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Duplicate printer entries. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I find sometimes when you unplug and re-plug-in a printer, you get another instance of the printer. ("Copy 1", "Copy 2", and so on). When I try to remove the old instance that's greyed out, and then rename the new entry without the "Copy X", the renaming fails because it says that name is in use... and sure enough, after refreshing the old, the dead entry has returned.

    Anyone know what's going on?

     

     

    Friday, March 26, 2010 4:12 AM

Answers

  • This behavior can occur if a serial number is not stored in the printer's read-only memory (ROM). When this occurs, the bus cannot determine if the printer you reconnect is the same printer or a different one. As a result, a duplicate printer is added.

     

    Please contact the printer manufacturer to inquire about the availability of updated USB firmware.

     

    If the issue persists, please let us know the brand and model of the printer you are using.

     

     

    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Friday, April 2, 2010 1:45 AM
    Monday, March 29, 2010 6:14 AM

All replies

  • You dont happen to have a HP do you? I had this issue occur on me with only HP printers which was annoying, the only way i managed to remove them was to restart the printer spool service but it still doesnt help solve it long term. Before doing this make sure there are no pending printer jobs in the queue or windows cannot delete / remove the printer.
    Friday, March 26, 2010 10:37 AM
  • This behavior can occur if a serial number is not stored in the printer's read-only memory (ROM). When this occurs, the bus cannot determine if the printer you reconnect is the same printer or a different one. As a result, a duplicate printer is added.

     

    Please contact the printer manufacturer to inquire about the availability of updated USB firmware.

     

    If the issue persists, please let us know the brand and model of the printer you are using.

     

     

    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Friday, April 2, 2010 1:45 AM
    Monday, March 29, 2010 6:14 AM
  • It's an Epson Artisan 710 in this case, but I was working on a client's HP printer a couple months ago and encountered the same thing. 
    Saturday, April 3, 2010 12:16 AM
  • I'm getting this issue with the Brother 6490CW. There is no firmware update that I can find on their website.
    Tuesday, March 29, 2011 4:40 AM
  • I'm more inclined to belive this is a Windows 7 issue. I have seen this on several machines with HP and Brother printers.  Anytime the USB printer is unplugged and plugged back in the OS reinstalls it as a copy of the original.  Neither manufacturer reports that they have an updated firmware for the printers. It is really annoying and difficult to explain to non-technical users..
    Thursday, June 9, 2011 2:34 AM
  • Wow. This thread is still active. This just happened on yet another client's machine. First it was doing it with an HP multifunction... I thought the unit was to blame, and switched them to a Samsung multifunction... they just called me today about the Samung now having issues printing, and it created a copy of itself.

    The one common item in all of this? Windows 7.

     

    Friday, June 24, 2011 7:22 AM
  • Encountered and RESOLVED this issue.

    Warning: the solution requires changes to your registry, make sure you back it up before starting this and that you understand how the registry works. If not, find a friendly geek to help.  :)

    1. First rename your GOOD printer to something unique so you don't accidentally destroy it (i.e. "HP Photosmart C7280 - GOOD")
      to do this go to Devices & Printers, right click on the printer and go to Printer Properties and the printer in question. In the name field change it to what you like.

      and now to take out the trash... 
    2. Go to Start and type in regedit, hit enter
    3. Right click on Computer and choose Export, save it somewhere you can find it again - this is your backup copy.
    4. Search (F3) for any entries named EXACTLY like the dead/ghost/phantom printer entry (in my case I could see "HP Photosmart C7200 series USB2" even though it wasn't printing and wasn't working)
    5. Delete all registry entries with this SPECIFIC name
      WARNING - depending on the name you may find some driver entries named the same as the printer, be careful NOT to delete these (this is where understanding the registry a bit or having a friendly geek will come in handy)
    6. Keep deleting all the entries, there are likely dozens of them in the registry. 
    7. If done correctly the entries should be gone, a reboot of the print spool service may be required and your system should be clean!
      don't forget to go back and rename the good printer to whatever you want it to be called. 

    Good luck and be careful; again you can do a lot of damage in the registry if you don't watch what you're doing. At best you may just have to re-install the printer and software, at worst Windows!

    Hope that helps!

    -Will

    Sunday, July 17, 2011 1:12 AM
  • I have a Brother HL5070 installed.  Not sure if this is a one-time fluke solution, or have found an easier way rather than messing with the registry.

