This printer is drivering me crazy
July 29, 2010 1:59 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to make my mom's old Brother MFC-4300 printer/scanner/fax work with my Windows 7 machine, to no avail and with many headaches. I don't care about scan or fax; I just want to be able to print from the machine.

My mom attests to the Brother's greatness, I'm on a budget, and I've already sunk $40 into a parallel port-to-USB cable, so I really want to make this work.

Brother doesn't offer a driver for download on their site, and I can't find one via Google. I've downloaded driver detection software, dabbled in some confusing cups drivers literature, and tried the disk that comes with the printer, which is only compatible with older Windows machines. Are there any websites that offer obscure driver downloads for free that I'm missing? Are there "generic" driver downloads that might work? I'm using the parallel-to-USB cable, which seems to be working fine (doesn't require drivers itself or anything), so I believe I need a driver that works with USB connections.

Any guidance would be much, much appreciated. Thank you!
posted by prior to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
The manufacturer of peripherals develops the drivers for the peripherals. Old peripherals for which no Windows 7-specific driver has been made will not work on a Windows 7 machine.
posted by dfriedman at 2:06 PM on July 29, 2010

You can buy a new printer (here's one at Target) for less than $30. Return the cable, get something like this, you're ahead both in bucks and frustration level.
posted by sageleaf at 2:29 PM on July 29, 2010

Brother's page says the MFC-4300 is supported under Vista with the included drivers.

This page also confirms that it works with W7 with included drivers also.

Have you tried connecting it via parallel port? It may be the dongle causing issues.
posted by wongcorgi at 3:33 PM on July 29, 2010

Confirmed built into W7 - try hitting Windows Update if it doesn't show up at first
posted by wongcorgi at 3:37 PM on July 29, 2010

I have a sister machine to this. It works in Windows 7 - but using a regular USB cable. I am not sure why you're using a parallel to USB cable - I wouldn't expect it to auto-detect the machine that way.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 3:44 PM on July 29, 2010

blue: the 4300 doesn't have a usb port built in. the only way to connect it to a computer is via IEEE-1284.

wongcorgi: thank you so much. for some reason it didn't occur to me to hit windows update. did the trick.
posted by prior at 4:27 PM on July 29, 2010

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