Not printing MS DOS Applications

December 25, 2011 at 23:13:31
Specs: MS DOS, i3/4 GB
MS DOS Applications like Word Star, Lotus etc. are not printing in my PC ( Intel DH 61Mother Board, Intel i3 processor) which is interfaced to EPSON Dotmatrics printer attached to LPT1.
In P4 machines with MS DOS OS all DOS Applications are printing without any problem. Even while booting MS DOS, if printsceen button is pressed, the matter displayed on the screen used to print. But in my new PC ( Intel DH 61Mother Board, Intel i3 processor) this options are not working. Any one can help me to resolve this problem please ???

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#1
December 25, 2011 at 23:15:41
How I can print MS DOS applications in PC with Intel DH61 Mother Board, i3 processor?

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#2
December 26, 2011 at 08:20:08
Stated I find quite amazing you operate an i3 processor under native DOS instead of running these legacy applications inside a virtual machine like MS Virtual PC or VirtualBox under Windows 7 or Vista, accessing the BIOS try to modify the LPT1 settings from EPP to ECP or the opposite or disable them. ECP/EPP rules the advanced LPT1 settings and sometime may affect printing of legacy applications.

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#3
December 26, 2011 at 15:27:59
Probably just ID the port as EPP in cmos/bios setup. Also you may need to change the port address there.

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Related Solutions

#4
December 27, 2011 at 05:08:48
....even after chanding the bios settings(ECP,EPP,Bi-directional,Ouput only.., it is not working.

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#5
December 27, 2011 at 06:44:25
Please, confirm the following info

1) Your PC with i3 processor is running native MS DOS;
2) Wordstar and Lotus have been correctly installed (*not copied*) onto the new system;
3) While Wordstar and Lotus do not want to print you can get a list by typing
dir C:\ > LPT1

Notice MS DOS may be disturbed by a memory size so huge as 4 GB that is wasted under that operating system. The above to be sure the problem is really restricted to applications and not due to the parallel port malfunction.


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#6
December 27, 2011 at 14:15:49
Yeah, all that ram might interfere with addressing.

What address is the port set to in cmos/bios setup? Try 378h.

Try reserving IRQ7 and then IRQ5 (if 7 doesn't work) for legacy applications in cmos/bios setup, if it gives you that option.


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#7
December 28, 2011 at 03:03:27
Yes, i3 processor is running native MS Dos only. Word Star and Lotus are installed and not copied. The command dir>prn or print screen are not working

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#8
December 28, 2011 at 03:04:36
no such option is available in bios of Intel DH61 Board

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#9
December 28, 2011 at 09:17:39
I think the command is SHIFT PRINTSCREEN. And you might try just using the PRINT command and see what happens.

Are you using a USB keyboard? If so try PS/2.

Did you remove a lot of the ram to see if that helps?

Assuming it's the newer hardware that's the problem, you can always get an older PC to run dos on.


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#10
December 28, 2011 at 09:41:38
Well, I carefully examined the Intel DH61 motherboard documentation available from Intel web site and it seems there are no flaws related to the parallel port to be fixed by BIOS updates offered. From what you reported DOS itself is plagued by the issue:

- MS DOS can't access LPT1 due to an incompatibility related to chipset or RAM
or
- the parallel port suffers some failure.

If you want to go ahead to investigate the crime scene I suggest you boot the system with e.g. FreeDOS to see if that can print something. If so the problem is inside MS DOS, otherwise you might have got a faulty motherboard (not still sure).

To get a copy of FreeDOS, the free open source clone of MS DOS but more powerful and up to date, visit www.freedos.org. If FreeDOS can print you can use that as operating environment for Wordstar and Lotus; I can assure these applications work perfectly under FreeDOS.


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#11
December 30, 2011 at 23:15:44
Sorry.... it is not working in FreeDos also.

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#12
December 31, 2011 at 02:17:20
Hmm... to be sure the problem is related to DOS environment you need to install on the PC an up to date operating system as Windows (better a NT kernel one like 2000/XP/Vista) or a Linux distro. If those environments too can't print the issue is definitively due to a faulty motherboard. The ultimate chance would be to flash the BIOS downloading the latest one from Intel DH61 website.

