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Some older printers don't have a driver (software that tells the PC how to work the printer) for Windows 7. This website is Epson's Support site, and lists a driver that it says is "compatible" with windows vista.
I just looked on my windows 7 box and I see that windows has 2 built in driver versions listed for that printer. Try removing the HP software for it (if its installed) and remove the printer from "printers and devices". If the printer is hooked up with USB, unplug the USB connection from the computer and plug it back in. If its hooked up with a parallel cable, use the add a printer wizard from within the devices and printers window. I had an hp printer issue after I upgraded from vista to 7. removing the printer and having windows reinstall it fixed it for me.
uninstall the lexmark drivers leave the the printer hooked to your pc make sure that the printer is uninstalled. reboot your pc vista will find it when it does click on the found new hard ware icon and let vista install it for you it has drivers for this printer
could you try another cable, maybe the cable is the problem. If not, test the port if it detects other devices. If not disconnect the printer and install first the driver and then when it asks for the printer, hook it up.
Maybe your USB port or USB cable is not working? For sure you need to get the latest drivers for Vista, Try to download the driver from Lexmark website at http://downloads.lexmark.com/cgi-perl/downloads.cgi?category=Drivers&ccs=229:1:0:552:0:0&searchLang=en&os_group=Windows%20Vista
If that still doesn't work, see if you can get another USB device to connect to your computer - like a USB Flash Drive (or "thumb drive").
How long ago did you purchase the printer? Does it have the "Certified for Windows Vista" logo on the box? If not, it won't work with Vista at all.
I checked Microsoft's Hardware Compatibility List and it says the HP Photosmart C3100 series is *certified* with Vista, however it does not say it *works* with Vista.
Per the link, the driver may be part of the Windows Update. Give that a try, as well as HP's website. Otherwise you may need to take it back and exchange it for a Vista-certified printer.
Let me know how it works out!