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Outdated HP Plotter, networked to use on 7


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#1 WACOMalt

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:35 PM

So my dad has this HP Plotter that he uses for blueprints. It's a HP Designjet 330. It is old, but it is a great plotter and there is no reason we should have to toss it.

There are no drivers for Vista or 7.

He is upgrading his computer to Windows 7 (and new hardware all around) from XP.

Our current plan was use one of our other XP machines (one that is mostly a server for the whole house, security system etc) and hook the printer to that. And share the printer to the windows 7 machine over the network.

My question is, will the windows 7 machines still need drivers for this plotter to work over the network? or will the XP machine be in charge of everything? If the 7 machine would need drivers, then I need another solution.


I was thinking of maybe some sort of print server setup, but I honeslty have no experience in that field.

Worst case scenario, we will have Autocad on the XP machine, as well as the 7 machine, and just drag files over the network to the XP machine, and print from there. That is way more hassle than we would like, so if anybody here has any more ideas that would be great.

Thanks for any help you can give!

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#2 groovicus

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:54 PM

Depending on the type of computer that you have, perhaps the Plotter can still be run in XP virtual mode. The Virtual-PC page can explain it better than I can. If that doesn't work, you can try running the program in XP compatible mode.

#3 WACOMalt

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 10:34 PM

Thank you for the reply, but I think you may have misinterpreted my problem.

A "plotter" is a special type of printer used for printing blueprints, not a program.

I was under the impression that XP mode only allowed outdated software to run, but wouldn't I still need Windows 7 drivers for the printer (perhaps in addition to Windows XP drivers)?

If I am mistaken, and Windows XP mode will allow me to connect non windows 7 compatible hardware, then this is exactly what I was looking for, and I will shut up :huh:!

Again, thanks for the help.


Honestly even if that method works, I think we may still want to set up a print server instead IF it can share printers without needing specific print drivers installed on all machines.

#4 groovicus

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 10:47 PM

I know what a plotter is, and it is the drivers that run the plotter, yes? XP mode will allow you to run devices whose drivers are not compatible with Windows 7 or Vista. It is not the hardware that is incompatible; it is the software that runs the hardware that is incompatible. :huh:

I'm not saying that it will work at all, but if it worked under XP, then it should work under XP compatibility mode. The hardware doesn't know what operating system is running its software.

#5 WACOMalt

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 11:23 PM

Ah cool, I didn't know it worked that well!

I have seen many other virtualized OSes that won't be so kind with working like that...

So let me get this strait.

If all goes how it SHOULD, then I will need to get XP mode installed and running, plug in the printer (through a PCI card printer port I am getting) Somehow get XP mode (not 7) to find the hardware and install the drivers.

And where should I install Autocad? Can windows 7 apps use hardware installed through XP mode? or are both sides completely separated, requiring Autocad to be installed on the XP side?

i would prefer to install autocad on the 7 side, but if I need it on XP I will deal with that.


I found a few other solutions online I may try first though, which are:

-Install Windows XP's generic HP Designjet 450 driver, which worked for a few people on vista 64, and one person on 7x32, so I would assume 7x64 would work too.

-Buy Winline, if they add 7 support. This 3rd party driver seems to be a full revival and improvement on the drivers HP SHOULD have continued updating.
but, it's $200 dollars... So if all else fails...

Thanks again!

#6 _Allan_

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 10:37 AM

Hi!
Having just tested this, since my Logitech Communicate STX won't work in 7 for recording motion, I can give you a few more details.

Win 7 mode is "free" in Professional and Ultimate, but you have to provide your own CD Key if you use Home Premium.

You download and install the software (2 pieces, one a KB update, one the actual XP Mode system).
After installing, you run Windows XP as if it was your main OS. Install the plotter drivers/software and let it do it's thing.
When you get to the point that it needs to 'read' the device, plug in the plotter.

It'll ding in recognition in 7, but you'll need to click "USB \/" and have the device recognized in XP.
After installing the program, and making sure it works in the virtual machine, close the VM.

When that is done, you will click (in windows 7) Start Menu>Programs>Windows Virtual PC>Windows XP Mode Applications and you can start each program from within that menu (or, as I've done, make a shortcut on the desktop)
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#7 WACOMalt

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 10:40 AM

...It'll ding in recognition in 7, but you'll need to click "USB \/" and have the device recognized in XP.
After installing the program, and making sure it works in the virtual machine, close the VM...


Thanks for the confirmation, this is all very good to hear! However, was your plotter a USB plotter?

Mine is LPT, old printer, port. Do you think it'll still work?

#8 _Allan_

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 10:54 AM

...It'll ding in recognition in 7, but you'll need to click "USB \/" and have the device recognized in XP.
After installing the program, and making sure it works in the virtual machine, close the VM...


Thanks for the confirmation, this is all very good to hear! However, was your plotter a USB plotter?

Mine is LPT, old printer, port. Do you think it'll still work?

No, the camera is a USB Camera ... it SHOULD still find it ... just set the VM to use the resources of the computer.
If that doesn't work, there are LPT to USB cables ... http://www.qualitycables.com/productdetail...596%2C471%2C101

Edited by _Allan_, 17 October 2009 - 10:57 AM.

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#9 DeBoize

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 10:03 AM

I realize that this post is over seven months old, but I'm writing in regards to WACOmalt's original post. I too have a similar situation. I have an old HP Designjet 200 with parallel port and wish to run it under my WIndows 7 platform. I'm familiar with the Windows Virtual PC and XP compatibilty mode. My laptop has the virtualization featured already enable.

So far to get this process started I have purchased a D-link network print server for the plotter. I will be installing the Designjet 200 as a network printer onto my current network. I have already done my homework with Winline and would like to avoid the $200 charge for a compatible Windows 7 driver.

This post ended back in October with no conclusion and would like to know if WACOmalt was succesful with getiing his plotter to function under a Windows 7 enviroment. I would like to use my Wondows 7 apps and attempt to plot/print through the XP mode and use the available XP drivers still available from HP.

I'm currently running Windows 7 64 bit and can get get drivers form HP for either XP 32bit or XP 64bit. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thanks, David.

#10 WACOMalt

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 01:30 PM

Sad to say I never even got to the point of an attempted setup. Our solution was a bit different. We currently have a security camera DVR setup on an XP machine in out house, so we wound up just hooking the printer to that, installing autocad and simply dragging files to it and printing from there.

Good solution? Not really, but it works for us. If you Do wind up getting it to work please let me know!




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