Microsoft KB Archive/103938

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Article ID: 103938

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q103938


If you create a printer using the Create Printer command on the Printer menu in Windows NT Print Manager, you will be able to set the printer port you want to print to. If you select one of the LPTx ports, you will not be able to redirect the printer output to a shared printer on the network.

This design implementation of Windows NT is different from that of the MS-DOS-based versions of Windows 3.x, in which a port can be redirected to a shared network printer even though a printer is "connected" to an LPT port.

To print to a shared printer on the network in Windows NT, the Print To entry in the Printer Properties dialog box of the Print Manager must display the UNC network name of the shared printer, such as the following:

   \\<computer name>\<printer name>


If you connect to an LPT port in Print Manager with no physical printer connected to your computer, you will not be able to print to the connected shared printer on the network from Windows NT-based applications or from virtual MS-DOS machines (VDMs). However, you can still open a command prompt and explicitly redirect the printer port using the NET USE command, for example:

   net use lptx: \\<computer name>\<printer name>

This redirection will be applied to all new MS-DOS windows (VDMs) that are opened after that, but you will still be unable to print in Windows-based applications until the Print To selection is changed to the UNC network name of the printer. This name is near the bottom of the list of possible printer port connections in the Printer Properties dialog box.

Steps to Reproduce the Behavior

  1. Physically connect a printer to a Windows for Workgroups computer.
  2. Ensure that a Windows NT computer can access shared directories on the Windows for Workgroups computer over a domain or workgroup to which both computers are connected.
  3. Designate the printer on the Windows for Workgroups computer as a shared printer.
  4. Ensure that no other printers are connected either directly or indirectly to the Windows NT computer.
  5. In Windows NT Print Manager, choose Create Printer from the Printer menu.
  6. Make the appropriate entries for the printer physically connected to the Windows for Workgroups computer, but make sure that the value for the Print To option remains at LPT1.

You will not be able to print from Windows-based applications or MS-DOS-based applications until you change the Print To value to the network UNC name of the shared printer. You will be able to print from the MS-DOS-based applications only if you make an explicit connection in a single VDM using the NET USE command to redirect the LPT1 port to the shared printer.

Additional query words: wfw wfwg prodnt printing parallel-port redir can't print

Keywords: kbprint KB103938