If the ‘Found New Hardware’ Wizard keeps detecting your printer as new hardware, here’s how to fix it. This article relates mainly to Windows XP – you may notice that whenever you restart your computer, the ‘Found New Hardware’ Wizard pops up and tries to reinstall your printer – even though it is not a new one.
This can be a frustrating problem – in our computer repair business we have seen up to 23 ‘ghost’ copies of the same printer installed in the Printers and Faxes window.The quickest way to fix this problem is to use the Registry Editor to remove the damaged Windows registry key that causes the printer to be re-detected. To do so, follow these simple steps:
Click Start, and then click Run to open the Run window. In the Open box, type the word regedit and then click OK to open the Registry Editor.
Tip: You navigate through the Registry Editor by opening the folders and subfolders in the left panel (double click to open or click on the + sign to open subfolders and the – sign to close them).
- Locate and click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\LPTENUM
- Right-click this registry key, and then click Delete.
- Under Confirm Key Delete, click Yes.
- Close Registry Editor, and then restart your computer.
When Windows XP restarts, it will detect your printer and install support for it. After the printer is installed, it should no longer be detected each time you start Windows XP :-)
If This Did Not Fix The Problem
The second (and slower) way to fix this problem is to first uninstall your printer software (via Start/Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs).
Now reinstall your printer – if possible, download the latest version of the printer software from the manufacturer’s website and use that to reinstall because the latest version may include fixes to the original software that came on the printer’s installation CD.