Knowledge Base

Why do I get the error message "The printer name is invalid" when trying to add a printer? - KB Article - 131764

Change the parallel port setting from LPT1 to LPT2.

To get the printer to function properly, change the parallel port setting to LPT2 from the default setting, LPT1. Otherwise, the operating system will have to be reinstalled because LPT1 cannot be recovered due to a corrupt entry in the registry.

To change the parallel port setting from LPT1 to LPT2, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click My Computer.

    NOTE: In Windows 2000 and Windows XP Classic Start Menu view, My Computer is located on the desktop. Otherwise, My Computer appears in the start menu of Windows XP by default.
  2. Click Properties.
    The System Properties window appears.
  3. Click the Hardware tab.
  4. Click the Device Manager button.
    The Device Manager window appears.
  5. Click the (+) sign next to Ports.
  6. Double-click ECP Printer Port (LPT1).
  7. Click the Port Settings tab.
  8. Click the drop-down menu next to LPT Port Number: and change the port from LPT1 to LPT2.
  9. Click OK.
The printer can be installed either manually or by using the Printer Installation Wizard.

NOTE: The above procedure will enable the printer to be installed on LPT2 and should not cause any conflicts or problems. If the port must be set to LPT1, however, the only solution will be to reinstall the operating system.

The parallel port printers seem to be affected while the Printer Installation Wizard is being used to reinstall the printer driver.

In the Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, or Microsoft Windows XP operating systems, the following error message may appear either during printer driver reinstallation or if the printer stops responding:

An error has occurred during the installation of the device. The printer name is invalid.

Parallel port printers seem to be affected. While Printer Installation Wizard is being used to reinstall the printer driver, the printer name may change to include invalid characters, such as /, !, \, ,. The option to select LPT1 may also be missing from the list of available ports.

Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN67547

Last Date Modified: 08/01/2010 12:00 AM

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