In the name of all that is holy, please let there be print-outs!
December 11, 2008 5:37 PM   Subscribe

I installed a new hard drive in my G5, reinstalled all my software, and now I can't print to my HP color laserjet 3550. I've called HP, I've done everything I know how to do. HELLLLPPPPP!!!!! I'm using OS X 10.4.11.

According to HP, they eliminated the need to download a printer driver and made it "automatic" in Tiger... but it's not connecting/printing no matter what I do. This printer worked fine with this computer for 3 years, and I don't remember how I got it working back then but I *know* it wasn't this difficult.

I'm getting really desperate... I need printouts asap!!! Helllp! I'm getting really whiny as my frustration mounts.
posted by miss lynnster to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Response by poster: One thing that might be notable... I don't currently see AppleTalk as an option in my network. Don't remember if that's normal in Tiger.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:39 PM on December 11, 2008

So your system is *completely* a new operating system, or did you carry things over from a previous installation (via Migration Assistant, or however). If it's not a brand-new OS install, then you might need to reset the Printing System (available in the menu in Printer Setup Utility). Afterwards, try re-adding the printer in the Printer Setup Utility.

Does your system see the printer attached? Assuming it's connected via USB, can you see it plugged into the system in the USB section of System Profiler?
posted by at 6:02 PM on December 11, 2008

Response by poster: I had to do a fresh install from a startup disk for the system, and then I copied programs and fonts & stuff over in target mode or do fresh installs from original disks.

When I go into the printer setup utility, it sees the printer is connected via USB. It says it's connected to print using "hp color LaserJet 1.4." Which seems like an old number, but it's the only option that comes up automatically.

When I then go to a document and page setup and select everything to print and hit OK, the printer queue comes up. The first times I tried, it went through everything and showed the job there in the queue for a moment and then disappeared saying there were no print jobs left, but no light ever blinked on the printer and nothing ever came out. The last time I tried, the job shows up in the queue but instead of thinking and disappearing the print queue suddenly says "jobs stopped" so the doc just sits there in the queue. When I hit "start jobs" it thinks for a moment and then stops them again.

Clearly it's not communicating -- the printer isn't listening. It's crazy making!!!!
posted by miss lynnster at 6:23 PM on December 11, 2008

Ok, v 1.4 is the most recent driver for that printer, and yes it's installed as part of the 10.4 operating system, so you should not have to download or install any extra printer software from HP.

Have you tried resetting the printing system and then re-adding the printer like we've suggested? Does the problem persist even after doing this?

Have you tried power-cycling the printer? (turning off, then back on again).
posted by at 6:33 PM on December 11, 2008

Response by poster: Tried readding. Restarted numerous times.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:39 PM on December 11, 2008

A few months ago I was troubleshooting an issue remotely with a client who was having precisely the same behavior but with a different model printer. Despite many hours of my efforts in deleting printers, reinstalling drivers, etc., the final recourse (and solution) was to reinstall the Operating System. I never determined precisely what was causing his problem and began to suspect simply a corrupted printing system of some sort.

I know you just reinstalled your OS. I'm not recommending--yet--that you do this, but know that it may be necessary (and could be just as fruitless).

I want you to create another user on your system and log in as that user. Does the print queue continue to pause even while logged in as this secondary user. The reason I was asking about migration data and user prefs is that it could very well be a user preferences issue (though printing tends to be a System level thing, not a User level thing). Regardless, it's a quick test and may give us more of a clue as to what's going on. You can always delete the user when done with it.

Another possibility is to download Printer Setup Repair, an excellent utility for helping us manage the CUPS printing system in Mac OS X. It has many many options, some of I think of as nuclear, so start with the basics and read what the options do before just willy-nilly pressing buttons. Start at the simplest tools in Printer Setup Repair and work your way upwards to more complex---you'll see what I mean.
posted by at 7:23 PM on December 11, 2008

Response by poster: Okay, so now the printer is flashing red with "10.10.00 supply memory error."
posted by miss lynnster at 7:53 PM on December 11, 2008

You must add it differently than regular printers. I'm on Leopard, but the process should be pretty similar as I've done it on both Tiger and Leopard. Open Printer Utility (Print Center in Tiger?) and start adding a new printer. In the Toolbar, click More Printers. (If that item is not there, right-click to configure the toolbar and add the icon.) Then choose HP IP Printing from the drop down menu. If the printer doesn't show up in the Auto tab, click the Manual tab and enter the printer's IP.

This is the only way I've been able to successfully add HP Printers that use "universal" drivers.
posted by pmbuko at 8:08 PM on December 11, 2008

Sorry, just noticed that it's USB. Sad news is I had trouble with USB and specifically had a network port put in for the user who was having trouble with their laserjet 3600. You may be out of luck. Does your printer have ethernet?
posted by pmbuko at 8:11 PM on December 11, 2008

Try reinstalling the driver, available here. Apple does include all or most of the HP drivers but, it seems like you don't have it. Also, you might want to try swapping USB cables if you haven't, they do go south sometimes.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:04 PM on December 11, 2008

I don't know what type of HP help you used, but Chatting online with an HP Technician is a great resource whenever I have a problem. Click on "Chat with an online technician"; I have found it fast and very helpful.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 4:41 AM on December 12, 2008

Response by poster: Just as an update... I gave up. This computer (because it's from 2005) can't upload the latest OS X which would have an automatic driver, and the other drivers aren't working. So basically if I really need to print something I am just putting it on a firewire and print it off from my laptop. It's a pain, but I just got too frustrated that nothing I was doing was working. Maybe someday I'll have a tech come in and look at fixing it down the road, but I just got to a point where I felt like I spent too much time on it already.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:39 PM on December 28, 2008

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