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I have a canon lP800 printer for which there is no available drivers for Windows 7.

It used to work well under Windows XP, so I was thinking about installing XP as guest OS in VirtualBox. Do you think that'd work, even though Windows 7 does not recognize the printer ?

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2 Answers

It doesn't matter if Windows 7 doesn't recognise the printer. This is what you must do:

  1. Install VirtualBox

  2. Install the VirtualBox extension pack. This is a MUST. This is what will allow the guest OS to communicate directly through the ports like USB.

  3. Get your guest OS working

  4. From VirtualBox set the filters to include the printer through the respective port.

  5. Now install your printer drivers using the CD for the printer.

That's it!

I do the same but in my case my host OS is Ubuntu and I have XP as guest for my canon printers (LBP-800 and E500)

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I've followed your explanations. Now it seems that the printer is recognized under windows XP (as expected) but it's failing to print. I have a feeling this is because I've plugged the printer to my new laptop using a usb to lpt cable adapter. The driver of the printer is expecting a parallel port when all I have is a usb port. Have you faced the same issue ? –  user1098555 Dec 31 '12 at 17:01
    
@user1098555 Oh yes, those USB to LPT are always buggy. In fact when I wanted to get it for my laptop, I was advised not to. So I guess you have a few options... Either you can plug it onto a PC and use it, OR connect through the laptop as a network printer. In my case the old LBP800 laser is on a PC and my E500 has USB. Also the length of the cable matters, and the thickness. For example, I've found that the USB cables that come with some printers are think and they don't work but sometimes a thicker cable does the job. And avoid running through extra interfaces such as USB hubs. –  itsols Dec 31 '12 at 17:54
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Personally I wouldn't want to go through the process of setting up a virtual machine to use the printer. Instead, try the newest Windows XP or Vista drivers you can and see if they can communicate with the printer. Often I find that installing an old driver fixes the problem. While it was not intended for Windows 7, the architecture is similar.

If all else fails itsols answer would be the best idea.

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