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Author Topic: Old Windows System, DSL, and a Printer  (Read 12452 times)
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« on: December 04, 2017, 09:09:49 PM »

This line at damnsmalllinux.org is the reason I joined your forum:

"Boot from within a host operating system (that's right, it can run *inside* Windows"

I'm an advanced Windows user (occasionally expert), but I've never used a Linux distro.

Windows 98SE is installed on an incredibly rugged laptop.  I stopped using this system online years ago, but
several of the apps (including DOS) continue to be very useful.

Recently, I helped a friend empty out a couple of rooms in his home.  A contractor was hired to perform needed
renovations.  We found a factory sealed box in a closet.  It's an HP Deskjet D4260.  For some unknown reason,
he stored the box on a closet shelf and forgot it existed!  He didn't want the printer, so I took it home.

Installing Deskjet D4260 with 98SE seemed like a good way to keep this old system alive.  I needed drivers
and print utility.  The driver alone are not enough because without a print utility you can't align the print head
or perform basic maintenance operations.

HP does not have a 98SE software package for Deskjet D4260.  I tried their Universal Driver for 98.  Didn't work.

HP Universal W98W98SE USB DJ LJ Driver:

I've got the "world famous" KernelEx installed.  With KernelEx set to Win2000 I tried installing drivers and utilities
on the printer CD.  That didn't work either.

The best recommended solution is to download HP software for similar printers that are compatible with 98SE.
Many people on other forums claim success using this method.  Again, it didn't work for me.

I was about to donate this printer to Goodwill, when I found DSL while performing a Google search.  If I can boot
DSL from within 98SE it should be possible to use Deskjet D4260.

I must ask some basic questions.  When DSL is opened on my Desktop will it look anything like Windows?  I don't
want to go back to kindergarten, if you know what I mean.  If I download DSL, are there "easy to follow" directions
about installing and using this tiny system?  Finally, are there Linux drivers and a print utility that are compatible
with HP Deskjet D4260?

Thanks guys!
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 09:51:19 PM »


I just checked and there are no printer drivers for your printer included with DSL. However there is support included with the HPLIP library  (http://web.archive.org/web/20081015065410/http://hplipopensource.com:80/hplip-web/models/deskjet/deskjet_d4200_series.html) which is available in the MyDSL respository (in the "testing" section). You'll have to do some research on the DSL Wiki to learn how to set that up.

That said, I don't know whether the QEMU environment that DSL runs on within Windows is set up to support passing through USB devices. In any case it will be another matter to confuse the set-up process.

Overall I wouldn't recommend running "DSL Embedded" just for this printer. It still wouldn't allow you to print from Windows applications, so you'd have to save everything you wanted to print, then start up DSL in the virtual machine and open it in there for printing. At the end of the day, running a printer from 2007 on Windows 98 just isn't guaranteed, and in this case I think you'd be far better off finding another printer.

If you don't want to use a very old printer, one option to look at is Postscript printers. These can all communicate over a standard protocol, so you should be able to set up Windows with a generic driver that will work (you can certainly set up DSL that way). The trouble is that postscript printers are generally all "high-end" laser printers, but businesses often need to clear out old printers so there are often some very cheap, or even free, postscript printers floating around Ebay and classifieds websites. Most will have a small screen and keypad on them, so you can perform the "maintenance" operations without any special administration software on the PC.
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