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Print to a PC parallel-port-connected HP printer Network
I posted this hint over at the Apple forums and thougth it might be useful here...

I finally figured out how to print to my unsupported HP T45 Officejet which is connected to my Windows 2000 server via parallel port. This will probably also work for other HP deskjets and other versions of Windows provided they are hooked up similarly.

Since I didn't want to spend money on a print server to make my T45 a network printer (and lose the scan/fax abilities by not being connected to the printer port), I downloaded a program for Windows called WinLPR 3.0 (40 day free trial, $25 purchase) from Alixoft. This software will allow you to send print jobs via TCP/IP (IP address) to your printer hanging off a parallel port (don't know about USB). After installing and configuring the software (pretty easy) and printing a test page from WinLPR, I switched back to my Mac.

Next I downloaded and installed gimp-print for OS X. This installs several HP deskjet drivers, Included are the 895c and the 850 servies driver, which are compatible with my T45 Officejet.

Next I setup a new printer in the Print Center. I clicked Add Printer, selected IP Printing, typed my Windows 2000 server's IP address and checked "Use default queue on server". Then I selected Printer Model "HP" and located the compatible drivers (pcl-model#) for my printer and selected "Add". Depending on your printer and if you have the latest drivers from HP, may have to select a printer driver from the "ESP" list under Printer Model. You may have to experiment (and run lots of paper through your printer) until you find a driver that works. I just now added a LaserJet 6P the same way at work, so it will work for some LaserJets too.

Now I can print to my T45 Officejet. The quality is OK, and I can print from MS Office and IE just fine. I can't print from Adobe Photoshop, but I have a separate Canon Photo printer and use it primarily with Photoshop.
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Print to a PC parallel-port-connected HP printer | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Don't need WinLPR
Authored by: murphpo on Sep 03, '02 11:18:15AM

You can actually get the same hardware setup to work using just Win2k's printer sharing and CUPS/Gimp-Print in OS X 10.2. The process is almost exactly the same as you outline with just a few changes. First, share the printer on the Win2k machine, giving permission to "Everyone" to print and manage documents. Then use the hint posted here earlier about turning on CUPS' SMB spooling (search for "cups smb" to find it). Then add the printer via the advanced tab in Print Center (option-click Add). Choose SMB as the type, HP as the make and whatever PCL driver you want from the list of models. Type in "smb://(win2k IP address)/(printer share name)" as the device URI.

Using this process, I've found everything to work *except* CUPS' own test page (printable via the CUPS admin web front end). This consistently fails for no reason I can discern. If you have any problems, check the CUPS log files for error messages (/var/log/cups/*_log).

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Don't need WinLPR
Authored by: rockkat on Sep 21, '02 01:03:00AM

I'm attempting to teach myself how to use unix; but it's like greek to me. Pardon if I sound like an end user. I set up my HP DJ 692c as described, the msg I get when I try to print to it is "Cannot connect to SAMBA, retry in 60 seconds". I believe I have CUPS' SMB spooling enabled... I think. Can anyone please tell me what I have missed?

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Don't need WinLPR
Authored by: mrfur on Sep 21, '02 09:26:42AM
There's another work-around without third-party LPD (but it takes a bit more work on the NT side). Ever since NT 3.5 there's been an option to install "TCP/IP printing" which gives LPR / LPD / LPQ functions to NT. I have other Unix boxes using this. There's a good technote on setting this up at this Microsoft Technet site .

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Authored by: Platinum on Sep 03, '02 11:49:58AM

I have a similar set-up, but I can't get it to work.

I'm using two different printers, hooked up to two different computers on my network. One is a parallel HP 4L laser printer, communicating with a Linux box via lpr. The other is a Mac serial Epson Stylus Color 800 inkjet, communicating with a different Linux box via CUPS.

I get the same results with both printers: If I print from the command line (using lpr) it works fine, whether I print a text file or a PDF. But if I print from inside an application (e.g. TextEdit, Chimera, etc.), the printer just spits out the source code of the resulting PDF or PostScript file!

Does anyone have any suggestions? This is driving me crazy!!

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Authored by: Morky on Sep 03, '02 09:40:03PM

I happen to have a LaserJet 4L, too, and I got this to work using Murpho's instructions. Here it is with all of the gaps filled in:


"First, share the printer on the Win2k machine, giving permission to 'Everyone' to print and manage documents."


"To enable printing from Jaguar via Samba to Windows machines, you've got to include smbspool" as cups backend. Grab Terminal as root and enter:

% cd /usr/libexec/cups/backend
% ln -s /usr/bin/smbspool smb

Restart CUPS:
% ps -aux | grep cups
% kill -HUP (Process ID # of /usr/bin/cups, i.e. kill 'HUP 366)

Grab and install Gimp-Print:

Go to Print Center
Hold down option key and click "Add", select advanced.
Under "Device" select Windows Printing via Samba
Enter name of windows print queue for Device Name (maybe any name will do, but I didn't take any chances).
Device URL: smb://user:pass@workgroup/server/sharename
Printer Model: pcl - 4l (for your LaserJet 4L)

This worked for me, so I hope it works for you! Thanks again to Bax and Murpho!

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Authored by: tres on Sep 04, '02 05:16:02AM

This will work, the problem is that SMB on OS X is a lot slower than using the other protocol that CUPS gives you automatically; use LPD.

I imagine you must have had LPD going back in the last incarnation of Print Center. Just set your printer up using CUPS' LPD filters & wait until your Linux vendor releases their next CUPS binary. (I'm hoping this is a problem that's fixed in the .15 release.) Or you can download the source & try updating things yourself.