Sorry if I wasted your time, but this is the best I can suggest about the trounle you reported. Be aware a parallel port malfunction on that motherboard might escape usual quality controls since today LPT is widely superseded by USB connecctions.


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#13
January 2, 2012 at 01:34:22
Still my problem is not solved

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#14
January 2, 2012 at 03:40:00
Looking through the specifications of the Intel Motherboard, the Legacy Ports are controlled by a Nuvoton* W83677HG-i I/O controller chip. Therefore as MS-DOS 6 requires direct port access, unlike modern operating systems, the IRQ assignments are not compatible

In MS-DOS typing MSD will list hardware etcetera...

Following is a standard x86 IRQ Table:
IRQ 0 — system timer (cannot be changed);
IRQ 1 — keyboard controller (cannot be changed);
IRQ 2 — cascaded signals from IRQs 8–15;
— any devices configured to use IRQ 2 will actually be using IRQ 9
IRQ 3 — serial port controller for COM2 (shared with COM4, if present);
IRQ 4 — serial port controller for COM1 (shared with COM3, if present);
IRQ 5 — LPT port 2 or sound card;
IRQ 6 — floppy disk controller;
IRQ 7 — LPT port 1 or It is used for printers or for any parallel port if a printer is not present.
IRQ 8 — RTC Timer
IRQ 9 — The Interrupt is left open for the use of peripherals. open interrupt / available or SCSI host adapter;
— any devices configured to use IRQ 2 will actually be using IRQ 9
IRQ 10 — The Interrupt is left open for the use of peripherals. open interrupt / available or SCSI or NIC;
IRQ 11 — The Interrupt is left open for the use of peripherals. open interrupt / available or SCSI or NIC;
IRQ 12 — mouse on PS/2 connector;
IRQ 13 — math co-processor or integrated floating point unit or inter-processor interrupt (use depends on OS);
IRQ 14 — primary ATA channel;
IRQ 15 — secondary ATA channel;


In conclusion you need to write a Program which can redirect the expected LPT Output of Wordstar etcetera to the LPT Port attached to the I/O Controller Chip. Good luck !


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#15
January 2, 2012 at 22:06:22
Instead, on request whether Intel can do anything by updating the BIOS ?

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#16
January 2, 2012 at 22:40:22
The Command MSD did it list the LPT Port ?

http://www.csulb.edu/~murdock/msd.html


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#17
January 3, 2012 at 06:11:30
Yes, MSD is working.
While pressing Test Printer menu on Utilities, a message "ERROR WRITING BAD FILE NUMBER" is appearing. IRQ 7 is assigned to LPT1.
Number of LPT ports showing on screen is 3.
Following information are displayed In the LPT Port Menu :

When the Printer is connected and switched on:

PORT : LPT1
PORT ADDRESS : 0378H
LPT ONLINE : YES
PAPER OUT : YES
I/O ERROR : NO
TIME OUT : NO
BUSY : NO
ACK : YES

When printer is switched off or disconnected :

PORT : LPT1
PORT ADDRESS : 0378H
LPT ONLINE : YES
PAPER OUT : NO
I/O ERROR : NO
TIME OUT : NO
BUSY : YES
ACK : YES


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#18
January 3, 2012 at 09:42:50
Sorry to say I am out of ideas........................

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#19
January 3, 2012 at 23:51:02
So how important is it to run Dos? Are you going to continue wasting your time trying to use that motherboard or are you going to find an older system?

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#20
January 4, 2012 at 03:19:40
It is very very important for me to use Dos as well as other OS like XP,win7 etc. in the same systems we recently bought

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#21
January 4, 2012 at 05:52:25
http://www.nixsys.com/products/acce...

I have researched further and it would appear that Intel, since dropping W98 support from their Chipset Software have also broken Legacy Compatibility. This is a sad but not unexpected outcome, seeing the last commercial IBM PC-DOS was released 12 years ago...


