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Old 2012-01-14, 01:07   Link #1
Dante of the Inferno
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Age: 26
USB to Parallel Port Printing

Yes, the nightmare that thought would never again arise has indeed returned (at least for me).

My client has an old HP OfficeJet R80 all-in-one printer that she bought back in the 1990's, and having spent $800 on it, she really doesn't want to give it up. Her old Windows XP computer died, so she bought a Core i5 Windows 7 x64 Home Premium laptop under the assumption (and promise of the salesman) that the new system would play nice with her R80. Of course, those old printers only have Parallel ports, so we used a USB to Parallel cable to connect the laptop to the R80. In the Devices and Printers sections, Windows 7 recognizes the cable as an IEEE 1284 controller (as a printer), but when it searches for the R80 driver, it fails to install. Now, the printer driver should be included in the OS (which I found while trying to manually add the R80 as a new printer). I've tried adding the printer using the LPT 1 (printer), USB001 (virtual printer), and r80 (local) ports. It still won't even print a test page. My next idea is to try connecting the cables to my computer to see if it will take, in which case, I'll load a spare Windows 7 hard drive into her computer and see if that also works.

Is there something I'm missing? The only other thing I can think to try is editing the registry, but that seems like a sketchy idea. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 2012-01-14, 08:34   Link #2
Random32
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It seems that Windows 7 doesn't really like a lot of USB to Parallel converters. That might be the issue.
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Old 2012-01-14, 23:28   Link #3
Dante of the Inferno
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Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
It seems that Windows 7 doesn't really like a lot of USB to Parallel converters. That might be the issue.
Any proven USB to Parallel converters?
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Old 2012-01-15, 08:54   Link #4
Random32
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I don't really have any suggestions. Make sure to look at the reviews on Newegg or Amazon or whatever to see if people are successfully using it under Win7.
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Old 2012-01-15, 14:37   Link #5
Transitions
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the problem is you bought Laptop, another option it was buy PCI card paralel. but in laptop is very difficulty to resolve the problem, because is problem to hardware, not by software.

is a compatibility problem, so will Windows Vista
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Old 2012-01-15, 16:28   Link #6
Random32
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This seems to work according to the majority of the reviews. I'm not guaranteeing anything though.

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F5U002V.../dp/B000EANT40

If PCI/e has a higher chance of working as Transition said. An ExpressCard (PCIe) to Parallel might be a better solution if your client's laptop has an ExpressCard slot.
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Old 2012-01-15, 18:28   Link #7
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante of the Inferno View Post
Yes, the nightmare that thought would never again arise has indeed returned (at least for me).

My client has an old HP OfficeJet R80 all-in-one printer that she bought back in the 1990's, and having spent $800 on it, she really doesn't want to give it up. Her old Windows XP computer died, so she bought a Core i5 Windows 7 x64 Home Premium laptop under the assumption (and promise of the salesman) that the new system would play nice with her R80. Of course, those old printers only have Parallel ports, so we used a USB to Parallel cable to connect the laptop to the R80. In the Devices and Printers sections, Windows 7 recognizes the cable as an IEEE 1284 controller (as a printer), but when it searches for the R80 driver, it fails to install. Now, the printer driver should be included in the OS (which I found while trying to manually add the R80 as a new printer). I've tried adding the printer using the LPT 1 (printer), USB001 (virtual printer), and r80 (local) ports. It still won't even print a test page. My next idea is to try connecting the cables to my computer to see if it will take, in which case, I'll load a spare Windows 7 hard drive into her computer and see if that also works.

Is there something I'm missing? The only other thing I can think to try is editing the registry, but that seems like a sketchy idea. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
your client needs to get over the fact that she spend $800 on a 20 yrs old printer.
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Old 2012-01-15, 18:39   Link #8
Random32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
your client needs to get over the fact that she spend $800 on a 20 yrs old printer.
His client needs to stop using a 20 year old printer.
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Old 2012-01-15, 19:36   Link #9
Vexx
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yeah, its well beyond the "capital amortization and depreciation" point in tax advantages. I'd recommend *donating* it for tax purposes. and buying a new one.

That's assuming she uses it for business. Windows 7 broke quite a few connections with "obsolete hardware".

You might also look to see if there's a dedicated *network* printer server (wireless or wired) that has a parallel port and simply have the laptop print to it over the network. Those have gotten pretty cheap in the last couple of years (<$50) (there are also a few routers that have printer ports).
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Old 2012-01-16, 00:49   Link #10
sa547
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante of the Inferno View Post
Any proven USB to Parallel converters?
Brother-in-law had a serial-to-USB cable which includes its own driver CD, which leaves me wondering if that parallel/USB cable has the same thing.

If the laptop has a PC Card (PCMCIA) slot, there's a slew of parallel port cards available, but since most recent laptops no longer have PC Card slots, I'm also looking into some other ideas (such as this one here).
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Old 2012-01-16, 00:58   Link #11
Flower
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Join Date: May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
your client needs to get over the fact that she spend $800 on a 20 yrs old printer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
His client needs to stop using a 20 year old printer.
To be honest these were some of my first thoughts as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
yeah, its well beyond the "capital amortization and depreciation" point in tax advantages. I'd recommend *donating* it for tax purposes. and buying a new one.

That's assuming she uses it for business. Windows 7 broke quite a few connections with "obsolete hardware".

You might also look to see if there's a dedicated *network* printer server (wireless or wired) that has a parallel port and simply have the laptop print to it over the network. Those have gotten pretty cheap in the last couple of years (<$50) (there are also a few routers that have printer ports).
I seem to remember that there exist little "switch port" boxes that have a few parallel port connections but also a usb connection - for just such a situation perhaps? No guarantees on this - I never used one myself, but maybe something like that could work.

Another possibility, along the lines that Vexx suggested, would be to connect it to an xp machine, connect the printer to it, and then share that over the network via wireless or ethernet? This assumes win 7 x64 has drivers for the printer you could install locally on the laptop, of course. If it does, then you can install that printer as a network printer.

In theory, of course.

Best of luck!
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