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Windows 7: Windows doesn't recognize my printer

02 Oct 2010   #1

windows 7 Pro
Windows doesn't recognize my printer

I bought an adaptor cord-parallel plug to USB-so as to be able to continue to use my old Epson Laser printer with my new Windows 7 Dell computer. When the printer is plugged in a box shows up saying that Windows has found my printer, another box says a driver was found, and a third says that it was installed. When I go to Printers and Devices my printer is listed under Unspecified and is identified as an IEEE-1284 Controller. How do I get Windows to recognize this device as a printer.?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Oct 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Hello javapoppa. Welcome to the Forum.

You could try this workaround. I can't tell you it will work, but it's worth a shot.

First, open the printers properties and note the USB port number that the printer is installed to (it should be a "virtual printer port".
Then find the driver files for your printer by browsing the CD or downloaded package (they will be .inf files) and copy these to a USB stick or easy to find folder on your hard drive.
Create a System Restore Point.
I then would uninstall the "IEEE-1284" printer, disconnect it, and restart.

Before connecting the printer follow these steps:
1. Go to Devices and Printers > Add a Printer > Choose: Local Printer
2. Choose: “Create a New Port” > Local Port > Next
3. Enter port name (the port you wrote down previously)
4. Choose: Have Disk > Browse to driver folder (on stick) > Select it > OK > OK
5. Type a printer name
6. Share this printer? > Yes or No

If successful, then plug the printer into the same USB port you plugged into before. Hopefully Windows will find the drivers and connect to the printer.

Let us know if that works. If it doesn't, you can use System Restore to undo your changes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2010   #3

windows 7 Pro

Thanks for your response. I have been trying variations of your suggestion and have gotten my printer to appear on the list but when I plug it in I also get the IEEE-1284 Controller under the heading Unspecified. When I attempt to print I get a never ending series of pages with one line of gibberish at the top. The only way that I have found to remove the Controller is to unplug the printer; a right click only gives three options, none of which is Remove this Device. It may be a driver problem; I'm going to copy all of the .inf files from my old computer and go through your procedure again but I have to wait until my wife comes home from a trip because she took all of my thumb drives with her.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Oct 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

You don't necessarily need the thumb drive. You can create a folder a put it on your desktop instead.

The issue is probably that the printer is too old to be plug and play, so Windows is "guessing" the USB device connected is a controller. The idea would be to get the printer driver to install first instead. The conversion cable is complicating things.

Have you tried the Add a Local Printer method without uninstalling the IEEE1284 Controller? You might then be able to "Choose a Port" to select the controller and then point it to the inf files.

Can you download any driver installation packages from the manufacturer's website? You may be able to even get an XP driver to work if you ran it in compatibility mode.

Otherwise it's time for a new printer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

If all else fails trying to use the USB to Parallel cable, then this PCI to Parallel Port Add-on card may be the way you need to go: - Computer Hardware,Computer Accessories,Add-On Cards,PCI to Parallel Port Card

Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #6

windows 7 Pro

Thanks for your input. Do you know where I can find the file name for my printer driver on my old XP computer? I have found a 72 kb file on my old XP computer called that is probably where my driver is stored. If I can find the file name I can feed it to the installer on my Windows 7 machine. I have been unable to find a source on the web to download the driver that I need and Epson no longer supports my printer but my old computer works fine with my printer so the driver is there somewhere. If this doesn't work out I will definitely buy a parallel port add-on card; I would have gone this route from the beginning if I had known about it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Unless you are extremely lucky and the printer driver is named something like "hey-its-me-your-printer-driver", it would be literally like looking for a needle in a haystack.

The actual driver is going to be named ****.inf. But often you also need the correct .cab file also. Your best shot is to do a web search to see if you can find the exact names of all the files you would need.

IIRC, Parallel port printers did not use a driver package at all. I believe that they are just "dumb printers" and use the OS to print. But it has been a long time since I used one, my memory could be fuzzy.

I have installed one of those parallel port cards for someone and they work great. Make sure you get one with Windows 7 drivers. Once the card is installed you plug in the printer and it just prints.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows doesn't recognize my printer

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