I have an USB printer manufactured by a Taiwan company which works fine. The manufacturer hasn't defined completely the USB descriptor: are defined the "Vendor Id" and "Product Id", class id and so on, but no Serial Number. When the printer is plugged in to an USB port Windows recognizes as a printer, it correctly loads the drivers, but since it has no Serial Number the OS generates a serial number which available only for this USB port. Next time I move the printer to different USB port the settings are lost, and also the Printer I am setting in Printers menu is lost too. So everytime I have to set again the driver.

Is there an workarround for this serial number issue, so by having the vendor id and product id install the driver once for all the USB ports?

  • 1
    Perhaps the firmware in the device's USB controller could be updated. Can you tell exact name/model of the printer? But it might be easier just to dedicate one of your USB ports as a printer port.
    – LawrenceC
    Mar 29 '11 at 13:46
  • These are the printers tscprinters.com
    – garzanti
    Mar 29 '11 at 14:16

This behavior is "by design" from Microsoft. Items are 'tagged' as known by a combination of product/vender/serial#. Since your printer seems to not have a serial number, windows sees it as new equipment each time. Regardless whether the equipment in question is a flash drive, external storage, printer, camera, whatever.

As a (minor) workaround, how about obtaining a small 4 port USB hub to plug all your desktop items into (mouse, printer, bluetooth dongle, small stuff) and then only plugging THAT single device into your laptop. Of course, if your devices require more than a few mW of power, you'd be better off with a powered hub.

I do this for my laptop, my mouse dongle is a teeny logitech model so stays plugged in always (since mouse travels with me!) and I have a 4port hub holding my drawing-pad, camera/phone data cable, scanner and printers. One plug whenever I'm home, and a simple disconnect when I'm ready to leave.

I have a similar setup at work, small 4port with stuff there, always plugged into the same port on laptop when I arrive. (printer is on network).

  • Haha, that's a real smart workaround. What I've actually done: I wrote a program that bypass this problem. If somebody interested interested wrote me here and I will post the solution.
    – garzanti
    Sep 7 '11 at 4:53

Is there a reason why you're switching the printer to a different a port after you have installed it? If the device came with a cd or dvd then unhook the device from the PC and uninstall it now after you have done this restart and after it has rebooted and started windows reconnect the device to the PC after the installation screen has popped up put the cd or dvd in the tray and follow the directions on the screen.

If the device is installed right then it doesn't matter what port you hook it into cause windows should recognize it as already being installed. You may have gotten a hold of a bad printer and if you have all you can do is call the company that made it. But before you do that you can either reinstall it using the cd/dvd that came with it and see if that corrects the problem or go into device manager and see how it is being recognized. Even though you shouldn't have too you may have to manually config the device yourself.

  • It's normal usage behaviour, I close my laptop and unplug the printer, next time maybe I am not using the same port. It's annoying to re-install everytime the software.
    – garzanti
    May 9 '11 at 4:07

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