Question

Windows creating multiple printer copies

Environment: 3 identical stationary printers and 1 laptop that's will use any 1 of the 3 given printers at different times.

Goal: to allow the laptop to be switched between the 3 printers without windows creating multiple copies of the same model printer

Problem: each time the laptop is hooked up to a new printer, windows creates another copy of the same model printer in the "printers" list.

I realize there is probably a s/n burned into the firmware of the printers that causes windows to see that it is a different printer (regardless if it's the same make and model). Is there a way to make windows think that all these printers are the same exact printer?

Any help, ideas, or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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Answer
Me too.

Turns out Windows does this as I move the printer from one USB port to another.

I've yet to find any fix or workaround from Microsoft. Bug? Debateable.
Bob

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Hmm

My issue is that I physically multiple printers, and even though they are the same model, windows creates multiple copies of the printer. Also plugging them into the same USB port each time doesn't make any difference.

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I've seen that too. But for that I have an explainer.

Because you might plug in 3 of the same make/model printer, each one has to be UNIQUE so you can print to the one you selected. You might put letterhead in one, envelopes in another and plain in the last one. If the system was made to be dumb, then you would hear screams from those that wanted more than one printer.

So that's not a bug either!
Bob

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Answer
Why this requirement?

You give the 3 printers different names, so the only minor nuisance is that only one can be the standard printer, so - when using the other two, you'll have to select the right printer in the print dialog. Or maybe, you didn't tell, even that is not necessary if they use the same USB port and all 3 work (you didn't tell about that).
So why care?

Kees

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More info

I used my example of 3 printers and 1 laptop to keep it simple but in actuality the environment is 20+ stationary pocketjet printers and 20+ mobile laptops. One day a laptop might be paired with pocketjet printer number 1 and another day it might be paired with pocketjet printer number 10. In this scenario we are dealing with tons of copies of one type of printer on the same laptop. They are always plugged into the same USB port as well, so that doesn't make a difference. To keep everything as user friendly as possible it seems like the best solution would be to find a way to make windows think they are all the same printer.

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That's why, years ago

When we did this we used serial printer ports. That way, nothing smart was going to happen and create more issues.

Today I have to write smarter apps to deal with this.
Bob

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