Naming printers

Ever deployed a printer and then tried to open its properties from the print server and found the Security tab missing or some of the buttons on the property sheet not working? You may have given your new printer a name that contains a reserved name. Windows reserves the following words as special names: CON, NUL, PRN, COM1 to COM9, and LPT1 to LPT9. So if you name your new printer PRN.5 then you’re in trouble! You’ll have to change your printer’s name, and your client computers will need to uninstall and then reinstall the printer connection again on these machines. Bottom line is, never use a reserved name for naming a printer, a file, or anything else in Windows.


Mitch Tulloch is President of MTIT Enterprises, an IT content development company based in Winnipeg, Canada. Prior to starting his own company in 1998, Mitch worked as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for Productivity Point International. Mitch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking and security and has written 14 books and over a hundred articles on various topics. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch is also a professor at Jones International University (JIU) where he teaches graduate-level courses in Information Security Management (ISM) for their Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. For more information see

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