Previous post:

Next post:

Multiple identical printers installing in Windows

January 1, 2003

in All Articles,Miscellaneous

Loreen asks:

A message popped up on my home computer saying that it detected new hardware and did I want to install it? We had not added anything new to the computer, but my husband grabbed our printer disk and installed the “new” printer. Now when I look at the Print dialog box, there are icons for three printers there.

Are these “new printers” simply updates to the original first installation of the one and only printer that we have? Or are these new printers some form of spyware that we inadvertently installed onto our computer?

Andy’s answer:

What you’re describing is something seen more often in either older computers or older printers. It’s not spyware. It’s caused by physical problems with the printer, its connection to the PC, or Windows.

Every time the computer boots, it looks at everything you’ve got plugged in to it. Keyboard, mouse, and yes, printers. Sometimes those connections aren’t as “solid” as they should be, and the computer thinks that you’ve just plugged in a new printer when the printer has been there all the time.

Option 1: If you want to clean things up, you can delete any printer descriptions you don’t use (just don’t delete the original one!)

Option 2: Leave everything the way it is, and just print to your original printer name.

Depending on the age of your PC and printer, this may happen every once in a while. It also may happen if you disconnect and reconnect the printer cable to the computer. However, if this happens often (once every 3 months), then you may have a hardware problem somewhere. At that point you’ll have to decide if it’s worth fixing, or if you’d rather just live with it.


Previous post:

Next post: