Update: I have removed the links in this post because that website has started pushing necessary “driver update” utilities and removed the actual drivers from the page.
I will search for another legitimate source for MX-80 drivers for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 and post the links here if I’m able to find one.
Original post continues below…
Question from Janet: I have an ancient Epson MX-80 printer sitting in my basement that I absolutely loved back when I used it with my very first computer (a Leading Edge IBM PC clone).
I’d love to be able to use it again for printing emails and such. Can you tell me if it’ll work with my Dell laptop running Windows 7? And if it will, can you tell me how to connect it to my laptop since it doesn’t have a USB connection?
Rick’s answer: The stars seem to have aligned just perfectly for you Janet! My first thought when I read your question was that the answer would be no, but I did a bit of research anyway and learned the following:
1 – You can download a printer driver for your MX-80 that will work on your Windows 7 laptop right here (link removed per the above update). In fact, this driver will even with Windows 8/8.1. Finding a driver that works with your version of Windows was my biggest concern since the printer is, well…as you put it, ancient.
2 – You can purchase a Parallel to USB Adaptor Cable at your local electronics retailer, but you’ll find a larger selection (and almost certainly lower prices) on Amazon (link removed per the above update).
3 – You can order ribbons for your Epson MX-80 from Amazon too (link removed per the above update).
All of that being said, I feel obligated to mention a few possible caveats. First, there is no guarantee that your printer will still work after all these years. After sitting that long without being used there is a good chance that the mechanical parts might have “frozen” up on you due to lack of lubrication or rust. This is a real concern since it has been stored in a basement.
In addition, I have never tried the driver that I linked to above so there’s no way that I can guaranteed that it’ll work well with your system. There should be no issues whatsoever with the adapter cable however. There are tons of those in use all around the country and working just fine.
Caveats aside, all it will cost you to try is the price of the adapter cable and a ribbon, so why not?
Note: The links in this post are affiliate links.
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