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HP Laser 4050 refuses to print through upgraded computer (Win2K to XPpro)

fatshoulders
fatshoulders asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
We have a client with a number of computers and printers who recently upgraded on of his computers.  The upgraded system is an AMD 3200+ with a 64 bit capable CPU.  We're running Windows XP professional.

The software for the HP 4050 goes in (downloaded from the HP site) and sees the printer.  Everything looks fine until we try to print through LPT1.  The printer status shows that the job has gone to the printer but the printer never receives it.

If I use a cable with Centronics on one end and USB on the other (instead of parallel fitting) I can hook the printer to the computer's USB port and everything works fine.  Unfortunately, the custom software this client uses is DOS based and, even through windows, requires a parallel port connection to the printer.  The software won't print through the USB port.

So, the problem ...

The printer won't work through the standard parallel connection although the system appears able to "see" the printer.
The printer works fine if connected to the computer's USB port.
Client's DOS-based software requires a parallel port connection to print
Changing motherboards has had no affect on the problem.

Hope someone out there can shed some light our the problem and its solution.

DB
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wyliecoyoteukIT director
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Commented:
Have you checked the parallel port settings in the Bios?
There are usually 3:
standard
EPP
ECP
and sometimes there are combinations like EPP+ECP, or ECP before EPP.

The most likely to work is EPP.

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Commented:
Good morning, Wylie,

Checking the bios setting was one of the first thing I did.  The port setting default was SPP (I believe that's something like "serial plug and play".  I looked it up because I hadn't seen that acronym before)  I changed it to ECP EPP.  It made no difference.   Changing the motherboard (and therefore the parallel port) made no difference either.

I'm starting to believe this has to be some kind of compatibility problem.

Thanks for the suggestion.

DB

Author

Commented:
G'morning Mr. (or Ms.) Hdhandt,

Thanks for the suggested work around.  I haven't tried NET USE yet since I've not been back to the client yet HOWEVER, the idea is intrigueing.  Can I hook a printer to a computer through the USB port, share it, and then use the NET USE command to configure a virtual parallel port on that same computer?  If it works, it's a bloody clever workaround.

But WHY doesn't the parallel port work on its own?  The odds against both of the motherboards we've tried being bad would seem to point away from a hardware problem ... other than compatibility.

Remember, the printer (and yes, we did try an HP4+ just to be sure it wasn't the printer causing the problem) doesn't work in DOS or Windows.

I'll let you know what happens with NET USE.  

Best

DB
wyliecoyoteukIT director
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