killing some processes and deleting some files - problem solved, no more runaway CPU core. Ignoring the fact that HP is aware of this problem and does nothing about it, which strikes me as terribly irresponsible, this made me think: apparently my little MacBook Pro is such a beast that it can sit above 1.0 load for several months without me ever even noticing - and I'm not exactly a light user!

I had noticed the machine running a bit hot, and the average battery life was somewhat disappointing. In retrospect, I feel rather foolish for not looking into it sooner - I simply assumed the i7 was just that power-hungry. It will be interesting to see what the machine is like now, without a bunch of resources being wasted on nothing...

On a related note, HP's software was all installed on my system owned by a non-existent user/group ID 504:504. If I had more user accounts, that may well have been some random person - not ideal. I've changed them all to be owned by root:admin, and scanning still works with this configuration.

These are the commands I ran to accomplish everything described here:

sudo killall -9 HPShortcutManagerStartup.app
sudo killall -9 HPShortcutManager.app

sudo mv "/Library/Application Support/Hewlett-Packard/HP Scanjet Scanner/HPShortcutManagerStartup.app" "/Library/Application Support/Hewlett-Packard/HP Scanjet Scanner/HPShortcutManagerStartup.app.broken"
sudo mv "/Library/Application Support/Hewlett-Packard/HP Scanjet Scanner/HPShortcutManager.app" "/Library/Application Support/Hewlett-Packard/HP Scanjet Scanner/HPShortcutManager.app.broken"

sudo find /Applications /Library -uid 504 -exec chown root:admin {} \;

1 comment:

  1. As for me, the hardware from HP has been good. My only problem lies with the bugs with the installation of the drivers. When you download a driver, most of them are not in English.
    bristol printing

    ReplyDelete