no support in XP for LPT printer ports

November 27, 2011 at 12:30:55
Specs: Windows XP, pentium 2.2ghz
I bought a program that cost me $2,750.00 for my work then a few months later Windows XP became the new thing and I had spent a few bucks on my program, (that runs perfectly on Win98SE but needed a security dongle plugged into the printer port), to a company who is no longer in business, who took my program and wrote a patch to get it to work without the dongle on any win98SE computer. I still had the dongle and original disks but my new computer didn't come with a printer port at all, only usb ports. I can load my program onto a Win XP computer that has a printer port and plug the dongle in and everything works fine, but the patched program that worked on Win98SE, does not seem to work on a computer that does not have a built in printer port.
I need this program to work on a laptop and there are no laptops today that have printer ports so the dongle is not an option, I checked with the makers of the expensive program I need to use but they will only "sell" me a new update for $950.00 to change the printer port dongle over to a usb dongle, which I cannot see the cost and I would still have a huge security dongle sticking out catching on everything.
My program that was patched to remove the dongle, works fine a win98SE, also on Win XP computers with a printer port built in, but will not work on a Win Xp computer without a printer port. I have tried several virtual printer ports drivers, but it doesn't work, the security trips and says it cannot find the security device.
I believe the defunked company wrote a patch that loops threw the printer port putting the security number in the right place but without the physical port it cannot loop correctly threw the hardware. Now here is a good one, I can get the program to work by installing vmware and running a virtual Win98SE machine on the laptop without the printer port and the program works fine. my question is, if the VMWare company can write a printer port driver that emulates a real port is there one that will do the same for Windows XP? And where can I find it and what is it called? I can run the program in the VmMWare system but it is annoying to know the program works on XP when a printer port is there but will not work if it isn't there.
Also if anyone know of a way to remove the security Dongle from a program, I have the original program and dongle, I just don't see spending over $900 bucks to get an upgrade that only changes the printer dongle to a usb dongle. Plus on a laptop, anything that sticks out gets caught on everything, so I would love to use it without the dongle.

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November 27, 2011 at 14:17:43
no in fact it is probably much cheaper to find a used laptop with the old lpt1 printing port. I have run into this problem many times. Programs worked with 98se but nothing USB worked......just comm ports, so to get the program to work they would have to upgrade the product which is big $$$. It is unlikely you will get much help circumventing the actual program, and the cheap easy seems to be find a laptop just old enough to have the lpt1 port, or upgrade.

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November 28, 2011 at 15:02:55
I believe you didn't see the point to my original problem, the program works on 98se on a laptop with or without a lpt port in either of these configurations, if the laptop has Win98SE installed as the OS and a LPT device driver is loaded even if there is no LPT port (a forced driver install), the program also works on a WinXP laptop without a LPT port so long as I use VMware virtual machine to have Win98SE loaded as the guest OS then run my program within Win98SE. Now the program does work on XP but when it looks for the LPT port it cannot find it and gives me a security device cannot be found replace the dongle and press OK, but then, even if I have the dongle plugged into a LPT port the program closes, but again it works perfectly until the timer checks for the dongle.
My guess is MicroSoft must have changed the way the LPT port gets accessed from Win98se to something different on WinXP and my program cannot seem to find it. I have a patch that removes the dongle but it also must use the exact same way to access the LPT ports because my program does the exact same thing if I use the patch or not. The program runs fine inside a VMware machine running 98Se in a host system of WinXP so there must be some way to get what VMware does to access the LPT port in the guest OS and apply it to WinXp so the program can find the dongle or the patch that removes the dongle.
Any ideas?

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November 28, 2011 at 15:20:45
Then run a virtual machine.

There is a way to use printer from within VMware app or other virtual machines. They all support it in the documentation. Usually requires you to add in guest additions but not always.

It is also easy to get real computers still that will run windows 98. Many companies still use these everyday.. We still use thousands of 486 computers.

Many used places still offer off lease or other warrantied stuff that would have a parallel port.

I would also believe that a fully supported usb to parallel adapter would work. They also make pcmcia to parallel and other types of ways to add in parallel support.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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November 29, 2011 at 23:01:09
Well I agree with you, and I am currently using the program threw VMware running a copy of 98se, but what I do mostly requires I use WinXP and I use this program enough that waiting for the virtual machine to load and boot up then run the program, is not only annoying, but actually takes enough time that it cost me productivity, and yes I know I can hibernate 98se to shorten the startup time but 98se is not stable enough to keep the accuracy within specs within the program so I need to reboot the 98se to keep the program running accurately. As for the printing I have seen it listed in the help file and when I tried to do what the help file said to get the printer to work the problem I have is you still need to run the driver in the guest machine to print to the host machines printer and that printer company refuses to support any windows earlier than XP, so there is no driver for 98se to go to the printer on the host. Now if there was a way to send the print information in a form that VMware can then run the driver made for the host computer to do the printing but as I see it in the help file it doesn't work that way in VMware.
Regardless, I can use the program and do what I need it to do, but it would be soooooo much more convenient to be able to run the program right in XP for any reason but mostly the time it takes to load and run in VMware, not to mention that the VMware takes about five meg of space where the program alone only uses eight thousand bytes and yes space is not really as critical today but it all comes down to principals, mostly getting the program to work in XP for far less than the $900.00 the software company squeezes out of their clients that also have to switch to XP for other reasons.
To me, I would love to contact the company and tell them the lost out on their $900 bucks simply because it could have been done for so much less and to charge that much to only keep their software secure from copying without giving some other improvements is in my book, simply theft, not business. I compare this extortion to a company charging anyone a few hundred dollars to show them a commercial that sells their product, if you decide to buy it or not your still out the few hundred bucks to see the commercial. Okay, call me spiteful, but it sprouted from the arrogance of the software company actually telling their customers that the upgrade price was simply to cover their cost to keep their software protected from piracy, one reason I had my friend make a way to use it without the stupid dongle plugged into the computer.
Well thanks for your advice, but I would still like to see if I could get it to work in XP without paying the company $900 to simply keep anyone from stealing their program. Personally I believe the program could have sold for two or three hundred if they didn't put so much work into attempting to keep it from being pirated. Even the OS giant MicroSoft is now in major decline and is destined to fail, simply because of the security they placed into their OS's to keep it secure from theft when they would have the clients if they offered their OS cheap enough that everyone could afford to buy it.
So unless there is a way to print to a printer from within a VMware running a OS that the printer company does not have a driver for, then I am interested of if there is a way to get this program to work in XP. then leave your ideas but I am currently running it inside VMware and it works that way, but if VMware can get it to work in xp within their vertual machine then there must be a way to do it with something more simple because the only reason it don't work on XP is that it cannot find the security device when I run it on XP if it wasn't for that, the program would work on XP..

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