Connecting a HP LaserJet 4 by a USB to parallel adapter cable

By stus357 ·
I am trying to connect a HP LaserJet 4 to a Toshiba Satellite P105 laptop running Windows XP Pro using a Bafo USB to IEEE 1248 parallel printer adapter cable. Windows recognizes the cable and activates the USB printer support function. It doesn't find the printer but I think that is because it is so old. It is not plug and play. I can manually add the printer and Windows "sees" it. When I print the test page, it prints on 2 pages only one line per page. On the second page, the first line is overprinted. I've tried printing from Word and Outlook with no luck.

Any ideas? Is it even doable with a LaserJet 4?

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Parallel to USB Adapters

by Alpha-Male In reply to Connecting a HP LaserJet ...

I have always found these to give relatively poor and unpredicable results. It's kind of "shoehorning" the printer into doing something it wasn't meant to....and printer issues *normally* are one of the more common problems in IT.

I know this doesn't answer the question you asked, but it may do a better job of resolving the need you have.

Have you considered getting a Jet Direct for the printer? Most laserjet 4s have an internal slot for one - but even if you have a model that doesn't you can get an external. Configure it, hook it up with an ethernet cable to a switch (which you may well already have) and then you can actually print to it from any machine on the network. It's fast, stable and effective - and if you shop around for the jet direct even inexpensive.

Good luck - hope this helps.

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Very same problem

by mpedris In reply to Connecting a HP LaserJet ...

I'm having the same problem connecting my HP LJ 4L to my Dell 1705.
But in my case, even the test page doesn't print.
I cannot understand what the problem may be. If anyone out there has successfully connected a 4L with a Laptop, please chime in.

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Laserjet 4 to a Dell Inspiron

by 62countryboy In reply to Very same problem

I bought an APC USB to 36pin Centronics on ebay and I tried 2 days to get this to work. I read somewhere (maybe here) that someone took some isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab and cleaned the centronics port on the printer. GUESS WHAT? IT WORKS!! I publish the church's newsletter so I needed this to work or go back to the old way and connect to the old parallel port on the Dell.
I have VISTA Home Premium on the Dell and have 6 USB ports altogether (I am using 4 ports so far). With the computer and printer turned off, I swabbed out the printer Centronics port, reconnected the USB to Parallel cable, disconnected the old parallel cable, turned on the LJ4 (left it warm up), turned on the Dell Inspiron, made my way to the control panel, clicked on printers, right-clicked on the LaserJet 4, selected Properties, clicked on Ports tab, verified that it was using one of the USB ports ("USB002 Virtual printer Port for USB HP LaserJet 4), executed MS Word, typed a phrase and selected the printer and printed the page out with success. My conclusion is I'm either VERY lucky or that process of swabbing the connection with alcohol did the trick. I'm just putting this out there. Stranger things have happened. If fells good when you succeed at something someone else recommended as a "workaround" or just something as strange as this....

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Thanks Alpha-Male

by stus357 In reply to Connecting a HP LaserJet ...

I wasn't aware of the JetDirect solution. I'll pursue that. I've seen JetDirect 170x on eBay for about the same price as the USB-to-parallel adapter cable. It is a cleaner solution using HP technology. I also like the idea of a network accessible printer. I have an unused ethernet port.

Thanks again.

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Alternatively: Try a Different USB Socket

by jacobbarnett In reply to Connecting a HP LaserJet ...

How many times have we all heard that? It works a surprisingly large number of times; so does taking a walk in the sunshine. I like the Q-tips idea too. (The different USB socket worked just now for me!) I sincerely appreciate the collaboration here.

Details: Vista to LP LaserJet 4 Plus, Vista drivers, would not reliably work over a LAN w/ Ethernet TCP/IP, printer and TCP/IP needed to be reinstalled o-f-t-e-n. Switched to USB -> Centronics. Seems OK.

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