HP Printer Not Scanning as PDF [How to Fix]

In this article, we will guide you on how to fix the HP printer not scanning as PDF problem.

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HP Printer Not Scanning as PDF [Solutions]

If your HP printer does not scan as PDF, try the solutions we have provided below for different Windows versions:

How to Fix HP Printer Not Scanning as PDF on Windows 8

To fix the HP printer not scanning as PDF on Windows 8 problem, try the solutions below:

1. Check if the Settings in the HP Solution Center are Correct

Do the following steps to check if the settings in the HP Solution Center are correct:

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows “Start” button. Alternatively, you can right-click on the bottom corner of your computer screen.

Step 2: Click on “Search”.

Step 3: Type in the search box “HP Solution Center”.

Step 4: Press the “Enter” on your keyboard.

Step 5: Click on the icon for your HP Printer.

Step 6: Click on “Scan Document”.

Note: Don’t choose “Scan Picture” instead of “Scan Document” even if you want to scan a picture to PDF. This is important because choosing “Scan Picture” will restrict the file types available, and as such, the option to choose PDF will be unavailable.

Once you perform step 6, you’ll see a scan settings prompt on the screen.

If you don’t see a prompt, then it could be that a preference might have been set in place to sidestep this prompt. Therefore, you need to restore the prompt by doing the following and then restarting the scan afterward:

i. Cancel the scan in progress and go back to the HP Solution Center home screen.

ii. Click on “Settings”.

iii. Click on “Scan Settings”.

iv. Click on “Scan Document Settings”. This action will cause the window for “Scan Button Settings” to open.

v. Go to the area for “Scan Document button” and confirm if the settings are correct. Therefore, ensure that the check box beside “Prompt for settings at the time of the scan” is selected. If it is not, then you need to select it. After that, click “OK”.

vi. Click on “Home”. This action will take you back to the HP Solution Center home screen.

vii. Click on “Scan Document” to restart scanning.

Step 7: When the screen for the settings prompt appears, ensure that you don’t select the option “picture”. Although the software differs by HP printer model, you should look for these:

  • Look in the top-left corner for “What are you scanning”, and then choose “Document” instead of “Picture”.
  • Look on the window’s left-side for “Scan Shortcuts”, and ensure that you don’t choose any shortcuts denoting “Picture”.

Step 8: From the drop-down list, click the destination for your scan under the setting “Scan to”.

Note: You might find that the destination for “Scan to” for PDF might be above one. If you don’t know the destination to choose, simply click “Save to file”.

Step 9: From the drop-down list, find “PDF” under the setting “File Type”.

  • If you still can’t find the PDF option, then move to the next solution.
  • If the PDF option is available, then you don’t need to do any more steps, just go ahead and scan your document.

Note: If you discover that PDF is available in HP Solution Center, but unavailable when your printer’s scan button is used, then you should “use HP Solution Center to create the settings for the scan button on the printer. The steps to set up the scan button on your HP printer depend on the model of your printer as well as the software version. To get precise instructions, you should click on “Help” on the HP Solution Center home screen. Alternatively, you can click on the HP Solution Center’s settings screen.

2. Reinstall Adobe Reader

Sometimes, upgrading or installing Adobe Reader after the installation of your HP printer software on your computer might lead to the loss of the PDF scanning option in the HP Solution Center. Therefore, removing and reinstalling Adobe Reader might resolve the issue.

How to Remove and then Reinstall Adobe Reader on Windows 8  

To remove and then reinstall Adobe Reader on your Windows 8 computer, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows “Start” button. Alternatively, you can click on the bottom-left corner of your computer screen.

Step 2: Double-click on “Programs and Features”.

Step 3: Find “Adobe Reader”.

  • If the Adobe Reader software isn’t installed on your computer, go to the step below to learn how to download and then install it.
  • If the Adobe Reader is installed, remove it by clicking on “Adobe Reader”, then click on “Uninstall”. After that follow the instructions on the screen to finish the uninstallation.
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Step 4: To download Adobe Reader, visit www.adobe.com, and then click on “Get Adobe Reader”. After that, follow the instructions on the screen to download and then install the Adobe Reader Software.

