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rustycampbell
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How to print a text file to a shared printer from cmd

I need to print a text file with a computer using a printer shared on a network.

I tried print /d:\\softailcustom\clp610 invoice.txt

When it's on the machine with the printer it works, but when it's on another machine it doesn't even though the same computer will print using windows printing.

I get "unable to initialize device" error
Printers and ScannersMicrosoft Legacy OS

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rustycampbell

8/22/2022 - Mon
Tony Giangreco

Try print invoice.txt > \\server\printer-name
rustycampbell

ASKER
I get unable to initialize device PRN
Tony Giangreco

If it's a laser printer, you probably won't be able to do it.  What printer are you using?
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rwheeler23
rustycampbell

ASKER
It's a laser but...

1. I get the same behavior using a dot matrix printer
and
2. It works on the computer the printer is on even with the laser printer.
eerwalters

A few steps are needed and it should print.

Assumptions:
 
  1- This is being attempted on a Windows PC (XP, 7, etc)
  2- A Windows printer that is printing to the desired network printer is already defined and functioning properly
  3- The print command in use is the DOS print command


Resolution:
 
  1- Enable printer pooling to make the Windows printer available within DOS
        a- Open the "Printer properties" of the desired network printer
        b- Go to the Ports tab
        c- Check the box for "Enable printer pooling"
        d- In the window where you select the network port, scroll all of the way to the top of the list and select (check) LPT1:.  
            Do NOT uncheck your current network port.  This will mean that there are now 2 ports enabled (checked) for this printer. (The network port and LPT1:)
        e- Click on Ok to save the changes

  2- Use the following command
        print /d:lpt1 invoice.txt
rustycampbell

ASKER
this works on the computer that has the printer attached, as does
print /d:\\softailcustom\clp610 invoice.txt

It still doesn't work on the network computer.

This has changed some behavior. When I try type or copy to lpt1, instead of access denied, I get the system cannot find the file specified.
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DansDadUK

On the workstation which is issuing the print command, you probably need to invoke the net use command, to associate the target printer share with LPT1:.

net use LPT1: //computer-name/printer-share-name

where:
//computer-name is the name of the workstation which 'owns' the target printer.

//printer-share-name is the share name (preferably 8 characters or less) of the target printer on that workstation.
rustycampbell

ASKER
tried the net use command, it appeared to work, but did not change the behavior of the print/type/copy commands.
eerwalters

Where does the file reside that you are wanting to print?

Did you specify the full path to the file?
    print /d:lpt1 full pathname\filename

If the file is located on a network share, you may need to map a drive to it first so the print command can find the file
    net use m: \\servername\sharename\path /persistent:yes

Open a cmd prompt, go to the drive letter m: and if you can see invoice.txt, you should be good to go

Then use
    print /d:lpt1 m:\invoice.txt
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rustycampbell

ASKER
To keep things as simple a possible, I moved the current dir of cmd.exe to the dir of the file. It seems to be grabbing the file OK. When I try to copy it to the printer, I also copy it to a new file name just to check on it, and that works.
eerwalters

ok, sorry but I'm confused.

  1- I thought that we were working with the Print command, but now we are copying to the printer, so I assume that you are using Copy filename >lpt1.
  2- The error reported after enabling printer pooling said that the specified file could not be located, but a copy from the same cmd prompt works.

Clarification please:
   I was assuming that you were using the Print command for a particular reason but now that you are mentioning using the Copy command, I am curious as to the desired goal.
   Is the goal simply to take the invoice.txt file and send it to a networked printer via a script or command line function?
   If that is the goal, please list the OS versions of the networked workstation and of the server/workstation that is hosting the printer and I can provide a detailed solution.
David Johnson, CD

one item that may be a gotcha is that a laser printer is a page printer not a line printer, after printing from dos you need to send a form-feed or it will keep waiting for input for the page.
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hdhondt

Some printers (host-based printers) do not understand simple text, and sending them a page of text will produce absolutely nothing.

What is the printer model?
rustycampbell

ASKER
It's a Samsung CLP-610. It will print the file as a local printer. While
there does seem to be a difference between the laser and the dot matrix,
it appears to be more of a networking issue.

While working on this, I have been able to get the dot matrix to work on some
computers but not all.
eerwalters

The solution is easily obtained but I need some additional information to provide detailed instructions.
  1-  The OS version of the computer named softailcustom that is hosting the printer
  2-  The OS version of the computer(s) needing to print to softailcustom\clp610

       (Windows XP, 7, 8, Windows Server 2000, 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, etc.)
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rustycampbell

ASKER
1. windows 7
2. windows 7
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
eerwalters

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rustycampbell

ASKER
Kudos sir... thank you.