Is there a way for a "drivers only" installation for HP printer?

On the CD was there a drivers folder? If there is you can install the printer manually through Devices and Printers and tell the new printer wizard to search the CD for the required drivers point to the driver's .inf file on the CD.

This will completely bypass HP's installer.

When installing the driver through the wizard you may actually find the printer in the list of models included in Windows' driver cache, failing the CD and the cache try HP's website.

n.b. you didn't specify an OS so I assumed Windows 7.

Use 7-zip or similar to open the installer - the driver files are usually in there. You can often extract all the files in the installer.

Then go to add a printer in Windows, and follow the path to choosing a printer and say you have a disk. Then point this dialog at the folder to you extracted to, and Windows will give you a list of the printer drivers found in that directory. Choose your printer and away you go - no crud.