Note: Ensure that you choose the right language as well as the operating system before you download the software.

Step 5: Once the installation is complete, perform another scan.

If you can now scan to PDF, then the issue has been resolved.

However, if you still can’t scan to PDF, then try the next solution.

This article: Scan with HP Printer [How To/Issues & Solutions] will guide you on how to fix other HP printer scan issues that we didn’t cover here.

3. Uninstall and then Reinstall HP Printer Software

If your HP printer software wasn’t properly installed, or you didn’t include certain vital components if you carried out a custom installation, then it could cause your printer not to scan to PDF.

Therefore, to fix this issue, you need to uninstall and then reinstall the software. We will guide you on how to uninstall the already installed printer software and how to install the software below.

How to Uninstall Existing HP Printer Software

You can uninstall the HP printer software in your computer using any of the methods below:

Note: Before you check the methods below; if you are prompted to remove or delete shared files during the uninstallation, you should click on “No”. If you click on “Yes”, then you might cause other programs using such files not to work.

Uninstall HP Printer Software via HP Uninstaller – Method 1

To uninstall HP printer software using HP uninstaller, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows “Start” button. Alternatively, you can click on the bottom-left corner of your computer screen.

Step 2: Click on “Search”.

Step 3: In the search box, type “HP”.

Step 4: Click on your HP printer name.

Step 5: Click on “Uninstall Software” or “Uninstall”.

Step 6: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation.

Uninstall HP Printer Software via Windows Control Panel – Method 2

To uninstall HP software using the Windows control panel, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows “Start” button. Alternatively, you can click on the bottom-left corner of your computer screen.

Step 2: Click on “Programs and Features”.

Step 3: Locate the driver of your HP printer in the installed programs list.

In case you don’t find your printer’s driver listed by the name of your printer, then you should look for your type of printer. For example, look for names like DeskJet, OfficeJet, PSC, Photosmart, etc.

Step 4: Click on your printer driver.

Step 5: Click on “Uninstall”.

Step 6: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation.

If you want to remove other components of your printer software, repeat the steps in method 2 for the individual component. 

Step 7: Restart your computer.

How to Download and then Install HP Printer Software from HP Website

To download and then install HP printer software from the HP website, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Press the power button on your printer to turn it on.

Step 2: Unplug any connected USB cable from your printer. You will be prompted to plug in the USB cable if it is needed.

Step 3: Visit the HP Software download page.

Step 4: If a page for “Let’s identify your product to get started” appears, click on “Printer”.

Step 5: Type in the model number of your HP printer.

Step 6: Click on “Submit”.

Step 7: If you want to change your computer’s operating system, click on “Change”.

Step 8: Choose the version of the operating system you want.

Step 9: Click on “Change”.

Step 10: Go to the heading for “Driver”, and then click on “Download”. This will give you the full software package. Alternatively, you can click on “Basic Drivers”. This option will give you other options.

We recommend you choose the “Full” option as you get all the software components that you’ll need.

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How to Fix HP Printer Not Scanning as PDF on Windows 7 and Windows Vista

To fix the HP printer not scanning as PDF on Windows 7 or Windows Vista, try the solutions below:

1. Check if the Settings in the HP Solution Center are Correct

Do the following steps to check if the settings in the HP Solution Center are correct:

Step 1: Click on the Windows icon.

Step 2: Click on “All Programs”.

Step 3: Click on the folder labeled “HP”.

Step 4: Click on “HP Solution Center”.

Step 5: Click on the icon for your HP Printer.

Step 6: Click on “Scan Document”.

Note: Don’t choose “Scan Picture” instead of “Scan Document” even if you want to scan a picture to PDF. This is important because choosing “Scan Picture” will restrict the file types available, and as such, the option to choose PDF will be unavailable.

Once you perform step 6, you’ll see a scan settings prompt on the screen.

