LPT Port to USB Printer Windows 7

I have a Windows 7 machine.  It has no parallel printer port of course.  I have a DOS App that runs fine but only prints to LPT1.   I have a new LaserJet printer with a USB 2 connector.  How do I get from here to there?  The best way?
Steve MeyerSystem Analyst and DeveloperAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
You may not be able to.  Most newer USB Laserjets are GDI printers which means that you have to go thru the Windows printer driver to get any output.  You can not print directly to them because they won't accept even plain text.

Here are instructions on using the 'net use' command: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314499  This will allow you to print plain text but will Not pass on Laserjet formatting commands.  Which doesn't matter because GDI printer doesn't understand them anyway.
0
hdhondtCommented:
If your printer does not support plain text (i.e. it's a GDI printer as DaveBaldwin explained) then you can still use DOSPRN. It takes the text (and PCL commands) and feeds them through the driver, so it works with any printer that has a Windows driver. Download it from http://dosprn.com/
0
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
DOSPRN will not transfer PCL commands thru a GDI printer driver on my system, it merely prints the image for the control characters that you would see in an old ASCII chart.  I've tried it.
0
CompTIA Network+

Prepare for the CompTIA Network+ exam by learning how to troubleshoot, configure, and manage both wired and wireless networks.

hdhondtCommented:
PCL support can be enabled from the Sequences button in the DOSPRN properties window. See http://www.dosprn.com/readme.htm

Only the most common PCL commands are supported, as shown here: http://www.dosprn.com/sequences.htm
0
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Good info, I hadn't seen that before.
0
nobusCommented:
i suggest to install a PCI to lpt card : http://www.usbgear.com/1x-LPT-PCI.html
these work better than adapter dongles
then use the dosprn  - as said above
0
hdhondtCommented:
Sorry, nobus, this is a USB printer.
0
ded9Commented:
Would recommend printfil

http://www.printfil.com/english.htm



Ded9
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
DansDadUKCommented:
We still don't know if the target LaserJet printer is a GDI printer (a.k.a. host-based or Windows printer), or one of the more traditional ones (which supports the PCL5, PCL6 and PostScript Page Description Languages).

If it is the latter (i.e. if it supports PCL), then the 'net use' technique should work (and, I think, will allow the inclusion of PCL escape sequences, as well as just plain ASCII text).
0
nobusCommented:
sorry - i misread the question
0
Steve MeyerSystem Analyst and DeveloperAuthor Commented:
It is a GDI printer.
0
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I think we have listed most of your options here.  The only question left is does your printing use PCL formatting.
0
hdhondtCommented:
Being a DOS app, it probably does. Most likely it just uses plain text, and possible some simple things like bold text. However, DOSPRN also supports ESC/P if that's what the app uses.

And, a printer model number would be nice to know...
0
Steve MeyerSystem Analyst and DeveloperAuthor Commented:
The printer is a HP Photosmart 7520.  It can be easily be replaced if that helps.  The Dos app reports are all 132-character wide printouts originally designed to print on tractor feed paper.  The app as the ability set print strings including compressed print, portrait or landscape to an laserjet that understands print codes PCL5 or PCL6.  I am going to look into DOSPRN.  Seems I remember an app called DOS2USB or something like that.  

Thanks for all the attention.   Also, there appears to be an issue with running in compatibility mode.  My client tells me the window is too small and slow.   The ultimate solution may be to purchase a used XP box and laserjet, but really would like to move him to windows 7.
0
hdhondtCommented:
The HP Photosmart 7520 supports what HP call PCL 3. While this is not the same as GDI, it is similar to GDI in that all processing is done on the PC. PCL3 bears no relation to either PCL5 or PCL6. Hence you will need DOSPRN.

If you do replace the printer then the NET USE (see DaveBaldwin's comment) command should let you redirect LPT1 output to the USB - or to a network connected printer.
0
Steve MeyerSystem Analyst and DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Hdhondt: Would you recommend a printer that would work with the NET USE command, and might understand PCL 5 or 6?
0
hdhondtCommented:
For a recommendation I would need more info about your requirements. Do you need colour? Duplexing? What print speed do you need? How many trays? Would you prefer a networked printer, or do you want to stick with USB (networked usually causes less trouble)? If networked, do you want wired or wireless? What is your budget?

Apart from the price and interface, none of these questions are relevant for DOS. They would only be important if you want to replace the HP. In that case, do you want an all-in-one? Is photo quality important (lasers are not as good as inkjets for photos)?
0
Steve MeyerSystem Analyst and DeveloperAuthor Commented:
I'm only interested in getting my DOS program to print to black and white paper.  The original printer was a LJ3 or LJ4.   With USB, my client should be able to keep his other printer for use with his windows apps.   We have tech over at the clients working with us.  We are having to run the program in virtual XP mode.  We can print from there, but fonts are wrong size and no margins.  Also, can't size the screen, so it is very small.  When clicking on maximize, the window moves to top left corner of screen but doesn't get any bigger.
0
hdhondtCommented:
Have a look at the Xerox range. The Phaser 3250 is their lowest cost printer with PCL5. It runs 30 ppm; networking is optional. The Phaser 3320 is next, with WiFi and wired networking as standard.
0
Steve MeyerSystem Analyst and DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Thinking...
0
hdhondtCommented:
There are several comments in this thread that give solutions and other help to get this working. See, for example:
 
#a39578559
#a39579273
#a39589451
#a39578437
0
Steve MeyerSystem Analyst and DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Sorry, didn't mean to abandon this question.  We used printfil for a while and this worked pretty good.  We are now using DOSBOX to run the application.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.