    My W7 Home Premium showed 'duplicate' and 'copy1' on printer list of MS Word, Excel etc, but the Devices and Printers menu only showed 'copy1'.

    I started using registry solution offered by Will Roberts, by renaming 'copy1' as 'good' and exited the menu.  The menu didn't allow me to delete 'copy1' and only have 'HL5070' due to the error message, but it did allow me to add / change characters.

    When I entered reg-edit and started a search, nothing happened.  I then returned to the Devices and Printers menu (thinking that I had made a spelling error), and the 'duplicate' listing had mysteriously re-appeared.

    I simply deleted this listing, renamed the 'good' listing and rebooted the system.  No further problems have occurred to date.

    Good luck with this idea or working on your registry.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011 11:24 PM
  • Thanks Will -- worked like a charm.

    (I found it easier to rename the non-working printer and append some unique string to the name (like "DEADDEAD") -- this makes it less likely you'll delete something from the registry other than the printer entry.  On my Windows 7 machine, I found only one bogus entry per bogus printer, and they were all under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\Print\Printers.)

    Tom

    Monday, September 26, 2011 1:09 PM
  • the module for the printer Xerox WC6505
    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 6:30 AM
  • This behavior can occur if a serial number is not stored in the printer's read-only memory (ROM). When this occurs, the bus cannot determine if the printer you reconnect is the same printer or a different one. As a result, a duplicate printer is added.

     

    Please contact the printer manufacturer to inquire about the availability of updated USB firmware.

     

    If the issue persists, please let us know the brand and model of the printer you are using.

     

     


    *Phew*  Good thing!  At first I thought this was the fault of the operating system considering that the problem seems to be unique to Windows 7, but I sure am glad that this Microsoft-centric forum advised me that the fault lies with the other guy (i.e. that off-brand "Canon").   It sure is convenient how problems in the tech world are always the fault of the other party, huh?  It makes perfect sense that this USB plug-and-play operating system would be helpless victim to the mean ol' printer manufacturer and certainly justifies Microsoft's indifference to this bug for 2 and a half years.
    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 5:06 AM
  • Thank you, your answer came close to my problem: my eprinter is an HP: hpDeskjet 3056 ALL-IN-ONE Printer, and I believe the crucial problem is that the software needs to be installed for me.

    In trying to solve the problem, I selected the wrong computer, and now I cannot remove it.

    Thanks,

    E.D.


    Morph123

    Monday, January 21, 2013 8:36 PM
  • The problem could be related to a faulty (corrupt) driver..

    Since it's an HP driver, it will be easier to find. (Just dealt with it again today.)

    First, Disconnect the printer, then remove the printer from the printers list (Plug and play printers may disappear on their own..)

    Second, remove the driver from Device Manager (turn on view hidden devices from View first to get them all)

    Now, remove the corrupt driver. Open a DOS window (admin recommended) and do the following:

    net stop spooler cd %windir%\system32\spool del hp*.dll /s/q net start spooler

    Now, reconnect the printer and reinstall the driver. (Recommend download driver and "have disk" to install)

    Hope this saves others time. Same for other kinds of printers, but you have to remove the appropriate files.

    Note: Files are usually located under c:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86\# for 32-bit systems. I used %windir% above because some of my installations have windows on an alternate drive for security reasons, and will point you in the correct location. This procedure fixed the system we had today. thanks to whoever came up with this back in 2004 when I needed it then. (definitely unusual issue.)

    Enjoy.

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013 11:40 PM
  • This is a Windows 7 issue that I have seen for years, Manufacture independent.

    The only resolve is to delete all occurrences of the printer in devices and printers

    and reboot.

    The printer will re-appear and your good to go.

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 12:51 PM
  • This issue is not unique to printer brand or operating system version.  I have experienced it in Vista, Win 7 and Win 8 and 8.1.

    An HP printer and an Okidata dot matrix.  Power down the printer or unplug the usb and it duplicates itself.  Have not tried the rename solution and will do that asap.

    Thank you.

    If the printer needs a serial number in it's ROM why can't you add it thru the menu instead of the firmware?

    Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:04 PM
  • At first I thought a reinstall of os would solve it as I had a second pc and installed the printer on that and it solved the problem.  But a different printer and pc with new 8.1 started duplicating too.  So will edit registry on both and see if that does the trick.  What a nuisance.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2014 6:42 PM