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Well, first things first! Are you using the parallel port (the "wide connector" one) to connect or the USB(The small connector)?
Get back to me with this info to continue troubleshooting!
Looks like I found the problem: The 5550's driver software (version 7.1) is apparently not compatible with XP SP2's "Data Execution Prevention" feature.
Go to My Computer, right click & select Properties. Choose the Advanced panel. Click the first Settings button, in the Performance Section. Choose the Data Execution Prevention panel. Choose the first radio button, "Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only", not the second one "Turn on DEP for all ...."
The first radio button (essential programs only) was what was selected when I got the machine, but I myself had upped the setting to the more restrictive level.