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HP LaserJet 4L can’t print from Windows 7

Solved at last. For months I’ve been trying to work out how to do it. Get my old war horse of a laser printer (HP LaserJet 4L in this case) back in operation since getting a new Windows 7, 64bit PC.

Turns out the secret was a £4 USB Parallel Printer Port Cable 25 pin female socket cable  from Amazon, given there are no parallel printer ports on my new desktop PC.

When it arrived I simply plugged it into an available USB port and Windows itself configured all the necessary software drivers. I then attached the other end of the cable to the parallel cable from my LaserJet. At first the computer didn’t recognise the printer (as modern ones do with their plug n play capability), but it was straight forward to add via  the Control Panel:

Control Panel > Devices and Printers > Add a printer > Add a local printer > Use an existing port (Virtual Printer Port for USB)

HP LaserJet 4L Printer SelectionOnly bit you need to be careful of is selecting the right LaserJet printer from the list of HP printers available. Even managed to set it up as a shared printer so other in the household can use.

One problem I did encounter, but managed (eventually) to figure out, is a way to delete previous attempts to add this printer from the list of devices – even though they were hidden from the list of printers.

EXTRA HINT: In my case, HP LaserJet 4L (Copy 2) kept being offered as the new printer name, even though I had no way of seeing or deleting previously failed printer installs recorded as HP LaserJet 4L or HP LaserJet 4L (Copy 1). You’d think you would delete via some advanced administration setting, but the fool-proof way I used was to open NotePad (type Notepad in the box immediately below the All Progams prompt  – bottom left if you can’t find it). Open Notepad and click on File>Print, highlight and right click on the printer you want to delete as shown, and your done.

Couldn’t be simpler when you know how, like all things IT it’s the knowing how that’s the difficult bit!

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  1. January 1st, 2011 at 08:49 | #1

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  2. veronica
    March 6th, 2011 at 02:05 | #2

    I was using a USB-DB9 cable and a DB9-DB25 and it didnt work, so I will try your solution, but at least now I can delete the previously failed printer installs LOL. Thank you so much for your tips

  3. Frank
    March 25th, 2012 at 13:33 | #3

    Thanks for the excellent instruction for getting a LaserJet 4L to work with Windows 7. I’d read may other sites trying to answer this question. Nothing worked.

    Your concise answer solved my long time frustration.

    Thank you very much.

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