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Home » What should I buy? Is it on Amazon? » Connect an old laser printer to a new PC?

Apparently there are a few old models of laser printers that qualify as tanks. They don’t wear out. I won’t name names, because you can’t buy them any more. But these old lasers use only Centronics connections, also known as parallel ports or LPT1 connections, and computers built in the last few years can’t connect.

There are a few fixes, like adding a parallel port card to a desktop PC, but the quickest is a USB to parallel printer adapter cable. There are thousands of these, but the best one, that actually has US-based telephone tech support, is from StarTech.

There are instructions, on the included mini-CD, which also runs in any tray-type CD reader. Additional note: Installing the cable and driver software for the cable before installing the printer is the easy way, so that you can select the new port from the ports list during the printer install. Other way around works, installing the cable second, and then you have to go to the ‘ports’ tab in Windows’ printer properties, and scroll down to the USB port at the bottom of the list and select that.

This Startech cable is used as a replacement for your existing parallel port cable, running from the computer to the printer:

This Startech cable is used in addition to your existing parallel port cable, if you need the extra length: