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The problem is, the DOS program tries to print to LPT1, which is your parallel port. We need to redirect this to your USB Port.
First, you have to set up printer sharing:
Go to Control Panel | Printers | Your printer and share the printer.
Assuming that you share it with the share name "MYPRINTER" and the computer is called "MYCOMPUTER", then type go to Start | Run and type in:
NET USE LPT1: \\MYCOMPUTER\MYPRINTER /PERSISTENT:YES
That should do the trick, unless there's a driver problem, which is unlikely for a dot matrix printer. If that doesn't work, let me know and I can troubleshoot further.
If you are using a NT based Windows (ex. win nt, win 2000, win xp, etc...) you could try sharing the printer than MAP it as a network printer and direct it to a virtual LPT port with a DOS command ex: net use lpt2: \\ComputerName\SharedPrinterName /yes
Than setup the DOS software to print on LPT2 it should worke, i've done this many many times
Note: if you absolutely have to use LPT1 dont forget to change the physical LPT 1 port in Windows hardware manager to something els so it do not conflict with the virtual one
The problem with dot matrix printers is that these are very old printers and you may not find a printer driver for them that run with Vista. If the incorrect printer driver is installed, the printer will print rubbish.
The only suggestion I can offer is to try various generic printer drivers until you find one that works. Connect it to the LPT1 printer port first and when you get it to work then set it up on the print server.
Also try Panasonic support and ask if they have a printer driver for this model printer that works with Vista.
Not all dot matrix printers will print in draft mode. When operating from DOS it was usually necessary to send an Esc(ape) code such as ESC @ in ASCII code. I don't think it can be done from Windows; in fact some windows programs will not even talk to a dot matrix printer. Some printers have one or two banks of DIP switches, but before changing them you need to read the manual to see what they do. There could be one which allows Draft MOde.
use the lpt (parallell port) not the USB. and be sure that your computer have the lpt port. if not, buy a pci one. recommend the use of windows xp. are you sure that your printer is FX 2175 or is FX2170?