NEC Superscript 870I own an NEC SuperScript 870 laser printer. When I bought it – sometime towards the end of 2000 – I was incredibly thrilled. (I had actually bought one sometime in ’99, I think. Then I moved to California and couldn’t bring the world’s most-economical, feature-rich, best-performing printer with me. So I bought another one because I was so happy with it.) This printer does everything. And it does everything extremely well. Watermarks, half-tones, headers and footers, multi-column pages, foldable brochures … it had the most incredible software interface! If you were working in Word and clicked Print and then looked at the Preferences (or Options) it was boggling how many awesome things you could do with this printer.

But that was before Windows 2000.

I am thoroughly disgusted with NEC.

Now this printer is a great big piece of crap. I am now, and have been ever since I upgraded to Win2K, thoroughly disgusted with NEC. I will never purchase another product they make. I am so completely #*&!@ at this company that I can’t even begin to tell you how cheated I feel. The Windows 2000 drivers have these options:

  1. print
  2. print sideways

It is criminal. This used to be the baddest mo-fo printer anywhere and now it just eats donkey dung. How can a company as mighty as NEC refuse to update its drivers? How can they live with themselves? How can they sit by and watch as Google spiders dozens and dozens of infuriated customers all writing about how crappy they are for not updating their drivers?

I’ve been very mad for very long about this. I just don’t really print that often. But almost every time I do print I do a search thinking, “Well … they must have released new drivers by now!”


There are 74 comments on this post

  1. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you are back posting on a regular basis.

  2. Well, maybe because NEC freakin’ sucks.
    They used to be clients of mine, and I hated them. Granted, it was not the division that makes the equipment, but still…

  3. It is not the printer or NEC it’s self that you should me angery at. It is fault of Bill Gates and Microsoft. The Windows 2000 OS is a very stable OS, but it has conflicts with alot of software and many companies are having trouble developing drivers that will operate when installed under Windows 2000. If you upgrade to Windows XP all your troubles will be solved and you will again love your NEC printer.

  4. Not so. I have Windows XP Pro and a Nec Superscript 870… I am as unhappy as can be. Please tell me how I can change that! I have not been able to find Nec upgrades to this printer.

    Cristina Vegas… in Long Beach

    In response to this comment:

    It is not the printer or NEC it’s self that you should me angery at. It is fault of Bill Gates and Microsoft. The Windows 2000 OS is a very stable OS, but it has conflicts with alot of software and many companies are having trouble developing drivers that will operate when installed under Windows 2000. If you upgrade to Windows XP all your troubles will be solved and you will again love your NEC printer.

    Robert said this at 6:09 PM (PST) on Mar 27, 2003

  5. Robert, Please do tell how we can once again love this printer with WinXP. Since upgrading from ME to XP I can go on a coffee break while waiting for the first page to print and then take a long nap if the job is several pages. I even bought a USB to Centronics cable after reading that that was the problem on Microsofts site. I don’t think it’s old Billy because I have a HP Deskjet (paralell) at work and it starts up as soon as I hit the print button. XP Pro also.

  6. I’ve been happily using my Superscript 870 for over three years, even though printing did slow noticeably when I upgraded to WinXP. Yesterday, after paying Staples $15 to fax a 15 page document, I started thinking about buying a multifunction printer that would include fax capability. My dilemma is what to do with my working printer – I’d hate to trash it. Is it worth anything?

  7. Ok all this talk about disliking then loving the SuperScript870. BUTTTT no one ever says what the solution is. I am also about ready to toss this printer. Please someone save it from the trash heap and tell me how to update the drivers for XP.

  8. There is no solution. Nec was licensing the printer rasterization technology from Adobe. Adobe dropped support. Here is the official word from NEC. “Regarding the PrintGear driver, it does not exist for Windows 2000/XP. Unfortunately, we are unable to update the PrintGear driver for the SS860, SS870 and SS1260. Adobe terminated the PrintGear project in 1998, NEC has negotiated many times but in vain. No source code is available.”

  9. Using the WinXP LaserJet IIP driver gets the speed back where it should be, but the drawback is you’re limited to 300dpi instead of 600dpi.

