LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two? (566 Views)
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Occasional Advisor
samazon
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-06-2006
Message 1 of 17 (566 Views)
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LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

I have a LaserJet 4P that accepts a 36-pin Centronics parallel cable, which I'd like to connect to my new laptop that only has USB ports.

Will a USB to parallel cable make this work? In addition to connecting the cable, do I just need to d/l drivers for the printer?

Thank you for your advice!

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Trusted Contributor
David J Wood
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎02-17-2006
Message 2 of 17 (566 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

A USB to parallel cable should work. For drivers, assuming Windows XP, use the driver built in to Windows - I don't think there's any Windows XP drivers available to download for these old printers.

Some people seem to have problems with the USB to parallel cables, but most seem to succeed.


The other option is to use a parallel printer server on your network, but unless you need a network printer that's a more complicated and expensive way round.
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samazon
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-06-2006
Message 3 of 17 (566 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

I appreciate your reply, David. I'm buying the cable this weekend and will let you know how it works.
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Linda Byland
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-05-2006
Message 4 of 17 (566 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

I have the same problem with a LJ 4M Plus. I purchased the connection cable, and downloaded software from the HP website (even though it should not be needed with XP), but have yet to get my printer to recognize input sent from USB. Did you have any luck? I have a Cablestogo connector.

Any help would be much appreciated.
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samazon
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-06-2006
Message 5 of 17 (566 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

Hi,

I actually got it to work right away with the $10 cable I bought at a local store. But I moved the printer and plugged the cable into a different USB port, and it won't work now. I don't know if the different port made the difference or what. I hadn't downloaded any drivers or anything, so was surprised when it did work. I'm back to square one now.

The only thing that changed besides the USB port is that when it did work, it was plugged directly into the wall outlet; it's now plugged into a surge suppressor. Maybe that makes a difference?
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Honored Contributor
Jay Bollyn
Posts: 3,317
Registered: ‎11-27-2002
Message 6 of 17 (566 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

Sam,

I don't think the surge s. is causing this problem. Have you tried plugging the USB connector into exactly the same port (on the laptop) as when it worked initially? Each USB port on a PC/laptop has a different identity. They are usually interchangable, but not always. These interface conversion devices (USB-parallel) are often problematic. I absolutely avoid them, but if you are determined to get it working, we will try to help.

- Jay
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Occasional Advisor
samazon
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-06-2006
Message 7 of 17 (566 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

Hi Jay,

I did try plugging it into the USB port that originally worked, and wasn't succesful the second time. If I try an option other than this cable, what would you suggest?

Thank you so much!
- Sam
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Honored Contributor
Jay Bollyn
Posts: 3,317
Registered: ‎11-27-2002
Message 8 of 17 (566 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

Sam,

The best solution is to buy a printer which has native support for USB.

There are plenty of printers which support USB, since USB is the new interface standard for home users.

Check with us before you buy.

- Jay
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Occasional Advisor
samazon
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-06-2006
Message 9 of 17 (566 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

That's what I was afraid of, Jay! I know they've come down a lot in price since I bought this boat anchor; it cost about $1,000 new in '94. Color lasers can be had for a few hundred now, it seems. I don't print all that often, so was hoping to go the money-saving route with this cable. If I find I need the ability to print, I'll check in here before buying something.

I really appreciate your help!
- Sam
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Honored Contributor
Jay Bollyn
Posts: 3,317
Registered: ‎11-27-2002
Message 10 of 17 (566 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

If you don't really need color, you are MUCH better off with a cheap b/w laser printer. If you buy a cheap (color) inkjet, you will pay a fortune in ink cartridges.

If you could please click in a few points, that tends to keep us regulars interested in solving your problem.

Thanks.

- Jay
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Occasional Advisor
samazon
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-06-2006
Message 11 of 17 (482 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

Jay - I will take the time soon to try plugging the printer back into the USB port in which it worked the first time.

If I remember correctly, I plugged it in, then turned everything on - that's when it worked. Would doing things in a certain order make it more likely to work?

Thank you,
Sam
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Ken Jennings
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-17-2006
Message 12 of 17 (482 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

I have an HP 4L & a computer with only USB ports and had the same problem. I downloaded the USB to Parallel driver from the IBM website and was able to get mine to work after restarting the computer a couple of times. The website link is:
http://www-3.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-41778
The file is 1.9 mb in size and there is good documentation on the site on getting the driver to work.
Ken
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Jules Kanhan
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-30-2007
Message 13 of 17 (482 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

I just bought an usb paralell cable to connect my laserjet 4P to my new desktop running XP. I connected the printer to usb on the back of Pc, but the printer was not detected. I went to google and did some search for help and I found your forum. After reading few of the answers, I moved the cable to a different usb port on the front of my computer, thank you all, it is working now.
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Jules Kanhan
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-30-2007
Message 14 of 17 (482 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

I just bought an usb paralell cable to connect my laserjet 4P, but the printer was not detected. After reading few of the answers, I moved the cable to a different usb port on the front of PC, thank you all, it is working now.
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Wade Leimeister
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-17-2007
Message 15 of 17 (482 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

I noticed that the 4P has both parallel & serial ports. Is it better to use one over the other when converting from USB?

Thanks for any advice.

Wade
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Vivian Walker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-16-2007
Message 16 of 17 (482 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

I have the same problem that one of you posted. I have a HP Laserjet 4P (I love it) that I disconnected and moved to another room. Now it doesn't print. I have 4 USB ports on my HP laptop but the printer doesn't seem to recognize any of them. I had this problem about a year ago but can't remember how I resolved it. I do remember I changed a port setting. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks for your help.
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Larry David
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
Message 17 of 17 (482 Views)

Re: LaserJet 4P & New USB-Laptop - connecting the two?

I have XP on a HP computer and a Laserjet 4P printer. My solution to get the printer to operate is to disconnect the printer, start the computer, turn on printer and then connect the printer to the computer. Works all the time but is a pain!

XP tells me the printer is connected to USB3. Since I do not know which port is USB3, I will play with ports when I have time. It would be nice to leave the printer plugged in all the time.
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