It could be a few things.
1. Are you sure the printer works? Have you tried it connected to a different computer?
2. The cord that connects the printer could be damaged, another thing that you should try by connecting to a different computer to test it.
3. Your laptop could be missing the drivers needed to run that particular device.
The list goes on...
Try, when it is connected, to see if the computer even notices it. If not in the port you have it in, try another port. Then go into "Control Panel" and click "Devices and Printers". In here, on the top of the window, click "Add a Printer" and the system will try and connect it.
Should that not work, go back to "Control Panel" and click "Device Manager". At the top of the screen click "Action" and then in the drop down click "Scan for hardware changes" to see if the computer can locate the printer.