Connecting an Old LPT Printer or Scanner to a USB port

Many buyers of new computers think that they have to abandon their old hardware as soon as that new printer comes out of the box. But with the right supplies and the right knowledge you can make your old printer work with even the newest computer. In order to re purpose your old printer you will need to purchase a parallel to USB converter cable from your local electronics retailer or Internet shop. These converters are easily available, and they provide an excellent way to make your old printer work with your new computer.

After you have the cable in hand the next step is to connect your old printer cable to the parallel port on the parallel to USB converter cable. Make sure that the connection is tight and be sure to tighten the thumbscrews as much as you can. If the connection is not tight the printer may not work. You will next connect the USB part of the parallel to USB converter cable to a free USB port on your computer.

When inserting the cable into the slot make sure it seats securely. If the cable is not seated properly the printer may not work. After the cable has been connected to both the printer and the computer, plug the printer in to an available outlet and turn it on. As the printer warms up keep an eye on the lower right hand side of your computer.

Watch for a “found new hardware” message. That message means that your computer has detected the printer and is attempting to install the proper driver for it. Click on the “Start” button and choose “Printers and Faxes” from the list of options. When the box opens look for your new printer.

If you see the printer listed there it means the computer has already recognized and installed it. If you do not see the printer listed there move on to the next step. Double-click on the “Add Printer” link and choose “Local Printer” from the menu. Be sure that the “Automatically Detect” check box is checked. Your computer will attempt to find and install the printer. If no suitable driver is found you will need to supply it yourself, either on a CD or by downloading the driver from the manufacturer’s website.

That’s about it – in most cases, the old drivers will work and you can continue using your trusty printer with your new PC. Scanners and other LPT devices will work about the same – the only thing you’ll need to get is of course, the USB-LPT adapter.