|As wanderer said, the Com (serial; asychronous) port(s) and LPT (parallel) port must be enabled in the mboard's bios Setup.|
Most parallel port connected devices require that the LPT (parallel) mode be set to EPP or ECP in the bios - the default may be otherwise - usually EPP works fine.
"After re-installing windows XP....."
Did you load the drivers for your mboard? If you didn't ....
Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.