How can I make an old HP Deskjet printer work with a new Apple IMac?

by on February 11, 2009

Q: How can I make an old HP Deskjet printer work with a new Apple IMac? I bought a 25 pin to USB adapter, but the printer isn’t registering. I think it needs a driver or something, but I can’t find one online. I called HP, but they weren’t very helpful.

7 Responses to “How can I make an old HP Deskjet printer work with a new Apple IMac?”

    I can help you once you provide the following information…

    1. What is the model number of your HP printer?
    2. What is the brand and model number of your adapter cable?
    3. Apple has been selling iMacs for about a decade. So I need to know which version you have. There is a good chart to help you at:

    I look forward to helping you.


      Thanks so much. It’s an HP Deskjet 540, and I bought a Dekcell CPA-1029 USB to DB25 (Female) Parallel Printer Adapter Cable. Anything else?


    Hi chana,

    I found a possible driver for you. It’s located at:

    Please let me know how that driver works for you.

    PS: I’d still like to know what version of the iMac you have, as that info will help me to better assist you. Thanks!


      Thanks. I installed all the components on the website, the main download as well as footmatic and ghost script. Then I played around with restarting computer several times, restarting printer, plugging and unplugging– and still when I clicked on “add a printer,” nothing appeared! I even tried “printers and fax” and then “additional printers” and it said looking for drivers – it found the HP something, but then couldn’t detect any printer… Any idea about what I might be doing wrong? Or any other ideas? Thanks so much for all your help.


    Hi chana,

    According to both the Dekcell website and, your cable came with “driver software on CD… for today’s most popular operating systems”. See and for more information.

    Have you installed drivers for the adapter cable itself? Is there even an OS X driver on the CD?

    I’m tempted to blame your adapter cable for your problems. Your adapter cable is significantly less expensive than most of the similar adapter cables I’ve seen, and the phrase “popular operating systems” is very unusual because companies usually go out of their way to list which operating systems are compatible with each product. Furthermore, Dekcell’s official website is totally unhelpful… There is no support section that I can see and the “Contact” link leads to a rather odd form instead of real contact information (address, phone number, email address, etc).

    To be honest, you might want to consider purchasing a USB-based printer. A new low-end printer actually costs about the same as a good Parallel to USB cable, and you can always recycle your old printer to minimize your impact on the environment. Just make sure that the new printer is compatible with Mac OS X.

    I look forward to reading your reply. Until then…


      Sorry for the delay in responding. Basically, the driver that accompanied the adaptor cable was in the form of a mini-disc, which is not compatible with the computer’s disc drive, so I hadn’t installed it. Now I managed to get someone to copy its contents onto a big disc and I put it into the computer – there was no official installation procedure, so I just copied the contents of the disc onto Macintosh HD. No luck. There are four folders on the driver disc – 1) driver, 2) 2.0-PCLink2501, 3) YC – 100C (USB DATA TRANSFER CAB, and 4) YC – 100D (USB DATA TRANSFER CAB. Any idea what this means or what I should do with any of this? Thanks much, Robert.


    It seems likely that neither your printer nor cable are Mac-compatible. The printer drivers that you tried earlier are an attempt to make a printer compatible with an operating system with which it was never designed to communicate, and the mini-CD files/folders you describe seem Windows-only. None of this is not a huge surprise, because Apple computers and printers often used ports other than parallel. Also, Apple was one of the first computer companies to go exclusively USB on its computers.

    Unless you can locate a reasonably-priced parallel to USB adapter that is guaranteed to work with Mac OS X, I recommend that you return your existing parallel to USB adapter for a refund and then purchase an inexpensive new printer with OS X compatibility stated on the box. Don’t forget to recycle your old printer in order to minimize your impact on the environment.

    Sorry that I couldn’t be more helpful… I’d love to learn what you decide. Thanks!