If you don’t see a prompt, then it could be that a preference might have been set in place to sidestep this prompt. Therefore, you need to restore the prompt by doing the following and then restarting the scan afterward:

i. Cancel the scan in progress and go back to the HP Solution Center home screen.

ii. Click on “Settings”.

iii. Click on “Scan Settings”.

iv. Click on “Scan Document Settings”. This action will cause the window for “Scan Button Settings” to open.

v. Go to the area for “Scan Document button” and confirm if the settings are correct. Therefore, ensure that the check box beside “Prompt for settings at the time of the scan” is selected. If it is not, then you need to select it. After that, click “OK”.

vi. Click on “Home”. This action will take you back to the HP Solution Center home screen.

vii. Click on “Scan Document” to restart scanning.

Step 7: When the screen for the settings prompt appears, ensure that you don’t select the option “picture”. Although the software differs by HP printer model, you should look for these:

  • Look in the top-left corner for “What are you scanning”, and then choose “Document” instead of “Picture”.
  • Look on the window’s left-side for “Scan Shortcuts”, and ensure that you don’t choose any shortcuts denoting “Picture”.

Step 8: From the drop-down list, click the destination for your scan under the setting “Scan to”.

Note: You might find that the destination for “Scan to” for PDF might be above one. If you don’t know the destination to choose, simply click “Save to file”.

Step 9: From the drop-down list, find “PDF” under the setting “File Type”.

  • If you still can’t find the PDF option, then move to the next solution.
  • If the PDF option is available, then you don’t need to do any more steps, just go ahead and scan your document.

Note: If you discover that PDF is available in HP Solution Center, but unavailable when your printer’s scan button is used, then you should “use HP Solution Center to create the settings for the scan button on the printer. The steps to set up the scan button on your HP printer depend on the model of your printer as well as the software version. To get precise instructions, you should click on “Help” on the HP Solution Center home screen. Alternatively, you can click on the HP Solution Center’s settings screen.

2. Reinstall Adobe Reader

Sometimes, upgrading or installing Adobe Reader after the installation of your HP printer software on your computer might lead to the loss of the PDF scanning option in the HP Solution Center. Therefore, removing and reinstalling Adobe Reader might resolve the issue.

How to Remove and then Reinstall Adobe Reader on Windows 7 and Windows Vista

To remove and then reinstall Adobe Reader on your Windows 7 and Windows Vista computer, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Click on the Windows icon.

Step 2: Click on “Control Panel”.

Step 3: Double-click on “Programs and Features”.

Step 4: Find “Adobe Reader”.

  • If the Adobe Reader software isn’t installed on your computer, go to the step below to learn how to download and then install it.
  • If the Adobe Reader is installed, remove it by clicking on “Adobe Reader”, then click on “Uninstall”. After that follow the instructions on the screen to finish the uninstallation.

Step 5: To download Adobe Reader, visit www.adobe.com, and then click on “Get Adobe Reader”. After that, follow the instructions on the screen to download and then install the Adobe Reader Software.

Note: Ensure that you choose the right language as well as the operating system before you download the software.

Step 6: Once the installation is complete, perform another scan.

If you can now scan to PDF, then the issue has been resolved.

However, if you still can’t scan to PDF, then try the next solution.

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3. Uninstall and then Reinstall HP Printer Software

If your HP printer software wasn’t properly installed, or you didn’t include certain vital components if you carried out a custom installation, then it could cause your printer not to scan to PDF.

Therefore, to fix this issue, you need to uninstall and then reinstall the software. You can use any of the options below to uninstall and then reinstall your HP printer software.

Installing HP Software via Printer CD – Option 1

To uninstall and then reinstall your HP printer software via printer CD, follow the instructions below.

Important: If a USB or Ethernet cable is used to connect your HP printer to your computer, that cable should be removed before proceeding.

How to Uninstall Existing HP Printer Software

You can uninstall the HP printer software in your computer using any of the methods below:

Note: Before you check the methods below; if you are prompted to remove or delete shared files during the uninstallation, you should click on “No”. If you click on “Yes”, then you might cause other programs using such files not to work.

