Aye Aye IP Printing! Help
February 7, 2007 4:57 AM   Subscribe

So, following the advice on a few previous MeFi threads, I bought an old HP Laserjet 5M printer for $80 on eBay that promises to do everything I ever dreamt of (pretty printing, cheap, duplex--there seem to be lots of these around, coming off corporate leases). IF I can figure out how to get the connection to a router and to my Mac G5 to work, that is.

I'm looking for any of the following:

1. Ideally, someone who'll say, d'oh, here's where you went wrong.
2. Alternately, any advice for where to get help to figure this out (I've spent way too many hours Googling without success).

HP Laserjet 5M ---> Netgear WGR614v6 router ---> iMac G5, OS 10.4.8

The appropriate lights on the printer's ethernet port and the router are on, suggesting there is an actual connection. BUT I can't telnet the printer or ping it. The router does not "see" the printer under Attached Devices. I've tried adding a printer under OS X and entering the printer's IP address, but when I try to print I get an error message that says "Unable to connect to printer; trying again in 30 seconds."

Router details:
UPnP is on
Router is being used as DHCP server (Starting IP Address; Ending; the IP address on the printer is (manually set to); the server has reserved the address for the printer's MAC address.

Thanks for ANY clues!
posted by agent99 to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I had a heck of a time getting one of these router/print servers to work a few months ago when a friend got a laserjet, though I think his was a dlink router.

The key to it all is finding the right printer string. Skip the OSX gui front end, and just go straight to http://localhost:631/ to hit the CUPS subsystem directly. You might need your 'short username' (check system preferences -> user accounts) if you have a long username, and an account with admin privs.

Now, add printer. Fill in the name -- next you want LPD/LPR. Now, lpd:// ... and the XXX is the tricky bit to find out. You can try LP, LPD, LPT1, etc ... one of them'll work and then everything falls into place - or, at least it did when I had what sounds like the same problem.

(that CUPS interface also has a handy 'print test page' button to save a few more mouse clicks, too)

Best of luck.
posted by devbrain at 5:22 AM on February 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Replying to self -- google pulled up some information on other netgear ethernet print servers that use queue names L1 and L2 (for first and second port), so try using those, too.
posted by devbrain at 5:24 AM on February 7, 2007

The Netgear WGR614 is a wireless router with an integrated four port ethernet switch, right? Is the connection between the router and the iMac wireless or wired?
posted by RichardP at 5:28 AM on February 7, 2007

Response by poster: Connection between router and iMac is wired.
posted by agent99 at 5:29 AM on February 7, 2007

devbrain, I don't think agent99 is using a router with an integrated print server. He says the printer's ethernet port is on, so I think he has an HP Jetdirect card installed in his printer (I think its standard on the 5M).
posted by RichardP at 5:34 AM on February 7, 2007

Response by poster: RichardP/devbrain, yes, there is an HP Jetdirect card in the printer (sorry for not specifying).
posted by agent99 at 5:37 AM on February 7, 2007

agent99, if both the printer and the iMac are plugged into the 4-port ethernet switch portion of your router, you shouldn't even need to fiddle with setting IP addresses or adjusting the router settings. As I recall the 5M supports EtherTalk printing (AppleTalk printing over Ethernet). As a quick test, try the following: open the Network system preference panel, switch to configuring the built-in Ethernet port, and enable AppleTalk by clicking the "Make AppleTalk Active" checkbox in the AppleTalk settings. All network connected AppleTalk printers should now appear in the printer browser.
posted by RichardP at 5:42 AM on February 7, 2007

Old HP printers could be a bit wonky with Macs. Sometimes they'd print great. Other times, they'd print, but not with all the features. Sometimes, they'd print but only after you installed specific HP printer software (beyond mere drivers) Not sure if this holds true for the 5M.

I really hate suggesting this, but have you tried installing the HP-specific software for this printer?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:47 AM on February 7, 2007

Best answer: If you can't ping the printer, the problem is a network one, doesn't have anything to do with print drivers or anything like that, so the above answers are all wrong.

From your details given:

"Router is being used as DHCP server (Starting IP Address; Ending; the IP address on the printer is (manually set to); the server has reserved the address for the printer's MAC address." *through* (including) are reserved for DHCP-assigned addresses. Thus your printer which is manually set to is not being recognized by the router (Router say: "Why would there be a on this network? I haven't assigned anyone that address."). There are two different ways to do what you need to do here: you can either manually set the printer to something out of the router's DHCP-assignment range (and that's it, don't do anything else on the router), OR you can set the printer to use DHCP, and tell the router to always assign the same IP to the printer's MAC address, using an IP within the router's DHCP assignment range. Either of these will have the effect of giving the router a static IP. You're trying to do both of them at once...

