So I solved the connection to old printer using a USB to Parallel adapter. Then I find that a laptop cannot print to that printer over the network.
I’ll just reproduce the post below, but removing some details about the authors system. It worked for me. Now my family laptop upstairs running Win7 can print to my USB attached HP LaserJet 4P on the PC in the cave downstairs. Thanks Paul!
Paul in Montreal
Re: Can’t connect to Network printer – Win98
I’ve found a solution (worked for my setup) that clears the printer offline
problem when printing from a Vista laptop PC over a home network to a printer
connected to a Windows98 desktop PC. I never had this problem with my XP
Home laptop accessing the printers on the Windows98 PC.
Here’s the fix:
1. In Control Panel, Printers, delete offline printers. If they wont
delete, it may be because there are pending print jobs in the queue. Open the
printer and Cancel the jobs.
2. In Printer properties, Ports tab, delete the previoulsy installed
printers (offline statuts) that appear as Client Side Rendering Provider
under the Description column. To do this, highlight the port, then click on
Delete Port button. Click Apply.
3. Restart your PC.
4. Now reinstall the printers as follows:
5. Open Control panel, Printers, and click Add a printer.
6. Click Add a local printer.
7. Select the “Use an existing port” radio button, and select LPT1: (Printer
Port). Click Next.
8. Install the printer driver. Mine were found in the list included with
Vista. Select the manufacturer and the printer. Click Next.
9. In the next window, accept the printer name or type in a new name. Leave
the “Set as default printer” box unchecked. Click Next.
10. Vista should now install the printer. A window should open saying
“You’ve successfully added printer name.
11. DO NOT Print a test page at this time, because nothing is connected to
the LPT1 port on the laptop. Just press Finish. The printer you just added
should appear in the Printers window.
12. Click ONCE on the newly added printer to highlight it, then right-click
and open Properties.
13. On the Ports tab, click Add Portâ€¦, select Local Port, then click New Port
14. When the Port Name window open, Enter a port name as follows:
(replace computername with the name of your PC acting as print server, and
printername with the name of your printer). Click OK.
15. You should now have a new port listed on the Ports tab of the printer
Properties, but now the Description should be Local Port, instead of Client
Side Rendering Provider. Click OK.
16. Now you can go to the General tab, and Print a Test Page.
Hopefully, your test page will print. Then restart your computer to check
that the printer comes back online.
This procedure worked for me. Hope it works for you too. Good luck!
Sep 19, 2010: Now another older laptop does not connect to the new printer location. This one is a Windows XP and it complains about access. I guess this has to do with the laptop not having credentials on the printer “server”. This is not good, who wants to be the IS admin at home? I don’t get it, years of AI research, UI improvments, and more powerful hardware, yet still we are managing information systems like its 1988.