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OT: Win XP printer problems

edited August 15 in DIY

I'll start a new thread here to stop the hi-jacking. See continuation below. The original question involved how to get a new ink jet printer to work with an old windows XP machine that is difficult to upgrade in terms of software and printer drivers. Workarounds mentioned so far include: 1) saving jpegs and printing from another machine, 2) clone old HDD and set it up as a VM on a new high powered pc, 3) putting jpegs on a small usb jump drive and printing directly without a pc (if the printer supports this).

"I couldn't use the old XP printer when we went to Win7."

"Basic printer operation should still work. Try it before you change your desktop/laptop. or you can take the final images and transfer to online and print from there or if the print supports print from usb drive - that would an option too."

"Thanks for all the suggestions. Sounds like I am pretty much being hosed by Microsoft and Adobe. I'll check into printing from a usb drive and see if that works. I'll put a jpeg on a usb flash drive, take it into a local store and then see if an Epson eco-tank printer can print it directly simply by plugging the flash drive into the front panel somewhere. Worth a shot. If that works, that may be my cheap workaround type solution. Bill"


"Bill - I have an old (it's all relative) HP Celeron workstation you can have. I bought it for a project that never got off the ground. No OS on it, but you could load up Win 10 just to see if your Adobe apps will still work.

Another thought - you may be able to send jpegs to your phone and wirelessly print from that."



  • edited August 15

    Tom, that sounds like another good idea. I also have another windows xp machine that is not being used. I could reformat it and try loading windows 10 on it. You mean a trial version of 10, right? Just to see if the adobe programs still work.

  • I'm pretty sure you can install Win 10 and use it for a while before you have problems with it not being registered.

    If you have a Windows 7 machine you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free. You need to have Windows 7 installed and registered. I've been working on a nephews Lenovo machine this week which had a flakey HD. I was able to download a Windows 7 image from the web, install it and register it with the Windows sticker on the case. I could then upgrade to Windows 10. Another trick I found is that if you disconnect the machine from the web you can bypass all the Win 10 cloud account setup nonsense.


  • edited August 15

    Legit Win10 licenses can be purchased here for $20.

    If your hardware is as old as WinXP you may find rather degraded performance with the OS upgrade however. Windows debloater can help:

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • Thanks for the link. I'll put together an installation disc and see if I can get 10 loaded on my unused XP machine and run a test.

  • @dcibel said:
    Legit Win10 licenses can be purchased here for $20.

    If your hardware is as old as WinXP you may find rather degraded performance with the OS upgrade however. Windows debloater can help:

    But that is an OEM price. I would not be able to install that on an old pc. I would need to purchase the full, stand alone retail version, which is much higher. Or am I missing something? Thanks for the debloater tip. If I can get it to work, I will be sure to debloat.

  • You can use that key on any installation. OEM keys do not have transfer rights, so if you want to use windows on another machine, you need to purchase another key.

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • Ok, my misunderstanding. So, if I can get this to work, the upgrade to 10 will be much cheaper than I thought.

  • Went shopping for ink jet printers today and discovered a few interesting things. The cheaper Epson eco super tank printers (<$300 or so) do not have a front panel usb for direct jpeg or pdf printing. Only the more expensive Epson photo grade super tanks (ET-8550) have this feature (>$700). However, they all have a feature called WiFi direct printing. You can actually turn these newer printers into a local hot spot and then connect wirelessly and print from an android phone, laptop, or computer. No local area network is required. I wonder if this would work or if I would still need to have the appropriate windows XP driver installed?

  • I've yet to find a printer that will print wirelessly, let alone from my phone. They all claim to, but seem to go to sleep after setting it up. Then they go offline and I could never get any of them to print with out fussing with power on and reloading software and just being complete ass useless. Been through Epson, HP, Brother, and such.

  • Thanks for the heads up. I have no experience with wireless. Sounds like another marketing dept rabbet hole.

  • HP makes some cheaper ink jets that have front panel usb ports for printing jpegs or pdfs directly without a PC. But they all have small ink cartridges that will need constant replacement. I was hoping to find something with bigger ink tanks that last a long time. Canon has a line with bigger bottles, I check them out next.

