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Usb To Parallel Printer Cable

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#1 DBPbear


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Posted 30 May 2008 - 07:26 PM

In my job we use several different computers (Windows 2000, XP and VISTA) and need to print files to several different dot matrix printers (mostly OKI Microline 320 and 321). The older computers have a parallel output port. The newer computers need to use a USB to Parallel connection.

I've had no problems printing to any of the printers I've installed using an IOGear USB cable. This week I tried to use that cable with one of the other computers -- and although the document shows up in the 'Printers and Faxes' queue nothing prints. Similarly, if I use a different USB printer cable with my computer, nothing will print -- although it does print as soon as I swap back in my original IOGear cable.

Someone told me that USB to Parallel Printer cables are unique and that you need to use the one that you used to originally install your printers. What I have to do now is set up each computer with its own designated cable and make sure that cable stays with the computer. I' thought maybe I could uninstall all of the printers on the computers that need cables and then reinstall the printers using the new cables.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this or more information? I have been working 16 hour days and will be moving to a new site next week -- so please respond ASAP. Thanks.

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#2 garmanma


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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:56 AM

Adapters are quirky at best. What works for one, doesn't for others, as you're finding out. You can buy a parallel port controller card and install it in each computer . I think that would be a better way to go
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#3 DBPbear

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:54 AM

It turns out that installation is cable specific, so if you've borrowed a cable from someone else and installed a printer using that cable, you can't print using a different USB cable.

I Talked to the son of a friend who works for HP. He told me that each cable has a chip in the parallel connecting port. This is not a problem with newer printers (inkjets, laserjets, etc.). But if you are connecting to an old dot matrix printer; once you have installed the printer, you need to use that same cable to connect to all other dot matrix printers.

The solution, for the computer I was using, was to uninstall all the dot matrix printers in 'Printers and Faxes' folders -- then connect the new USB to parallel printer cable to that printer. Easy as pie. When I tested that computer on a couple of our other dot matrix printers, there were no problems.

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