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Printing via parallel port LPT interface on virtual Windows XP under Hyper-V

The main benefit of Windows XP mode on Windows 7 (virtual Windows XP instance under Hyper-V) would be to run legacy DOS applications or other older software that may not be compatible with newer versions of Windows. Also, some of those beasts would not know any better than to print directly to a hardware parallel printer port or LPT. For example, one of that legacy software is FoxPro. The LPT requirement presents a clear challenge since Microsoft did not provide an interface or driver for virtual Windows XP instance to access the host’s printer ports. Fortunately, following solution was found:

  1. Create a network share for your printer on the Windows 7 host OS. That is done via Control Panel and Devices and printers section.
  2. Make sure that you can connect to the shared printer from the virtual XP. You might need to add local user id on your Windows 7 to grant that access. Default XP user name is XPMUser with the password that you created during the setup of your XP instance.
  3. Finally, in the elevated command prompt (cmd.exe ran as Administrator) in the virtual XP type in the command line:
    net use LPT1 \\ComputerName\PrinterShareName /PERSISTENT:YES

    Where ComputerName is the name of your host Windows 7 PC and PrinterShareName is share name for the printer.

  4. Voila. Have a happy printing.


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