Printing from USB printer from MS-DOS program


Steven Latus

I use one old DOS accounting program (One-Write Plus 4.6 - I need to run
it to access files that some clients provide to me) and I wish to print
reports from this program to my HP PSC 950 multifunction printer that is
connected to the USB port on my PC. I am running Windows XP Home on a
Dell Dimension 4400 (P4 at 1.7 GHz & 512 MB DDR SDRAM).

The program allows printer output to go only to a parallel or serial
printer port. My printer has a connection for USB only. I have LPT1
selected in the DOS program so when I go to print, the program freezes
and I have to bring up the Task Manager and end the program. No print
job is ever received by the printer (natch).

From all that I have seen on MS's site and others, the only options I
have are to enable printer-sharing or to use a third-party utility. I
experimented with my printer settings and found that if I enable printer
pooling from the Ports tab and select LPT1 in addition to the port
already there for USB, I can print from the DOS program as well as
Windows programs.

Since this seems like much too simple a solution <G> and since I have
not seen this approach mentioned anywhere as a way to allow printing for
DOS programs to a USB printer, I am curious as to any drawbacks or
cautions that printer pooling may entail. I have only the one printer.

Any comments or suggestions would be gratefully acknowledged.



Steven Latus

Cari said:
Thanks. I saw this article in my search, but there was nothing there on
printer-pooling, which is what I had enabled to also permit me to print
to LPT1.

Printer-pooling just looked simpler to me - 2 clicks inside the Ports
tab in printer properties (enable printer-pooling and select local port)
and I was done.

Cari, is there any particular reason why I didn't see too many
references to printer-pooling versus the method outlined in the link you
gave (enable sharing and typing the NET command)? I recall finding all
of 2 references to printer-pooling (specifically regarding 1 printer
connected to a stand-alone PC), whereas there were MANY for sharing and
the NET command.

Bruce Sanderson

Well, Steven, looks to me like you're the first one to try this approach!

At least, I've never seen it mentioned before in any of the newsgroups I
frequent. I was on the XP Beta well before it was released and no-one
mentioned it during the Beta testing either (at least, not that I saw).

It certainly did not occur to me to try it! It may be that whether this
works or note is dependent on the printer drivers involved.

How to print from DOS applications or the Command Prompt to USB or network
printers is a frequent question on this and some other newsgroups. I'll
suggest your approach in response to some of these posts and see what kind
of success others have.

When I update my DOS printing page, I'll credit this suggestion to you.
Would you prefer I didn't put your email address on the web page?


Apr 21, 2009
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You can try using a product called ExDOS:

My company uses it with 4 different DOS programs and it solved all our DOS issues, including printing to USB Multifunction printers.

Good luck!

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