I have a new functional (already tested it elsewhere) lexmark 2200 series all in one and xp will not detect the new hardware. i have downloaded the software from the disc and then get not communicating with printer message making me nuts
Try a real old fix. Unplug your printer USB cord at the computer. Delete all instances of the same printer if there are any. Reboot to windows with it unpluged. Now plug it into another USB socket, turn the printer on, and reboot again. Windows should find "New Hardware" and offer to install the drivers.
You'll find that for many USB printers you actually need to run the installation routine and then plug the printer in later, when prompted to do so. Plugging the printer in and turning it on before you install the drivers can stuff up the installation ;)
I'd suggest you disconnect the printer, uninstall any references to it in the Printer section of Control Panel AND in add/remove programs, and then install it from the installation CD.