    On it is suggested that parallel port mode (SPP, EPP, ECP) may make a difference, but it does not for me. Also suggested there was using the Minolta QMS PageWorks/Pro 8L driver. It does do 600dpi, but it doesn’t seem much faster than the 870 driver. You can download it at:

    Frankly I’m ready to shelve the 870 and switch to an old LaserJet 4 I’ve got in the basement.

    I’ll never buy another NEC product.

  10. I have the Minolta Pageworks 8L, which is their version of the same printer, and have all the exact same complaints, about the lack of support and information form Minolta for XP. I guess NEC & QMS are really one and the same. After reading other people’s comments, I am going to try the NEC driver to see how it works for me. The worst problem I have (other than incredible slowness and the loss of so many wonderful printing features from the lack of PrintGear support) is that my printer periodically goes into limbo and spews garbage. Once it goes into this mode, printing a simple 1 page text file can spew dozens of pages of 1-2 lines of garbage, or a simple graphic page can appears to get blown up 100 times and print a barely recognizable half tone image across the page. It sometimes needs to be reset more than once in order to work properly again. I’d love to hear from anyone with a solution.

  11. I am verydisappointed that I am unable to find a driver for NEC870 for windows XP. I may very likely go back to panasonic. that computer went from my 8086/25 and DOS, to every stage of windows through WIN98. I am sure the idea of NOT creating drivers for XP may make you go buy a new printer… well, it wont be NEC.

  12. I used the HP LaserJet IIP driver with my XP Pro and it works like a charm.

  13. thanks linda. Nec superscript 870 driver =’s HP laserjet IIP. tried to page print and workedddddddddddd. founded driver in control panel and printers on my computer.. billg….

  14. LaserJet IIP drivers work much better! Any other drivers that work with more functionality?

  15. I too own a SS 870 and with a recent upgrade to XP pro experienced similar limitations. I tried the HP LJIIP driver and while it was better, when using printer for MS Office [i.e. Outlook, Word] got blotchy printing with various additional garbage characters.

    Some say to try the Minolta QMS Pageworks Pro 8L driver, so I will experiment with that. Others also say don’t blame NEC, but that the problem is Adobe. There was never an upgrade the to postscript language built into the older NEC software. I don’t know what is true but I’ll just keep trying to find a better driver.

  16. Thanks for this post! It solved my dads NEC ss 860 problem.

  17. Computer programs are confusing. I like simple things, thats why i play with cardboard bricks. The bricks are blue, red and green. I like colors, do you?

  18. Another site says with WinXP the NEC SS 860 is P&P. But WinXP does not seem to be able to auto-configure the drivers or know where go get. Is Brian’s post on 12/3/03 saying to get the HP LJ IIP driver for 300 dpi? If that works until I use up the toner, that would be OK. Can someone confirm. Thanks.

    Then I will buy a laser printer from a real printer company, like HP. Can anyone recommend that new, compact
    HP 1012 Lasejet printer?

  19. Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, thanks for the tenacity and a GREAT helpful attitude. I was literally 5 minutes from trashing my Superscript 870 when I decided to give it ONE last shot – I too just tried the LJ IIP driver, it works a like charm. Thanks again for all the help.

    I wish you all Happy Holidays and a Great 2004!

    I wish you all Happy Holidays and a Great 2004!

  20. Where can I get the driver for the HP laserjet IIP? Since upgrading to Windows XP, my parellel connected printer won’t work.

  21. Like many others on this thread I loved what my SS 870 could do. Then I upgraded to XP and blam! Garbage text output. I have installed the HP LJ IIP driver and the printer test pages comes out okay except for the graphics logo. Changing to EPP in the BIOS doesn’t seem to make a difference. Does anyone else have this problem with the HP LJ IIP driver not printing graphics?

  22. You may want to have a blank document and always print it right after turning on the printer. Even with the HP LJ IIP driver, I was still getting garbage output, not to mention lower quality 300 dpi. Now I am back to using the XP built-in NEC SuperScript 870 driver. As long as I print a blank document (then just put that blank page back into the paper feeder), I then get correct output. I assume this ensures that communication is established correctly between the computer and the printer.

  23. Question for Andy (who posted comment on Feb. 13, 2004) – Where can I get the XP built-in Superscript 870 driver??? HELP!!!! Please !!!

