Laserwriter 12/640 ps with Vista?

I found an old printer - Laserwriter 12/640 PS - at my parents in laws', and a likewise old hub. I am trying to connect through the hub to the printer with my PC running Windows Vista Home Premium. I am able to "Ping" the printer from the PC, but that is about it.

I've looked around for a solution and found some suggestions for Windows XP, but nothing that I've been able to make to work in Vista.

Is this a mission impossible? I should admit that my knowledge in computer networks is highly limited...

Any suggestions are hartily welcome!
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  1. Hi there, I currently have one of these printers on my home network and I'd like to report that it works great under Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and even Windows 7. To print to this printer via the network, you'll need a AAUI adaptor to plug in a RJ45 cable going to your network hub or switch. If you had a Mac running any version of OS X up to 10.5.x you'll be good to go at this point as you can print via the Appletalk protocol. But for Windows you'll need to assign the printer an IP address, unless you have an appletalk driver like Win2k used to have built into it. To assign an IP address to the printer you'll need to use the Laserwriter configuration utility. This is kind of tricky as Apple no longer updates the utility for modern Windows operating systems. The version I use is version 2.1 designed for Windows NT, which can be downloaded from Apple's website here:

    I was not able to install this utility on my current version of Windows but I had a spare copy of Win2K laying around, so I used Sun VirtualBox to create a Win2K virtual machine and installed it there. If you have a real computer running Win2K it will do the same, this utility may or may not install under regular XP or Vista, I'm not sure, I was not able to get it to install under 64-bit Windows XP when I tried.

    Anyways, once you get it installed you'll need to configure the printer's IP address through the utility. This printer doesn't support DHCP so you'll have to assign it an IP address that follows your network setup (usually 192.168.x.x, whatever). Once you have configured the printer's IP address through the utility you can verify the IP address by printing a configuration page through the utility. Printing a configuration page out of the printer will be very helpful as you work to get it configured for your network, you can do this by selecting "connect to network printer" under the Network menu of the utility. Leave the "network number" field as it is but in the "node address" field you'll need to enter the last six digits of the printer's MAC address. If you don't know this, try setting the communications switch on the rear of the printer to the RESET position, this will reset it to factory defaults, which includes printing a startup page whenever you turn the printer on. This startup page will provide you with some useful information, including the printer's MAC address (it will be listed above "netware frame type".

    Once you have assigned an IP address to the printer you can install it through Windows but you must set it up as a LPR port, standard TCP/IP port will not work. When adding the printer to Windows Vista/7, choose to add a "local printer" and then create a new port of LPR type. This type of port is no longer available by default in Vista or 7, you'll have to add it through the Programs and Features control panel under the section "turn windows features on or off". For the "name or address of the server providing lpd" field enter the printer's IP address. For the print queue enter the IP address again but in the following form "_192_168_0_25" <-replace those numbers with your printer's actual IP address and remove the quotes. Additionally, Windows Vista and Windows 7 no longer provide drivers for this printer, but you can use the MS Publisher Imagesetter driver located under the "Generic" vendor and it will work fine for printing both high detail text and graphics. If you are using an older version of Windows such as 2K or XP it has a driver for this printer listed under the Apple vendor. Once you have the printer setup, try sending a test page and if all is well you should get a successful printout.

    A much easier alternative is to connect the printer to your PC via the Parallel port connection (if your PC has such a port). From there you can add it as a local printer, again using the MS Publisher Imagesetter driver if you are using Windows Vista or 7, and then share the printer through the built-in Windows printer sharing. Good luck!
  2. Thanks for the Tip on the driver for Vista, it works great.

    An easy way to set the IP address is with the arp command.

    You will need to know the IP address you want to set and the mac address of the printer.

    The mac address can be found on the configuration page that first prints out when you turn on the printer.

    In a command window type the following command.
    c:> arp -s (ipaddress) (mac address)

    c:> arp -s 08-00-07-24-54-03

    I tend to follow it up with a ping to verify that the IP Address has been set.
    c:> ping

    Good luck.
  3. Thanks a lot for your hint about using the driver "MS Publisher Imagesetter" in brand "Generic" for the "Apple Laserwriter 12/640 PS" in Vista Systems.

    I had a similiar problem. My new computers don´t have any parallel or serial ports, and I wanted to be able to use all printers by every computer within my home-network without switching on one main-computer. For that reason a bougt an external Print-Server with 1 parallel and 2 USB-ports.

    After installing the software for the print server, I tried to istall the drivers for the printers.

    On my computers running with XP installing the apple drivers was no problem, using the printer as "local" at the port, that was created by the the Print-Server-Utilities before.

    On my newer computers running with Windows Vista, I didn´t find fitting drivers at the beginning.
    After searching in different forums, on one computer I succeded by coppying driver files from a XP-system to the Vista-system, which was recommended in one forum.

    On the next Vista-computer this did not work. My next trial was a driver version I found on the net for Windows NT. That didn´t work either.

    Then I had the luck, to see this forum. I installed the printer as local using the driver-set "generic - MS Publisher Imagesetter". And indeed, that works fine!

    So, thanks a lo again!

  4. Reconfiguring TCP/IP on an Apple LaserWriter 16/600 PS with telnet:

    This model has a built-in telnet-accessible utility that allows you to change the printer's static IP, its subnet, its gateway IP, and a few other parameters.

    However, you first need to know the current configured IP address, and the utility may require a password if one had been set up by the last owner.

    sws@Herman ~
    Sat Jan 21 01:29 PM
    : telnet
    Connected to
    Escape character is '^]'.


    Apple Computer, Inc.

    LaserWriter 16/600 PS
    TCP/IP Printer Configuration Utility

    Type your password, then press Enter.



    LaserWriter 16/600 PS
    TCP/IP Printer Configuration Utility

    1. Print Configuration Page
    2. Display TCP/IP Interface Information
    3. Enable or Disable PostScript Banner Page Printing
    4. Specify Printer IP Address
    5. Specify Subnet Mask For Your Network
    6. Specify Default Gateway IP Address
    7. Enable or Disable TCP/IP Connection Timeout Checking
    8. Change Password for This Utility
    9. Reset TCP/IP Interface
    10. Restore TCP/IP Interface to Factory Defaults

    To select an option, type its number (1-10) and press Enter.
    To exit this utility, press Enter.

  5. Thanks for the detailed info, especially the instructions about turning on LPR and how to name things. I just 'upgraded' to Win 7, 64bit, and now thanks to your information have my faithful LaserWriter printing again.
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