Friday 27 May 2011

Windows XP Mode–Printing From A DOS Application

Some of our clients have Line of Business Applications that go way back. This is especially true for accounting firms where folks will come to them to fill out tax reports for years gone by.

Some of those LoBs were DOS with no other option to run them.

So, we get the app set up in XP Mode on the Windows 7 system, from there we need to run the following command in the command line shell:

  • net use lpt1 \\pserver\laser1 /persistent:yes

Since 99.9% of our clients don’t even have a parallel port on their computer anymore, it is probably quite safe to use LPT1. For those rare cases use LPT2.

One can either point that command to a server share or share the locally attached USB printer making sure that the firewall allows the connection.

Note that in our experience both HP and Lexmark printers seem to work okay for this process. The actual printout may not be what is expected, but it works. If using any other printer vendor’s products this may or may not work due to driver or PCL language issues.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Anonymous said...

Hi Philip

We moved a lot of our DOS stuff to PDF printers one which was free and quite successful is the open source PDFCreator.

You can do the same LPT port redirection but to a shared PDF printer saving on paper.

Some of the PDF printers allow you to select the type of printer emulation as well.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

Our client is licensed for Adobe Acrobat Standard.

We did discuss setting the map to PDF but the times DOS is required is quite rare, it was faster to set a network printer, and they were under a time crunch.

Thanks for that!

I will follow up with them on whether the PDF option should become permanent.