Run HP Uninstaller from Printer CD – Method 1

To uninstall HP printer software by running HP uninstaller from printer CD, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Insert your HP printer CD into your computer’s CD drive and then wait for some seconds to enable the software to start.

Note: If the HP uninstaller doesn’t start automatically, click on the Windows icon, and then click on “My Computer”, before double-clicking on “CD Drive”.

Step 2: Click on “Uninstall”.

Step 3: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation.

Note: If you didn’t see the option for “Uninstall” or it is unavailable, just use method 2 for uninstalling HP printer software.

Run HP Uninstaller from Printer Folder – Method 2

To uninstall HP printer software by running HP uninstaller from the printer folder, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Click on the Windows icon.

Step 2: Click on “All Programs”.

Step 3: Click on the folder labeled “Hewlett Packard” or “HP”.

Step 4: Click on your HP printer folder.

You can identify the folder as it is labeled with the series number of your printer. If you can’t find your HP printer folder, then use method 3 for uninstalling HP printer software.

Step 5: Click on “Uninstall Software” or “Uninstall”.

Step 6: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation.

Uninstall HP Printer Software via Windows Control Panel – Method 3

To uninstall HP software using the Windows control panel, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Click on the Windows icon.

Step 2: Click on “Control Panel”.

Step 3: Follow the instructions below to get to the list of installed programs depending on your view:

  • Control Panel Home: Look under “Programs” and click on “Uninstall a Program”.
  • Classic: Double-click on “Programs and Features”.

Step 4: Locate the driver of your HP printer in the installed programs list.

In case you don’t find your printer’s driver listed by the name of your printer, then you should look for your type of printer. For example, look for names like DeskJet, OfficeJet, PSC, Photosmart, etc.

Step 5: Click on your printer driver.

Step 6: Click on “Uninstall”.

Step 7: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation.

If you want to remove other components of your printer software, repeat the steps in method 2 for the individual component. 

Step 8: Restart your computer.

How to Install HP Printer Software from Printer CD

To install your HP printer from the printer CD, do the steps below:

Step 1: Press your printer’s power button to turn on your printer.

Step 2: Insert your HP printer CD into your computer’s CD drive and then wait for some seconds to enable the software to start.

Note: If the HP uninstaller doesn’t start automatically, click on the Windows icon, and then click on “My Computer”, before double-clicking on “CD Drive”.

Step 3: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.

Step 4: Once the installation is complete, perform another scan.

If it scans, then the issue is resolved.

However, if you still can’t scan, then try the next option.

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Installing HP Software via HP Website – Option 2

To uninstall and then download and reinstall your HP printer software from the HP website, follow the instructions below.

Important: If a USB or Ethernet cable is used to connect your HP printer to your computer, that cable should be removed before proceeding.

How to Uninstall Existing HP Printer Software

Use any of the three methods we shared above under option 1 to uninstall your HP printer software.

How to Download and then Reinstall HP Printer Software from HP Website

To download and then install HP printer software from the HP website, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Press the power button on your printer to turn it on.

Step 2: Unplug any connected USB cable from your printer. You will be prompted to plug in the USB cable if it is needed.

Step 3: Visit the HP Software download page.

Step 4: If a page for “Let’s identify your product to get started” appears, click on “Printer”.

Step 5: Type in the model number of your HP printer.

Step 6: Click on “Submit”.

Step 7: If you want to change your computer’s operating system, click on “Change”.

Step 8: Choose the version of the operating system you want.

Step 9: Click on “Change”.

Step 10: Go to the heading for “Driver”, and then click on “Download”. This will give you the full software package. Alternatively, you can click on “Basic Drivers”. This option will give you other options.

We recommend you choose the “Full” option as you get all the software components that you’ll need.

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How to Fix HP Printer Not Scanning as PDF on Windows XP

To fix the HP printer not scanning as PDF on Windows XP, try the solutions below:

1. Check if the Settings in the HP Solution Center are Correct

Do the following steps to check if the settings in the HP Solution Center are correct:

Step 1: Click on the Windows icon.

Step 2: Click on “All Programs”.

Step 3: Click on the folder labeled “HP”.

