Change printer port name in Windows XP
December 20, 2007 6:41 AM   Subscribe

Making DOS program get along with new Windows XP machine and ancient printer: How to change the name of the printer port from USB001 to LPT1?

I work in a small company that is managed by 50-somethings who do not feel compelled to stay up to date in the technology department. However, we recently upgraded computers from an old ATX motherboard system complete with LPT printer port to a new Dell mini-ATX system that relies on USB connections for printers.

The problem is that the software the managers use to do what they do is a DOS-based program from 1986. The name of the program is probably not relevant because it's a highly specialized program called Maptech Coordinate Geometry.

It uses dot matrix printers to print line-by-line data as the program runs. The program settings only allow for four characters and a colon for the printer port, i.e. "LPT1:" and such. The new cable adapter we got to get this printer hooked up via USB creates a printer port called "USB001". So the DOS program can't use that port because it has too many letters.

My question is, can I change the name of the port USB001 to LPT1 or LPT2, etc.? Or is there another way of fooling the DOS program into printing on the USB port?
posted by chitlin to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

This is possibly the ugliest hack I've suggested on aMefi, but perhaps you could
1) make backups.
2) scan for the place where the settings are stored.
3) make a copy of that file manually, just in case.
4) in a text editor, change "LPT1:" to the new device name "USB001" (where's the colon?).

Finding an editor that will do the right thing may be hard. If you have to edit an .EXE file, then be sure not to insert characters, but only replace them.

I give this idea a 50% chance of working, btw.
posted by cmiller at 7:07 AM on December 20, 2007

I'm always amazed at how fast the questions are resolved in Ask MeFi... Thanks a million!

I used jdfan's link on "How to print to a USB Printer from DOS" along with the Microsoft support page found here and it works like a charm.

The computer is hooked up to a network, so no need to use the loopback feature mentioned in the first link above.
posted by chitlin at 7:21 AM on December 20, 2007

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