NewDeal Hot Tip 1806

[Hot Tips for...] Printing

Printing: LPT ports, 7 5 BIOS or DOS

Which choice is best for my printer port in Preferences, Computer? Should I choose 7 or 5 or BIOS or DOS?

If printing to a local printer connected directly to an LPT port, try the settings in this order:
  1. Try 7 for LPT1 or 5 for LPT2.
  2. Try BIOS.
  3. Try DOS.
If printing to a local printer through a TSR, redirector, or print-sharing device, or if your printer uses a Windows driver that captures and translates the output from DOS applications running under Windows:
  1. Try BIOS.
  2. Try DOS.
If printing to a network printer:
  1. Try DOS.
  2. Try BIOS.

If printing to a Novell network printer:
Print via DOS and use Novell's CAPTURE utility to redirect the LPT port (N stands for the LPT port to redirect: 1, 2 or 3):

capture local=N /nobanner /notabs /noformfeed /na /timeout=10
The CAPTURE program causes output to an LPT port to be redirected over the network to a network printer. The option flags (/nobanner, etc.) tell Novell not to try to interpret or format the output.

If printing to a LANtastic network printer, use the DOS setting.

If printing to a Lan Manager network printer, use the DOS setting.

If printing to a PC-NFS network printer, use the DOS setting. Note: PC-NFS has a 5 minute time-out, so multiple printouts less than 5 minutes apart will be seen as one job and nothing will actually print until 5 minutes after the last print job is sent.

If BIOS works, it is preferable to DOS because the software can actually report printer errors to the user. When printing through DOS, the software can't pass along any errors that DOS tries to report to the user.

In general, use DOS printing only if the output is being redirected somehow, either by a network or something else that gets the data before the printer does.

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Last Modified 6 Mar 1999