Printing from a PS/2 port using a usb to ps/2 adapter

A "friend of mine" has a Dell Inspiron laptop.  Her kids recently damaged the USB port on the laptop and now they are not able to print using their only usb printer.  Since the laptop is an older model used for a non-profit organization, they did not want to indure the cost of having to fix the USB port.  They puchased a $5 ps/2 to usb adapter and tried to connect the printer .  When they connected the printer to the adapter they still are not able to print.  They said " I went into the printer
properties and looked at the list of printer ports and there was no PS2 listed.  I tried every port listedand nothing worked."  At this time they want to look at enduring the cost of having the onboard usb fixed.  

1) Is what they are attempting the best ( cheapest) solution to enable them to print again ?

2) what is wrong with the adapter situation and why is it not allowing them to print?  

3) If its not the best way around is, does anyone know what the cost would be to fix the onboard usb.  ( I looked at it and its not just a couple pins, it would need to be replaced).  


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The PS/2 to USB connectors aren't USB adapters. They're designed to connect a combinatio USB-PS/2 mouse to the PS/2 port. When you connect a mouse that's designed for either USB or PS/2 up to one of these connectors, it switches into PS/2 mode, and the connector just converts the plug on the mouse into a PS/2 plug. It is impossible to get a printer to work through this port.

To fix the ports on the laptop would probably require replacing the entire motherboard. Cost would most likely be nearly as much as a new laptop. It may even be more expensive than getting something from the Dell Outlet.

One solution may be to use a PCMCIA to USB adapter. This plugs into the laptop's PCMCIA port and will give a true USB port. Of course, the laptop has to have a PCMCIA port for this to work.

NLPCAuthor Commented:
Troy - thanks for the update and suggestion on the PCMCIA to USB.  I will let them know - is there anyway to convert the existing serial to usb if they do not have a PCMCIA port ?
Standard serial is too slow to support USB. These are pretty much your only options.

1) Fix the USB (most likely a motherboard swap-out). The price may be so high that replacing the laptop might be a better option.
2) Use a PCMCIA to USB adapter.
3) Get a parallel port printer.
4) Get an Ethernet adapter for the printer and print through the LAN.


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