Computer Guide

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by George Skarbek - 31 July 2007

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Logging on as Administrator

Q: I had only one user account, which was the administrator.  I decided to set up a separate user account for my daughter.  Unfortunately, in doing so I have lost my original user account, with all of its settings for email, Internet security, etc.  I suspect the user account may have been lost because I did not give it a name.  Can you help me to recover that user account?  I have tried system restore, but without success.

A: The Administrator account will still be there and so will all the data as you have not deleted that account. If there is a password for your daughter’s account then when this screen appears press Alt + Ctrl + Del and you will have the opportunity to log on as Administrator.

If Windows loads without asking for a password then click on Start, Logoff and then you can use the Alt + Ctrl + Del method for logging on as the Administrator. Note that you may have to press Alt + Ctrl + Del twice for this menu to appear.


DOS Printing problems

Q: I'm running Windows XP Home on a Pentium D micro.  I'm also running GWBasic as a DOS application. My problem is I can't get the output from GWBasic to print on my printer (Canon LBP660).  The only way I can print is to use the Print Screen button on the keyboard, and then paste into Word Pad.  But this only gives me what's on the screen.  It does not give me any of the output that has scrolled off the screen. Is there a solution to this problem? 

A: Unfortunately there is no real easy solution. Your Canon printer does not have a parallel port and DOS does not know anything about USB and therefore you cannot print. There were several programs that could capture a DOS data stream to a file but some do not work with XP.

I have tested a workaround that works with GWBasic and allows printing to a laser printer connected to a USB port. The method is to share your printer and then redirect the printer port output to that shared device.

After sharing your printer, open the DOS box and enter: net use lpt1: \\Server\Canon  where Server is the name of your computer. Then you can print from GWBasic or other DOS applications. For regular use you can create a BAT file that redirects the printer output and then calls your application. Note that this method will not work if your printer is a GDI (Graphical Device Interface) printer as this uses software to do all the print processing rather than the printer’s hardware.

A more costly solution is to purchase a USB to parallel adaptor, but occasionally users have reported problems with these. An even more costly option is to purchase a new printer. The most costly option is to purchase specialised software that will capture any print stream and convert it to suitable output for your printer.
However, if you have access to the source code then you can alter the OPEN "LPT1" FOR OUTPUT AS 1 command to print to a file and then that file can be printed from Windows.


To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here