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Title
Added 09/19/07
Article ID#: K000198

Setting up Printers in RDP-DOS
 with Menu 99 - RDP096

The key to setting up printers in the RDP-DOS system is to test the printer from the command prompt (DOS Prompt), independent of the RDP-DOS system.  If the printer works with the steps below, then it can be added to the RDP-DOS system with option 096 on menu 98.

Novell Print Queues No Longer Supported

Resort Data Processing has been in business over twenty years. Our original software was installed exclusively on Novell Networks, and printing was to either a local printer or a Novell Bindery print queue.  Unfortunately both Novell and Microsoft have made changes that now make it impossible to print to a Novell print Queue with RDP software running on a Windows 2000 or Windows XP workstation. As a result, it is no longer possible to use Novell Print queues with RDP software.

RDP customers running Novell may be able to set up Windows Shared printers.

However, some workstations may not be able to print to a windows shared printer, depending on the version of Novell, which Novell Client software is installed, and what client operating systems are in use.  Results will be unpredictable.

RDP suggests that all current customers with a Novell Server convert to a Windows 2000 data server as soon as possible.  With Windows 2000 there are no problems printing to local printers or windows shared printers.  Additionally RDP's future product, RDPWin, will only function on a Windows 2000 data server.

There is no charge from RDP for conversion from Novell to Windows 2000.

Testing Local Printers Outside the RDP System

A local printer is defined as connected directly to an LPT port, using a a parallel printer cable, on a Windows based workstation.  It must be connected to LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, or LPT4.  Printers connected to infrared ports, COM ports, or USB ports will not work as "local" printers.  However they may be able to be configured as shared printers.  See "USB Printers" at the end of this document for details.

To test a local printer, go to a command prompt and type the following:

       DIR >LPT1:  (or LPT2 if connected to LPT2, etc)


This command may have to be repeated several times to send enough lines to a laser printer to eject a page.

If the printer successfully prints from the command Prompt with the command above, then use 096, option "P" to add the printer. 

Enter the data requested as below:

  • Parallel Port:  For LPT1, enter "1", for LPT2, enter "2".
  • Output Type:  Enter "Local".  "NONE" turns of this printer.
  • RDP Printer Name:  Any name will work, such as "My Laser Printer"
  • Lines per page:    Enter 66 (the default)
  • Laser/Sheet Feed:  Enter "Y" if a laser or sheet feed printer
  • Esc Codes:         Leave the Esc Codes blank, which uses RDP defaults.

  

Warning: Microsoft made a change that delays all DOS print jobs on Windows 2000 and Windows XP to DOS printers by 15 seconds.  This delay can be eliminated.  See the section in troubleshooting on "Win2000/XP Slow Printing".  This change must be made for all local printers AND SHARED PRINTERS that are connected to a LPT port on a Windows 2000 or Windows XP workstation.

Testing Shared Printers from the Command Prompt

It is possible to print to a printer that is not connected to your workstation, provided the printer is set up to use the "NET" command from Microsoft.  This technique can also be used for USB printers that are connected directly to a Win2000 or WinXP workstation (See "USB Printers" at the end of this document).

It is critical to test the printer with the steps below from a command prompt before attempting to define the printer in RDP with 096 on menu 98.

  1. The printer must first be shared using either Microsoft Printer Sharing, or Novell Netware Print Queues. The printer can be physically connected to a workstation or using "JET Direct"     technology to connect to the network directly.  The process for setting up a shared printer is well documented by both Microsoft and Novell and is beyond the scope of this document.  The key is to test the printer with the steps below from a command prompt.

    NOTE:  Shared printing with Novell networks is much better and faster when using Novell Print Queues, not Windows Shared Printers. 

    Please read the section at the end in troubleshooting: "Novell Networks Work Best with Novell Print Queues"
  2. After setting up the Windows Shared Printer or the Novell Print Queue, to test the printer, go to a workstation other than the one where the printer is connected and open a command prompt and type:

    NET VIEW

    This Microsoft command should display all servers in your default workgroup or Domain.  Microsoft uses the term "Server Name", but the names listed may be the name of a Novell Server, a Windows 2000 Server, a Windows NT 4.0 server or a Win95/98/ME/XP workstation that has one or more shared printers or folders.

    The options available with the Microsoft "Net" command are different for Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, XP, and 2000. For a list of valid options for your operating system, type "NET VIEW /?".
  3. After using "Net View" to display all servers, use the following command to view the shared printers on one computer:  Net View \\Servername.

