Problems connecting an old HP LaserJet 2100 to an XP Pro machine

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Henry Ross, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Henry Ross

    Henry Ross Guest

    A colleague has just bought a new computer and is struggling to connect his
    LaserJet 2100pcl6 (yes, I know it's old!). Because it only connects via an
    LPT cable and the new machine doesn't have an LPT port, he's got hold of an
    LPT-USB adaptor and plugged it into his USB port.

    Windows XP Pro SP2 recognises it and prints a test page, but it won't print
    anything else (such as a Word document). Under the properties he's selected
    the USB port, and the print processor shows "WinPrint" and RAW data type.

    Can anyone suggest what else he might be able to do to get this bloody thing
    working, or is he going to have to buy a new printer?

    Many thanks.

    TrentSC
     
    Henry Ross, Mar 9, 2008
    #1
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  2. Henry Ross

    philo Guest


    It might just be as simple as setting that printer to default.

    In the list of printers, there could be something else set as default (such
    as document writer)
     
    philo, Mar 9, 2008
    #2
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  3. Henry Ross

    Henry Ross Guest

    A colleague has just bought a new computer and is struggling to connect
    Thanks for the suggestion, but that's already been done!
     
    Henry Ross, Mar 9, 2008
    #3
  4. Henry Ross

    philo Guest

    If you go to print (for example) a Word document...
    can you see the preview OK?
    or does it not even allow a preview?
     
    philo, Mar 9, 2008
    #4
  5. Henry Ross

    BigJim Guest

    BigJim, Mar 9, 2008
    #5
  6. Henry Ross

    Ben Myers Guest

    LPT-USB cables are pretty foolproof technology, and I've used them quite a bit
    in recent years.

    My rule of thumb for many years with Windows is that if the printer can print a
    test page, it can print (almost) anything else. The exception is if the
    information being printed manages to exceed the capacity of the memory in the
    printer, but the result of this would be premature ejection of a half-printed
    page. (In this respect, additional memory may be considered to be Viagra for
    an aging printer.)

    "it won't print anything else" What are the symptoms? Describe what happens
    when it does not print. Does the printer print a simple text file from
    Notepad? This would be a good test, because it does not tax a printer's memory
    capacity. You might also check the printer's Windows configuration vs, its
    real configuration, especially memory. Also, change the number of dpi as a
    test.

    .... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 9, 2008
    #6
  7. I also suggest getting a LPT port card. They are dirt cheap and will
    solve his problem. Here's a link to ones that are sold at Newegg:
    http://tinyurl.com/yr5xvn
     
    Michael Johnson, Mar 9, 2008
    #7
  8. Henry Ross

    JANA Guest

    Your printer requires a true by-directional port. Get a parallel printer
    card, and install it in to the computer. I am sure that the printer will
    work. I have been through this with a similar printer.

    A second solution, but more expensive is to get a network to parallel
    printer adaptor and a router. Connect the computer as a network machine and
    connect the printer to the router via the adaptor.

    My first suggestion is the cheapest and easiest.

    --

    JANA
    _____


    A colleague has just bought a new computer and is struggling to connect his
    LaserJet 2100pcl6 (yes, I know it's old!). Because it only connects via an
    LPT cable and the new machine doesn't have an LPT port, he's got hold of an
    LPT-USB adaptor and plugged it into his USB port.

    Windows XP Pro SP2 recognises it and prints a test page, but it won't print
    anything else (such as a Word document). Under the properties he's selected
    the USB port, and the print processor shows "WinPrint" and RAW data type.

    Can anyone suggest what else he might be able to do to get this bloody thing
    working, or is he going to have to buy a new printer?

    Many thanks.

    TrentSC
     
    JANA, Mar 9, 2008
    #8
  9. Henry Ross

    Ben Myers Guest

    On balance, I have to agree. The cost of the card may far outweigh the time
    spent troubleshooting why the parallel to USB connection does not work reliably.

    .... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 9, 2008
    #9
  10. Henry Ross

    smlunatick Guest

    USB to Parallel convertors are not all "created" equal! I have seen
    several "generic" models fail to work correctly.

