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“One Does Not Simply Fix a Printer”

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.