Why is there no LPT port listed under Virtual PC?

Why is there no LPT port listed under Virtual PC?

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Every now and then I get an e-mail from someone who is trying to connect the LPT port under Virtual PC, but is finding that there is no LPT port listed on the LPT port settings page.  Usually the reason for this is because Virtual PC only supports use of the physical LPT port when the physical LPT port is configured to use the 378h-37Fh port range.  If you can't see you LPT port listed on the LPT port settings page, most computers allow you to configure the port range in the bios, and you can correct this issue.

As a side note, the LPT port settings page is my favorite example of bad usability in Virtual PC.  You see, in the old Connectix version of Virtual PC we used to allow you to connect the virtual LPT port to any physical LPT port.  But when we came to Microsoft we had to make a number of changes to the product in order to meet Microsoft coding standards.  One of the results of these changes was that we removed the ability to map arbitrary port ranges for the LPT port.  Unfortunately we did not update the configuration UI for this setting.


Which means we now have two radio buttons and a selection drop down list where the list can only ever have one value.  The reality is that this UI can easily handled with a single check box to indicate whether you want to enable the LPT port or not (which is in fact the UI that we use under Virtual Server).  Hopefully will fix this in the future.


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  • Do we need radio buttons or even a check box in this case? Couldn't is also be fixed by just having the drop down with one of the options being "(none)"?

  • Interesting... I'd like to add a comment in this line.

    Currently, we are coding for a customer, who wants us to develop on their network. Thus we need to VPN in.

    To keep the VPN from choking our network connection, we set up local Virtual PCs, an from within the Virtual PC, VPN to their network.

    We have a network printer in the office (who doesn't now a-days). While on the Virtual PC, VPN'd in, we sometimes want to print.

    I mapped an LPT port to our network printer on the local box, and then opened that LPT port to the Virtual PC.

    It didn't work.

    I was able to get a print item from the Virtual PC, into the queue on my local machine, so it did talk through the LPT port, but there it sits... till this day.

  • It will not be long before parallel port dongles are dead.


  • I second the request for USB support. Microsoft's 'supported' configuration for eMbedded Visual C++ and Visual Studio .NET 2003 on Windows Vista is to install them in an XP VM (eVC does not work at all on Vista). Windows Mobile and Windows CE devices typically only offer desktop connectivity through USB (and debugging over serial is, um, slow). Yes, you can debug over TCP/IP, if you're prepared to put a lot of work into getting the connection going, and if your device actually supports a LAN connection.

    M Kenyon: why can't you simply use the network print queue from the guest OS?

  • Mike Dimmick, cause when the Guest OS VPN's to our client... it loses local network connection.

  • This is a very interesting article you posted.

    It just proves to me that Microsoft coding practices have actually limited the usability of this product for the end user. The Connectix product had more functionality in the LPT implementation, even though the amount of people that had more than one LTP port was probably very small it was probably more flexible with the port mappings.

    Has Microsoft coding practices also prevented Virtual PC from gaining essential USB support that every other virtualisation product has nowadays.

    Virtual PC is stagnating under microsoft control.

  • If i have 2 LPT ports on my computer in hardware, will Virtual PC/Server allow me to have 2 LPT ports on the virtual machine?

    So, what I mean is, does the software add another virtual port if it notices 2 LPT ports exist?

    Will it do this in the new Virtual server ('08)?


  • interesting note: If hardware virtualization is turned on, I can't reach the parallel port, but if hardware virtualization is turned off, it works just fine.

  • Are there plans in the near future to add USB support to VPC?

  • I installed my VM in windows 2003 server. And it seems like my VM can not recognize the physical COM port (since I connected a modem to the physical COM port) and my VM can't recognize the modem.

    I wanted to test the COM port communication in VM but Hyperterminal was not there (even though I have Hyperterminal in my host computer). Couldn't find the setup to install Hyperterminal.

    Any suggestions on how I could get my COM port in VM tested and to know if it is actually the same as my physical COM port?

  • Of course, if Virtual PC were truly innovative, it would allow for a virtual printer that generated PDFs or another output format for use with pretty much any ultimate destination.  Heck, this is what some builds of DosBox do and DosBox is about games, not printing!

  • where can I get a version that will work with W7 64bit

  • Hi,

    does this work with Virtual PC on x64 Windows 7? I configured my parallel port to the correct address, but it does not appear in the settings.


  • I'm having similar issue.  LPT1 is at 378h.  I've tried configuring it (in BIOS) as PS/2 Mode, AT Mode, and ECP mode.... none of them seem to put LPT1 on the settings list like above - although I notice the heading in above says "Settings for DOS" whereas mine says "Windows XP Mode - Windows Virtual PC Settings".  Mine goes straight from COM2 to Networking, no LPT1 in between.  Any hints?

  • "... Hopefully will fix this in the future."

    Unfortunately you did not :/. I have the same problem as x66 and Craig.

    Many of us need virtual mode to connect devices that are no longer supported by 64bit systems.

    Why the hell it doesn't work as in previous versions of VirtualPC which are no longer available.

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