Step 4: Click on “HP Solution Center”.

Step 5: Click on the icon for your HP Printer.

Step 6: Click on “Scan Document”.

Note: Don’t choose “Scan Picture” instead of “Scan Document” even if you want to scan a picture to PDF. This is important because choosing “Scan Picture” will restrict the file types available, and as such, the option to choose PDF will be unavailable.

Once you perform step 6, you’ll see a scan settings prompt on the screen.

If you don’t see a prompt, then it could be that a preference might have been set in place to sidestep this prompt. Therefore, you need to restore the prompt by doing the following and then restarting the scan afterward:

i. Cancel the scan in progress and go back to the HP Solution Center home screen.

ii. Click on “Settings”.

iii. Click on “Scan Settings”.

iv. Click on “Scan Document Settings”. This action will cause the window for “Scan Button Settings” to open.

v. Go to the area for “Scan Document button” and confirm if the settings are correct. Therefore, ensure that the check box beside “Prompt for settings at the time of the scan” is selected. If it is not, then you need to select it. After that, click “OK”.

vi. Click on “Home”. This action will take you back to the HP Solution Center home screen.

vii. Click on “Scan Document” to restart scanning.

Step 7: When the screen for the settings prompt appears, ensure that you don’t select the option “picture”. Although the software differs by HP printer model, you should look for these:

  • Look in the top-left corner for “What are you scanning”, and then choose “Document” instead of “Picture”.
  • Look on the window’s left-side for “Scan Shortcuts”, and ensure that you don’t choose any shortcuts denoting “Picture”.

Step 8: From the drop-down list, click the destination for your scan under the setting “Scan to”.

Note: You might find that the destination for “Scan to” for PDF might be above one. If you don’t know the destination to choose, simply click “Save to file”.

Step 9: From the drop-down list, find “PDF” under the setting “File Type”.

  • If you still can’t find the PDF option, then move to the next solution.
  • If the PDF option is available, then you don’t need to do any more steps, just go ahead and scan your document.

Note: If you discover that PDF is available in HP Solution Center, but unavailable when your printer’s scan button is used, then you should “use HP Solution Center to create the settings for the scan button on the printer. The steps to set up the scan button on your HP printer depend on the model of your printer as well as the software version. To get precise instructions, you should click on “Help” on the HP Solution Center home screen. Alternatively, you can click on the HP Solution Center’s settings screen.

2. Reinstall Adobe Reader

Sometimes, upgrading or installing Adobe Reader after the installation of your HP printer software on your computer might lead to the loss of the PDF scanning option in the HP Solution Center. Therefore, removing and reinstalling Adobe Reader might resolve the issue.

How to Remove and then Reinstall Adobe Reader on Windows XP

To remove and then reinstall Adobe Reader on your Windows XP computer, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Click on the Windows icon.

Step 2: Click on “Control Panel”.

Step 3: Double-click on “Add or Remove Programs”.

Step 4: Find “Adobe Reader”.

  • If the Adobe Reader software isn’t installed on your computer, go to the step below to learn how to download and then install it.
  • If the Adobe Reader is installed, remove it by clicking on “Adobe Reader”, then click on “Remove”. After that follow the instructions on the screen to finish the uninstallation.

Step 5: To download Adobe Reader, visit www.adobe.com, and then click on “Get Adobe Reader”. After that, follow the instructions on the screen to download and then install the Adobe Reader Software.

Note: Ensure that you choose the right language as well as the operating system before you download the software.

Step 6: Once the installation is complete, perform another scan.

If you can now scan to PDF, then the issue has been resolved.

However, if you still can’t scan to PDF, then try the next solution.

3. Uninstall and then Reinstall HP Printer Software

If your HP printer software wasn’t properly installed, or you didn’t include certain vital components if you carried out a custom installation, then it could cause your printer not to scan to PDF.

Therefore, to fix this issue, you need to uninstall and then reinstall the software. You can use any of the options below to uninstall and then reinstall your HP printer software.

Installing HP Software via Printer CD – Option 1

To uninstall and then reinstall your HP printer software via printer CD, follow the instructions below.

