How to Assign USB Printers to LPT Ports

By Jedadiah Casey

Many older DOS and command-line programs were designed before the USB standard was invented. Before USB, most printers used a parallel port to connect to the computer. Older programs are unaware of USB and can only use parallel port printers. Microsoft Windows features a workaround for this situation by allowing a shared printer to be mapped to an internal virtual LPT port through the command line. You can assign USB printers to virtual LPT ports with the "NET USE" command.

Step 1

Click the Windows "Start" button.

Step 2

Right-click "Computer" and then click "Properties." Make a note of the computer name.

Step 3

Click the "Start" button, and then click "Device and printers."

Step 4

Right-click the USB printer, and then click "Printer properties."

Step 5

Click the "Sharing" tab, and then click "Change Sharing Options."

Step 6

Click to check "Share this printer," and then type in a share name. Click "OK" to save the setting.

Step 7

Click the "Start" button, and then type "cmd" (without quotes). Press "Enter."

Step 8

Type "net use lpt1: "\computername\sharedprinter" /persistent:yes" (without quotes around the outside). Replace "computername" with the computer name noted earlier, and replace "sharedprinter" with the shared printer name set previously. Press "Enter."