Printing in Windows Virtual PC - Windows XP Mode


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I need some help getting a printer on a parallel port to print under Windows XP mode.

My computer has 3 PCI Express Parallel cards installed which I use to send print jobs to laser engravers and a vinyl cutter. The lasers work fine in 7, but the driver for the vinyl cutter does not. I installed the Virtual PC / XP mode in hopes that it would work, as the driver definitely works in XP.

In XP mode, only one of the 3 parallel ports is recognized by Device Manager. All three show up and function in 7. I'm debating just dual booting with XP and 7.
 
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catilley1092

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MMMXIII, welcome to the forum!

I use Virtual PC daily myself. While what I do is not as critical as what you're doing, there's one thing that we both have in common with XP Mode. Not all ports will be recognized by XP Mode, especially if they're being accessed at the same time.

For example, if I were to try to connect both printers at once (one for printing, one to scan documents), it won't go. I don't know why it's like this. It also won't connect 2 USB flash drives at once. There are limitations in the program, some of which I believe are by design. MS prefers that we wean off of XP & move on to a full time Windows 7 install, this is why it doesn't always function as desired.

While XP Mode is a useful feature for many, it's not quite the same as a regular install. Obviously, graphics could be far better, too.

It sounds as though you're a business customer. With that in mind, do what you have to do to get your work done. Your business requires the use of a computer, use what's needed to get by. It's your money on the line here.

One last thought, have you tried to run the vinyl cutter driver in Compatibility Mode? I suspect that you've tried, but thought I'd suggest it anyway.

Best of Luck,
Cat
 
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Thanks for the input. I ended up just installing XP on a partition and dual-booting.

It's interesting that you think some of the functionality may be limited to wean people off of XP. I'd be more than happy to use Windows 7 full-time if all of my stuff worked on it. As you guessed, compatibility mode did nothing for the old driver. I don't expect Microsoft to support every device that's ever been Windows-compatible, so I'm just glad I've got a stable solution. It would be nice to do it without dual-booting, but it's not a huge deal.
 

catilley1092

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Although XP Mode is great for many uses, especially running software/hardware that runs fine in previous versions of Windows that won't run on Win 7, it does have limitations.

The graphics leaves a lot to be desired, meaning that it's not that good for video watching/playback, or gaming. And as already been noted, it'll only run so many programs at once.

XP Mode was meant to be for transitional use, so that users (mainly businesses) can upgrade to a Windows 7 computer, and still run their older programs/hardware. This can save the customer a lot of money, by not having to buy both a computer & printer at the same time. It allows the customer to "buy time" to upgrade these items at their pace/budget.

For a home user like myself, XP Mode allows me to keep my Windows 7 install "clean", as well as safe. If XP Mode gets infected, the rest of the computer doesn't. In the worst case, if it can't be cleaned, a few clicks, and the whole install is gone. Another can be easily installed.

Plus, my registry doesn't get clogged up by installing & uninstalling software on my Win 7 install. It's also useful for trying out new programs as well.

Cat
 
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