Parallel printer problem

  Simsy 16:11 28 Feb 2006

Hi Folks...

Got a problem with getting a printer to work for my sister...

It's an Apollo P1200, with is Parallel connection only. It's working fine with her old PC, (P2 400MgHz). Her "new" pc is something I've refurbished for her,(Athlon 1.1 gig, msi mobo, via chipset), with a fresh install of win 98se.

It appears to install OK, and prints a test page OK, (from software), and seems to communicate OK, but as soon as you try to print a document, from any application, the only thing that happens is the "replace cartridge" light flashes.

Reconnect to the old PC, using same cable, and all is fine!!

This would seem to rule out the printer itself, or the cable, meaning it's either a software issue, or the parallel port. I wouldn't have thought it's the port becasue it prints a test page OK... Or am I missing something with that logic?

With regard to software I have uninstalled and reinstalled driver, trying updated ones as well.

Purged print cue.

Checked parallel port in "Device Manger", where it is reported as "working properly"

A search has revealed this thread, click here , from elsewhere, which has mention of a change to something in the BIOS. I haven't yet tried that but will.

There is a further complication in that currently I have the PC, but the printer is still with my sister, 30 miles away, so I can't test any suggestions for a while!!...

None the less, I'd really welcome any other suggestions.

It does print to a USB printer OK, and to a couple of "virtual" printers, (pdfFactory and FinePrint).

Thanks in anticipation,



  Diemmess 16:32 28 Feb 2006

The Bios may hold the answer.
Have a look in advanced or integrated peripherals or whatever it is called.
Later motherboards offer a choice over LPT1......
something like Normal, ECP, EPP.
If it says Normal try EPP or vice versa.

Sorry to be so vague but it made a real difference several lives ago, when a printer/mobo setup would work accurately only on Normal, but took 5 mins per page. Anything else was normal speed but garbled the image for a line or two into the print (even in Test Page!)

To end on a gloomy note, this was an old Epson Photo 700 neither mine nor a friend's identical printer would run properly.
Epson support didn't solve it and I had to buy new.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:57 28 Feb 2006

Agree with Diemmess select EPP+ECP if the option is available in the BIOS.

  woodchip 17:59 28 Feb 2006

As above it should be set to ECP, EPP. in BIOS

  woodchip 18:00 28 Feb 2006

PS you may need a Bi-Directional Cable

  Simsy 20:45 28 Feb 2006

that's promising...

The options I have are;

1)Normal, (which it is currently set to)




I assume it's the 4th of these that's being suggested as the correct option?

If this is where the problem lies, does it make sense that the printer prints a test page when asked to?

What do EPP and ECP stand for?

How can I tell if it's a bi-directional cable we've got?

Many thanks for all responses... sorry I've been slow to get back to this... domesticity is intervening!!

And I've just remembered another sign/symptom... This printer holds either a black or a colour cartridge... but not both at the same time. I think when we put the colour cartrige in, (the document had blue text), it did work. I think we had to confirm whether the black or colour cartridge was installed... suggesting that perhaps some bidirectional stuff is going on...

Sorry to be so vague!!



  Simsy 20:53 28 Feb 2006

having just changed it to EPP/ECP in the BIOS, when it rebooted into windows I got the "New Hardware found.." stuff... windows did it's installing then said something like "Your Printer port is now installed"

Just got to wait to get that 30 miles to the other side of london to try it out now!

Still appreciate knowing what the abbreviations stand for?

many thanks again,



  Stuartli 21:23 28 Feb 2006

EPP represents Enhanced Parallel Port and ECP equals Extended Capability Port.

  Stuartli 21:24 28 Feb 2006

When I had a Canon printer that used the parallel port it was always set for EPP in the Bios.

  woodchip 18:54 01 Mar 2006

On some old printers you have to load the drivers twice, once with the black ink and second with colour cart in printer. then you have two printers showing and have to change ink cart and choose printer for what you have to print

  Simsy 22:26 01 Mar 2006


I'll bear it in mind when I eventually get back there. I don't think thats the problem though, because I'm sure I didn't do that when I installed it on the "old" pc... and it works fine on that.

I'll keep it in mind however!




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