  • I have a older Samsung Android phone. I have an Epson Artisan 837 printer that I've had for years. I recently configured the Epson to print wireless. I also have an older HP 2420 LaserJet connected to the network over ethernet. I had previously installed an HP print app on my phone and can print to the LaserJet with the phone connected via wifi. I just installed two Epson printer apps and can print from the phone with one and the other lets me print photos, documents, scan and do document capture. So if you have a printer connected to a network it's likely there's a way to print from your phone.


  • I've tried everything. It's on the same wifi network. I've sat on the phone with several companies, no one has ever had an answer. I envy you Ron...and others that have this convenience. I have the Brother right now, have to use USB to my laptop.

  • That's one of my problems, Ron. I don't have a network. I'm living in the dark ages here. My XP machine with all my picture editing software on it has a network card in it, but it is not connected to anything. So if a brand new printer can be programmed to become a hot spot, I should be able to, at least in theory, log onto it from my XP machine and possibly print off a jpeg or pdf. Or maybe not. Looks like I am entering the brave new world of wireless miscommunication. :'(

  • Do any of these printers have Linux drivers? Ubuntu lets you boot from a DVD without installing Linux and still get to your drive folders. I've been working on an old beater Intel I3 machine and started it up with Ubuntu. I found all my printers and lead me to printer drivers for them. My HP printer worked just fine but my Epson would just print blank pages. I'm not a Linux guy but maybe that's an option. Epson has Linux drivers on their support pages that list the new Ecotank printers. I just don't know how to install them in Linux.


  • I ran my XP computer on my network without many issues. First it preferred to be wired vs. wireless and it was slow to be recognized on the network. I was also running the XP pro version as I recall. My HP printer has been wireless for years, after several updates I've have no more issues about not printing/ being off line.

    If you have highspeed internet then you have a network, albeit a small one from the modem to your computer :)

     John H, thanks to JP I did get that email
  • BTW Bill If you want me to print some tents I can do that while you work out your printer issues.

     John H, thanks to JP I did get that email
  • I can print the tents ok, it just that they will be black & white only. I have an Epson 1400 Stylus Photo printer directly connected to my XP machine via USB. I have inexpensive 3rd party black ink in all 6 ink cartridges, and it works fine for black & white printing. Just looking for a way to print color again. No high speed internet or modem, just my phone, which has no ability to print.

  • What's the XP machine?

  • I did a little research and got the I3 machine to print to my Epson printer with Linux. I got the software from Epson's site and these drivers are supposed to work with their new printers.


  • Thanks, Ron. I think you may have just solved my problem. At the Epson Download Center link that you listed, I typed in a search for the Epson ET-2720, which is the cheapest Epson printer currently available using the big eco-tanks (approx $200). Guess what? Two different printer drivers are available for Windows XP!! And they also list a Windows XP driver for the built in scanner. So, I downloaded all three of them. Tomorrow, I plan to give Epson technical support a call and ask them about this. Because when I search for drivers on Epsons main support web page, a query for this printer and windows XP indicates that no drivers are available for this operating system.

  • @Ron_E said:
    What's the XP machine?

    Windows XP SP3 installed
    Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 (2.66Ghz - 3MB L2 Cache - 1066Mhz FSB - 45nm - Socket 775)
    Asus P5GC-MX/1333 - MATX Intel 945GC Express motherboard
    eVGA nVidea GeForce 8400GS - 512MB DDR2 Express x16 graphics card
    450W power supply
    Four - 7200 RPM Seagate SATAII hard drives installed (160GB, 160GB, 250GB, 750BG)
    Memory: Two - PC2-5300 2GB 667MHz DDR II (1x2GB) (for a total of 4GB)
    Two DVD R/W drives

  • Now that is an antique! Epson says they don't make Linux drivers but there are drivers available on their website that work so you may get lucky with XP. I might have some faster hardware for you if you're interested. I have a pair of Asus M3A78-EM motherboards with AMD CPU's and memory.


  • If you think that is an antique, get a load of my other XP machine, which I no longer use. This is the one I talked about briefly, earlier in this thread. I downloaded the windows 10 iso from your link above and as soon as I burn this iso to an installation DVD, I am going to attempt to load it on this extremely old windows XP machine. It probably will not load, but it is worth a try. Also, about 7 or 8 years ago or so, I made a Linux boot DVD for this computer and was booting it into Linux. But I gave up on that because getting everything to work, as I recall, was quite difficult. Also, Linux took roughly 5 minutes to boot from the DVD drive.

