How to Connect a Parallel HP Printer to a USB Only Computer

I’ve been using an HP LaserJet 1100 for many years. I upgraded to the 1100 from an old HP LaserJet IIP+, and I’ve never been happier. A few years ago, I upgraded to a new Dell Dimension 9200, and I noticed that the computer had USB ports, but no parallel printer port! A quick Google search shows me that Dell has phased out parallel ports, and that I was out of luck.

Being lazy, I just kept the LaserJet 1100 hooked up to my old PC, and shared the printer across my network. Not the most efficient solution (talk about a waste of electricity!), but it got the job done in a hurry.

Fast forward to last week, when the drive on that old computer crashed. I finally decided to find a better solution to my printing dilemna. After hours of research, here’s what I came up with:

It’s not the most elegant solution, but it works flawlessly. Here’s the issue that makes this so complicated. HP made mainly 2 different types of parallel printer ports. The first is typically called a mini-centronics (Small C-type connector – HP C2946A) connector. It looks somewhat like a small SCSI connector. I’m not sure as to why HP decided to use this form of connection, because no other printer company used it. It’s doesn’t appear to be any faster then a standard parallel cable or offer any other benefits besides HP selling their special cables.

So basically what you need is a USB -> Parallel port adapter, and then a Parallel Port -> Mini Centronics adapter. Thankfully, Sewell sells a combination package that does the trick!

Here’s what it looks like:


Pretty self-explanatory. When you plug the cable into your computer, it creates a new port called USB001 (Virtual printer port for USB), and you just select that when setting up the printer in the “Add Printer Wizard”. Print a test page, and you should be all set! If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll help you the best that I can!

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5 Responses to “How to Connect a Parallel HP Printer to a USB Only Computer”

  1. Impressão says:

    Very useful! My old printer will ressurge from hell! 🙂

  2. Carol Ann says:

    Will this work for my HP 1100 to Toshiba Satellite A205 laptop using Vista? I am having a hard time finding the correct cable. Thanks

  3. cameron says:

    hi i have a hp 3150 will this work with this adapter and run with windows 7 ??

  4. Abrar says:

    Hi, I have a HP 1100 and I bought a new Dell Laptop and this additional cable but after the Installation of the cable when i connect the printer it is showing that a printer has been connected but it is not printing anything I even installed new drivers for the printer but still not printing.

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