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#22
January 4, 2012 at 07:25:23
You can easily run legacy DOS applications using DOS concurrently with 32/64 bit programs under Windows XP/Vista/7 in the same machine. Just under Windows install MS Virtual PC or VirtualBox (both free), create a virtual machine and install DOS inside. Now you can run DOS inside the virtual environment while executing other applications in Windows. This way it is very likely you can workaround the trouble of LPT port since the parallel port is now managed by the host operating system not directly by DOS. I have many legacy programs running this way on modern motherboards and satisfaction is absolute. It is worth to try.

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#23
January 5, 2012 at 20:27:20
Thank you.... it is really working on a stand alone machine. But we are working on NOVEL and has to login to the Novel Server to run the applications. Network Card is not initializing while Booting from DOS and hence we are unable to login to the Novel Server. Can you advise me how to resolve this issue ?

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#24
January 6, 2012 at 03:38:39
Please, may you explain your actual environment for DOS (Virtual PC, VirtualBox or whatelse)? I helped a team in US to setup a NOVEL virtual client, but I have no direct experience with Novel Netware. Anyway I can try to solve your network card issue, but this needs a bit of time/research to me.

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#25
January 6, 2012 at 03:42:14
Virtual PC 2004 ... Thank you

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#26
January 6, 2012 at 04:02:44
Please, contact me via a private message including your e-mail address since I may have to send you some executables if I find the solution.

Is DOS fully dressed with Novel netware components? If so I guess it is a virtual network card driver issue and that may be solved, almost I hope.


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#27
January 6, 2012 at 09:27:45
When the network card gets initialized as expected in the virtual machine, you have to load the Novell Client files for DOS.

There is one client, based on IPX/SPX protocol.
When using this one, you have to load:
LSL.COM
YOUR_NETCARD_DRIVER.COM (e.g. 3c905c.com)
IPXODI.COM
VLM.EXE

Then you have to switch to drive F: and type in login, to get the logon screen where you have to put in username and password.

The other DOS client for Netware is IPX/SPX and IP based:
When using that one, you have to load:
NIOS.EXE
LOAD NBIC32.NLM
LOAD LSLC32.NLM
LOAD CMSM.NLM
LOAD ETHERTSM.NLM
LOAD YOUR_NETCARD_DRIVER.LAN (e.g. 3c905c.lan)
LOAD IPX.NLM
LOAD TCPIP.NLM
LOAD TRANNTA.NLM
LOAD SRVLOC.NLM
LOAD CLIENT32.NLM

Then you have to switch to drive F: and type in login, to get the logon screen where you have to put in username and password.


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#28
January 6, 2012 at 10:17:06
YES, paulsep, but here the problem is to find a site to download the driver for the Virtual PC network adapter since VPC emulates any NIC on the host PC as DEC 21140A (or Intel 21140) network adapter. The guest OS will see the physical NIC as one of the two above mentioned, regardless the actual NIC type.

So the correct driver to load must be DC21X4.COM and to catch that on the web (for free) is not easy. Here a site that offers a download of the package for $ 2.99

http://members.driverguide.com/driv...

Unfortunately I have on hand the TCP/IP packet driver only i.e. DC.COM.


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#29
January 6, 2012 at 11:18:36
Have you tried this link:
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Det...

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#30
January 6, 2012 at 12:39:39
Perfect, paulsep!

The link you posted on #29 solves the problem about the Virtual PC adapter driver. The archive to be downloaded contains a complete guide in README.DOC too thought to install is sufficent to follow what you wrote in post #27.

I am quite sure the failure on initializing the adapter is due to the wrong driver loading.


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#31
January 6, 2012 at 16:16:53
You are welcome!

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#32
January 6, 2012 at 23:33:21
Dear Mr. IVO and Mr. Paulsep.... Thanks a lot for solving my problems... Now the system is working fine.

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#33
January 9, 2012 at 20:26:49
Mr.IVO and Mr.Paulsep .... As I informed it is working but it is very very slow even though it is connected at a speed of 100 MBPS. Can you give any advise to improve the speed please ?