    For example, to view all shared resources on a Windows 2000 workstation with the name "MyWin2000", type: 

    Net View \\MyWin2000

    If there are any shared printers already set up on the server name selected, they will be displayed.  For example, you may see "Shared resources at \\MyWin2000". 

    Type:

    Share Name
    Print   HP1100a

        Disk    MySharedFolder

        Disk    MyWordFolder

        Print   HP4M

    In this example the \\MyWin2000 machine has two printers that are shared, named "HP1100a" and "HP4M".

4)  After finding the print server name and shared printer name, test to see if the printer will print, as follows;

        NET USE LPT1: \\servername\sharedPrinterName

        Dir > Lpt1:

        Net Use LPT1: /Delete

5)  In our example, the computer name is "MyWin2000" and the shared printer name is "HP1100a".  Therefore, to test we have:

        NET USE LPT1: \\MyWin2000\HP1100a

        DIR > LPT1:

        NET USE LPT1:   /DELETE

        Note:  You must put a one space after the ":" in LPT1: for this command to work.

        Note:  You may have to repeat the "DIR > LPT1:" command to send at least 66 lines to the printer to "fill the page" and cause a laser printer to eject a page.

        Note:  The Net Use command should complete within one or two seconds. If it takes more than 5 seconds, but eventually completes, printing will work with RDP but you will see                the same delay.  See the troubleshooting section under "Net Use Command Slow".

        Note:  If a prompt for a "login name" or "Password" apppears, this must be eliminated.  See "Troubleshooting" below under "Net Use Prompts for Password".

6)  If the command sequence in step 5 works, add the shared printer to RDP using 096, option "W'.  If it does not work, check the troubleshooting tips below.

 

    Adding the Shared Printer with 096 after it works from DOS

    a)  Make sure the printer prints outside RDP as defined above

    b)  From RDP menu 98, use option 096

    c)  Select "W" - for Windows/Novell Shared Printer

    d)  Enter a RDP Printer Number from 5-99

    e)  Enter the printer server name that was seen with the  "net view" command.  In our example, this was MyWin2000.

    f)  Enter the Printer Share name from step 3.  In our example this was HP1100a.  Complete the printer definition:

          RDP Printer Name:  Any name will work such as "My Laser"

          Lines per page:    66 (the default)

          Laser/Sheet Feed:  "Y" if a laser or sheet feed printer

          Esc Codes:         Leave blank, which uses RDP defaults.

7)  Once the printer is filed away, press F2-Print to print the screen and choose the printer just entered.  In theory, if the test page works from one workstation, any other workstation should be able to print to this shared printer.  However, this often is not the case for a wide variety of reasons.  Complete the testing by going to every workstation and logging into the RDP System and pressing F2-Print and selecting the shared printer.  If a given workstation     cannot print, test that station from a command prompt using the "Net Use" commands as described above.  See Troubleshooting for a list of some possible problems.

TROUBLESHOOTING - Windows 2000 or Windows XP Slow Printing

Microsoft made a change that delays all DOS print jobs on any printer connected to a Windows 2000 or Windows XP workstation by 15 seconds.

This applies to local printers and shared printers that are physically connected to an LPT port on a Windows 2000 or Windows XP workstation.

This delay can be eliminated as follows:

WARNING:  Using REGEDT32 can cause serious damage to your operating system.  Make sure to follow these steps

1) On the Windows 2000 or Windows XP machine where the printer is connected, click Start -> Run and type REGEDT32

2) Bring up HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE on Local Machine

3) In the header, click View and make sure to check "Tree and data"

4) Expand System -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> WOW

5) In the right pane should be a key "LPT_timeout".  Double click this key

6) A prompt for a string with a default of "15" (seconds) will appear.

   Change this to 3 and click OK.  Do not use less than 3 seconds as this will cause some RDP reports to print on multiple pages.

7) Close RegEDT32

8) Start RDP and test to see if the local printer now prints faster by

TROUBLESHOOTING - Net Use Command is Slow

In some situations the "Net Use LPT1:" command completes after a 10-20 second delay.  This can occur when the Novell Client for Windows 2000/X is used to capture a Windows Shared Printer.  This delay can be eliminated as follows:

1)  If using a Netware server with the Novell Client, use Novell Print Queues not Windows Shared Printers.  The Net Use command completes quickly when capturing Novell Print queues under the Novell Client for Windows 2000/XP.

 

2)  If using Windows Shared Printers with a Novell Server, install the Microsoft Client for Novell Netware that comes with Windows 2000/XP The Net Use command will complete quickly.  However, the Microsoft Client can cause other problems on your Novell Network.