    There are several differebt parallel add-on boards. PCI and PCI
    Express models are not 'interchangable" so make sure your get the
    correct one for the motherboard slot.
     
    smlunatick, Mar 10, 2008
    #10
  11. Henry Ross

    Ben Myers Guest

    I've used IBM-branded USB-parallel cables, and they work just fine. Your caveat
    is well-intended though. There is a lot of cheap junk being sold for computers
    these days. Some of the cheap stuff works perfectly, other junk no.

    I don't think I have ever seen a PCI-Express parallel port card, but I've never
    seen a purple cow, either. The bandwidth required to drive a parallel port is
    too low to justify design and development of a PCI-Express card, and parallel
    ports are no longer mainstream... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 10, 2008
    #11
  12. Henry Ross

    irv Guest

    how about an hp jetdirect 600n internal print server for the printer and
    connect it through the network.
    $10+ on ebay

    i have done it that way and it worked great.
     
    irv, Mar 11, 2008
    #12
  13. Henry Ross

    Ben Myers Guest

    If memory serves me well, the printer is not designed for an internal JetDirect,
    but an external one would work OK provided the OP has a smallish network.

    .... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 11, 2008
    #13
  14. Henry Ross

    Ben Myers Guest

    I take it all back. The HP website states that the 2100 DOES have an EIO slot
    for a JetDirect.

    Since the printer supports PCL, it might also be possible to set up the printer
    with the USB-parallel cable AND use the PCL driver for an older model of printer
    such as the LJ-II or LJ-III. More limited capabilities, but if the OP wants to
    evaluate whether to spend more on the printer, this would be an inexpensive way
    to do so. HP's PCL printers are generally upward compatible, i.e. a newer
    printer's PCL is a superset of that of an older printer. Last week, because I
    did not have Windows 98 software available for a client's really old computer, I
    connected up a Laserjet 4050 to the parallel port and simply retained the old
    LaserJet II driver. The client was satisfied with this workaround... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 11, 2008
    #14
  15. Henry Ross

    smlunatick Guest

    Well several manufacturers have deemed that this is a "viable" source
    of revenue. Here is one PCIExpress parallel port:

    http://www.startech.com/Product/ItemDetail.aspx?productid=PEX1PECP&c=CA
     
    smlunatick, Mar 11, 2008
    #15
  16. Henry Ross

    Ben Myers Guest

    I'd like to see how many HUNDRED dollars of annual revenue they get this year
    for their efforts... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 11, 2008
    #16
  17. Would an older parallel device be able to use the extra speed of this card?
     
    Michael Johnson, Mar 11, 2008
    #17
  18. Henry Ross

    Ben Myers Guest

    Exactly my point! A parallel port, even the newest and fastest bi-directional
    one, uses a teeny tiny part of the bandwidth of PCI, let alone PCI-Express. A
    PCI-Express parallel card instead of a PCI parallel card who have about zero
    effect on the overall speed of printing. The data transmission to the printer
    is still very much limited by the parallel port. So why even sell a PCI-Express
    parallel card? It is a waste of bandwidth and a potentially valuable slot to
    drive a now-obsolete device.

    But, hey, I do not run StarTech or its engineering department. They probably
    pay prevailing Chinese wages to their enginners, so the development cost is
    almost nil... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 12, 2008
    #18
  19. Henry Ross

    nobody > Guest

    You are assuming that all printers are $49 specials at Staples.

    What about the person who has a specialized barcode or label printer
    that only has a parallel interface? Those tend to be pricey and often
    proprietary to some business software/hardware packages.


    Obsolescence is a relative term.
     
    nobody >, Mar 13, 2008
    #19
  20. How much data is transfered reading a bar code or to print a label? I
    have a plotter that has a parallel interface and sending an average
    24"x36" CAD drawing to it takes maybe 15-30 seconds. I don't see that a
    barcode or label gets anywhere close to that amount of data. Even
    considering your comment, I still don't see where an older parallel port
    device could take advantage of the increased speed of this card.
     
    Michael Johnson, Mar 13, 2008
    #20
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