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  1. #1
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    Can't add printer: Windows is "Searching for devices..." forever

    In Windows XP I defined two printers for the same physical device. One was configured for duplex printing from the paper tray, the other for simplex printing from the auxiliary tray, where I keep used paper. I used each of those sources about half of the time, and defining them as separate printers saved me a lot of inconvenience.

    In Windows 7 this appears to be impossible. When I click "Add Printer," Windows opens a dialog that says "Searching for devices... make sure your device is discoverable." Then, nothing. That message has been on my screen since I started writing this post.

    I'd want to name the two printers something meaningful, like "Simplex" and "Duplex," but Windows 7 won't even let me rename the printer it configured for me when I installed it. What will it say if I find a way to start the Add Printer wizard and try to add another printer for the same device? Gently remind me that I've already got that one, and quit?

    How do I get out of this bind?

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    If choose to Add a Printer from Devices and Printers, I am allowed to choose local or network, then choose the port and then the driver. Never does Windows 7 search for devices.

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    The behavior you are describing only occurs when clicking on "Add a Device". If you click "Add a Printer" then it will allow you too add the printer as you normally would.
    Chuck

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    Correct, Doc, when I clicked "Add a printer" I was able to add the printer.

    When I was done, however, I still had just one printer -- the new one. Windows deleted the original one automatically, making the whole exercise pointless.

    The floor is open, ladies and gents. How can I work around this?

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    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    Once you have the first printer installed.Go to start then,Devices & Printers.Right click on the one that is installed,Set as default printer.
    DO NOT connect the second printer just yet.Download the latest software for the second printer.From the manufactures web site of course.
    Then install the latest software for the second printer,follow the wizard.When prompt connect & turn on the printer.
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

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    chower, I appreciate your effort to help, but "DO NOT connect the second printer just yet" indicates that you didn't understand the problem.

    I am trying to define two Windows printers that use the same physical printer with different default settings. The procedure you prescribed wouldn't even make sense in this situation, much less work.

    Making the first Windows printer the default before I install the second one could conceivably make the it "stick," but that seems like a stretch.

    Now that I think about it, I suspect that the first printer was the default printer, and Windows replaced it anyway. [Later -- I have confirmed this. I tried installing yet another Windows printer while the second one was marked as the default, and a new third one replaced the second one, marked as default.]
    Last edited by jsachs177; 2011-11-09 at 23:19.

  7. #7
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    When I want to use a name instead of letting Windows 7 search for a printer and using an IP number;
    Click on "Add Printer"
    Select the type you want to use
    During the scan there is a selection under the search box field called "The Printer I wanted is not Listed", click on that during the scan
    next screen select the method of connection (TCP/IP) then Next.
    New screen use the drop down and select the connection and then below that enter the name you want for that printer. This will use the name rather than IP.

    Pretty easy after that, hope that works for you
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    swatbat2142, the interaction you described is quite different from the one that Windows offers me. Perhaps that's because you're installing a network printer and I'm installing a local one.

    I click "Add Printer"
    Click "Add a local printer"
    Click "Use an existing port," select a free USB port, and click Next
    Click Next again, accepting the selected manufacturer and printer type, which are correct
    Click "Use the driver that is currently installed" and Next
    Enter a printer name and click Next
    and that's all she wrote. There's no "scan" and no option to tell Windows that "the Printer I wanted is not listed."

    That said, I've discovered that although each Windows printer I install replaces the previous one in the Devices and Printers window, all of the printers appear in the list of printers when I print from an application! I've tried using one of the printers which "Devices and Printers" thinks has gone away, and it works. I don't understand the implications of this; the port this printer was defined to use was released when the printer was "deleted," and could be (probably was) reused by another printer.

    There seems to be no way to set the properties of these printers that are still useable but no longer appear in Devices and Printers. Perhaps I can define one, set its properties, then define the other one and set its properties. That seems like it would work as long as I never want to change the first printer's properties again, or am willing to redefine it from scratch when I do. The whole situation seems squirrely, though, and even if it seems to work, I'm not convinced that it will work reliably.

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    Well,now that I did Reread your 1st post.The only way to do what you want.Would be,If the software for your printer in question has the program for it.Like my printer is an,Canon MG5200.That said I have 2 different properties in the print page.1;Canon MG5200 XPS,Canon MG5200.But there again the software that came with my printer had the software.I fully understand on what you want to do but.
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

  10. #10
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    chowur, I'm not sure what you're saying: that the problem is caused by the driver rather than the Devices and Printers applet? Both are part of Windows 7, so that seems to be six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    I visited the manufacturer's site to see if they have their own Windows 7 driver. They do, but when I downloaded and ran the installer, it didn't do anything I could see. I'm not sure what it was supposed to do because there was no documentation, but it didn't install a new Windows printer and it didn't create an INF file anywhere I could find it.

    I guess I could go to the manufacturer's support site and find out how to make this driver work, and if I succeed, maybe it will fix the problem. That's a substantial time investment for a doubtful result, though, and I'd rather solve the problem at the Microsoft end if I can.

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