Brother PocketJet 3 Printers

Posted on 2012-09-11
Last Modified: 2012-10-15
Hello Experts,

Does anyone out there know how to make the Brother/Pentax PocketJet 3 printer connected to multiple Panasonic Toughbook laptops via mini USB cable work without having to install the drivers on all the machines?

Let me break this down; we have over 90 Panasonic Toughbook laptops and we have 40 Brother PocketJet3 Printers. I don't really want to take all 90 Panasonic Toughbook laptops and connect each laptop to all 40 USB PocketJet 3 printers. As of right now User A docks his Toughbook into a vehicle docking station and if he/she uses three different vehicles, he/she will have three different printer icons. I'm looking for a way, so there would only be one PockJet 3 icon.

Someone out there must know of a way that a Universal type like driver would work or some type of registry hack. Looking for suggestions.
Question by:CityOfRedmond
    LVL 42

    Expert Comment

    by:Davis McCarn
    Windoze creates a new instance of any device it thinks is plugged into a different USB port and I'll bet it detects each dock as different.
    Are all of the docking stations the same model?
    What are the models of the Toughbooks and docks?

    Author Comment

    All of the docking stations are the same model (Havis docking stations), and the model of all the laptops are Panasonic Toughbook CF-53.
    LVL 42

    Accepted Solution

    OK, lets find out if the Toughbooks think each dock is different.
    Do this on a unit that has been to several docks.
    In an elevated command prompt, type what's below:
    (For XP, do Start -> Run -> CMD<enter> For Vista or 7, do Start, type CMD in the search box and <CTRL-SHIFT-ENTER>)

    When the device manager appears, click View -> Show hidden devices  What we get is a device manager with everything Windoze has ever detected instead of what it thinks is there now.
    I would first look in the Universal Serial Bus Controllers and, if bunches of Host Controllers and Root Hubs are grayed out (meaning they are not currently present), the docks are being seen as different hardware devices and, I hate to say it; but, you're scr*wed.  Unless Havis or Panasonic have a utility to migrate the settings, you're going to have the issues anytime a Toughbook is placed on a different dock.
    So you have a little more information; network adapters, for example, all have a unique MAC address so, when you plug a laptop into a different dock, it knows it is a new device.  Almost all of the devices have a similar, unique, identifier.
    SOME (emphasized geatly!) USB printers will merrily move themselves to the new USB port and work without creating a new instance of the printer (though there will be the separate instances in the hidden device manager); but, that is problematic, at best.
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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