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Why does usb printer "disappear" in Windows 8.1?

Posted on 2014-09-17
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Last Modified: 2015-02-09
We have a new HP Envy 17t with Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit that seems to acting strange. There is an Okidata ML320 Turbo connected via usb that "disappears" from the Devices and Printers menu periodically. The printer shows up as a choice when trying to print from a program, but never prints. The printer also shows up in printmanagement.msc. If I disconnect the usb cable and plug it back in, sometimes it will install another instance of the printer and give it the default name with "(Copy#)". When I try to rename the printer to the name we use, it says that the printer already exists. Under printer properties (for the "Copy" version since it is visible), ports tab; it will show the usb port with the printer name next to it with a comma and then the name of the "missing" printer.

We have swapped out the printer and usb cable with ones that we know work (because they are used daily in another part of the office). The Okidata printer and cable work with the Windows 7 Pro 32-bit machine that the HP Envy is replacing.

Things we have tried:

Checked the print spooler - it is set to automatic and stopping then starting the service doesn't help. The dependencies (DCOM Server Process Launcher and RPC Endpoint Mapper) are both started.

Checked Device Manager for yellow caution signs - None

Swapped printer and usb cable - No change

Have rebooted the machine many times both with and without the printer connected and with the printer power on and off.

I would appreciate any help with this matter. I will provide additional information if requested. Hopefully someone will shine some light on this issue. Thanks in advance.
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Question by:DungeonDragon
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John Hurst earned 1500 total points
ID: 40328468
Do a complete uninstall of the printer including drivers in Printer Server Properties. Restart the computer and reinstall the printer following the directions of install order and USB connection.

Once installed, restart again, go to Devices and Printers got to the Manage Default Printer tab and make sure the top selection (Use the Default Printer) is selected. I found managing printers in here to be troublesome.
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