Parallel ports and printers

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hi. I'm going to upgrade my notebook soon from one with a parallel port to
(likely) one without a parallel port. Here's what I'd like to find out; if
anyone has experience with it.

I print wirelessly to my printers:
| notebook | >>
| wireless access point | >>
| print server, connected w/cat-5 to the above WAP | >>
| my three printer(s), connected via parallel cables to the print server |

Two of my three printers are parallel port (only) printers. The way I make
the above setup work is to simply install their drivers while physically
connected via parallel cable first. Then, I can use the print server (over
WiFi) to connect to them wirelessly.

But if my next notebook doesn't have a parallel port, can I even install the
printers' drivers first? My guess is that without the actual parallel port
on the notebook, Windows won't let the driver talk to the printer any other
way.

So, it sounds like a stupid question, but will Windows XP let me install a
printer's driver (a printer that uses a parallel port connection) without
physically having a parallel port?

Anyone have any guidance here? Thanks.


Fr@nk
7 answers Last reply
More about parallel ports printers
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    My laptop sends to my printer on the home network via wireless. When you
    install the printer driver pick the printer on the network and all should be
    ok.


    --
    Don
    Vancouver, USA


    "Fr@nk" <Fr@nkATwizardDOT.net> wrote in message
    news:nI8Ne.20738$Ie.18887@lakeread03...
    > Hi. I'm going to upgrade my notebook soon from one with a parallel port to
    > (likely) one without a parallel port. Here's what I'd like to find out; if
    > anyone has experience with it.
    >
    > I print wirelessly to my printers:
    > | notebook | >>
    > | wireless access point | >>
    > | print server, connected w/cat-5 to the above WAP | >>
    > | my three printer(s), connected via parallel cables to the print server |
    >
    > Two of my three printers are parallel port (only) printers. The way I make
    > the above setup work is to simply install their drivers while physically
    > connected via parallel cable first. Then, I can use the print server (over
    > WiFi) to connect to them wirelessly.
    >
    > But if my next notebook doesn't have a parallel port, can I even install
    > the
    > printers' drivers first? My guess is that without the actual parallel port
    > on the notebook, Windows won't let the driver talk to the printer any
    > other
    > way.
    >
    > So, it sounds like a stupid question, but will Windows XP let me install a
    > printer's driver (a printer that uses a parallel port connection) without
    > physically having a parallel port?
    >
    > Anyone have any guidance here? Thanks.
    >
    >
    > Fr@nk
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Fr@nk" <Fr@nkATwizardDOT.net> wrote in message
    news:nI8Ne.20738$Ie.18887@lakeread03...
    > Hi. I'm going to upgrade my notebook soon from one with a parallel port to
    > (likely) one without a parallel port. Here's what I'd like to find out; if
    > anyone has experience with it.
    >
    > I print wirelessly to my printers:
    > | notebook | >>
    > | wireless access point | >>
    > | print server, connected w/cat-5 to the above WAP | >>
    > | my three printer(s), connected via parallel cables to the print server |
    >
    > Two of my three printers are parallel port (only) printers. The way I make
    > the above setup work is to simply install their drivers while physically
    > connected via parallel cable first. Then, I can use the print server (over
    > WiFi) to connect to them wirelessly.
    >
    > But if my next notebook doesn't have a parallel port, can I even install
    the
    > printers' drivers first? My guess is that without the actual parallel port
    > on the notebook, Windows won't let the driver talk to the printer any
    other
    > way.
    >
    > So, it sounds like a stupid question, but will Windows XP let me install a
    > printer's driver (a printer that uses a parallel port connection) without
    > physically having a parallel port?
    >
    > Anyone have any guidance here? Thanks.
    >

    If you select the remote printer on the laptop, XP should automagically
    retrieve the necessary drivers from the server (assuming the server is
    running XP) otherwise it will ask you for the installation disk but only
    retrieve the files it needs.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Ye Electric Fanne Clubbe" <ian.shorrocks@baeherclothessystems.com> wrote in
    message news:43058768$1_1@glkas0286.greenlnk.net...
    >
    >
    > If you select the remote printer on the laptop, XP should automagically
    > retrieve the necessary drivers from the server (assuming the server is
    > running XP) otherwise it will ask you for the installation disk but only
    > retrieve the files it needs.
    >
    >

    I should've mentioned: my print server is a pretty simple device (Linksys).
    As I recall, I need to already have the printer installed...then tell the
    print server to "take it over". The server can't install the printers'
    drivers by itself.