  24. Answer for SHAH, First of all thank you to everyone who suggested the HP LaserJet IIP driver. My NEC 870 prints with its normal speed now that I use the HP LaserJet IIP driver. Shah, you have to go into control panel, then printers, and delete the nec 870 printer. Next you manually add a new printer (rather than let the computer find it) and choose HP as the printer. It will then give you many driver options. Choose HP LaserJet IIP driver. Hope that helps.

  25. Answer for SHAH, First of all thank you to everyone who suggested the HP LaserJet IIP driver. My NEC 870 prints with its normal speed now that I use the HP LaserJet IIP driver. Shah, you have to go into control panel, then printers, and delete the nec 870 printer. Next you manually add a new printer (rather than let the computer find it) and choose HP as the printer. It will then give you many driver options. Choose HP LaserJet IIP driver. Hope that helps.

  26. I have found that the printer cable was at fault with windows XP. If it longer than 6 feet it will periodically print garbage. I had a zip drive hooked up when I discovered this. Might like to go with a 3 foot iee… I use the built in nec XP driver, Prints quite nicely but have lost a lot of the functionality that win98 has.

  27. I would recommend that everyone having trouble with their 870 printer (in xp and 2000 etc) give Fine Print 2000 a try. It’s special print driver that acts as a mediator between the actual drive and printing program. I am using it with XP. My 870 is now FULL functional. Infact the driver has added a whole whack load of extra functionality!!

  28. I would recommend that everyone having trouble with their 870 printer (in xp and 2000 etc) give Fine Print 2000 ( a try. It’s special print driver that acts as a mediator between the actual drive and printing program. I am using it with XP. My 870 is now FULL functional. Infact the driver has added a whole whack load of extra functionality!!

  29. Thanks to all who recommended the HPIIp driver. After 4 yrs of very happy nec 870 ownership, “upgrading” to XP 6 months ago and then wandering the wilderness with a crippled 870 printer for the past 1/2 year, I stumbled upon David’s site. I tried IMad’s suggestion of a trial download of Fineprint, but that didn’t help. I just now tried the hp IIp driver and lo and behold my printer works like new. Thank you so much, cybercolleagues.

  30. All I can say is thank you so much! Just tried the HP LaserJet IIP driver with WinXP and my SuperScript 870 is printing FAST again!!! I was close to throwing this damn printer out of the window. Now I will keep it!

  31. Just setup a new Dell Dimension 4600 and tried to find the printer driver for NEC Superscript 870. Could not find it from the NEC site (bummer) but then saw you guys’ posting here. I thank you all for the great info and will try the HP LaserJet iip.

  32. There was not much NEC could do. The brains of the printer including the software drivers, NEC got whole cloth from Adobe. Adobe discontinued development of the PrintGear technology before Win2K came out (actually right about the same time). The development team itself was scattered. While most went to PressReady, others went on to other projects.

    NEC did they best they could with the Win2K driver, but without the support of Adobe there was not much they could do.

  33. The HP IIP driver can be set up to print 150 dpi or 300 dpi. The MSWinXP driver can only print 600 dpi. I set up three drivers thus 3 printers designated 150dpi, 300 dpi and NEC 600 dpi, now I can select which dpi to use by selecting the corresponding printer (driver). No, I can’t use all the extra memory I had previously bought for it, many of the PrintGear features are not available and when I print Calendar Creator calendars, sometimes it won’t print the mini-calendars for the previous and following month and some times it won’t print the month and year heading. But I have been able to get much more functionality than before and to the point that I have purchased new printer cartridges for it.

  34. I am having trouble with my NEC 870 printer even after installing a new toner and photoconductor with Win2K O.S.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

  35. Now I love my SS870 like everybody that bought one before me, but after losing my ancient win95 machine last October (’03) lost the ability to print with it.
    A win2k or 3 compys later, I haven’t found a suitable driver to print halftones from grayscale images at screen-print resolutions. Well heck, I haven’t printed crap from it since then…
    So a win95 machine was procured (IBM Aptiva-be very afraid!) and I got the ECP port incompatible problem thing, BIOSed it to “compatible” and got a few little lines (header and footer, eh?) printed. Been through the switching of photoconductors AND toner carts, but figure I’ve got the right combo in due to my small success… 2 of each…
    Aptiva re-rigged *with format* and presently detecting hardware…
    Will reinstall those fab w95 drivers and try again…
    wish me luck

  36. Having upgraded to WinXP Home and finding my printer going slow, I echo all those grateful folks who tried the HP LaserJet IIP driver and found it solved the problem. I found this site by googling on the phrase, “NEC Superscript 870 prints slow” Amazing find, and thanks to all for your help! –dw

  37. Thanks to all whom recommended the HPlaserjet II
    The Superscript 870 came back to life.
    Until its cartridge runs out that is.
    then it is toast.

