When I say draft I mean draft!
May 19, 2009 9:51 AM   Subscribe

How can I get my HP printer to work correctly with my MacBook Pro?

I have a new, HP Photosmart C4580 all-in-one printer connected to a wireless network. In the room I have an Intel iMac and a MacBook Pro, both running 10.5.6. I added the new printer to both computers, choosing the same driver from the list (C4400 series, as there was no C4500 series choice).

Here is my problem: I can change the settings on the iMac with no difficulty, and when I set it to draft, the printer actually prints in draft mode. However, nothing I do on my laptop seems to get the printer to print on draft. Even when I change the settings on the printer menu to draft, the printer is not printing draft (and is therefore wasting precious ink) when printing from the MacBook Pro. I also cannot get the printer menu to save any of my settings on the laptop - for example, it always defaults to HP Premium Photo paper instead of plain paper.

I have completely uninstalled all HP software from the MacBook Pro and installed the Apple HP drivers direct from the Apple website.

This is driving me absolutely insane. Help!!!
posted by DiscourseMarker to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you plug the printer directly into your Mac using the USB cable, does the same problem with printing occur? Do the settings "stick" as you want them to?

You also don't say how you've connected the printer to your wireless network. Do you have it plugged into a USB port on an Airport Base Station? Or does this printer have an ethernet port and you're connecting to the network via an ethernet patch cable.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 9:59 AM on May 19, 2009

Did you try downloading the drivers from HP?
posted by mkultra at 10:00 AM on May 19, 2009

Also, you're saying that on one Mac it's printing fine, but on the other it's not. This is indicative of a problem on the Mac laptop, not necessarily the printer itself. Make sure that you've got the most recent printer drivers from HP's site, not Apple's and install them.

You might also try resetting the printing system. I've used Print Therapy in the past to help me with some particularly stubborn printing problems.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 10:03 AM on May 19, 2009

Response by poster: mkultra, I started off by installing the HP software that came with the printer onto the MacBook Pro, but I had the same issue, and a similar HP question on the Apple Discussion boards directed me to uninstall the HP software and install the drivers directly from Apple. Are there HP drivers that are separate from the software suite they send with the printers?

mrbarrett.com, the printer is wireless enabled, so right now it and my MacBook Pro are connecting wirelessly to my router, and the iMac is actually connected via ethernet to the router. I have not tried to connect the printer via USB to my laptop, but will do so and report back.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 10:07 AM on May 19, 2009

Response by poster: Printing via USB does not fix the problem.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 10:16 AM on May 19, 2009

Right, so you're narrowing down the possibilities. Now try reinstalling the HP software that you get from HP's site. If that doesn't work, then do a printing system reset. If that doesn't work, use Print Therapy to do a deep-level printing system reset.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 10:22 AM on May 19, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, so I reinstalled the printer software from HP. Here's where it gets interesting: when printing from Firefox, or from Word, the settings will not stick, i.e. selecting "draft" does not make the printer print in draft mode. However, when I tried printing from Mail, the printer actually *did* use the saved settings and printed in draft.

BTW, printing from Firefox from the iMac (same version installed on both computers) draft worked fine.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 10:32 AM on May 19, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, so nothing is working. I have repaired all permissions, completely reset the printing system with Print Therapy, and I even installed a software update to 10.5.7 on the MacBook Pro. The print settings will still not save, and it keeps resetting to HP Premium Photo Plus paper no matter what I do. AAACK!!

Does anybody have any other suggestions? What else on my laptop could be causing this issue?
posted by DiscourseMarker at 12:04 PM on May 19, 2009

I had similar issues and never got more than basic functionality out of my HP printer. For the record, HP printers and Macs do not play nicely together.
posted by LakesideOrion at 12:39 PM on May 19, 2009

Can you connect to the printer via IP address? The photo printers have an internal web page that you should be able to access. Try accessing it from both the iMac and the Pro to narrow down in the pro can access it at all. You can find it on the printer itself going through setup options...I forget the exact order off the top of my head.

The other way find out if the Pro can talk to the photosmart at all is once the printer is connected, you should be able to see ink levels on the computer side. Check on your iMac to make sure you're doing it right, then try it on the Pro.

FWIW, we have a few c5180s (similar enough to yours) and we've printed both via USB and Ethernet with no issues using HP's driver suite. The printer is not wireless though.

For the record, HP printers and Macs do not play nicely together.

Not true. I work in a school with 30+ HP printers, and they all work with the macbooks just fine. Usually it's via Ethernet, but it certainly works. They key is to make sure the printers have PostScrip support.
posted by jmd82 at 1:10 PM on May 19, 2009

Response by poster: The Pro talks to the printer - I have no problem adding it to my list and printing. The problems come when I try to change the Paper Type/Quality settings. The printer seems to ignore any changes I make here from the Pro, but not from the iMac.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 1:40 PM on May 19, 2009

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