Upgrading the printer’s firmware from a USB port requires either an USB-to-Parallel cable, or a USB to USB printer cable (if the printer has a USB port). These cables are available from many manufacturers.

Note: Printronix does not supply this cable. Win2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista automatically detects the cable, and installs the driver.

Creating the USB Port:

  1. Open the properties for any existing printer installed on the PC. View the ports currently installed on the Ports tab. You can spread the width of the Ports column to view the complete name of any USB ports already installed. Make note of the installed USB Ports.
  2. Connect the USB to Parallel adapter cable to the PC and allow Windows to install the adapter cable driver automatically, or manually install the driver as required. If this is the first USB cable connected, the printer will be assigned device name USB001. If there was already a USB port installed, the adapter cable will be USB002; etc.

Note: It is important to note the PC’s physical USB Port you used to create the new port. If you used a different physical port on the PC then a new USB port will be created leading to confusion.

Installing the Required Microsoft Loopback Adapter (Virtual):

Start the Windows hardware installation wizard (Control Panel -> Add Hardware) Windows will look for a new hardware device, but it will fail to find one, as you did not actually add anything. Select “Yes, I have already connected the hardware”. Scroll down to the bottom of the list on the next screen to “Add a new hardware device”. Select “Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced)” then select “Network Adapters” on the next screen. Select Manufacture -> Microsoft -> Network Adapter -> “Microsoft Loopback Adapter”. Select Next, and then Finished.

Note: Without the Loopback adapter installed you will get an error at step 7 below.

The firmware upgrade procedure is:

  1. Before connecting the “USB to Parallel” cable to the PC USB port see “Creating a USB Port” above. Connect the “USB to Parallel” cable to the PC USB port, and then to the printer.
  2. Install the “Generic / Text” driver in Windows (if not previously installed).
  3. In the Generic / Text printer “Properties”, select the “Port” tab, and select USB00n for the port.
  4. In the Generic / Text printer Properties, select the “Sharing tab”, click on “Shared as” and note the Share_name of the printer here__________. (used in step 7).
  5. Get the Computer (PC) name. Go to “Control Panel” and double click on “System”. Click on the“Computer Name” tab. Note the Computer_name here__________. (used in step 7). Associate a virtual parallel port (lpt2) to the Generic/Text printer:
  6. Go to the DOS (command prompt).
  7. Type “net use lpt2:\\Computer_name\Share_name”. Note: This step will fail without the Loopback adapter previously installed. Transfer a flash file to the printer:
  8. Put the printer into download mode.
  9. Go to the DOS (command prompt).
  10. Extract the flash file from the .exe file. It should have a .prg extension.
  11. Type “copy/b lpt2:”
  12. There should be a visual indication, on the front panel of the printer, that the download has started.
  13. To delete the virtual lpt2 port type “net use lpt2: /delete”