Yesterday, my Canon MX892 Inkjet died. Actually, just the print-head died. But as the print-head costs $96, and the printer was six years old, I figured it was time for a change. I have had good luck with Canon inkjets, so I trotted over to Staples for a new Canon. But I was surprised to find that the replacement model, an MX922 I believe, did not have a rear feed slot. About 90% of my color printing uses custom media, photo paper, card stock, high res paper, labels. So I absolutely need a multi-page rear feed for straight thru printing. I know that Canon has been into this “cheaper is better” think for a few years now (the 922 was almost $100 less than my 892), so it was time to say goodbye.

My eyes shifted over to the Brother printers, as the wide-format in the office has been serving me well. I came upon an MFC-J5830, which is a beast of a machine. Wide format, with a magnificent rear multi-sheet feeder than can hold up to 50 sheets. At $239 it was more than I wanted to spend, by I deserved it. Brought her home, cleaned the dust off the old printer shelf, setup it up and loaded the software on my desktop. Everything was working fine. No errors. Powered up the Surface Book, which could already see this new wireless printer, installed the software (to get that two way scanning working), no issues. Same for the Surface 3. But when I went back to my desktop, I realized that the printer did not appear in Devices and Printers, although it was available in print dialog.

I spent three hours last night uninstalling and reinstalling the software, checking settings, deleting things from Device Manager, to no avail. Then this morning I started again. At one point, while trying to delete extra ports, I inadvertently changed the port on my IP connected HP LaserLet, and it too disappeared from Devices and Printers. I spent hours, deleting references to the old Canon printer from my registry, and looking for online solutions; running scannow, toggling the Print Spooler, toggling Bluetooth Services, standing on one foot while powering up the PC. Nothing worked. Then, when I was just about out of steam I ready a post in Windows 7 Forums, where a guy said that for some reason, some Windows installs turn Service / Device Setup Manager off by default. Set the service to automatic, started it, and one by one my printers started to appear. Even my Quicken PDF printer, which has always been hidden from view.

After they all showed up, while there was only one reference to the Brother and HP printers, the properties and preferences tabs showed duplicate entries. Also, the Windows 10 printer dialog showed two references to these two printers, although the old print dialog, as in Adobe PDF, did not. I paced for a few minutes, trying to decide if I could live with this and determined that I couldn’t. I deleted the second reference on the Brother printer, and of course the printer icon grayed out. I killed it. So, I deleted the printer, uninstalled the software and reinstalled again, for the umpteenth time. Result; one printer, one reference. That gave me the nerve to do the same for the HP. All fixed. Finally.

So, tl;dr. Make sure the Device Setup Manager is running before trying anything else. That is all.


  1. Good tip on the Device Setup Manager. I’ll need to keep that in mind. We went through something similar when our Canon died a while ago and bought their wide format printer through Amazon. I really miss the auto-duplex, but my wife loves the wide/large format printing. I’ll have to keep the Brother in mind for when this current Canon dies. Looks like it does just about everything we need and a bit more, though it seems like it’s larger than the Canon.

  2. My old Canon (MX892) was 19.5″ wide, and it fit in a very tight cabinet alongside an HP LaserJet. So I went shopping hoping to get the same size printer. The Canon MX922 was the same width, but no rear MP feed. The Brother MCF-J5830 is 21.5″ wide, which resulted in me having to relocate the HP LaserJet in my home office, but it was worth the effort. This model only has an 8.5″ x 14″ glass for scanning, but can print 11 x 17. The model at the office (MCF-J6920DW), which is surprisingly the same 21.5″ wide has a full 11 x 17 glass, and two trays for printing, but only a single sheet rear MP slot, which often prints a tad crooked. I ran 100+ sheets of 110lb card stock through the J5830DW MP slot/tray on Saturday (can hold up to 100 sheets of 20lb paper) and it worked great. No jams, no crooked prints, and faster than the Canon. I still like Canon as a brand, but they did disappoint me this time around. The Brother printers use these XXL ink tanks which last a long time and are accessible from the front of the machine. I have also found their software to load easily and is simple to navigate. Canon has a tendency to install some proprietary stuff (their own driver ports for example) that can complicate a PC. During my registry purge, after removing all the Canon software, I deleted nearly 100 keys that referenced my old Canon printer and the Canon printer ports. That was just plain silly. Right now, with the excellent rear MP tray on this Brother printer, it is serving my needs. But different strokes for different folks.

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