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Windows 7: Assigning USB ports to specific programs?

30 Oct 2013   #1

Assigning USB ports to specific programs?

Here is my situation -
I have 2 USB scanners - checkout style scanners, you pass a barcode across it, and it acts as a usb keyboard and enters the barcode data onto the screen, whatever program you have open (excel, notepad etc).
I want to utilise both these scanners, but purchasing 2 separate PCs to do this job is very expensive, especially when essentially all each PC is doing is running a small data entry program and isn't used for anything else.

In my head, this is how I want it to work-

USB Scanner 1, plugged into USB Port 1, is assigned to Program1.exe. Whenever someone scans with usb scanner 1, the data is entered directly into program1, regardless of whats open at the time.

USB Scanner 2, plugged into USB Port 2, is assigned to Program2.exe. Whenever someone scans with usb scanner 2, the data is entered directly into program2, regardless of whats open at the time.

This way, i'd be able to leave two attached to one computer, and two workers could go about their routine without having to wait for each other to finish before scanning, or risking overwriting each other.

Please, someone tell me this is possible!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hi Matt, welcome to the Seven Forums.

As you have a very interesting question from my point of view, please allow me to "think loud" although it might not be even close to a solution you could use.

As far as I know, what you want is not natively possible on Windows PC. The first thought that comes to my mind is to use a virtual machine: connect scanner 1 to host Windows 7, launch a virtual machine (with any valid Windows version) which captures the scanner 2 (USB device 2).

An example scenario, not tested by me:
  • Host: Windows 7 Professional or better (to be able to use the free XP Mode)
  • Guest: Windows XP Mode running on Microsoft Virtual PC
  • USB device 1: connected and captured by the host OS, input going to a program open on host
  • USB device 2: connected to host USB port but captured by XP Mode, input going to a program open on guest XP Mode
This just might work.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Assigning USB ports to specific programs?

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