Advice re. printer cable-adaptor 25pin to usb

  IanS1 16:15 29 Jun 2007

I just bought a new Laptop (Toshiba Satellite A100-02M), but I notice it doesn’t have a 25pin Parallel socket/port to connect my existing HP Laserjet-4L printer.

Checking on the net, it seems that (a) Parallel ports have now been superseded by USB sockets, and (b) it’s possible to connect the printer using a 25pin to USB adaptor cable.

First Question – can I buy a simple adaptor cable to connect the Laserjet to the Toshiba?

My second question is how straightforward is that connection via an adaptor cable?

That may sound a trivial question, however, whilst searching for info., I noticed lots of guys having problems with cable-adaptors like this, ie very often they couldn’t get the printer to work at all, and quite often they couldn’t even get the PC to recognise the cable. Eg see here
click here

It seems these adaptor cables come with software on a disk and need to install a driver depending on which version of windows you have. However, it also seems that for XP and later versions, the PC should detect the cable/adaptor automatically without needing to install any driver software.

OK, well my new Toshiba has Vista of course, so to summarise my questions –

Q. Anyone got any experience of using a cable-adaptor like this, ie to connect older printer to newer PC?

Q. Do I need to take particular care to buy the right brand of cable-adaptor (it seems some of them are only compatible with USB ports on a separate hub, ie they won’t work if plugged directly into most PC USB ports!).

Q. Any recommendations for which product I need to buy?

Q. Any help, comment, or explanation at all very gratefully received.


  Pamy 17:03 29 Jun 2007

Even if you puchase an adapter cable, your old printer may not have a driver for vista. I would go to printer web site first and see if your printer has updated driver fo Vista,

  €dstowe 17:24 29 Jun 2007

For all things USB click here

As Pamy says, though, check you can get Vista drivers before you spend any money on a converter.

  Stuartli 17:32 29 Jun 2007

I bought one of these adapters on behalf of a pal (it cost £14.99).

The printer, an older HP, worked OK, but would not print a number of pages without attention, having to have the Print button clicked for each separate page.

It took a moment or two to work it out, but after that he was happy enough (it was an XP system by the way).

  IanS1 17:59 29 Jun 2007

Hi, thanks for the replies, & thanks to Pamy for that warning about drivers in Vista...

... OK, I checked the HP website and they say Vista DOES come with a driver for my printer, and I just checked Vista on my laptop and indeed it does list the HP Laserjet-4L, so that part seems OK, I means it seems Vista has the correct driver. we think one of those adaptors should work? Anyone see any probs? I mean if necessary I'll buy a new printer, but seems silly because this one's fine.

What do you think?

Cheers, Ian.

  Pamy 18:26 29 Jun 2007

From what you say I do not see any problems

  €dstowe 18:35 29 Jun 2007

I have several of these USB to various (parallel, serial, IDE and SATA) converters and they all work fine. Something to watch out for, though, is that you disconnect according to the correct procedure using the "Safely Remove Hardware" in the Sys Tray.

  IanS1 20:05 29 Jun 2007

OK many thanks for all the replies. Obviously I’ll just get one and try it.

I hope it didn’t seem like a totally trivial question, but as I say it was just that when I looked to buy one online, I was surprised to see numerous reports of problems & incompatibility with different types of USB ports & with different versions of Windows etc.

Cheers, Ian.

  IanS1 14:44 08 Jul 2007

OK, well I got the adaptor cable, but I can’t get the printer to work :-(

When I try to print anything, nothing happens at all. Ie no response from the printer and no error messages from the laptop?

If I click the printer icon to see the printer status/activity, then I see the document in the print queue & it will just sit there for hours without anything happening.

Maybe I haven’t enabled the printing setup properly? All I did was select the LaserJet 4L option from the list of printers shown in Vista. That automatically shows the LaserJet 4L as the default printer, but as I say nothing happens when I try to print.

Perhaps I need to download something from HP or elsewhere? But when I look at the HP website it says the LaserJet 4L IS supported in Vista, and as I say Vista does list the 4L, so I assumed that all I needed to do was select the 4L & make sure that’s listed as my default printer. Maybe I need to do something else withing Vista?

OK, I’m doing something wrong (well I haven’t done much at all lol), but WHAT am I doing wrong?


Ps: I can buy a new printer, without the need for the adapter-cable (25pin-socket to USB), but to add any new printer I’d still just be selecting the printer name from the list of options in Vista, so that’s exactly the same as I’m doing now with the LaserJet, & on that basis it’ not clear why any other printer should work? I’m confused!

  Stuartli 14:48 08 Jul 2007

In the printer's Properties you may need to change from the LPT1 to USB port (or vice versa as I can't remember which way it is from memory).

  Stuartli 14:48 08 Jul 2007

In the printer's Properties you may need to change from the LPT1 to USB port (or vice versa as I can't remember which way it is from memory).

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