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#34
January 10, 2012 at 02:51:53
What you report sounds strange since on a system running Windows XP SP3 as host and DOS as guest with 1 GB of RAM/1.67 GHz processor and multiple applications executing concurrently the DOS environment is just a bit slower than on a real PC.

Accessing VPC Console Options for the DOS machine reduce the amount of RAM to 16 MB (the max size managed by native MS DOS). The other action requires MS Virtual PC 2007 (the actual release that superseded previous 2004); VPC 2007 can enable "hardware virtualization assist" on up to date Intel processors like the one you are operating. That however can unlikely improve performance for a DOS environment that usually performs reasonably fast even under open source Bochs emulator that interprets each binay instruction instead of just virtualizing peripherals.

Are you running other applications concurrently with VPC on the host system?
Are you sure the issue is not due to a bottleneck on the Novell server? In other words is that the one workstation suffering a slow performance?

Any info about system configuration you may think could help to understand the problem is welcome.


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#35
January 10, 2012 at 07:46:31
vharidas

If the virtual machine is running in DOS, I guess, when you start the TaskManager at the host computer, not in the virtual machine, you will notice, that the cpu utilization will nearly up to 100 percent. This is, because the DOS did not handle the cpu idle time correctly.
There is a small program named "dosidle.exe", which must be loaded in the autoexec.bat of the virtual dos machine.
This should solve your speed issue.
http://maribu.home.xs4all.nl/zeurko...


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#36
January 10, 2012 at 09:21:04
Hi paulsep,

I am a lone bear but I admit sometime to have a mate is better. What you say suggests a solution: I supposed DOS environment is slow but , as you say, maybe it is the host machine that suffers the DOS load, i.e. the opposite what I think about. If so the idle tool may help thought it has no effect while a program is executing (e.g. Wordstar). By the way I have the native programs packaged by Microsoft to activate the idle cycles (idle.com) and to share folders berween virtual DOS and host OS (FShare.exe and VMADD386.sys), now hidden by MS to phase out DOS usage.


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#37
January 10, 2012 at 09:34:01
The point is, when a program is running but not constantly used, the program is in idle state. So DOS has to handle the idle state, but it doesn't work well in a virtual machine.
Therefor I use DOSIDLE.EXE, which corrects the handling of idle cpu state in virtual DOS machines.
Btw. it isn't DOS that influences the host but the virtual machine. I use VMware and in my case VMware causes 100 percent cpu utilization. When loading DOSIDLE in the virtual DOS machine, the cpu utilization immediately gets to a normal state.

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#38
January 30, 2012 at 00:09:13
Even when I load DOSIDLE, the dos applications are not working fast. Now I disabled the PIN 12 physically of Parallel Port Cable (when the MSD is run in DOS mode, it display PAPER OUT : YES even when the printer is on and loaded with paper) it is printing in MS DOS applications. But when XP is loaded it is not printing. Now can you advise how to control or disable the PIN No.12 of Parallel Port through any command or software ?

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#39
January 31, 2012 at 22:40:17
Dear Mr. IVO and Mr. Paulsep.....Even when I load DOSIDLE, the dos applications are not working fast. Now I disabled the PIN 12 physically of Parallel Port Cable (when the MSD is run in DOS mode, it display PAPER OUT : YES even when the printer is on and loaded with paper) it is printing in MS DOS applications. But when XP is loaded it is not printing. Now can you advise how to control or disable the PIN No.12 of Parallel Port through any command or software ?

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#40
February 2, 2012 at 04:12:09
@vharidas,

Please, after a so long time lag I need to recall to my mind the situation you are facing since your previous posts are confusing to me.

1- Initially running MS DOS on your PC you could not print from DOS applications at all;
2- Running DOS inside MS Virtual PC under Windows XP you can print trom DOS but DOS applications are running too slow;
3- Disabling PIN #12 on the parallel port you can print when running native DOS (at good speed) but you can't when XP is loaded (I presume inside the DOS VPC).

