COM2 Error Message: Won't print

By plawlis
Oct 9, 2007
  1. I have a new PC on which I've loaded an old DOS program. When the program runs, I get this error message: "16 bit MS-DOS subsystem cannot open COM2 port requested by application." I click "ignore" and the program works--right up until the time I try to print a report. I assume it has something to do w/ telling the program where to find the printer--which is attached via a USB hub.

    However, if I plug in a parallel cable between the PC and the printer (in addition to the USB), it eventually prints.

    Anyone got help for me? Anything I should add to the Basic program (which is the language it's written in)? I'd like it to be able to find the USB connection.

    Anyone got help for me?

  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    It would be most unusual for a package (even an old Dos package) to default to COM2 for printing. It would normally be directed to LPT1. Is there any form of .cfg file or an .ini file in the program directory where "com2:" appears? Change it to the Windows name given for your USB printer PORT.

    Failing that, you seem to suggest you have the programs basic source code, in which case look for COM2: in the source and change it to LPT1. This will make the parallel cable work properly. Then to redirect the parallel cable to your USB printer, you need to cause the USB printer to 'capture' LPT1. 'Capture' is the crucial word.

    I am not sure if you will readily find where this capture is in the printer properties. It may only be a property on networked printers, and is usually just a check-box against a port. You might even be able to capture COM2: in this way.

    It may help if you search microsoft for 'capturing a printer port'
  3. plawlis

    plawlis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Capture Printer Port

    Thanks, GBHall. I'll give that a try...

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