Personally, I always use for my printer. It's easy to remember.
posted by jellicle at 5:51 AM on February 7, 2007

Oh by the way, the reason I'm suggesting you try AppleTalk printing is its an easy way to rule out a hardware problem (i.e. if AppleTalk printing works, but IP printing does not, then the problem is likely to be a IP address/mask/gateway configuration issue, not a hardware issue).
posted by RichardP at 5:53 AM on February 7, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice, everyone. No success yet but here's what I tried:

devbrain: thanks for that tip, I never would have figured out that way to configure the printer. I tried all different combinations but the closest I can get is a message saying "Control file sent successfully." No test page prints. (By the way, the self-test on the printer works fine . . .)

RichardP: AppleTalk printing doesn't work; no printers come up under the printer browser with AppleTalk turned on.

jellicle: I changed the printer's IP address to as you suggested. The router STILL doesn't recognize that there is a printer attached.

Thanks again for your help so far!
posted by agent99 at 6:03 AM on February 7, 2007

Best answer: You might need to change that IP address to something lower than Try
posted by smcniven at 6:20 AM on February 7, 2007

If neither AppleTalk nor IP printing works, I'd start investigating hardware issues (perhaps you have a bad JetDirect card or a bad ethernet cable). As a quick test, disconnect the Ethernet cable from the router to iMac and connect it directly between the iMac and the printer (we know this cable works since you can get on the internet). Switch your iMac to use static IP addressing (perhaps since it is no longer connected to the router. In one terminal window start a "sudo tcpdump" process. Try pinging the printer (now at You can also try an "arp -a" after the ping command. Do you see any traffic from the printer? You could also try IP printing or AppleTalk printing. If none of these work with an ethernet cable you know is good an you know you have valid IP settings on the JetDirect card then I'd begin to suspect the JetDirect card is bad.
posted by RichardP at 6:21 AM on February 7, 2007

Response by poster: Nothing seems to work so . . . . is there any way to connect this printer to my iMac? Maybe a USB to serial or parallel adapter? I'm assuming that would get around the potentially defective JetDirect card, yes?
posted by agent99 at 6:41 AM on February 7, 2007

I've got a similar printer (5MP) and have it connected to my network through a separate little box: one of these. You can find them cheaply on eBay.

In any case, I configured the thing by telnetting into it from my Mac. This was probably ten years ago and I haven't touched it since; it just shows up on the network like any other printer.
posted by bink at 7:00 AM on February 7, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, IT WORKS! For some reason assigning the printer the IP worked when the others didn't (thanks smcniven!)
posted by agent99 at 7:33 AM on February 7, 2007

agent99, what was the IP netmask set to on the 5M, router, and your iMac? It should be set to However, if it was erroneously set to on your 5M that might explain your symptoms and your fix.
posted by RichardP at 8:07 AM on February 7, 2007

Response by poster: I could never figure out what the subnet mask was on the 5M. The self-test page only gives its IP address and MAC address and there is no obvious way to set the subnet mask in the printer's menus. If you know how to see where it is or how to change it, please do let me know. Thanks for your help!
posted by agent99 at 8:21 AM on February 7, 2007

I think the subnet mask shows up like the IP address in the printer's control panel, except that it is "SM BYTE" instead of "IP BYTE". Here is how you set the address from the printer's buttons:
  1. Press MENU, until HP MIO 1 or 2 appears.
  2. Press ITEM. "CFG NETWORK=NO*" will appear.
  3. Press the plus key once. "CFG NETWORK=YES*" will appear.
  4. Press ENTER.
  5. Press ITEM repeatedly until CFG TCP/IP=NO* appears.
  6. Press the plus key. CFG TCP/IP=YES* will appear.
  7. Press ENTER.
  8. Press ITEM until BOOTP=YES* appears.
  9. Press the plus key. BOOTP = NO will appear. (When using BootP or DHCP, keep the setting BOOTP = YES *. The BootP or DHCP server will configure the TCP/IP parameters on the HP JetDirect. No other TCP/IP configuring is necessary.)
  10. Press ENTER.
  11. Press ITEM. IP BYTE 1 = (value) will appear.
  12. Press the plus key, until the value of the first byte of the IP address appears on the control panel display. By pressing SHIFT and the plus key, the value will decrease.
  13. Press ENTER.
  14. Press ITEM to continue. Repeat steps 11-13 to configure the remaining bytes of the IP address.
  15. Repeat steps 11-13 to configure the subnet mask bytes (SM BYTE 1=), syslog server IP address (LG BYTE 1=), default gateway (GW BYTE 1=), and timeout (TIMEOUT=).

posted by RichardP at 8:32 AM on February 7, 2007

On and when I said "if it was erroneously set to" I actually meant to say "".
posted by RichardP at 8:34 AM on February 7, 2007

All this being said, I use AsanteTalk to bridge the serial port on my HP 6MP to my G4. Works pretty well. There are a few quirks but it's a great printer and worth that little bit of effort I have to put in every so often.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 9:35 AM on February 7, 2007

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