If you confirm the above, the issue seems related to PIN #12 ON and what you requst is how to disble it by software to run on plain native MS DOS (that assures good performance).

Now, if you solved your trouble by a hardware manipulation (that works and satisfies your needs, why are you looking for a questionable software solution (if ithere is any)?


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#41
February 2, 2012 at 22:05:16
My exact problem is as I reported earlier, I have to work on both platforms, i.e MS DOS and Windows since we have good old DOS applications which are still in use and some Windows Applications which we have already installed and being using. Since I have to have hard copies generated by both Windows and DOS applications the print option from both OS are reqired. Hence, I hope you can suggest me a software solution to disable the pin #12 from native DOS so as to enable me to take the printouts from BOTH OPERATING SYSTEMS. Please....

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#42
February 3, 2012 at 02:32:36
Well, I understand you have to print both in plain DOS and Win XP, but from your original post it seems you wanted to operate some PCs under plain DOS and others under XP. I suggested VPC to run both systems concurrently and that seems a new experience for you: do you actually operate in dual boot (XP/DOS) your machines? In such case you run a partitioned hard drive as FAT16/NTFS or FAT32. Please let me know while I am thinking about your problem (that is not easy to solve).

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#43
February 3, 2012 at 20:33:59
Indeed I am using same PC to operate DOS as well as Windows. I used to DOS boot through CD or Floppy(in old machines) and login to NOVEL Server and for operating Windows, the Floppy or CD will be removed and let the system to boot from Local Disk. My people has to work from both OS from their respective Desktop.

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#44
February 4, 2012 at 09:56:35
As I said the problem you are facing is not easy to solve mainly because the plague is still obscure. I found tools to manipulate parallel port pins status, either for DOS and XP, but they seem unable to deactivate pin #12 level (related to Port Status Register). Anyway a blind disabling of that signal may be harmful for printer operation. On this subject I am investigating further since I have a good knowledge of RS-232 serial port but just a raw know-how about the parallel one.

As a try, obvious but to perform since sometime thruth is at our eyes, did you try to replace the parallel connection cable with a new one you are sure is not defective?

Stated the above dummy advice, from your latest reply I figure out when booting in DOS you just relay on floppy or CD-ROM since MS DOS can access FAT16 hard drives only while XP uses NTFS or FAT32 file system for its disk volume. That may explain why you are experiencing a so slow performance running DOS inside a virtual machine even on a powerful motherboard and processor: accessing a real floppy /CD under a virtual machine is absolutely deadly for system performance. You must access virtual hard drives or virtual floppies only to get a decent performance.

I can guide you to this target, I did it many times in the past, but I need to send you tools and instructions to perform the procedures I shall suggest. I am sure this is the right way to follow and if it will be true your workstations may become more friendly to operate with no more booting from floppy/CD.

This doesn't mean I am leaving my investigation about parallel port, just say it is a Plan B.

So, if you agree, please contact me by a private message with your e-mail address. Confirm my guess about you relay in DOS on floppy only is right, i.e. no access to the hard drive managed by XP.

Ivo Luigi Bertani
Milano - Italy (EU)


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#45
February 5, 2012 at 20:42:45
I have many machines with the same board and in all machines are having the problem. I am not accessing the hard drive managed by XP.. I am using only floppy or CD to access DOS. Please adivse me how to post a private message to you with my e-mail id ?

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#46
February 6, 2012 at 14:46:59
You will receive a private message from me with my e-mail, this to short the delay between our countries that makes these message exchanges like Earth-Mars communications (and worse like Earth to Pluto). Anyway to contact a member you have to click his/her nickname then follow the instructions.

Be aware you need to send me the images of floppies/CD you use to operate DOS. I point you in the message to two free tools to do that. Generate .iso or .ima uncompressed images and send me as attachments. do not send me .exe suffixed, change as .ex_ if needed.

If you fear for privacy/sensitive data, trust in me like a undressed woman in front of her medical doctor: after all I need to see in depth your software.

Last but not least, are your DOS/XP computers connected in LAN togheter via TCP/IP other than to the Novell server via IPCX protocoll?


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