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using printer a/b switchbox in w2k

Posted on 2004-04-28
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
i have a user running w2kpro here at the office who needs more printers at her desk than the ports on the back of her computer allow.

in w98 i was able to use an a/b switchbox to go between her laser printer and a thermal label printer that plugged into LPT1.

we recently upg the office to w2kpro and she's been having the following problem:

when she switches the a/b switchbox from the laser printer to the label printer w2k complains that a device was not 'ejected or unplugged properly'.

the result is that when she switches the box back from the label printer to the laser printer she gets some obscure driver errors and has to restart the computer in order to resume using the laser printer.

the obvious solution I thought was to enable the eject/unmount icon in the task bar. but, when that interface pops up it does not find the printer which evidently needs to be ejected.

this is kind of a catch 22, no? windows complains if the printer is not ejected properly. but, attempts to eject properly do not appear possible, at least in the eject/unmount utility.

any suggestions?
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Question by:cudaboy_71
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Accepted Solution

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oBdA earned 50 total points
ID: 10941081
There are several possibilities:
Try to use an electronic switch box instead of a manual one.
Get an extension PCI card with a parallel port and install the second printer on this port.
Attach the second printer to another machine that's usually running, share it, and map it from the first machine.
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by:cudaboy_71
ID: 10942522
from the sound of your suggestions it appears that this is not a misconfiguration, but that windows doesnt support the a/b switch any longer?

the best option sounds like the pci card. installing remotely kinda defeats the purpose of her having the printers she needs close at hand. (she's kinda secluded and would have to walk down a long hall to get to another machine).

i'll wait a bit and see if anyone else has any suggestions before closing the thread. thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 10942886
Another possibility would be of course a network print server; they come as small boxes with one or more parallel ports (for example http://www.dlink.com/products/category.asp?cid=10).
There are USB to parallel converters/cables as well, so you could attach the second printer using USB instead of a parallel port; but those are rather expensive, if I'm not mistaken.
The PCI parallel card is probably the cheapest/easiest solution solution in your case. The print server might be interesting if there might be other people using the printer as well, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
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Assisted Solution

by:jthow
jthow earned 50 total points
ID: 10947333
USB to parallel adaptors aren't expensive.  Cables around USD 15 to 20.

JohnT
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