DOS Printing Problem Using HP 500X Print Server

Background:

I have a Win95 peer-to-peer network with four computers.  I am using an HP 500X print server to connect to an HP Laserjet 5 printer.

At this time I have one of the computers set up to print directly to the printer via the print server.  I specified the printer as shared, and the other computers are set up to print through this computer and the shared connection.

My ultimate goal is to set up printing for each computer to go directly through the print server without requiring any of the other computers to be turned on.  

The computer that is set up to print direct to the printer works fine with Windows applications.

The Problem:

I cannot print from DOS applications on the direct-to-printer computer.  There is a JAREAD.TXT file on the JetAdmin CD
that says how to do it.  It says answer the config question "What is port name?" with an LPTx name, but not to use a system port such as LPT1.

LPT1, LPT2, and LPT3 are all system ports on this computer.  Furthermore, my DOS applications will not allow me to specify LPT4, LPT5, etc.  WordPerfect 5.1 allows LPT1-3 and my DOS database program doesn't seem to allow other than LPT1.

We can live with the situation for awhile, since the other computers can print from DOS using the shared printer.

How can I set up JetAdmin and/or Windows to print from DOS applications when the computer is set up to print directly to the printer via the print server?  The capture port feature under print properties (details) does not work.

Thanks in advance for your help.  You may need more information, but rather than try to anticipate everything, I'll just wait for your inquiry.
tonyinmjAsked:
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xemaCommented:
This may help:

From BIOS disable the LPT1, then in win 9X make shure that port is not listed under start>configuration>control panel>system>device administrator.   If there isn't an LPT1 then you should be able to capture the port.   But remember to print from DOS to a Print server the DOS program should be run on a DOS window.
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ViRoyCommented:
uninstall the print device... then re-install it... when you install it, one of the first screens will have a switch that says "i need to print from dos" check this... otherwise you will only be able to print from within the desktop environment.
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bjornurCommented:
Do you remeber if you checked the button
"print from DOS applications" when you installed the printer?
It is easy to forget!

/Bjorn
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tonyinmjAuthor Commented:
ViRoy:  I will try your idea.  I do think, however, that immediately after saying you want to print from DOS it gives you the option to "capture" the printer port.  DOS applications need a port name such as LPT1.  All my attempts to capture the port using the network name for the printer have failed, saying "unable to find printer".
Perhaps if I say "print from DOS and don't try to "capture" it will default to LPT1, or I can do the capture after the fact.  

A side note: When I install a printer on another computer and use the shared printer defined on the original machine, I do say "DOS print yes" and capture LPT1.  The capture works and DOS printing works fine.

If I can get it to work as you said, I will accept your answer.

Thank you,
Tony
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tonyinmjAuthor Commented:
xema:

I think your idea has a good chance of working.  Earlier I tried to disable LPT3 (as a proof of concept, hated to touch LPT1 until proving it would work). After doing so, I rebooted to see if the removal would hold.

Then Win95 says, "I've found a new device on your system and proceeds to install it".  

I used Control Panel>System>Device Manager to remove the port.

Thanks for your comment.

Tony
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tonyinmjAuthor Commented:
Before anyone racks their brain too hard over this one, I've just found an answer in the FAQ's of the HP web site.

It looks like I may be out of luck, unless I can zap my DOS applications to use LPT4.

See the following link:

www.hp.com/cposupport/faqindex/hpjetadmin2186_faq.html#Question3

ViRoy: I still plan to try your idea.

xema: Maybe your idea will work, but HP specifically says "Do not use LPT1 or any other port that physically exists on the PC".  That's life I guess.
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tonyinmjAuthor Commented:
I tried your idea.  I checked the Print from DOS box and ignored the Capture Print to port.

I was able to print from Windows but WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS (configured for LPT1) would not print. Message in WordPerfect "unable to connect, check cables.." etc.

Tried to capture LPT1 after the install and got the same failure as before, "unable to find printer".

Thanks for your suggestion.  Since that time I've got more information.  See my comment about HP's FAQ.

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xemaCommented:
tonymini

I'm not shure but if in your BIOS you select NO to the option of PNP OS and disable the LPTx Win won't find it and you should be able to capture that port with no problem. As for printing directly to the print server it is easy to do, except for the DOS programs but the previous comment shuld be use on all the networked computers so you can redirect the signal from LPTx to the print server.  BTW you don't need tto share the printer on any computer as the print server will create a port and you will install the printer as local using that port.

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tonyinmjAuthor Commented:
xema:  I am going to give you the points. Your answer was the closest to HP's answer, (which I found after posting the question).  Today I followed HP's guidelines and configured the port to be known as LPT4 by DOS.  I also looked closer at WordPerfect for DOS 5.1 and discovered it will support LPT4.  I am now direct-printing from DOS using WordPerfect.  Also, I'm seeking help from the vendor of my other DOS application for help. Hopefully, I can get a special "zap" to the code to allow me to use LPT4.  The software company at www.shelbyinc.com also has a windows version of their software that I'm sure they'll want me to upgrade to.

Thanks for all your replies and help.
(xema, ViRoy, and bjornur)
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