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Windows Bug? - Printer randomly sets self to LPT port


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31-May-2012, 06:18 PM #1
Lightbulb Windows Bug? - Printer randomly sets self to LPT port
I am a PC tech and have been for 8 years now. One problem I have come across pretty frequently but have yet to figure out a cause for is printer issues related to the port selection. I have had numerous customers who randomly can't print. Upon looking at their computer, the printer port will be selected on "LPT1" instead of the proper USB or TCP/IP port. I have not been able to find any correlation. This happens on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 on both business and residential computers. Originally I had thought that customers must be attempting repairs on their own. However, after 8 years and seeing this same thing happen to people who are afraid to even attempt to fix their own issue I believe that there must be some bug in Windows that causes this printer port to change. Anyone have any ideas for this behavior or has anyone even seen this?

Also, the fix to this problem, of course, is to simply select the correct port and the problem is resolved. If there are any jobs in queue, they immediately will start to print indicating that there was most likely never a PC to Printer communication problem. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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31-May-2012, 07:46 PM #2
Well that is strange... I've dealt with people for 5 year and haven't had this issue come across. I've been dealing with windows for years, a lot more then 5, more like 13 and haven't had a printer randomly change from USB to LPT1. Lucky I guess. I'll see what I can find on this.
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01-Jun-2012, 12:12 AM #3
Check the BIOS settings for the LPT port. It should be set to ECP+EPP (or EPP+ECP), and for LPT1, the port number should be 0x378 - it may try to set itself as 0x3BC, which is LPT2 or LPT3 (can't remember offhand!)

Also check the properties in Windows as well, make sure the LPT port is the same port number...
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01-Jun-2012, 12:47 AM #4
I should also add that I rarely deal with this problem on the same computer twice. Which makes it really hard to pinpoint. I have personally never had it happen. My best guess is something to do with the printer being automatically deleted and re-installed but not assigned to a port and defaulting to LPT1.

I'll continue to check back for any updates. Thanks for the suggestions so far.
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