My old computer died...

Well, not so much died, as got thrown out of the house by somebody who intentionally mistook it for a piece of old junk.

And now I've no way to connect one old printer which I use for some stuff. The printer is Epson LQ-570 / P2, with a parallel port. I'm on a laptop with Windows XP, which hasn't got a parallel port.

I tried buying one of those usb-parallel port cable adapters, and installing them. Got so far as to manage Windows to recognize the cable, installed the drivers for the printer, but never managed to print anything. No error of any kind, it "sends data" to the printer - just nothing comes out.

Anyways, I've used those cables before, and my experience has been that they're pretty unreliable. One works, the other one (from a different manufacturer) doesn't. Never did figure out why.

So, my question is ... has anyone ever used a usb-parallel adapter which certanly works with this printer, and could suggest a model? And is there a difference between a usb-parallel adapter and a parallel port on a PCMCIA card - maybe I could go and buy one of those, and then try connecting with that?

All suggestions welcomed !


You are already on top of the two most likely solutons... the USB to Parallel converter cable, and a PCMCIA to Parallel converter. Why the two most likely? Well... because you other solutions are more expensive and/or even LESS attractive.

Have I ever used the USB to Parallel cable and have it work with XP? Yes. It is simply a matter of configuring everything properly. Down to getting ECP/EPP/SPP right, etc. Have I done so that that specific Dot Matrix Printer? Nope. But I have with an IBM 2390 Plus.

Is there a difference between using the cable, and the PCMCIA card? Yes. The PCMCIA card adds a parallel port to the computer.

Just to be clear... you went into the driver properties, and made sure that it was pointing to this new LPT port, and you opened up the print spooler and removed any print jobs that were sitting there unprinted... right?

Your other options are to move to a different dot matrix printer that you can connect to, or get a different laptop that has a parallel port (like, a used Toshiba Satellite A75 on eBay or something) or confront the person who intentionally sabotaged your setup and inform them that since THEY have decided to start making changes to what computers are there and how this is all set up, THEY are now responsible for getting everything working again.

  • To your questions from "Just to be clear..." point onwards. Yup, configured the right port and everything. I'll try the pcmcia approach then. If I understood you right, that adds a LPT port, in the same way as if the machine came with one. I can print from cmd prompt just by sending to LPT, avoiding all those printer driver approaches and everything? ... The last part, the person who threw it out was my better half, so I've no chance to appeal :) Thought the sarcasm would be a bit more visible in the question :)) – Rook Jun 9 '12 at 14:29
  • @ldigas it wasn't so much that you weren't clear about your better half, it's just that my better half wouldn't toss my equipment and if she did, she knows I'd still make her have to deal with fixing any potential damage she did (which may also explain why she won't toss my equipment). the PCMCIA card would still need it's drivers to be loaded, but the port would be a viable LPT port, the same as if you used a PCMCIA firewire card or PCMCIA USB card. – Bon Gart Jun 9 '12 at 14:35
  • Meh, I'm not particularly fond of keeping old junk in the house either. So it wasn't much of a loss. The only reason I keep the old printer is that it's so cheap, and I love printing code or text on perforated paper, and then going through it. Enjoy it much more then regular paper by inkjets. Thanks for the PCMCIA advice - my laptop has a pcmcia port, so I'll try to find one and have a go with that approach. Hoping for the best ! – Rook Jun 9 '12 at 14:39
  • @ldigas well, I've got an old HP DesignJet 755CM sitting on the other side of my bench... you know... takes a 36" wide roll of paper. Can't bring myself to get rid of it even though the thing is bigger than my wife's computer desk. I can appreciate your desire to keep a printer that does what you need it to do. – Bon Gart Jun 9 '12 at 15:04

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