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Unfortunately the printer being used to print envelopes uses a LPR port which can only be attached to an old machine running Windows 98. The rest of the systems in the network are running Windows 7 and need to have the ability to send print jobs to Windows 98 print server.

Are there any alternatives? Unfortunately Linux is not an option as there are no known drivers for the printer unless this does not matter.

If there any no alternatives, what should be secured on the network and the print server so that it is not susceptible to viruses, unauthorized access, etc?

The network does not run off a domain as they only have 5 computers.

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Give up. (Or at least configure Win98 to NTLMv2-only mode.) – grawity Oct 16 '11 at 18:47
What's preventing you from hosting it from a newer version of Windows? What kind of printer is it? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 16 '11 at 18:56
@techie007 - The server it is installed on only has 32MB of EDO RAM and 4 GB of harddrive space so an upgrade is out of the question. It is a HP LaserJet that only has support for LPR ports. None of the other PCs or servers have support for LPR ports. – PeanutsMonkey Oct 16 '11 at 18:58
if it's a standard parallel port that's missing from the new computers, you can get add-in parallel cards for very cheap. See here: How can I plug my LPT printer into a motherboard with no parallel port? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 16 '11 at 19:05
In the answer I linked it also suggests a couple (other) USB adapters. I will warn you though, from my experience the USB-Parallel adapters are often below-par when it comes to compatibility and bi-directional communication. A PCIe parallel adapter card with a real parallel controller on it tend to work perfect first try. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 16 '11 at 19:14
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Get a USB-to-parallel adapter, it's around $7. Connect this printer with this adapter to any computer running Windows. HP LaserJet drivers are available for modern Windows versions too.

USB to Parallel

This is what one vendor says about their adapter:

Add a DB25 parallel port to your desktop or laptop PC through USB. The ICUSB1284D25 6 ft USB to DB25 parallel printer adapter cable turns an available USB port on a host PC into a DB25 female parallel port - allowing you to connect a DB25 printer to the computer as if the necessary parallel port was built-on. A cost-effective and reliable solution, the USB to DB25 adapter saves the expense of replacing a parallel printer for the sake of USB capability.

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I did not even know they existed. Thanks. Will give them a go. Am assuming that using the USB to parallel port adapter will make no difference to the drivers on the server? – PeanutsMonkey Oct 16 '11 at 19:10
No difference. You'll see that port as LPT1 or LPT-something in Ports tab in "Printer properties". These adapters are specifically made to connect old hardware to new computers. – haimg Oct 16 '11 at 19:15
Just a word to the wise. I've never seen one of these work properly – Joe Taylor Oct 16 '11 at 19:31
I've used these with POS and dot-matrix printers, no problems... And laserjet is fairly standard. But YMMV of course. – haimg Oct 16 '11 at 19:36

D-Link makes a parallel print server that plugs directly into the parallel port on the printer. You plug a network cable into it, and access it as a standard TCP/IP LPR port. We've been using one on our old hp LaserJet 4100 series printer that was used as the mainline printer back when printer built-in networking was a little over priced.

We purchased the LPT Port print server to get the printer off the Domain Server to quit wasting server clock cycles on spooling a shared printer when the workstations could do a better job of it and communicate directly to the printer.

The lj-4100 outlasted the hp LJ4250dtn with built-in print server that replaced it and is still plugging away over in Accounts Payable with this nifty D-Link device plugged into its parallel port.

I think the current iteration is D-Link DP-301P or something similar.

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Thanks. That's good to know that there are other option available. What is the D-Link print server called and is there a specific model? How much do they go for? – PeanutsMonkey Oct 17 '11 at 20:16
D-Link DP-301P+ Fast Ethernet Print Server and around $50.00. There are other parallel port print servers out there like TrendNet, StarTech or Hawking as well. – Fiasco Labs Oct 17 '11 at 23:41

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