    I could try, though. It's just that I don't (now) have a computer that
    _doesn't_ have a parallel port to test...

    Thanks.


    Fr@nk
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Fr@nk wrote:
    > "Ye Electric Fanne Clubbe" <ian.shorrocks@baeherclothessystems.com> wrote in
    > message news:43058768$1_1@glkas0286.greenlnk.net...
    >
    >>
    >>If you select the remote printer on the laptop, XP should automagically
    >>retrieve the necessary drivers from the server (assuming the server is
    >>running XP) otherwise it will ask you for the installation disk but only
    >>retrieve the files it needs.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    > I should've mentioned: my print server is a pretty simple device (Linksys).
    > As I recall, I need to already have the printer installed...then tell the
    > print server to "take it over". The server can't install the printers'
    > drivers by itself.
    >
    > I could try, though. It's just that I don't (now) have a computer that
    > _doesn't_ have a parallel port to test...
    >
    So...uninstall one of your printers, unhook (or disable in bios) the
    parallel port, and try it. What do you have to lose?

    As one poster mentioned, installing as a network printer should solve
    your problem anyway.

    jak

    > Thanks.
    >
    >
    > Fr@nk
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "jakdedert" <jakdedert@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
    news:QdoNe.16024$xW.13060@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
    > >
    > So...uninstall one of your printers, unhook (or disable in bios) the
    > parallel port, and try it. What do you have to lose?
    >
    > As one poster mentioned, installing as a network printer should solve
    > your problem anyway.
    >
    > jak
    >

    Good idea. I disabled the parallel port in the BIOS, rebooted, and ran the
    Add Printer wizard (I was just going to install a "dummy" printer: old HP
    LaserJet 4). Selected the LaserJet 4 as the model, clicked Next, and voila:
    I saw my Linksys print server's ports listed! I guess that means I could
    select one of the ports on the print server and be done with it...no
    parallel connection needed (since the print server _is_ physically connected
    to the printer...at least my "real" printers).

    I'll try it for sure when I get the new machine. Thanks very much for the
    tip(s).


    Fr@nk
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    The answer to your question is "it depends upon the printer [driver]",
    but I think that most (not all) printer setup software will let you
    install even if no port exists (you might want to "print to file").
    However, it could get VERY sticky for some complex devices that require
    two-way communication AND that are not "networkable". A few
    multi-function devices (printer/scanner/copier/fax) come to mind.


    Fr@nk wrote:

    > "jakdedert" <jakdedert@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
    > news:QdoNe.16024$xW.13060@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
    >
    >>So...uninstall one of your printers, unhook (or disable in bios) the
    >>parallel port, and try it. What do you have to lose?
    >>
    >>As one poster mentioned, installing as a network printer should solve
    >>your problem anyway.
    >>
    >>jak
    >>
    >
    >
    > Good idea. I disabled the parallel port in the BIOS, rebooted, and ran the
    > Add Printer wizard (I was just going to install a "dummy" printer: old HP
    > LaserJet 4). Selected the LaserJet 4 as the model, clicked Next, and voila:
    > I saw my Linksys print server's ports listed! I guess that means I could
    > select one of the ports on the print server and be done with it...no
    > parallel connection needed (since the print server _is_ physically connected
    > to the printer...at least my "real" printers).
    >
    > I'll try it for sure when I get the new machine. Thanks very much for the
    > tip(s).
    >
    >
    > Fr@nk
    >
    >
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Barry Watzman" <WatzmanNOSPAM@neo.rr.com> wrote in message
    news:4308B766.7060000@neo.rr.com...
    > The answer to your question is "it depends upon the printer [driver]",
    > but I think that most (not all) printer setup software will let you
    > install even if no port exists (you might want to "print to file").
    > However, it could get VERY sticky for some complex devices that require
    > two-way communication AND that are not "networkable". A few
    > multi-function devices (printer/scanner/copier/fax) come to mind.
    >

    Yes, I think you're right. I only have one "complex" device (Brother
    all-in-one laser printer/scanner/copier/fax). I MUST connect it to my print
    server via parallel, so I'm just going to have to cross my fingers that the
    computer will let me install the driver connecting directly to the print
    server's (virtual) port. And yes, the Brother can only PRINT wirelessly. For
    scanning, I must connect to it locally (USB).

    My backup solution: I have an old Entrega USB-to-parallel adapter. The
    driver for it is basically a "port" that makes the OS think it's a parallel
    port. That _ought_ to work........

    Thanks for the note.


    Fr@nk
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