Almost all new HP and Compaq computers that come with Vista do not have older style ports, such as parallel ports. Newer connections, such as USB and FireWire, are much faster and easier to use. If your computer does not have the port needed to connect a device, use one of the following alternative methods:
Use a converter cable or adapter. For connecting a parallel device, for example, you can try using a parallel to USB adapter cable. These special cables can be purchased from many computer supply stores or online at fairly low cost. They can be comparable in cost to normal parallel cables. One nice feature of a parallel to USB cables is that they can be disconnected and used on other computers with minimal hassle. If you decide to use a parallel to USB adapter cable, be sure to read the installation instructions carefully before connecting it to your computer and printer. You may need to install software before the cable can be used.
To connect a device that requires an ECP parallel port, install an ECP compatible card instead. To avoid possible problems, do not use an adapter or converter cable.
Purchase and install a port expansion card on your computer. The expansion card must be compatible with Vista. Install the new card according to its instructions. Make sure it is fully installed and configured, according to the instructions that come with the card, before connecting the peripheral device. If purchasing a parallel expansion card, to avoid more possible connection problems, make sure it is bi-directional and ECP compliant.