vista HP laserjet 4L driver problems



    My HP Laserjet 4L will not function with my new HP Vista Home Premium.  I have tried setting up the print through the printer selection in the print manager.  I have also tried to add it as a legacy, non plug and play device and that also failed- I am using a USB adapter cable.  The laserjet 4L is supposed to be Vista compliant, but it does not appear to be so.

    Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.  Thanks.


    Saturday, March 3, 2007 7:11 PM

All replies

  • Hey,


    I've got the same Problem. Have you found a Solution yet??


    Also Home Premium and  HP4L connected with an USB adapter Parallel adapter!!!


    Hope you can help me!!!



    Thursday, April 19, 2007 12:16 PM
  • This problem occurred with me as well with Windows XP and my HP Laserjet 4L. I finally discovered the problem after installing the mini CD that came with my USB cable connecter.  Because the USB connector allows the printer to be installed as a plug and play device, I didn't think to run the mini CD driver.  However, upon doing so and reading the README file, a note instructing me to ensure that bidirectional support is NOT eneabled was the answer. This selection is done under Printer->Properties->Port.  The printer driver defaults it to be turned on, which allows for communication setting/status between the computer and printer.  Apparently, this type of communication is not needed for the HP Laserjet.

    Hope this helps!!!


    Sunday, May 27, 2007 2:16 AM
  • Did you finally solve your problem? Because I'm having the same problem... I mean, I cannot even install it...
    Friday, July 6, 2007 1:58 PM
  • In anticipation of getting a new comuter with Vista on it, I bought a Cables To Go USB to Parallel adapter cable, and followed the directions for windows XP. 

    Shut off printer and computer.

    Plug cable into printer and then turn on

    Plug USB cable into computer and turn the computer on


    Windows will recognize the new hardware and install the cable and printer.  THE printer will be installed as HP Laserjet 4L (2)...and you must use this installation to print from...remove the other installation.  Go to start, settings, printers & faxes, click on the HP 4L (2), right click and go to properties, click on the Ports tab and make sure that it is showing that the cable is using USB to should, and you may not even need to check any of the printer properties.  It works seamlessly from there.


    I expect this will be the same with Vista, now that there has been enough time for the printer drivers to be available with Vista.


    Hope this helps.  You don't need the installation disk.

    • Proposed as answer by MIKEDANISH Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:05 AM
    Wednesday, October 17, 2007 2:52 PM

    When I set up my new computer running Windows Vista Home Premium, I plugged the printer in before starting up for the first time.  Using cables To Go USB to Parallel adapter cable, Windows vista immediately recognized the printer, port, installed appropriate driver, and it has been running smoothly ever since. There have been driver updates since you folks last wrote.

    When I used the same cable on an XP machine, I had some trouble with the printer being recognized occasionally....I'd have to uninstall the printer and reboot...then it would work.

    With Vista, it worked from the get go, and I'm delighted not to have to get a new printer.....have had this workhorse for about 15 years.  Only issue with the printer is that you need to keep a cartridge on hand, because if you want to run to Staples, you'll pay $95 for one now, and they are not really interested in carrying them.


    Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:55 PM
  • I have the same problem - new laptop with vista - cannot install my hp lasertjet 4L - posted here but had no luck with response



    have even written to hp - no answer - please let me know if you find a solution - thanks.


    Sunday, February 17, 2008 10:53 PM
  • CJR2..


    You sound just like us...


    We have had our LJ 4L for about 15 years as well.. but we buy our catrtridges online... the capatible ones work just as well....  the last one we bought from here    it was under $30  but just do a google search to find the best price.




    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:08 PM
  • Thanks for the cartridge link, I really live it the in the boondocks of Arizona. Just for grins I had no problems hooking a parallel cable/UBS to a new laptop. OS Vista,running Office 2000(works perfectly) and my 14+ year LJ 4L. Now if I could get Quicken 2007 to do file operations I would be a happy camper.
    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 11:31 PM
  • I have an identicle problem with LaserJet 4Plus. HP are not interested in helping.  I tried a (second) USB to Parallel cable. Both printer and cable were recognised, but nothing will print (recurring ERROR messasge).  I then purchased a PCI Parallel printer port.  Same proble.

    Can anyone suggest a solution, please?

    Thursday, August 14, 2008 12:51 PM
  • You need to make sure that the "Virtual Printer Port for USB"  is checked in the printer properties.  The connection can't be directly to the printer; it must be to the virtual printer port for USB.  Vista does support the Laserjet 4L.  I've been using my 4L workhorse for over a year with zero problems.  Don't give up. 

    Click into the printers, highlight the 4L, right click to Properties, and check the port tab.  If the USBxx port is NOT checked, you will need to get it to do that.

    The order in which you install the printer cable does seem to affect how the printer gets set up. 

    Uninstall the printer.  Unplug the cable and shut off the computer.  Plug the cable into the USB port, THEN turn on the computer.  Vista will recognize the cable and printer and install to the USB least it did with mine.  This did not work when the cable was plugged into the USB when the computer was on.

    Good luck, and don't give up.  Having this printer up and running is worth the effort.  I actually bought another on Craigslist to have as a spare when my existing one dies, though it seems to have many lives left.



    • Proposed as answer by MIKEDANISH Wednesday, February 29, 2012 10:14 AM
    Thursday, August 14, 2008 1:28 PM
  • I tried connecting with a usb to parallel adapter, but the parallel end was too big.  Any ideas of what adapter cable I am looking for on the printer end?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Just got a new computer with Vista and can't connect it to the computer.  Can't wait to try the suggestions above for installation.