Changes between Apple's version of the PDF filter and the cupsomatic version are great enough that they don't interoperate well right now. (Apple actually replaced the backend for pdf filtering.)

Of course, since the Mac CUPS source build files are built for GCC 3, trying to plug their version in won't work too well.

It sucks because I was really excited about CUPS on OS X (one of the main reasons I got Jaguar). But at least there's LPD to fall back on.

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SMC Barricade or Hawkings Printserver
Authored by: rikkers on Sep 03, '02 11:09:48PM

When I switched from my old PowerComputing Powerbase system to my G4 iMac I had to find an alternative to printing to my HP LaserJet 4MP which I had been using through Localtalk. I guess I could have got a USB to Localtalk converter, but why bother. Actually I had already got burned by purchasing a USB to Parallel converter by Belkin (it did not support Postscript--which is extreamly silly since the device/software did not need to interpret Postscript only transfer it to the printer).

As I was getting DSL (and after dealing with that crappy EnterNet software that came with it), I got a 4 port Cable/DSL router from SMC...The SMC Barricade SMC7004ABR.

In addition to being a 4 port hub and a firewall (and allowing me to get rid of that EnterNet software), it lets you set up a parallel printer to be a LPR network printer.

To set up printing to it, create a new LPR printer, enter the IP address of your Barricade (usually, if you kept the defaults), and use "LPT1" as your print queue.

I do have occasional problems with my second print out (the first always works fine). After the first print out it (about 25% of the time) leaves the form feed light on. I have to take my HP 4MP offline then hit Shift-Reset on its front panel to reset the printer or else I am unable to print. A reset only takes seconds whereas cycling the printer is minutes, so it is not that inconvienent when it occurs. Not sure what is causing it. It seems to be less since I switched to Jaguar, but still occurs. It could be the cheap/old parallel cable I have.

I have seen in catalogs a device by Hawkings (PN7127P) that plugs into your parallel port on the back of your printer and supplies a RJ-45 network connection, turning your parallel printer into a network printer. It is usually only about $60-$80. It seem to handle a bunch of printer protocols including windows, lpr, and appletalk and is configured over the web. I am thinking of buying one. Has anybody tried it?

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T45 w/ USB to Parallel Adapter
Authored by: Arty50 on Sep 07, '02 02:46:56AM

First of all, thanks for all the info. I didn't have the option of running this printer off a PC, so I took a chance and bought the Belkin USB to Parallel adapter. The lack of drivers for the cable worried me, but others on the net have had success. So, I hooked everything up to my Rev. A iMac and the printer is going very smoothly now.

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Sharing USB printer
Authored by: mjia on Oct 06, '02 04:43:32PM

I have an HP laserjet 1200 printer connected to a PowerMac 7200, and am trying to share it with the rest of the network.

The printer only has parellel and USB ports, so i put a spare USB card into the 7200, and am now able to print from it with any problem (currently running OS 8.6). Unfortunately, since it's USB, I had to configure it with the Desktop Printer utility. As a result, it does not show up in the chooser, and is not networked.

The other computers on the network that need printing include Win 2000, and Mac OS X machines. The PCs can use PC MacLan to print to any AppleTalk printer, but I'd rather be able to do it on the PCs without having to go that route.

I'd appreciate any help. Thanks

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works fine with usb
Authored by: placebus on Nov 05, '02 09:57:11PM

thereĀ“s no driver for HP656c for OSX and your solution works just fine either in USB or Parallel.
thanks a lot.

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how to make it work fine with usb?
Authored by: tomkersten98 on Nov 18, '02 12:34:37PM


I am trying to set up a Windows/Mac network sharing a network printer. Currently I have 2 printers, 1 connected to the Mac (running Jaguar) & one to the Pc (running Windows 2k Pro.). Ideally, I would like to set one of the printers to either computer and print from all computers. I don't care which computer the printer is hooked up to, I just want to be able to print from all computers.

The printer I am trying to set this up with is an HP Photosmart 7550. It is a USB-only printer. I tried to set it up by connecting it to the Mac & using a couple posts from, but had not luck. Evidently, HP printers do not currently support network printing through USB-printing (according to an earlier post in this thread).

So...I am at a point where my last option is to connect the printer to the Windows computer. Could you please send me the steps you used to accomplish this? Please include the format of the "Device URI" that you used, as the working format of this seems to vary quite a bit.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

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Printing to T45 - almost there!
Authored by: surfsofa on Dec 04, '02 10:44:09AM

Hi - this one is aimed primarily at Anonymous who started this thread off.

I've managed to get printing working to my T45 (thanks for the pointers) but have just one problem to fix. Printing continues happily until just a couple of lines from the bottom of the page then it stops and sits there. After a couple of minutes the printer itself indicates an alarm - pressing Enter then enables it to finish the last couple of lines and release the sheet.

I'm guessing some sort of end-of-page signal is being missed or expected somewhere. Is this something which the printer server should address or somewhere else?

Thanks :)

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Print to a PC parallel-port-connected HP printer using USB adapter
Authored by: nealstyka on Feb 11, '08 09:44:22AM

I have an HP laserJet 4L and just got a USB to Parallel port converter. Everyone seems to say it will work just fine but I can't get it to work for me. I've tried installing hpijs software with Footprint and have tried just going to into PrintCenter and clicking on USB and the printer doesn't appear. I'm running OS X.3.9. Is there some step I'm missing?


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