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No USB Printer Port? No Problem

Monday, March 9th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals

Jer from MN writes:

I bought an HP Pavilion computer recently to replace one with Win XP on it. To my displeasure I found out after the fact that the Pavilion did not have a means of using my HP Laser Jet printer. No cable hook up, and the Laser Jet doesn’t have a USB hook up either. My guess at this point is I’ll need to buy a wireless printer to use it with the Pavilion. That wouldn’t be my choice as I have 3 HP printers with the conditions, and the Laser Jet has been a remarkable printer all the years I’ve used it. If you know of any solutions to this problem I’m sure I and many others that are contemplating new computers will welcome it.

This is one of those problems where upgrading can actually cause more problems than it solves if you still have working equipment that doesn’t interface well¬†with the newest operating system or hardware specifications.

The easiest way to fix this problem is simply to pick up an adapter cable like this that has both types of connections. 


You’ll need one that features the parallel port connection on one end you’d need for your LaserJet printer, and a USB plug on the other side for connecting to your new computer that only has USB connections.

If you can’t find an adapter that will work for your specific printer (or, more likely, if HP doesn’t have drivers for your older printer available for your new computer’s operating system), there is still an option available besides buying a wireless printer.

If you still have your old computer with Windows XP and don’t mind leaving it turned on all the time, you can simply leave the LaserJet connected to your old computer, and then share the printer on your home network. If your new Pavilion computer is also connected to your network, it will be able to use the printer just like it was directly connected through a cable.

To set this up, open the Control Panel on your XP machine and select the “Printers and Faxes” option. Right-click the entry for your LaserJet printer, and select the “Sharing” option.

Sharing Printer

On the “Sharing” tab, select the “Share This Printer” radio button and take note of the name of the printer. Click “Apply” to start sharing through your network.

Turning On Sharing

On your new Pavilion machine, open the “Network and Sharing Center” link in the Control Panel and select “View network computers and devices.” Double-click the name of your old XP computer and then select the name you noted down earlier associated with the printer.

Connecting To Network Computer

So long as your XP computer remains powered on and is both on your network and connected to the printer, you will be able to print directly from your Pavilion.

~ Ty Arthur

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One Response to “No USB Printer Port? No Problem”

  1. Frank Carreira says:

    Or you can install the right I/O card which will connect with the printer in one of the expansion slots at the back of the machine (if there are any, of course)

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