Farewell printer drivers for NT 4.0
February 22, 2006 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Quickly need a new printer, yet Windows NT 4.0 Compatible?

We need a new printer for small-volume work (mostly b&w with moderate color). Our old one is toast, and I've been looking for a replacement online. However, to my disappointment, Windows NT 4.0 drivers seem to no longer be made for most printers. It's been hell trying to find a printer that's cheap and compatible; the only ones I've found are either too expensive or too old to buy new. Yes, I know we should upgrade the OS, but that can't be an option until later in the year. Any experience or links would be greatly appreciated. My google-fu is not working well for me.
posted by adzm to Shopping (3 answers total)
I think you should look for a PostScript printer. This is a universal language, which means you can install a generic PS driver (and they do exist for NT4, you can download one from Adobe's site) and then create output which you can send to any PS printer.

You could also use ghostscript and a generic PS driver to sidestep the need for a native windows printer driver. You'd print to PS and then have ghostscript interpret the output and convert it to the printer's native format, which you then just directly send to the printer. This works if ghostscript has a driver for the printer, which tends to be older model things.

If you had access to a linux system then you can effectively use any modern printer with the NT4 system, since linux can present the printer as a networked postscript printer, which you would simply print to using the generic PS driver. This means you could buy any printer you want now, and not have to even worry about NT compatibility. (Of course it would have to be supported by linux/CUPS.)
posted by Rhomboid at 7:17 PM on February 22, 2006

What price range and do you want color laser or inkjet? There remain NT 4.0-supported drivers for several modern printers which would work for small businesses, depending on what you want.

Here's a single ferinstance: Newegg.com has a HP Deskjet 9650 InkJet color printer for $200 with a 15/20ppm output and 5000 page/month duty cycle. The printer has an official driver for NT 4.0 downloadable from the HP website.

And there are cheaper models, but at the lowest end I'd worry about the duty cycle restrictions.
posted by mdevore at 10:01 PM on February 22, 2006

Many printers understand PCL, HP's Printer Control Language. In fact, many digital copiers do too. You can use the HP III driver in NT 4.0. I've done this with great success in years past, but thankfully haven't had to think about it in a very long time.
posted by kc0dxh at 7:29 AM on February 23, 2006

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