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WPDOS on a Portable USB Drive

IntroductionHow to install | How to use | How to print or create PDF files | Home page

What this system is and what it does

This page provides a system that can run WPDOS from a portable USB drive, so you can use it on any Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10 computer that has a USB port. It is set up to work with either WPDOS 6.2 or WPDOS 5.1 (or both), but you must provide the essential files for WPDOS itself, as described below. The system allows you to print to any printer installed in Windows, and it also makes it possible to create PDF files directly from WPDOS.

Don't use this system on your own desktop or laptop computer! It's far too slow and inefficient. Instead, if you have a 32-bit version of Windows, install WPDOS directly on to your system; if you can't figure out how to print from WPDOS, install this site's method of printing to any Windows printer. If you have a 64-bit version of Windows, install this site's vDosWP systemDon't be clueless! Don't use this USB-based system on your own computer! Use it only on other computers where you cannot install WPDOS directly!

This system is based on this site's vDosWP system, with one major difference. It uses a printer driver and related software that prints to any Windows printer that may be connected to the "host" computer; it is not designed to be used with specific printers, because it is a "portable" system that should work with any Windows system.

For information on the macros and other features of the original vDosWP system that are included in this USB-specific system, read everything on this site's page about the vDosWP system.

Note: Updated 29 July 2020 to use the current version of vDos.

How to install WordPerfect on a portable USB drive

This site supplies an installation program that installs all the files required to use WPDOS on a portable USB drive except for the actual WordPerfect program files, which you must supply from your own system. Download and run the installation program, vDOSPortableWP-USB-Setup.exe. Choose the option to run vDosPortableWP 5.1 or 6.2; you will be prompted to provide the location for your WP program files (WP.EXE, WP.FIL, etc.), and the program will automatically copy the needed files to the USB drive.

As of September 2017, the installer and other software in this system are code-signed with a digital signature. This may help to reduce spurious warnings from anti-virus programs.

Warning: Don't be clever! Don't be ingenious! Don't change the names of the files or the folders in this system! Don't change the name of the printer drivers! Don't edit the printer driver files! The system will not work if you change some of its filenames and folder names, and it won't print if you change anything in its printing system! If you absolutely insist on ignoring this advice, and you change any filename or folder name or anything else, be prepared to change it back to its original state!

Second warning: Don't even think of making any changes in this system until you have followed all the instructions to the letter and the system works correctly! If you do something different from what the instructions tell you to do, the system will almost certainly not work! Don't be tempted to change the instructions, no matter how convinced you are that this or that detail does not apply to you!

Third warning: If you install this system, and then make changes in it, and it stops working as you think it should, do not complain about the problem in the WPDOS forum at WPUniverse.com until you have reversed all the changes that you made and identified exactly what caused the problem.

If you see a pop-up "nag screen" with information about vDos: If you access a network drive or if you use vDosWP on a network domain, you may see a "nag screen" prompt reminding you to register the underlying vDos program. You can ignore the nag screen when it pops up, but the only way to eliminate is to visit vdos.info and register the program, following instructions on the "Register?" page. You will receive a license.txt file from Jos Schaars; copy it into the vDosWP\Programs folder, and the prompt will no longer appear.

How to use this system to create, edit, or view files

Open your portable USB drive in Windows Explorer, and, in the root directory, double-click on either vDosPortableWP62.exe or vDosPortableWP51.exe. You probably don't need me to tell you that the first will launch WPDOS 6.2 and the second will launch WPDOS 5.1. Then use WP as you normally would, although it will launch and run more slowly than it would if installed on a hard disk.

How to print and how to create PDF files

To print from WPDOS, simply print as you normally do from WordPerfect. After a rather long pause, your document should print from the default windows printer.

Really serious warning: Do not change the default printer selection in this system! Do not look for the name of the printer attached to the computer that you're using! Don't be clueless! Leave the WPDOS printer driver exactly as it is!

Remember: Do not change the WPDOS default printer and do not change the printer port setting in WPDOS! Do not try to select your actual printer in WPDOS! Just leave the system exactly as you found it! I really mean it! Make sure you understand this! Look into your heart: if you find an uncontrollable impulse to change the name of the printer or use a different printer driver, then stop now, and do not try to use this system!

If you use this system on a computer that you are not familiar with, you may use the WHICHPTR macro to find the name of the default Windows printer.

To create a PDF file from this system, run the PDFMAKER macro in WPDOS. The PDF output is written to the same folder with the original document, with .pdf appended to the original file name. If you create a PDF from a document that you have not yet named, the PDF file will have a numerical name that looks something like 20101009141746.pdf; this name represents the time the PDF file was created, and the numbers record the year, month, day, hour, minute, and seconds. You will of course want to change this name to something more useful.

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