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Connecting a Laserwriter NTX to Win98?

Posted on 1999-01-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
What setup should I use (both in PC and dipswitches on printer) to be able to print out from Windows 95/98?
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Question by:magnusl
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dmichels earned 400 total points
ID: 2014014
Connecting the Apple LaserWriter IINTX to a PC running Windows

Step 1: Locate the Serial Ports
On the back of the Laserwriter NTX there appears to be a parallel port but it's actually a RS-232-C (DB25) serial port. On the back of your PC there should be 2 (DB9) serial ports (COM1 and COM2)--choose one that is not already in use.

Step 2: Connect the PC and Printer via Their Serial Ports
You will need a Null Modem Adapter (Radio Shack p/n 26-1496b) and a modem cable (female 9-pin to male 25-pin).

Attach the cable's 9-pin connector to the COM1 or COM2 serial port on the PC. The other end of the cable is attached to the null modem connector which is then connected to the LaserWriter's 25-pin serial port.

You may also use an HP Serial Laserjet Printer Cable instead. In this case, a Null Modem Adapter is NOT needed.

Step 3: Set the Laserwriter's Dip Switches
With the Laserwriter off, set the DIP switches in the back so that Switch 1 is UP and Switch 2 is DOWN. The remaining four switches should be UP.  These settings place the printer in:
     Postscript print mode
     RS-232 9600 Baud
     8 data bits, No Parity, 1 stop bit, with XON/OFF

Step 4: Turn the Laserwriter and PC On
After connecting the cable and setting the DIP switches, turn the PC and Laserwriter on. The printer's green light should begin blinking and in a few minutes the IINTX will print its usual test page. If not, its previous Macintosh owner may have downloaded a Postscript file to the printer to disable the test page. To test if this is the case, turn the printer off, remove the cable and turn it back on again. If the green light blinks and the printer does not generate a test page, then this feature has likely been disabled.

Step 5: Install the Postscript Print Driver
Use the Printers Control Panel to install the Laserwriter IINTX print driver. Configure the driver to use the PC serial port (COM1 or COM2) to which the printer is attached. The port settings are 9600, 8 bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit and Xon/Xoff.

Step 6: Troubleshooting Tips
Under the printer Properties, compress bitmaps is selected by default. Try changing this setting so that bitmaps are not compressed.

Find out how much memory the LaserWriter has (printed on the test page generated when the printer is turned on). Set the memory field in the printer properties to this size.

Make sure the PC serial port you selected is active and is not shared or conflicting with a modem or mouse. Verify that both COM1 and COM2 are in the Control Panels/System/Device Manager.

Check your BIOS...only one COM port should be enabled.

Good luck! Dianne

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