    My other XP machine:

    • Windows XP Home Ver 2002 updated to SP3
    • AMD Athlon XP 1800+ running at 1.54GHz
    • 1.00 GB RAM (two 512MB sticks installed with one empty slot (can still expand!)
    • Three Hard Drives: Boot drive is a 60GB plus two 80GB data drives installed
    • GeForce2 MX200 32MB AGP graphics card
    • M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 Sound Card
    • DVD R/W drive, several USB and SD card ports
  • edited August 18

    Windows 10 is a bad idea for that computer. Apart from the other performance aspects, 1GB of RAM is simply not enough for what I would consider a functional Win10 installation, even if it does eventually boot up.

    Linux is a great idea for old computers, as long as your willing to spend some time learning new tricks. I've been using Manjaro for years, and can even run Win10 in a VM with fully functional audio capabilities for ARTA, etc. but in general I just run measurements on my work laptop due to the portability. You could try the Manjaro XFCE edition for the most lightweight installation of Manjaro, but I'd maybe recommend something like Puppy Linux that is designed specifically as a lightweight installation.

    As far as printing in Linux goes, HP printers appear to be the most well supported,but you may be surprised how many just work.

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • Looks like I have another problem. I removed the side panel on on my old (2002) XP machine and blew the dust off the motherboard and heatsinks with compressed air. Close visual inspection of the motherboard revealed two bulging "CHOYO" brand 1200uF 10V radial electrolytic capacitors (see closeup pic below). The computer still works well; I booted it up a few times today, but this needs to be fixed immediately before these caps damage the motherboard. I googled "CHOYO caps" and apparently these were some of the really bad ones replaced by repair techs during the 1999 to 2007 "capacitor plague" See link.

    Going to have to rip this old (2002) computer completely apart, pull the motherboard, and completely re-cap it before proceeding further. My main XP computer was made in 2008 and should be OK, but after seeing this, I'm not so sure. Maybe it has a bunch of bulging caps too!

  • Bill,

    Don't waste your time on that MB. You absolutely can't run Windows 10 on it. Attached is the manual for the 2 MB's I have. They both have 4GB of memory and I'll have to fire them up to see what processors they have. I'm sure one of them is a Quad core Athlon. The fastest one is yours if you pay shipping. There are strings attached. You must spring for a new SSD. ;) If this one's over budget get the smaller one. If you want to run Windows 10 you should consider adding memory.


  • PS Ubuntu is really slow running from a DVD. DVD's are really slow compared to HD's and every time you start it up it has to interrogate the hardware and setup all the drivers. A HD install doesn't have to do that. I find that it runs as fast or faster the Win 10 and finds and runs most hardware without a problem.


  • Thanks for the offer, Ron, but I think I'll hold off on the idea of using one of your motherboards with an SSD. I agree with you and dcibel; my old 2002 XP machine is a bad idea and would probably never work properly with Windows 10.

    But at this point I don't think I will need to use either this old machine or one of yours to solve my printing problem. I got in touch with Epson technical support today and they showed me how to properly navigate their website and download a complete set of printer drivers and utilities for the Windows XP 32bit platform. According to Epson, these drivers will work with all of their new ET series of eco-tank ink jet printers. So, I am going to pull the trigger tomorrow and buy an Epson ET-2720 eco-tank printer for $199 at officemax. I should be able to set it up and be printing with it by the end of the day (at least according to Epson). Fingers crossed.

  • Woohoo! Picked up and installed a new Epson ET-2720 today ($199 at Office Depot). It took several attempts to get it going, with a number of potholes and detours along the way, but I can now print high quality color documents directly via usb from my photoshop XP machine. Everything seems to be working perfectly with no major glitches. The installed driver has a complete properties dialog box showing all the Epson bells & whisles. Several print quality settings to choose from, ink level gas gauges for the 4 big eco-tanks, print preview, multiple epson paper types, multiple document sizes, etc, etc. I can also do nozzle checks and head cleaning as required.

    So, my first project will be a nice set of full color tent cards for Iowa. B)

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