Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)
I think this is a flaw of the Windows printing implementation. In order
to differentiate between identical printers connected to the same bus
(in this case USB) it must have separate drivers for each one. The
printers report a unique ID to the driver.
I suspect you wouldn't see this with Unix, or with a non-bus type
> I have two HP 7310 Printers; one for Home and the other for my office.
> I use a Sony Laptop. I bought identical printers so that when I plug my
> laptop in either place, I would not have to select a new default
> printer each time.
> For some reason, even though the printers are identical, Windows thinks
> they are two different printers and creates two entries in my printers
> setup. The second one gets named with the (copy 2) extension.
> Is there a way to get windows to think they are the same printer or use
> some utility that can self-detect which printer is online?
If you feel comfortable editing your Windows registry you can use the same HP driver for both printers.
First, download a Microsoft utility called USBView (http://www.ftdichip.com/Resources/Utilities/usbview.zip). Make sure the printer is attached to your computer and is powered on. Run USBView, and click on the port used for your printer (it may say something like USB Composite Device). Once you find the printer and click on it, look for idVendor and idProduct. The four digits after the "0x" are your USB VID and PID. You will need to know them when you edit the registry.
Uninstall the HP driver. Read the instructions (not the best) here --> (http://www.lvr.com/usbfaq.htm) about editing the registry setting for "IgnoreHWSerNum". Finally, reinstall the driver.
This should work (I have gotten it to work for other printers), but it may cause unintended consequences since the product wasn't designed to work this way. So proceed with caution.