Important: If a USB or Ethernet cable is used to connect your HP printer to your computer, that cable should be removed before proceeding.

How to Uninstall Existing HP Printer Software

You can uninstall the HP printer software on your computer using any of the methods below:

Note: Before you check the methods below; if you are prompted to remove or delete shared files during the uninstallation, you should click on “No”. If you click on “Yes”, then you might cause other programs using such files not to work.

Run HP Uninstaller from Printer CD – Method 1

To uninstall HP printer software by running HP uninstaller from printer CD, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Insert your HP printer CD into your computer’s CD drive and then wait for some seconds to enable the software to start.

Note: If the HP uninstaller doesn’t start automatically, click on the Windows icon, and then click on “My Computer”, before double-clicking on “CD Drive”.

Step 2: Click on “Uninstall”.

Step 3: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation.

Note: If you didn’t see the option for “Uninstall” or it is unavailable, just use method 2 for uninstalling HP printer software.

Run HP Uninstaller from Printer Folder – Method 2

To uninstall HP printer software by running HP uninstaller from the printer folder, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Click on the Windows icon.

Step 2: Click on “All Programs”.

Step 3: Click on the folder labeled “Hewlett Packard” or “HP”.

Step 4: Click on your HP printer folder.

You can identify the folder as it is labeled with the series number of your printer. If you can’t find your HP printer folder, then use method 3 for uninstalling HP printer software.

Step 5: Click on “Uninstall Software” or “Uninstall”.

Step 6: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation.

Uninstall HP Printer Software via Windows Control Panel – Method 3

To uninstall HP software using the Windows control panel, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Click on the Windows icon.

Step 2: Click on “Control Panel”.

Step 3: Double-click on “Add or Remove Programs”. This action will cause a list showing the installed programs on your Windows computer to open.

Step 4: Locate the driver of your HP printer in the installed programs list.

In case you don’t find your printer’s driver listed by the name of your printer, then you should look for your type of printer. For example, look for names like DeskJet, OfficeJet, PSC, Photosmart, etc.

Step 5: Click on your printer driver.

Step 6: Click on “Uninstall”.

Step 7: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation.

If you want to remove other components of your printer software, repeat the steps in method 2 for the individual component. 

Step 8: Restart your computer.

How to Install HP Printer Software from Printer CD

To install the HP printer from the printer CD, do the steps below:

Step 1: Press your printer’s power button to turn on your printer.

Step 2: Insert your HP printer CD into your computer’s CD drive and then wait for some seconds to enable the software to start.

Note: If the HP uninstaller doesn’t start automatically, click on the Windows icon, and then click on “My Computer”, before double-clicking on “CD Drive”.

Step 3: Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.

Step 4: Once the installation is complete, perform another scan.

If it scans, then the issue is resolved.

However, if you still can’t scan, then try the next option.

Installing HP Software via HP Website – Option 2

To uninstall and then download and reinstall your HP printer software from the HP website, follow the instructions below.

Important: If a USB or Ethernet cable is used to connect your HP printer to your computer, that cable should be removed before proceeding.

How to Uninstall Existing HP Printer Software

Use any of the three methods we shared above under option 1 to uninstall your HP printer software.

How to Download and then Reinstall HP Printer Software from HP Website

To download and then install HP printer software from the HP website, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Press the power button on your printer to turn it on.

Step 2: Unplug any connected USB cable from your printer. You will be prompted to plug in the USB cable if it is needed.

Step 3: Visit the HP Software download page.

Step 4: If a page for “Let’s identify your product to get started” appears, click on “Printer”.

Step 5: Type in the model number of your HP printer.

Step 6: Click on “Submit”.

Step 7: If you want to change your computer’s operating system, click on “Change”.

Step 8: Choose the version of the operating system you want.

Step 9: Click on “Change”.

Step 10: Go to the heading for “Driver”, and then click on “Download”. This will give you the full software package. Alternatively, you can click on “Basic Drivers”. This option will give you other options.

We recommend you choose the “Full” option as you get all the software components that you’ll need.

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