Buying new desktop - ports

  Wendy 15:01 16 Aug 2008

I've had my computer and monitor for years and going to upgrade both now that monitor seems to be on the blink.

I have an office laser printer, which can be run off USB, but I never found that it worked satisfactorily on that, so I run it off the parallel port instead, since it has both options.

I have been looking at an HP desktop, but the specs don't mention a parallel port.
I'm wondering if maybe computers don't come with parallel ports any more?
If that is so, does anyone know whether a Brother5050 will work on the USB with a new computer? I mean maybe mine is just too low spec to cope with it? It's a great printer and I'm not planning to upgrade that. It's so cheap to run!

  BT 16:21 16 Aug 2008

You can get an auxilliary parallel port card for you computer if it doesn't have one.

click here

  citadel 16:26 16 Aug 2008

they normally don't mention parallel ports in adverts but I would be surprised if any pc came without one.

  Woolwell 16:59 16 Aug 2008

citadel - My new HP desktop didn't come with a parallel port and I think you will find that the majority of new computers do not have this port as standard.

You can get a USB adaptor but I have never tried one.

The new PC probably has Vista in which case you may well have to download the latest drivers and this may well mean that you will be using USB.

  Woolwell 17:01 16 Aug 2008

The Brother 5050 seems to be compatible with Vista click here

  wiz-king 17:10 16 Aug 2008

You can usualy get a picture of the back of the computer and can see if it has one.
I have an HP Pavilion (about a year old) and that has a parallel port.

  Wendy 17:45 16 Aug 2008

I'll go and have a look at some before I buy ,but so far I have only researched online. I haven't seen the backs, but I'll check.

Does an auxilliary parallel port come on a pci card then?
There is a free 'normal' pci slot and a pci 'express' slot free. I plan to put my wireless card in the normal one, as I don't know about express ones. Would an auxilliary parallel port go in the express one?

I normally use XP pro and had thought of transferring my hd, or its contents, to the new computer rather than using the installed vista.
I wasn't too worried about that, but about how the printer works with its USB cable. With my present computer it's trouble, which is why I use the parallel cable instead. It came with both options.

I had thought of a Pavilion, so I'll go and have a look before I buy.
Thanks for all these replies! It's amazingly useful to be able to ask people about things like this.

  Woolwell 17:59 16 Aug 2008

Be very careful about just transferring the hd contents. You may find that you don't have the correct drivers. If XP was supplied with your previous PC then it will probably be an OEM version and only valid for that PC.

If a parallel port isn't listed in the spec then it probably hasn't got one.

  Wendy 18:51 16 Aug 2008

No my version of windows is one that I bought myself. I built the computer myself, a few years ago. Now it seems easier and as cheap to just buy one especially as I'm a bit out of date with things now, and all of my stuff is quite old.

I've looked at the link someone gave, and wondering if the problem is something to do with 32bit or 64bit. Maybe I will just go with the Vista on the installed hard drive and start again with my programs. That way I might avoid problems??

  BT 08:11 17 Aug 2008

"Does an auxilliary parallel port come on a pci card then? "

Auxilliary port is a standard PCI card.

Re the Printer/USB cable problem. Its worth trying a different cable. I had a similar problem with an Epson Parallel/USB printer and found a different cable solved the problem.

  Wendy 19:23 21 Aug 2008

Phew, got new computer (HP Compaq) and the printer works on the USB (so far anyway!).

I have thought of getting a wireless dongle thingy for the printer so as to be able to have it on another desk, but that's another story altogether!!

Many thanks to all those who have helped me in this, it is much appreciated.

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