  38. avatar
    Michael T. Babcock

    I hate to sound like a Free Software nut, but this is exactly why the Free Software Foundation believes that software (including rasterization tools like PrintGear) should have its source code freely usable and modifiable by users. The most important user in this case is NEC who got screwed by Adobe. Did Adobe decide to release PrintGear as open source? Of course not. They’re not that type of consumer-oriented company. If they had, some hacker would have made my SuperScript 870 work properly by now.

  39. There’s an article at Byte when PrintGear was introduced (the technology the NEC uses). The problem is that it’s proprietary, and Adobe abandoned it a few years later; so no new drivers. Note however that PrintGear has PCL 4.5 emulation, which is what you’re using when you set it up as a HP LJIIP.

    As others above have mentioned, Fineprint gives you many of the PrintGear features on top of the PCL.

  40. Thanks to all for the tips on using the SS870 with Win2K and XP. Does anyone have any experience with the PostScript language option for this printer which supposedly makes it a true PostScript (not PrintGear) printer? Where do you find this software, and how much does it cost? It seems like that could be the solution… just use the printer as a PostScript printer.

  41. I just downloaded and installed fineprint on my new XP Pro system. The old SS870 can now print double-sided and N-up copies on an XP system, just like on my old ’98 system.

    Thanks for the pointer to, Imad!

  42. Any one still looking at this site???? I just got XP and have an NEC SS870 which at first WORKED (minus all the bells and whistles). Then it stopped for no reason except MAYBE a bunch of pop-ups made it hit the dust. BUt I can’t be sure. It all happened too fast. Something got deleted or installed and I haven’t been able to find it. Did Norton, used anti-spy wear. Nothing

    But anyway. I have tried many of the suggestions above (HP 2P drivers, check printer cables, etc.). I see the little icon read that stuff is being sent but nothing comes out, whereas at first what came out was garbage.

    Did any one have the same situation where you couldn’t print at at all?

    Any leads would be great. Thanks!

  43. I just experimented with the LaserJet IIP Plus driver on XP using ECP. I print alot of 4up’s , and they they came off MUCH faster. In fact, there wasn’t even a pause between the 2nd and 3rd sheet. But 1st page isn’t the rocket it once was. 1ups (normal) seem barely better.
    This is good news since also I wanted to share this printer on little network print server with some Linux and OSX boxes. We’ll see how it goes…

  44. I tried the HP LJIIP driver and the printer prints documents, but makes a mess of anything other than the standard 8 1/2 x 11 page. I printed envelopes and the alignment is way off…I tried legal pages and got mumbo jumbo for the last 3 incles. You might say it’s not NEC’s fault but any clear thinking manufacturer establishes a contract with suppliers that included continued support for the life of the product. NEc won’t get my business again!

  45. Just a bit of additional info from a different point of view…
    I have a Xerox DocuPrint P12 (which also uses PrintGear) and suffer the same limitations described in this forum. Xerox and NEC sold essentially the same printers with different labels. I believe that Minolta may have done the same. It’s possible that perhaps there may have been 1 or 2 other re-brands out there as well. I had good results running the MSWin2k driver for the NEC 1260, but since it only does 300 dpi, text looks good but graphics suffers and the fancy features are gone. Ditto for OSX with a Laserjet (CUPS/Gimp) driver setup. I refuse to run the dog called XP btw…
    The point is that Adobe screwed everybody, and MS made it worse by changing the NT driver model between NT4 and Win2K!

