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Hardware Print Server - Ethernet to Parallel Port or Ethernet to combo Parallel Port/USB Port

Posted on 2016-10-13
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Last Modified: 2016-10-20
Posting this question today because I need specific hardware recommendations: for a hardware print server - Ethernet to Parallel Port, and/or Ethernet to Parallel Port/USB combo unit. We are interfacing an Okidata Microline 9-Pin Dot Matrix unit, with a Parallel Port interface,  to our network. Okidata units with built-in Ethernet print servers are too expensive for our budget.

Also Note - very important: this unit must be known to work with Windows Server 2012 R2. IT Manager has asked me to find choices that are known absolutely, positively proven to work with Windows Server 2012 R2. We do have a very old LInkSys print server now in place running off of Server 2003 but Server 2012 R2 does not even see the device.

Looking for low-cost, simple devices - very specific vendor/model recommendations.

Regards,

Mark Weaver
Stratford, CT
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Question by:mweaverct
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Kimputer earned 1000 total points
ID: 41842172
HP Jetdirects was always to go-to solution for decades, if not centuries. It's not really dependent on the Windows OS, as long as the driver is available on that Windows version, you're good to go.

http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-jetdirect-300x-print-server-for-fast-ethernet

If you use this solution, it's not the question "is this product compatible with Windows 2012", the question should be "are there drivers for the Okidata Microline 9-Pin for Win2012". And that's why they ruled this niche market for so long.
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by:efrimpol
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Expert Comment

by:efrimpol
ID: 41842188
Yes, I used the HP Print Server for a parallel printer for years before we finally replaced the printer for one with a USB interface.
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by:hdhondt
hdhondt earned 500 total points
ID: 41842962
The others posters have given their recommendations. I'd like to add some general advice.

With an old printer like yours, just about any printserver will work fine. All the do is to make the printer look like a network printer, without any hassles. At least, as long as the driver is available, but again, with your printer there should be no problem.

The case is completely different for USB printers. Most of those are low-end GDI (host-based) printers, which rely on the Windows graphics engine to convert the page into ink-dots on the paper. These printers are hard to network. They work fine if shared via another PC or server (i.e. if plugged into your server). However, if you want to use a printserver with them, you must make sure you get one that is designed to work with your printer. Most suppliers have a list of supported printers; if your printer is not on the list you must assume it will not work.

If your printer supports a language (i.e. PostScript, PCL5/6, ESC/P) you can assume it will work with any printserver. However, HP "languages" like PCL3 are host-based and the above caution applies.
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by:mweaverct
ID: 41845054
Thank you all for your recommendations.

Have any of you used a hardware print server - parallel port - specifically with Windows Server 2012 R2: and if so, which model ?
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by:Kimputer
ID: 41848024
Yes, read my first post.
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