Hi -

I'm in a shop with two P-IV, XP Pro SP3 desktops. Attached to them are two (identical) HP LaserJet 1220 AIO printers - print, copy and scan. Both printers are connected via the parallel port. There is no network, just a direct connection via the Centronics port/parallel port. These printers print OK and were installed by some other guy years ago.

I've never used the scan feature until today. However, the scan feature is severely broken - the scan button on the printer fails to launch the appropriate app and when you launch the scanner app (from the Start menu), the opening graphic/splash panel just sits there and you have to close it which generates the typical "You closed a non-responsive application, etc. etc...". So I guessed that the scan software needed to be reinstalled. First, I uninstalled the HP applications/drivers using Add/Remove - there was only one object. Then, I grabbed the orig install driver/software CD only to find that it is labeled "For 95/98/2000/ME/NT4". No XP! Upon reboot, XP found and loaded the print driver on its own. I attempted to reinstall the scanner/OCR/picture management software from that CD but the scanner/OCR install bombed out with a "severe error" warning so I figure that it's due to there being no XP support - on this CD. I'm guessing that the installer guy just gave up on it because it apparently never worked at all from what I'm told. Then I searched for the software at HP.com, found an updated printer driver set but no updated scanner or OCR or desktop management software because HP doesn't publish that part of it on the internet forcing you to order the CD which, according to the webpage now incorporates XP support, at $9.95 a copy. I hope this is correct information. Of course there is no phone/chat HP support for this ancient device available.

So I need to ask the following of the loungers:

Should the scanner feature on this LJ 1200 legacy AIO actually work at all with XP? I'm guessing 'yes' but I don't really know for sure.
If no, I'll forget about ordering the CD.

Should the scanner feature work with any parallel printer port? Again, I'm guessing 'yes' but I don't really know for sure.

Do I need to ensure that the parallel port/cable combination on the devices are "bi-directional"?

Would I be better to try to set up scanning with the USB port(s) instead of the older (and presumably less capable) parallel ports? Or will either provide the same functionality?

Because this printer AIO is so old, there's very little information specifically addressing this central capability issue. Again, I think it should work, but I'm not exactly sure that it will.

Thanks for any guidance. We're printing just fine, thanks to the updated driver set. But, no scan and no copy command either via any HP software.