  46. Attention all PrintGear based printer owners:
    GIVE UP Trying to find full featured drivers for ANY OS besides Win9x/NT4!
    While you can use various PCL4 drivers to get basic 300 DPI output, there are none besides the oem XEROX, NEC, et. al. that support the PrintGear interface.
    The best solution I have found (which works great IMHO) is to set up a print server running Win9X/NT4. Any old box will do the job as long as it can run the chosen os. An old i486 will likely suffice, though faster is of course better. Laptops are superb, because they are self contained, low power, small footprint, etc. I personally use an old Hitachi P120 laptop with 48mb ram running NT4 server over a Wi-Fi network and sharing a Xerox P12 between Win2K and Apple OSX machines.
    The key is to get (FREE) copies of Ghostscript and redmon. In addition, GSview and PrintFile (also FREE) are handy utilities to use with Ghostscript.
    What you do is set up the server box using the oem PrintGear drivers the way the printer was designed. Make the printer the default printer. Then install Ghostscript and redmon. Then install a POSTSCRIPT printer (driver) of your choice (any one that is available for all OS’s you run on your network), preferably with features and configuration similar to your actual printer. Enable the PS printer for Sharing on the network. Then set up the PS driver to use redmon to redirect it’s port output through Ghostscript and to the Printgear printer. Then you set up the clients on the network

  47. (oops! I hit submit by mistake…) *continued*
    with PS drivers to share what is actually a “virtual” PS printer on the server. Works like a charm!!!!
    Google the web to find the FREE software if you want to give it a try! It’s all available pre-compiled for those not inclined to roll thier own (like me) . If you only need a single client and you have no network hardware you could probably do a windows Direct Cable Connection over serial/parallel ports if you need to as a basic (though slow) network.

  48. The RED light won’t go off on my 870 SS. I don’t have the dos control program that came with the printer. can someone tell me how to reset it or send me the N870sm.exe program. Thanks in advance for your help.


  49. Sorry, can’t help you on the red light thing… I’m a novice… but I am SO glad I found this site. I have an old SuperSript 870 that I was about to freecycle to someone who was still with an old Windows system, but the HP LaserJet IIP driver just worked! I am thrilled. The printer still works just fine, despite an ominous squeek that is not worth fixing… I’m just glad I can use it longer until it finally kicks the bucket.


  50. I have been using the HP Laser Jet IID driver to print documents with Windows XP, but the formatting and quality isn’t the same as the NEC 870 driver.

    What I have found to work with Windows XP is to print a short text document with Word Pad if the NEC870 printing slows down (or after I reboot the computer) using the HP IID driver. This seems to clear up spooling problems. I can then switch to printing documents using the NEC 870 driver (change the selection under “properties” when the print window opens) without any problems.

  51. I have NEC 860. Never have had a problem. Can’t even remember when I bought it. Back in ’80s before 870 came out.
    Now haveing problem with paper tray not recognizing paper. Keeps giving ‘paper’ light. Have taken everything out. There is no blockage. I am afraid there is a part missing or bent that tells it that there is paper in tray.
    Have been to NEC site and read troubleshooting. No help.
    Anyone got any ideas? Pictures of tray connections?


  52. USB to PARALLEL PORT ISSUES on NEC 870: I hope someone out there knows how to fix this issue! My NEC 870 was working fine until i had to get a new laptop. My new laptop only has USB ports, so I bought a USB to Parallel converter cable so I could use my NEC 870 with my new laptop. Documents “fail to print” again and again and i’ve tried EVERYTHING – troubleshooting, updated driver, called Toshiba support, called converter cable support, switched to HP LazerJet II and Minolta drivers – the green light starts to blink as though it’s going to print, then it fails. Both customer supports have told me “sounds like a printer configuration issue,” “need to configure to USB” – but that’s what the cable converter is for, right? I have XP Home OS. Has anyone else had this problem? Have spent hours for the past 3 weekends trying to fix this problem – print for work constantly and have been lost without my printer. At my wits’ end and about to give up – just hate to have to buy another printer when this one’s perfectly fine. Does anyone have any suggestions please?

  53. Brenda:

    The problem is most likely the USB-to-parallel cable itself. Check to see what its requirements are and what type of parallel port it emulates. USB anything is inherently “flaky” (not just USB-to-parallel).

    Four suggestions:

    1) Switch the printer back to the old Win9x/ME PC and enable network printer sharing. You need a LAN for this idea to work.

    2) Buy a PCMCIA to parallel convertor. This only works if the laptop has a PCMCIA slot. However, it will be far more likely to work than a USB to parallel cable.

