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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Parallel Port Card

    A friend's computer seems to be having problems with the LPT1 port. Hooked up two different printers and get error messages on each one. The Device Manager shows the LPT1 port as being installed and working properly. But can not get anything through it. How big a deal is it to install a Parallel Port card and how expensive is it. The system is an older "home made" one - running WIN 98 SE. Would installing a USB port/card be a better choice? Where is the best place to purchase a low cost Parallel Port Card? Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    Re: Parallel Port Card

    Before going to the trouble of purchasing and installing a Parallel card, double check a few things first.

    Make sure that the onboard LPT port is using the correct mode for the printer. There are typically several to choose from: Bi-directional, SPP, EPP, or ECP. You'll find that in your BIOS setup. You might also double-check your printer cable, to make sure it's a good cable AND that it's the correct type for the printer (some require IEEE-1284).

    If you determine that the LPT port is bad for some reason, USB would be your next best bet. Of course you'll need a USB compatible printer. My printer is about 4 years old an unfortunately doesn't take USB. But most newer models will.

    If all else fails, you can find some very inexpensive (starting at $10 US) controller cards at http://Pricewatch.com - check here
    (Be sure to find one that offers LTP)

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
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    Re: Parallel Port Card

    Hey Mark,
    I went to Walmart and they had a USB PCI card on sale for $15 (marked down from $19.98). Installed without a hitch. Not gonna bother with the Parallel port. Went into the BIOS and found that the parallel port was set for NORMAL MODE (other choices were ECP and EPP), the IRQ was AUTO and the DMA was n/a. My friend had a lightning strike and that is when he started having problems with his printer. I really thought it was the printer. He bought a new printer and could not get that to work. I hooked up one of my printers using a cable I had - and still no luck. Anyhoo, I think the USB ports will solve the problem.

    PS - my friend and his wife are both smokers. I have seen nicotine stains on and in computers but this one had actual "clumps" of nicotine all through the system. For example, the fan on the CPU was totally coated with brown stuff - and the heat sink literally was clogged with clumps of brown stuff. The vents in the case were literally blocked with brown clumps. I have never seen any system this "mucked up."

    Thanks again for your help.

  4. #4
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    Re: Parallel Port Card

    I'm glad you found a solution (and for such a reasonable price)!

    The comment about your friends' somking reminds me of a time I had a guy work on my computer (years ago). He was a heavy smoker. Several days after bringing the computer home I opened the case to check something and I suddenly smelled tobacco smoke. My first instinct was to blame my roommate for smoking, or at least being around smokers. It only occurred to me later where the smoke smell came from.

    I can only imagine what damage can come to parts of a computer when you combine the natural amount of dust with the sticky tar/nicotine that builds up over time from smoking.... Ouch! <img src=/S/ouch.gif border=0 alt=ouch width=15 height=15>

    (No offense to any smokers - it's just that it takes more cleaning on a regular basis... It's the same for people who have their computers in a room with a fireplace or wood-stove.)

  5. #5
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    Re: Parallel Port Card

    If only it were so easy to see the same thing going on inside a smoker's body.

  6. #6
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    Re: Parallel Port Card

    <hr>(No offense to any smokers - it's just that it takes more cleaning on a regular basis... <hr>
    None taken. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    And it doesn't require more cleaning if you don't smoke in the house with it. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    --
    Bryan Carbonnell - Toronto <img src=/S/flags/Ontario.gif border=0 alt=Ontario width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Canada.gif border=0 alt=Canada width=30 height=18>
    Unfortunately common sense isn't so common!!
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