Large companies with hundreds and even thousands of desktop computers referred to as workstations must be reliable. In order to achieve a high level of reliability these computer stations are configured with the very basic requirements. You’ll never see peripherals such as cameras, scanners, printers, music devices and in many cases not even speakers. Companies over time, have learned through experience, third party drivers are the single most common reason for computer problems. This scenario holds true for your Home Computer as well. Take the well learned lesson from the best technology minds and try to limit what you add to your computer.
One group of peripherals is responsible for more computer headaches than all others combined. It doesn’t seem to matter from which manufacture they come from. All multifunction printers are a disaster when it comes to their software. There are many practical reasons to own one of these. Cost, space and function head the list. Unfortunately, the marketing department is way ahead of engineering so the only thing that works is the advertising. You as the consumer are left to wrestle with a first time installation that can take many many hours or as is very common not succeeding at all. If you are one of the lucky ones to actually get yours to install, you are plagued with constant error messages when you try to do anything.
The best advice that I can give you along with thousands of IT professionals is, DO NOT BUY ONE. There are no good ones, every single multifunction printer is a piece of garbage. If your intention is to get your work done as quickly and easily as possible without frustration, you will need to buy separate components for your needs. That means a printer that just prints, the scanner that just scans, and of course the fax machine that just faxes
I can hear you screaming already, “I don’t have the space”. I don’t have the ultimate answer for that except to say rearrange your office to accommodate the larger surface needed. Learn from the thousands who have come before, take the wisdom of highly paid professionals and get on with your job. If you want your computer to be as reliable as possible whether you run Windows XP or Windows Vista take your multifunction printer donate it, give it away, throw it away, return it or just box it up and put it in the garage.