    3) Buy a different _brand_ of USB to parallel cable. Make sure _everything_ matches. USB 2.x and USB 1.x don’t mix well (most new hardware is USB 2.0). Also make sure the output emulation is EPP.

    4) Buy a new printer. Avoid the hassles of this one under NT/2000/XP. See this entire thread of “gripes” for all the troubles with the printer.

  54. Thomas – thank you, thank you, thank you! Have been checking back in hopes of some input – and resigned to buying new printer this weekend. Will check out “gripes” and take your 4 suggestions. Thanks again for taking such time to help out with advice – VERY cool of you.
    Have a great holiday, Brenda

  55. I echo Brenda’s frustration. The new desktop has only USB output, no parallel port. The SuperScript 870 has no USB input. I, too, bought a cable with USB input on one end and parallel output on the other end. I had no idea that there were different types of parallel ports or that a USB port could be set to emulate a particular type of parallel port. When I insert the CD that came with the cable, the self-starting instructions say that Win 95/98 and Millennium Edition users should install the driver and XP users should not. I cannot believe that XP is slick enough to configure the port and translate the signal for a parallel port. Much less do I believe that XP would actually accomplish said configuration and translation without user intervention.

    Frankly, I my level of tech savvy and commitment to this project are way to low to justify finding a separate PC to act as a print server. The cable’s minimal packaging offers no clues as to what type of parallel port it emulates and I do not know how to find this out. The toner cartridge still has plenty of life to it and I’ve fixed several smaller issues with the printer, but I have to wonder if this is just more trouble than a printer is worth.

  56. had same problem, some suggestions that may help. No excuse for NEC not updating driver.

    FYI: October 5, 2002. A reader of this web site wrote to say that under Windows XP he has used the Minolta QMS PageWorks/Pro 8L printer driver with the NEC 870 printer for over a year without problems. He says the Status Monitor doesn’t work, but the printer is faster and the envelope feature works. XP recognizes the NEC 870 and has a printer definition for it. However, it can also have printer definition for a Minolta printer that controls the same NEC 870 printer. I have not tried this.
    FYI: October 16, 2002. Another reader wrote to say that after having problems printing from Windows 2000 Professional, he was advised by NEC technical support to use the HP LaserJet IIP driver 300 DPI included in Windows. I have not tried this.

  57. My old NEC silentwriter S102P laser printer seemed so simple to use under Win98 and 2000 but having upgraded to a laptop running Win XP Pro and only having USB ports it’s proved to be little more than useless. Some great thoughts and advice given in preceeding threads and thought I was nearly there with using HP LJ11P printer driver but the test page would only print out once before it spewed lots of gash out on lots of paper. Tried LJIID (again from installed drivers on XP) and better prinit page and can now print Winword docs but this is far from satisfactory. Guess a print server solution would be useful but the idea was to get rid of the old stuff and not have a small room cluttered with antiquated kit. I’d love to make a contribution to saving resources by using old stuff that works OK and not fill the landfill sites unnecessarily; looks like I’ll be out of luck. Keep the threads going someone will (and does) find these comments very very useful.

  58. I have the NEC SS870 at the office. I’m told it was purchased about 3 years ago. Hard to believe. It was working just fine until recently. Never good, but at least it worked. I walked in one morning and found all of the paper from the tray had fed through the machine like it thought it had a document. Every time I put paper in now this happens. I have cleared all documents, power cycled, looked for updated drivers, reinstalled the old drivers, and followed trouble shooting guide. It just won’t work.

    I’m ready to give up. Any ideas?

  59. I got the NEC SuperScript 870 working perfectly in Windows Vista with good features (600×600 DPI res. and N-up page printing). In Vista, right click on the Add Printer window and select “Run as Administrator”, THEN “Add a Printer”. I’m running mine off a D-Link DP-300u ethernet print server (that part of the setup is basically the same as in WinXP).

    When you get to the part when you actually pick the driver, insert your old WinXP install CDROM, and Browse to the \i386 directory and click Open. You will get a new list of digitally signed XP drivers. Select the NEC SuperScript 870 and you are back in business.

  60. Vince,

    since this works by using the “XP install CD,” will the same technique work for an XP OS as well as Vista?

