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My HP laptop has 3 USB ports. When I add my printer driver by plugging into one of those ports, the driver installs fine.

Problem: I have to install 3 identical drivers. One for each USB port. Depending on what USB port I have the printer plugged into, I have to pick the driver for that port.

Question: How do I print to any of the three ports automatically based on what port the printer is in?

Further into: In Devices and Printers > Printer Properties > Ports... I cannot select more than one port for a printer driver to print to.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is due to the printer's USB interface not having a unique serial number, so Windows cannot distinguish one instance of the printer to another.

So it creates one driver instance for each port. This will happen for any USB device without a serial number (I've seen it with a cheap Wi-Fi adapter).

Work arounds:

  • Always use the same port for the printer.
  • Get a printer with a better USB implementation.
  • When you plug in the printer, open devices and printers and make the active printer the default. With this option, any printing defaults you set will need to be set for each device.
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