I have a $6,000 design package which only “prints” its output to a file compatible with the HP PCL3 LaserJet coding language. With my old parallel port PCL3 compatible HP635 printer I can get hard copy by using DOS prompt in Windows 98SE to execute the command “COPY <File-name> LPT1”. I have now bought a HP C6180 USB printer which also claims to use the HP PCL3 coding language, but I have not yet found a way to get it to print a PCL3 formatted file.

1. Dragging and dropping it on the printer fails with a request for an associated application.

2. How do you send a file to the appropriate USB port ?

3. Can a LPT1 port be redirected to a USB port ?

4. I know that you can get a hardware “USB to Parallel” adapter, to connect a USB computer to a parallel printer, but is the reverse available ?

5. Is there a software program that I could get to send a file to a USB port ?

6. Will a solution to this problem be easier or more difficult after I get a new computer (as soon as Service Pack 1 is released for Vista) ? My new computer will still have a parallel port.

Any other inputs would be very welcome.

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You should be able to redirect the LPT1 port to USB - I have done for customers who have old software which only uses LPT1 port.

Steps are

1) get printer working on USB port

2) then share it from printer properties

3) then at dos prompt type

net use lpt1 printershare name

net use lpt1: \\computer\printershare name

That should do it

I suggest you keep printer share name to 8 letters with no spaces.

Also if you build this as part of a batch file to print the file you need to delete the assignment before resetting it

NET USE lpt1: | \\computer\printshare name /DELETE /YES

Many thanks for the promising suggestion you made to solve my USB printing problem. You did not however explain Step 2 of your method and I could not find a reference to “sharing” on any of the Tabs of the Property page of either printer. (Properties were accessed under Win98SE by Clicking “Start”, then Clicking “Settings”, then Clicking “Printers”, then Right Clicking the appropriate printer Icon and then Clicking “Properties”). My system has no networked peripherals and I could find no documentation relevant to networks in my DOS manual. I once had a network related Icon on my desktop but my ISP got me to delete this while searching for a solution to an email logon problem. Perhaps this explains the lack of sharing options on the Properties Tabs and I need to install an extra module of Win98SE ?

Can you please tell me exactly what I need to do and point me at the source of documentation for the suggested “net use” command and this method in general.

Firstly, my apologies for the delay in replying.

Secondly if you follow this link to Microsoft it details how to share your printer.

Use a share name of 8 ltters or less and no spaces.

It is not a dos command to share a printer. It does not matter that you have no other PC's to share your printer with.

Then if you follow this link it will explain net use. (Again a Microsoft page)

Hope this makes my previous expanation clearer. Any more questions please ask.

Many thanks for your reply and offer of further help. I will go away and try again. As you can imagine, I am not a computer systems guy, but I am a professional analogue chip design engineer with a lot of experience using PCs an Sun workstations. Any help I can give you, just ask.


You can use utilities like File2PRN.exe or WFil2PRN.exe to copy files to any type of printer - including USB printers. See

Many thanks. I will check it out and see if it handles all aspects of ".DWG" files


Thanks for this thread. I had an important document that was "printed to file" as a zjs file and I couldn't print it out again. I'm using vista, and simply sharing the printer and copying the file to \\computer\<printShare name> worked fine.
I'm adding this info as others may find it useful - there does not seem to be much info around about how to do this.

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