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Two printers connected to one computer?

by Big Steve / November 9, 2012 2:07 PM PST
I have a Dell Dimension 3100 desktop PC which has an HP C5280 Photosmart All-In-One inkjet printer hooked up to it. I've made room on my desk for another printer; can I have more than one inkjet printer connected to the same computer?

Set one printer as my default printer in Control Panel and when I want to print something using the other printer just change my default printer setting to the other printer in Control Panel before I print something using the other printer?

The other printer which I want to connect to my computer is an older HP printer; an HP Deskjet 895Cse inkjet printer which I can use to print on many things that I cannot do when I attempt to use the HP C5280 inkjet printer.
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All Answers

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Two printers
by pgc3 / November 9, 2012 11:43 PM PST

Many do what you are wanting to do, as you said, make one default. You may have to update the software (drivers) for the 895, since it is an older unit and that would depend on the OS that you are using.

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Re: Two printers
by Big Steve / November 10, 2012 6:49 AM PST
In reply to: Two printers

My computer's OS is Windows Home XP with SP3 and my HP C5280 Photosmart All-In-One inkjet printer lately has been acting like it's on crack only when I attempt to print on envelopes. I'll put a No. 10 business envelope in the main paper tray; open up "My Documents" where I have several templates for envelopes stored; I find one of my No. 10 templates; it might be one to print the return address information on the back of the envelope; I'll edit the information in the template on my monitor's screen; then hit print review to make sure everything looks right; I'll then check my printer's settings; if the settings look good I'll then hit print; out spits the envelope with my return address information printed lower down in the middle of the envelope and not at the top of the envelope on the envelope's flap where it should be.

I'll put another No. 10 business envelope in the paper tray; repeat the entire procedure and it'll work the second time. For 14 years I've been able to print on my HP Deskjet 895Cse inkjet printer on the following sized envelopes: No. 6's, No. 10's, No. 11's, No. 12's and No. 14's. I also have been able to create custom sized envelopes like greeting card envelopes and print on those as well and I also have created a template for a USPS Certified Mail RRGC; both front and back and can print on those when I send out Certified Mail. When I send out USPS Priority Mail I also have a template created so I can print on those address labels too. The only envelope size I can print on when I use my HP C5280 Photosmart All-In-One inkjet printer is a No. 10.

It will soon be time to address envelopes to send out Christmas cards which is why I decided to ask my original question. I like the features of being able to make copies; scan documents; and print 4x6 borderless color photographs on my C5280 but come Christmas time I will also want to have installed and ready to go a second printer; my older 895Cse which I can use to address the front and back of all of my odd sized Christmas card greeting envelopes.

I contacted HP a few weeks ago shopping for a new printer to replace my 4 year old C5280; I asked HP if they currently sold an inkjet printer with similar features to my C5280 which would allow me to print on all of the different sized envelopes I have listed above; HP told me no they did not. HP said I could only print on No. 10's on any of their new inkjet printers. I put the same question to Canon; they too said no.

One day soon my 14 year old HP Deskjet 895Cse inkjet printer will eventually stop working but in the meantime; this is the part I don't like; that HP Deskjet 895Cse uses a No. 45 black cartridge and a No. 23 tri-color cartridge; purchased in a combo pack to save money one of those HP 45/23 combo packs will set me back about $80.00 USD but the tanks are huge in comparison to HP's new line of inkjet cartridges which are being sold today by individual colors and not a combo cartridge like my No. 23. One final question; I'll need to buy another USB 2.0 cable; I must have looked at over 100 cables on Office last night. Some had silver looking connectors; others had gold looking connectors; a 10' long high speed USB 2.0 A/B cable sells for around $30.00 USD. For what I will need does the color of the cable's connectors really matter?

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USB cables
by pgc3 / November 10, 2012 7:02 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Two printers

Look on NEWEGG.COM for cables if you are ordering online, they will be cheaper and don't worry about the color. Don't use cables longer than 10' shorter is better, keep to the 6' if you can.

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Re: USB cables
by Big Steve / November 10, 2012 10:54 AM PST
In reply to: USB cables

Thanks for the info. Why do you recommend a 6' cable vs a 10' one? Just curious. When I bought my HP C5280 printer from Office 4 years ago I had to also order a cable since HP never supplies cables. I still have the box the printer came in; I save things like that and inside the HP printer box was the empty blister pack for the Ativa high speed 2.0 USB cable; 10 foot long that I also ordered when I ordered my printer and I needed the 10' cable because my desk is over 6' long. I'll check out and will price compare 6' cables vs 10' cables. Does the length in the cable have something to do with the speed in which the data is transmitted?
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Cable length
by pgc3 / November 10, 2012 11:33 PM PST
In reply to: Re: USB cables

10' is usually fine to use but yes cables too long can create issues with connectivity. In some cases if very long cables(or extensions) are used to create longer runs, drop out can occur making the printer or device useless. If that situation arises you can usually resolve the problem by using a powered USB hub in the middle of the run. Using cables 10' or less is typically recommended.

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Re: Cable length
by Big Steve / November 11, 2012 8:03 AM PST
In reply to: Cable length

Since the older printer will be installed closer to my Dell tower I could probably get by with either a 3' or a 6' cable. I did check out NEWEGG.COM last night; typed in the words "HIGH SPEED USB 2.0 CABLE" and came back with over 300 results; many of the cables on NEWEGG.COM were much cheaper than those sold on Office To rule out any confusion; what kind of USB cable do I need to buy if all I'm doing is connecting another inkjet printer to my Dell desktop computer? An A to B USB 2.0 cable?

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And to use the non-default printer ...
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 9, 2012 11:54 PM PST

just select it in the dialog window that pops up if you do a File>Print (or whatever the command is in the program you're running). No need to make it default.
It's the easiest (the least work) to set the printer you use most as a default. Then you only have to choose another one in the minority of cases.


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by pgc3 / November 10, 2012 12:03 AM PST

Yep Kees that is the easiest way, in my opinion and usually how I set them up unless the printers are being shared on a network and are, of course, networkable.

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Re: And to use the non-default printer
by Big Steve / November 10, 2012 11:03 AM PST

If I uninstalled the printer software on my C5280 then reinstalled it do you think that might get rid of the problems I'm having printing with it? If I did uninstall then reinstalled the HP printer software would I also lose all of my scanned documents and word documents stored in "MY DOCUMENTS"? Because if there's a chance that I might I won't do it. I want everything to still be there because I can still print everything using my older 895Cse printer.
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Re: printer
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 10, 2012 7:05 PM PST

Uninstalling and reinstalling the printer is harmless. But I don't think it will solve any issues.

About losing your documents: remember the old saying "You only lose what you didn't back up". That's the general rule. But you won't lose it either by just (re)installing a printer.


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Re: printer
by Big Steve / November 11, 2012 8:06 AM PST
In reply to: Re: printer

I need to buy something to use to back up my data; how do I determine which size of a device to buy that will be big enough to back up my data but not too big or bigger than I need to back up my data?

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