    Thursday, August 14, 2008 4:18 PM
  • The 4L takes a standard parallel printer cable.  Make sure the clips are open and the pins line up (may have to tip it over).  I use a standard parallel to usb adapter on mine and it works fine.  I bought mine online at Compusa for about $20..  It's actually on sale now for $13. Here's the link:


    However, if you have a parallel to usb cable, it should work just fine. 

    Unfortunately, Staples charges $42 for a Belkin cable that is no better than the one noted above.  Good luck.


    Thursday, August 14, 2008 4:31 PM
  • I just had to reformat my entire computer because of vista issues with a service pack. The last time I installed the HP Laserjet 4L it took me literally 4 hours of work arounds (1 year ago). I was dreading figuring it out again but this post got me up and running in just minutes. Thanks!

    Friday, August 15, 2008 3:48 AM
  • After trying a bunch of different things that would not "trigger" a print, checking "virtual Printer Port for USB"  in Printer Properties did the job.

    Did not need to load a new driver. Thx!

    My trusty HP 4L is some 13 years old & still perking right!


    Monday, August 25, 2008 9:01 PM

    You are a genius!  I fought with my printer and thought that the end was in sight for it, but your comment about looking for the USB port did the trick.   It wasn't actually named exactly the same, but I looked for USB and that did it!  Thanks for the pointers and letting me keep my old workhorse for even more years! 




    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 5:23 AM

    The drivers for HP Laserjet 4 series are already preinstalled with Vista.


    Step 1:

    If you are using a USB to parallel adaptor, install the cable's Vista driver using the cd that came with the cable (or go to the manufacturers website).  Once the driver is installed, connect the cable to the parallel printer cable first, make sure printer is on, then connect the USB end to the desktop/notebook.  Once you connect the cable to the computer, Vista will first detect the cable, then the printer.


    Step 2:

    Next, to officially install the printer, go to control panel, printers, then click add a printer.  Find your printer in the list and select.  Once set up is complete, your printer will be ready to use.


    *Note:  When I completed step 2, the printer became que'd to print 1200+ documents.  I am not sure why this happened.  to correct this problem if it happens to you, simply right click on the printer icon (in the control panel's printer folder), goto run as administator, then click cancel all printing jobs (and wait until they are all deleted before trying to print a test page).  This corrected the problem.


    Hope this helps.


    Thursday, September 18, 2008 8:32 PM
  • Unless you have some strange cable, it isn't necessary to install a driver for it..Vista has the driver(s) for the cable and the printer.  Hunting for a driver for the cable really isn't necessary. Several people have responded that my earlier post (about 4 above) worked just fine.


    Friday, September 19, 2008 12:22 PM
  • I'm using Vista Home Preumium on a new laptop with no parallel port, my printer is an HP 4L/4ML Postscript, and I'm using a USB to parallel adapter.

    Your solution worked well -- I was able to print a test page -- , but when I shut down and tried to print again, nothing happened.  Do I have to reinstall the printer each time I start my computer?

    Most frustrating.
    Sunday, October 26, 2008 8:47 PM
  • I've never had this issue, since my 4L is connected to a desktop.  You shouldn't have to reinstall the printer if you make sure the 4L is set as default printer in printer settings and you've made sure the USB001 (Virtual Printer port) under the Port tab in the properties of the 4L is checked.  It should just stay there.

    Let me know how you make out.  Cj


    Sunday, October 26, 2008 11:17 PM
  • I'm using a wireless print server (Linksys) and when I go to add the printer, no printer drivers even show up. I try to search on my hard drive, but to no avail (my laptop didn't come with the Vista DVDs). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Saturday, November 22, 2008 2:49 AM
  • Have you checked that the 4L printer is the default printer?

    Mike Bird
    Friday, March 6, 2009 6:32 PM
  • Do ensure thatthe 4L printer is the default printer
    Mike Bird
    Friday, March 6, 2009 6:35 PM
  • I also have a HP 4L and I have attached it with a usb to 25 pin to my Vista laptop. I changed the port to the usb virtual. The laptop recognizes the printer. The only problem is the printer is overtyping some letters when it prints and in some documents the fonts are huge and overpal each other. The cable I bought did not come with any driver software. Any ideas???

    Monday, May 18, 2009 8:52 PM
  • Thank you so much - I was having the same problem and you've solved it brilliantly!  I've had my HP Laserjet 4L for more than 15 years and I love it to bits - I'm so pleased I don't have to consign it to the scrap heap now that I've bought a new all singing, all dancing fancy laptop!
    Monday, September 7, 2009 8:47 PM
  • Did you ever solve your problem? Mine is doing the same thing.  It will print but the fonts come out weird, or it won't print at all.  Jo
    Monday, September 14, 2009 9:05 PM
  • I'm having the same problem and I tried what you have said. I also checked the virtual box and unchecked the other one that someone said to do.  My printer blinks
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 2:16 AM
  • Did you ever find a solution - I'm having the same problem, Jo
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 3:47 PM
  • CJ, you solved my problem!  Thanks so much.  It was a little tricky finding the printer properties.

    1.  Start button

    2.  Printers

    3.  Right Click on HP 4L

    4.  Select Properties

    5.  Choose PORTS tab  *** THIS IS CRUCIAL ***

    6. You need to make sure that the "Virtual Printer Port for USB" is checked in the printer properties.

    7.  Press APPLY.

    Sunday, March 28, 2010 4:39 AM
  • Hey

    when i tried this and wen i went to PORTS it does not show Virtual Printer Port for USB or USB001 doesnt say USB at all

    please help.


    Saturday, July 3, 2010 3:36 PM