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Computer Newbies forum

Resolved Question

USB to parallel cable for Windows 7

by ela119 / January 9, 2015 7:16 AM PST

My son and I just finished a home-build kit and he left for a trip to China before I could get everything running. I need some help hooking up my old Epson Action Laser 1500.

Here is a description of the system:
Motherboard: MSI B85M-P33 Intel B85
Processor: Intel Core i3-4150
OS: Win 7 SP1
Cable: Shaxon USB2AD25MM06F-B

Here's what I tried so far:
1. Hooked up the Shaxon USB-parallel cable and plugged it in hoping the plug and play would do the work for me. Nothing happened.
2. I selected Add Printer and chose the HP LaserJet III (which is the emulation the Epson uses and which worked fine when I used the printer with XP). I chose the settings for the correct USB port and I tried to print a test page and the Feed light on the printer started blinking so I guess there's some communication. I tried pressing the Feed button but nothing happened. I took the printer offline and then pressed the feed button again and got a page with one line of nonsense characters.
3. I read through many forum posts and saw that some have recommended installing cable drivers. Although the drivers that came with the Shaxon cable were for Win Vista, I tried installing them anyway. One showed up as an installed program in the Control Panel, but the printer will still not print a test page.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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Best Answer chosen by ela119

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Have You Seen This Discussion?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 16, 2015 7:51 AM PST
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microsoft thread on usb-parallel compatibility
by ela119 / January 17, 2015 3:32 AM PST

Hi Grif.
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my query. Yes, I read that thread before buying the cable. You're right, that out of all the many forum posts I read on the topic, the ones in this thread seemed the best informed and there were a number of reports of success. There were also a few folks who reported they never got it working. My next idea was to follow the suggestion included in one of the posts: give up on finding a cable that works and try installing a parallel card instead.

I got a Rosewill PCI parallel card but it didn't fit in my MSI motherboard, which has a PCI express Gen 3 slot. So I was thinking about getting the Rosewill PCI express card. My only concern is that the slot is pretty long and the picture of the card on Amazon shows that it is a short card. (See links below.)

My other concern is that even if I did fit the short card into the long slot, it might still not be compatible. I read a post somewhere that warned PCIe slots are for video cards only and are not compatible with other cards. But then I saw a lot of PCIe parallel cards are sold so I don't know if that warning is accurate.

Any thoughts?

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I'll address that PCIe a little.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 17, 2015 3:49 AM PST
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Problem solved
by ela119 / January 28, 2015 11:02 AM PST

Hi Bob.
Thanks for your guidance. Amazon refunded my money for the old Rosewill PCI card and I used the refund to get a StarTech PCIe card. During installation I had to fumble around before I realized Windows assigned it to the LPT3 port for some reason but as soon as I specified that port in the printer settings, it worked fine and printed a test page for me. I really appreciate the help you provided. Now I can use my LaserJet another 10 years (I hope).

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A PCIe x1 Should Fit In a PCIe x16 Slot
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 19, 2015 8:03 AM PST

As to how well it work, that's a different issue. It should work as designed, be backward compatble to the 1.1 specs as long as you have the correct drivers for the current operating system.....but it's always a toss-up when it comes to using older equipment on newer motherboards.

Hope this helps.


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Solved: PCIe x1 fit in the PCIe x16 slot
by ela119 / January 28, 2015 11:04 AM PST

Hi Grif.
You were right. I got a PCIe card and it fit in the slot correctly. I was able to hook up my old LaserJet and it works great. I really appreciate your help. You told me exactly what I needed to know.

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(NT) Good Job & Glad WE Could Help !
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 29, 2015 3:17 AM PST
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There are too many reasons this fails
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 9, 2015 7:23 AM PST
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Motherboard drivers
by ela119 / January 17, 2015 3:47 AM PST

Hi Bob.
I very much appreciate your reply. I feel like I have a lot to learn and I value the time more experienced users have offered me.

I couldn't follow the unchecking instructions in the forum post you recommended because that option was grayed-out when I found it.

I bet you're right that all cables are not created equal and I probably got what I paid for when I got the cheapest one I could find. I heard some people have more success with the Dynex cable, although it costs a lot more and is harder to find. I see some are available used but I'm concerned a used one might not include the disk with the proper drivers. I guess I could hope Win7 will find it for me.

Your warning about getting the right drivers impressed me that it will be important to do the job right. What you said about motherboard drivers got me thinking too. After my son and I built the computer it worked fine but I found a CD in the motherboard packaging so I ran it. It loaded a utility package that included an application called a "total installer". I ran it and for about 5-10 minutes it added a lot of new drivers, one of which I assume is the motherboard driver. I read a forum post that cautioned against reinstalling drivers you already have so I hope I didn't mess things up by doing this. But the computer continues to run the same after I installed this as it did before so I don't think I screwed up anything, but I'm not sure I've helped anything either Let me know if you think I've followed your recommendation or if there are other steps you'd recommend.


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Here's that text.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 17, 2015 4:05 AM PST
In reply to: Motherboard drivers

"Alan - this was the key for me. I have a LaserJet 4, a Dynex cable from
Best Buy. In the control panel I used the USB001 port, downloaded the
drive for the Laser and when I unchecked the bidirectional tab the
printer worked."

This checkbox might be in either the USB parallel driver settings, the Ports section of the hardware control panel (AKA Device Manger) or has been spotted (rare) in the Printer Driver itself.

That's no less than 3 places.

---> But here's the awful truth. Just last week I saw a new laser printer for 60 bucks on Amazon. It may be too easy to spend that much on PCIe cards, USB to parallel cards to save this old printer.

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#1 on Amazon today is
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 17, 2015 4:23 AM PST
In reply to: Here's that text.

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