How to get an HP DesignJet 120 printer to work with Windows Vista 64 bit

I have searched the 'net for a driver for the HP DesignJet 120 printer, but could not find any. It seems as if HP has abandoned it due to new models being released and an unwillingness to support the old models on new operating systems.

Solution

Disclaimer: The following solution worked for me. I cannot guarantee that it works for you, so use with caution.

The solution on 32 bit Vista was fairly straight forward: Download the XP driver for the printer. The driver works on my old machine (including the nice paper cutter, when using the roll feeder).

My new machine is using 64 bit Vista and neither a 64 bit XP driver nor a 64 bit Vista driver is available. This time the solution was a bit off track. As part of my search for drivers I found out that the DesignJet 120 was quite fragile and could fail in many ways (some easily fixable as power for the roll feeder, but more about that in a later article). The DesignJet 130 was introduced and fixed a lot of the problems of the DesignJet 120. It occurred to me that since the two printers was closely related maybe their drivers were, too. After downloading the 64 bit XP driver for the DesignJet 130 printer and installing it on my 64 bit Vista everything seems to be working. The only non-working option of the driver seems to be the option to tune the amount of ink the printer is to use, but apart from that everything works.

HP DesignJet 130 64 bit XP driver used with 64 bit Vista and a HP DesignJet 120 printer