Windows 10 And The Slow Devices And Printers Window

Windows 10 - slow Devices and Printers window

Here’s a problem without a solution.

On some Windows 10 computers, some of the time, opening the Devices and Printers window in Control Panel takes anywhere from 90 seconds to five minutes. The green bar creeps across the empty window, as you see in the screen shot above. Eventually it finishes. […] continued

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Windows 10 Tip: How To Stop Windows 10 From Changing The Default Printer

How to stop Windows 10 from changing the default printer

Windows 10 changes your default printer to be the last one that you used. If you occasionally use a different printer or use Acrobat’s “print to PDF” feature, you have to change the printer back to your regular default the next time you print.

This is new. It was quietly introduced as a new feature in the November update for Windows 10, and it is turned on by default even though it’s different behavior than any previous Windows version. […] continued

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Windows 10 Tip: Print To PDF Is Now Built Into Windows

Windows 10 - Microsoft Print To PDF is built in

Windows 10 finally includes a “Print To PDF” driver, allowing you to create PDFs from most programs without Acrobat or any other third-party program. It’s got an interesting limitation (more about that below) but it might be enough for some offices to avoid paying $14.99/month for Acrobat or picking up the adware that inevitably accompanies the less expensive or “free” alternatives. […] continued

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Clean Up After Your Printers

Clean up after old printers

Here’s a housekeeping tip that will help keep your computers happy.

When you take a printer out of service, remove the printer from the Printers folder, then uninstall the programs that were installed to support the printer. HP, Epson and Canon are all likely to have dropped anywhere from three to a dozen programs on your computer – status monitors, scanning utilities, bad photo editors, useless web services, advertising for ink cartridges, and more. […] continued

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HP And Bloatware – Still Up To The Same Old Tricks

HP and Bloatware

Previously: HP OfficeJet 8600 Plus

Here’s a reminder to always do a custom install with any program, and watch carefully for unwanted software that may be installed alongside the program you want.

HP has a long history of slow installation routines that sneak unwanted advertising and programs onto your computer. The installation program for the HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus is slightly better than the OfficeJet 8500, but there are still too many chances to wind up assaulted with ads and unwanted bloat. […] continued

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HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus

HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus review

After some research, I settled on HP’s new OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus to replace an aging inkjet printer and defunct flatbed scanner. My early impressions are good. Here are some of the reasons it’s a good fit for me (and might or might not be good for you).

The fundamentals are all there, better than previous generations. […] continued

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Annoying Checkboxes, HP Style


Annoying Checkboxes (Microsoft Office)
Ban The Check (Java, iTunes)

This week’s installment of Annoying Checkboxes comes to us courtesy of HP, always a reliable source of installation routines that take too long and bloat your system with too much crud. Now they’ve added a non-standard installation routine that seems designed to conceal the sneaky advertising and crapware that will be loaded onto your computer if you’re not careful. […] continued

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Windows 7 Printer Setup


Here are a few anecdotes about setting up printers and scanners on new Windows 7 computers.

When Windows 7 connects to a new device, it attempts to install drivers automatically, and goes online to Microsoft if it can’t find drivers locally. It is successful so often that I’ve changed my procedure – I connect USB devices to a new computer without putting a CD in the drive or running a setup program. […] continued

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It seems we’re constantly buying printers to replace the ones that break before their time. A quick word of advice if you buy an HP printer: don’t put that installation CD in the drive! The chances are good that you’ll wind up with hundreds of megabytes of bloated software that will muck up your nice shiny computer (and at worst thoroughly break it). […] continued

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The headline tells the story of this Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

Severe system performance problems occur on a Windows Vista or Windows XP-based computer after you install HP printer software, version 11 (Microsoft KB960673)

To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this problem in the real world. […] continued

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Let me leave a few notes behind about some of the glitches during the migration from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008. I don’t have many answers but perhaps it will help someone to know that I’m able to commiserate with them. (Loyal clients – this is not aimed at you and it won’t help you get your work done. […] continued

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On the assumption that my choices are endlessly fascinating to an ever-growing number of people – really, really bored people – I’ve added a page with details about the hardware and software that I use here at the high-tech headquarters of bruceb consulting. I’ll try to keep it up to date. […] continued

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Let me give you a simplified overview of printer terms, then offer a tip that might save a few seconds someday. (This is basic stuff. If you can tell where I’m leaving things out, then this isn’t for you.)


A local printer is connected to your computer with a USB cable.

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Sonoma County has a serious shortage of places to buy technology. It was a little upsetting when CompUSA announced it was closing, since it had a better inventory of network equipment than anywhere else nearby for those days when things have to be bought on short notice. It’s gone now. No more dealing with the obnoxious clerk that tried too hard to sell extended warranties. […] continued

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Printers are never as cheap as they seem, but it’s hard to argue with the HP Deskjet F2110, an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier, for $34 at Wal-Mart. Now keep in mind:

  1. It doesn’t appear on HP’s web site so it might be a stripped-down Wal-Mart exclusive.
  2. It doesn’t include a black ink cartridge or a USB cable so the price is a bit misleading.
[…] continued Read more