How to refresh the Parallel port in Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7


  • Stylus Inkjet printers and All-In-Ones
  • Symptoms including:
    • Printing garbage or random computer code
    • The printer does not print
    • The printer continuously feeds paper with no attempt to print


On occasion the printer may continually feed sheets of paper without printing, print garbled characters or fail to print at all. If the printer has passed a printer operation check (self test), it should be working correctly and be able to print normally. For instructions on performing a printer operation check with an Inkjet printer, see the following Related Article: How to perform a Printer Operation Check (Self Test)

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above then there may be a communication issue relating to the parallel interface between the computer and printer.

Follow the instructions below to refresh the Epson parallel port setting:

  1. Power off the printer and the computer.

  2. Disconnect the printer's data cable.

  3. Power on the computer.

  4. Access the print queue and cancel any pending print jobs.

    1. You can access the print queue via the Printers folder. See the steps below for guidance or see How to open the Printers or Printers and Faxes folder in Windows if you require further help with this step.

      • Windows 2000: Click Start > Settings > Printers.

      • Windows XP: Click Start > Control Panel. The Control Panel will open in one of two views, either Classic or Category view.

        • In Classic View double-click on the Printers and Faxes icon.
        • In Category View select Printers and Other Hardware then View installed printers or fax printers.

      • Windows Vista: Click Start > Control Panel. The Control Panel will open in one of two views; either Classic or Category view.

        • In Classic View, double-click on the Printers icon.
        • In Category View, select Printer which is listed under Hardware and Sound.

    2. Windows 7: Click the Start > Devices and Printers.

    3. Double-click on your printer icon (for Windows 7, then click on See what's printing from under Printer Management.

      The print queue window opens. If there are no documents waiting to print this will be empty.

    4. If documents are waiting to print, click Printer and select Cancel All Documents.

    5. Now restart the computer to refresh the print spooler and fully clear the queue.

  5. Open Device Manager.

    Windows 2000 and XP:

    1. Locate the My Computer icon, either on the Desktop or Start menu.
    2. Right-click on the My Computer icon. A menu appears; left-click on Properties.
    3. Click on the Hardware tab, and then Device Manager. The Device Manager window opens.

    Windows 7 and Vista:

    1. Click on the Start button to open the Start menu.
    2. Click on to the Start Search box. Type Device Manager into the Start Search box.
    3. Windows will populate the results and Device Manager will be displayed. Click on Device Manager under the Programs result.
    4. Click on Continue if you receive a User Account Control permission request from Windows to open the Microsoft Management Console.
    5. If prompted, enter your Windows user account password then click Continue. The Device Manager window opens.

  6. Make sure that Device Manager is set to view 'Devices by type'. See the following Related Article if you require help with this step: How to Access Device Manager in Windows (All Versions)

  7. In Device Manager locate the Ports (COM & LPT) heading in the list.

  8. Click on the [+] plus to the left of the heading. This will expand the section. Check the expanded information, it should list the following:

    Communications Port (COM1)
    ECP Printer Port (LPT1)
    / EPSON Printer Port (LPT1) / Printer Port (LPT1)

  9. Right-click on the port listed as LPT1 and left-click Uninstall.

  10. Click OK to confirm that you wish to uninstall the device from your system.

  11. Close all active windows until you are back to your desktop.

  12. Power off the computer.

  13. When the computer is fully powered off, reconnect the printer to the computer.

  14. Power on the printer and computer, open the printer Properties and print a Test Page from the General tab. For instructions, see the following Related Article: How to print a Windows Test Page

If the issue remains after printing a Test Page, see one of the following Related Articles for further help:

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