  61. Bill,

    When installing the NEC 870 on XP, the Microsoft bundled driver should already be present for selection (under NEC or maybe something like NEC Technology). But, yes, you can load it from the CDROM’s /i386 directory if you need to. There is no “Run as Administrator” on XP, but I do think you need Admin privleges to install a printer (most people run XP as admin or power user most of the time anyway).

  62. Vince,

    This is just the same old molasses-slow driver that has been around forever, is it not? And yet you say that you get 600dpi support and “N-up” printing. I don’t understand. I thought that forever, folks have been complaining about XP driver support for the SS870 being nearly absent…only incredibly slow, very basic 300dpi printing. Hmmmmm…

  63. Bill B.,

    The Microsoft supplied WinXP NEC 870 driver always worked fine for me. The recent problem was getting that same functionality under Vista. When I Googled the Vista problem I found messages about people throwing away the working printer just because they couldn’t get it to work on Vista, and others were using work-arounds that either didn’t work or were left with limited functionality. The 870 is an economy laser printer so it’s engine is not built for speed. Also the parallel interface (even when used in conjunction with an ethernet print server box) is slower than USB2 that users in recent years have become accustomed to. Complicated or large print jobs will always take longer on an economy laser (any laser really unless you spend the big bucks for a business class laser). But it’s still much faster than my inkjet, quality is perfect, and cost per page is so much lower there is no comparison. I hate to spend money to replace perfectly good peripherals just because of software/driver problems (I’d rather put that money toward new computers).

  64. Nec 870 on Vista “Insert your old WinXP install CDROM, and browse to the \i386 directory and click Open. You will get a new list of digitally signed XP drivers. Select the NEC SuperScript 870 and you are back in business.”

    This worked well for me.

  65. this is not working for me. anyone that could help i would really appreciate it.

  66. Nicole,
    How far do you get? What error message to you get? Are you running one of the 32-bit versions of Vista? How is the printer physically connected to the computer? While disconnected, have you tried making the printer print a self test page? Leave more details here or click my name, drop by my website, and use the Contact Us form.
    I’m still using my NEC SuperScript 870 laser (circa 1999) on my network (mix of XP and Vista PCs). I’m on my 3rd toner cartridge. Good luck.

  67. Vince,
    I gave up trying, but maybe you could get me going again. You give me hope. It is a great printer and I wish I could use it. I am trying to start working for home and wanted to use it. I will try again tomorrow. Hook it up and do a test page. It is hooked up via serial cable. It’s so old, I didn’t even check to see if there is a usb cable insert.

  68. It works after installing the HP LaserJet IIP like everyone else. I couldn’t have been more happier, I was about really to trash it before I thought to give a try on google. I am glad I did.

  69. I used the SS 870 printer on Windows 98 happily for years. I recently acquired a new computer with Windows Vista Home Premium. On the new machine, I installed the SS 870 printer driver from the XP install CD. It works well, except that I can no longer do double-sided printing like I could do in Win 98. The XP driver thinks that 2-sided printing is not enabled. I can’t find any way to tell it that the printer can do double-sided printing. Anyone know how to fix this?

  70. trying to make ss 870 and vista x64 be friends…
    so what if I don’t have my windows xp install cd? I tried to install with the old computer’s C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86\3 file but I can’t find a *.inf to use. which one can I use?
    can I print in 600 dpi on vista x64? or is this a lost cause?

  71. Jimmy,

    Don’t bother. Have two SS 870 in this office. One died a couple of years ago. The other is hooked to a machine with Vista. 64bit.
    Not worth the headache. Take your $50 and buy a new one.

  72. Jimmy,

    I’m still using mine on Vista32 and Vista64 (yes, at 600dpi). See my above posts for Vista32 installs. For Vista64, (when you get to the “Have Disc” part) you have to use an original WinXP 64BIT disc instead, and go to the \AMD64\ directory to find the XP64 870 driver. Works just fine.

  73. Jimmy,

    I’ve never tried it without a real XP 32/64 disc, but I think the .INF file you want is NTPRINT.INF, but there are several other files required to make a standalone driver package.

  74. Vince,
    it worked!!! thanks for the advice. I got my hands on a XP pro x64 disc. then when I was on the “browse” for “have disk”, I selected the “PRINTUPG” inf and I then selected the driver. printing at 600dpi.
    this has been a great printer.

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