NOTE: If the printer is physically connected to a Windows 2000 or Windows XP workstation, the slow printing issue may still have to be fixed with REGEDT32 as described above.

TROUBLESHOOTING - Net Use Command Displays "Invalid Command"

The "NET VIEW" or "NET USE" may display:

   Invalid Command

         OR

   "NET" is not recognized as an internal or external command

This means the workstation cannot find the Net.exe program.  Net.exe is provided by Microsoft on Windows 95/98/ME in the \Windows folder.  On Windows 2000 the program is in the \WINNT\System32 folder and on Window XP it resides in the \Windows\System32 folder.  If Net.exe does not exit put a copy of NET.EXE and NET.HLP in the correct folder.

It is also possible that NET.EXE exists in the correct folder, but the workstation has lost the path to this folder.  For example, if at the F:\RDP prompt, a path must exist to C:\Windows on Win95/98/ME computers, C:\WINNT\System32 on Win2000 and C:\Windows\System32 on Windows XP.

TROUBLESHOOTING - Net Use Prompts for Password

There are many layers of security in Windows and Novell.  If they are not set up correctly, the Net Use command may prompt for a user name and/or password.  These prompts must be eliminated for the shared printer to function with RDP, since RDP does not pass user names or passwords to the Net Use command.  There are many possible places to eliminate the password:

  1) If the Printer is on a Windows 95/98/ME machine, make sure that

     "Require a password" is not checked when sharing the printer.

  2) If the printer is connected to a Windows 2000/XP machine, make sure the share permissions are set to "Everyone".  Also make sure that each user is in the same domain as the workstation with the printer.

  3) If the printer is connected to a Windows 2000 or XP machine, and if using a Novell Server without a Microsoft Domain Controller, the user name of each person that wishes to print to the printer must be added to the local user group of the Windows 2000 or XP machine where the printer is attached.

TROUBLESHOOTING - Netware Print Queue Not Set (Error 255)

Twenty years ago, RDP originally supported Novell print queues directly rather than using the current Net Use command.  These Novell printers were added to RDP-DOS with 096, option Q.  This option no longer works with Windows 2000 and Windows XP.  If printing to an old Novell printer in RDP-DOS, a Win2000/XP workstation will display the following error:

NETWARE PRINT QUEUE NOT SET (255)

To fix this problem:

1)  Use 096, option Q to delete all old Novell printers from RDP-DOS

2)  Use 096, option W to add the Novell printer using the instructions above

Note:  When using Windows Shared printers, it is important to use the Microsoft Client for Novell, not the Novell Client.  The Net Use Command that is part of windows shared printers takes over 20 seconds to execute when the Novell Client is used.  Please keep in mind that RDP strongly suggest that all customers convert to a Windows 2000 server, which completely eliminates this error.

TROUBLESHOOTING - USB PRINTERS

Many printers today have a USB interface (Universal Serial Bus) as well as a traditional LPT interface.  RDP suggest using the LPT interface whenever possible.  However, some printers only come with a USB interface. Also, some workstations today only have a USB port.  USB printers can be used with RDP if the following conditions are met:

1)  Use 096, option Q to delete all old Novell printers from RDP-DOS

2)  Use 096, option W to add the Novell printer using the instructions above

Note:  When using Windows Shared printers, it is important to use the Microsoft Client for Novell, not the Novell Client.  The Net Use Command that is part of windows shared printers takes over 20 seconds to execute when the Novell Client is used.  Please keep in mind that RDP strongly suggests that all customers convert to a Windows 2000 server, which completely eliminates this error.

* USB printers must be connected to a Windows 2000 or Windows XP machine.

* USB printers will not work when connected to Win95/98/ME

* USB printers will not work with Novell Client software Installed

* USB printer must be set up as a windows shared printer (i.e. RDP printer # 5-99.  See "Testing Shared printers from the command prompt" above for details.

The steps to installing a USB Printer are as follows:

1)  Connect the USB printer to a Windows 2000 or XP workstation

2)  Install the Windows driver software with the CD provided with the printer.

3)  Test the printer from Windows and make sure it prints.

4)  In Windows, share the printer (see the section above "Testing Shared printers from the command prompt" for details)

5)  On menu 98, use option 096 to configure the printer as a Windows Shared printer (RDP Printer # 5-99).  Do NOT configure the printer in RDP as a "local" printer.

6)  Test printing with RDP, using F2-Print Screen.  Make sure to choose the correct RDP Printer #, which has to be #5 to 99.  You cannot use 1-4 with shared printers.

7)  All workstations, including the workstation where the USB printer is physically connected should be able to print to the USB printer using RDP printer #5-99.

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