Where's my serial port?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by rmo555, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. rmo555

    rmo555 Guest

    I have two label printers that use serial ports - but my new Vista HP
    Pavilion doesn't have any. Is there some connecting cord I can
    purchase to get the job done?
    rmo555, Oct 17, 2009
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  2. rmo555

    Questor Guest

    Questor, Oct 18, 2009
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  3. rmo555

    whs Guest

    Here is an explanation and a picture of a serial port. Look at you
    machine whether you have one of those. Usually they are present. 'Seria
    port - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    whs, Oct 18, 2009
  4. rmo555

    rmo555 Guest

    Thanks - but I KNOW what a serial port looks like - and I don't have
    one on my notebook.
    rmo555, Oct 18, 2009
  5. rmo555

    rmo555 Guest

    rmo555, Oct 18, 2009
  6. rmo555

    Tom Lake Guest

    Very few new machines come with a serial port these days. Some
    have a header on the motherboard but no cable to the outside
    of the case. You have to buy a header-to-DB-9 cable.

    Tom Lake
    Tom Lake, Oct 18, 2009
  7. rmo555

    Gordon Guest

    In fact most laptops and netbooks these days DO come with a serial port -
    for connecting projectors.
    Gordon, Oct 18, 2009
  8. rmo555

    SC Tom Guest

    Of the last 6 notebooks I've had (personal and business), only one of them
    had a serial port. Of the 8 or 9 projectors I've worked with, none used a
    serial port to connect to a notebook; they all used either a VGA port or
    composite video.

    SC Tom
    SC Tom, Oct 18, 2009

  9. No, that's not a serial port. It's a video port, for connecting a
    projector or external monitor.
    Ken Blake, MVP, Oct 18, 2009
  10. rmo555

    rmo555 Guest

    Thanks. So if I buy this cable, where, on my notebook, do I plug it
    rmo555, Oct 18, 2009
  11. rmo555

    Questor Guest

    I don't think you really want the answer: on the notebook motherboard.

    This would mean you have to open the case and search for a header that
    may (or may not) be there. I think Tom was thinking desktop. I peeked
    into my desktop and did indeed find a header marked COM1. It was a
    10-pin DIP header (two rows of 5 pins).

    I doubt very much if you would find one on your notebook motherboard
    even if you opened it up.

    I'd still go with a USB to COM cable.

    Questor, Oct 18, 2009
  12. rmo555

    rmo555 Guest

    Thanks. I understand USB - but what kind of port does a COM cable plug
    into? It sounds like a stupid question but I never ran into this
    before. I have these two label makers that I don't want to replace
    with newer ones just because of the Serial port they require.
    rmo555, Oct 19, 2009
  13. rmo555

    SC Tom Guest

    A COM cable is a serial cable. The converter allows you to plug your serial
    cable(s) from the printer(s) to a USB port on your notebook. There are
    drivers that allow Windows to see them as serial ports, thus allowing you
    printers to work. We had to do a similar conversion on our UPS station at
    work with a serial label printer (until UPS finally sent us a USB label

    SC Tom
    SC Tom, Oct 19, 2009
  14. rmo555

    rmo555 Guest

    Is a COM port also referred to as RS232? I looked these adapters up on
    Google and I want to be sure I have the right item.
    rmo555, Oct 20, 2009
  15. rmo555

    Questor Guest


    Questor, Oct 20, 2009
  16. rmo555

    Chuck Guest

    This works when the printer drivers are compatable. Some are not, so with
    label printers, is a maybe it will work. The same thing can be true of USB
    to serial converters. Not all are equal, and not all printer drivers will
    work properly with a USB to serial converter.

    Actually, serial ports have been going downhill for years. As far back as
    1989, laptops started dropping various handshaking and control options.
    We got into this when we tried to convert "special purpose" military
    programs to run on a full mil spec laptop, and found that the Mfr had
    removed support for various obscure serial handshaking and port control
    methods. Unfortunately, we needed them to control the serial port on a
    "Black Box" used on a very popular fighter.
    (Pins on the serial chip were not connected, (no place to connect them to,
    and the needed BIOS support for them was missing.)

    "Another alternative is using a router "
    Another alternative is using a router such as the D-Link DSL-704p.
    It's a wired router, but if you have a wireless router, it can be
    uplinked from there. A benefit to this type of arrangement is that you
    can leave your printer(s) in one place. They also have the DSL-704up,
    which has a USB port instead of rs-232.

    Chuck, Oct 25, 2009
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