Solution to HP printing problems on Leopard

Discussion in 'macOS' started by hodgjy, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2005
    I also posted this on the Mac Peripherals Forum. I hate cross-posting in general, but I thought it might help more people if it was also in the OS X forum. If this violates rules or good taste, please have the Mods delete one of the threads.

    I recently upgraded to Leopard. Everything was very smooth, except I could not print to my HP 1012 LaserJet that worked perfectly under Tiger. I did some research on the issue, and I found many results and I even made my own solution that I wanted to share here.

    There are many reports that are conflicting about the solution to get old HP printers to work in Leopard. Some have said the Gutenprint drivers work perfectly, while others have said they don't (either "bad printer personalities" or "missing usb class drivers"). The same conflicts have been posted about some free Linux drivers.

    Well, after tinkering around for a while, I found out why there were conflicts and how to fix them.

    Apparently, when you install HP printer drivers from the Leopard DVD, it also installs an HP printer kernel extension. The kernel extension is in system/library/extensions/hp_io_printerclass_enabler.kext. If this extension is on the computer, you need a folder called "HP" within your libraries/printers folder that has the appropriate usb driver.

    They both need to be present or absent for either the Linux and Gutenprint drivers to work.

    Here's how it affects the Linux drivers and Gutenprint drivers.

    1) If you remove all of your HP folder, but keep the kernel extension, neither driver seems to work.
    2) If you keep both the HP folder and kernel extension, both the Gutenprint and Linux printer drivers work.
    3) If you remove both the kernel extension and the HP folder, both the Gutenprint and Linux printers drivers work.

    If the kernel extension is installed, it looks for the HP usb driver in the HP folder. This apparently has priority over anything the Linux or Gutenprint drivers install. In other words, OS X will use the HP driver to run the usb connection. If you leave the kernel extension, but delete the HP folder, the kernel extension looks for the HP folder but can't find it, resulting in the missing usb driver error message. If you remove all traces of the HP kernel extension and HP usb driver, the Gutenprint and Linux drivers will work as they were intended.

    I hope this helps some people. Apparently, the HP printing in Leopard is a large problem.
  2. Sofad macrumors member


    Jan 24, 2006
    Problem still exits, printer not found

    Hi hodgjy,

    i followed your advise, but the problem still exists.

    I have a hp 920C printer which worked fine with 10.5.1,
    after upgrading to 10.5.2 i can't print anymore.

    The printer is connected via USB to my macbook (1st gen),
    in the system preferences (printer&fax) the printer is shown (HP 920C, inactive).
    If i open the options panel (in printer&fax), the printer is not shown, everything is greyed out.

    I tried the + button to add the printer again, no printer is found.

    I deleted the printer, tried to add it again via the + button, no printer is found.

    I installed Gutenprint 5.1.6 and tried to add the printer, same problem.

    I booted from the Install DVD and repaired permissions, there were
    error messages but it seems to be fixed now, but still no printer is found

    I reinstalled all hp drivers from the Leo Install DVD (optional installs)...

    After that i found your post and removed the kext and the hp folder, rebooted, and installed the gutenprint drivers... no printer found...

    I read on the apple support forums that many people have similar problems...
  3. Sofad macrumors member


    Jan 24, 2006
  4. lovemac125 macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2007
    old new driver conflict

    I have seen various printing issues with both tiger and leopard and tiger. The fix is to uninstall every HP file including all prefs and extensions and re-installing the latest drivers. That seems to fix almost every problem I have run across.
  5. Sofad macrumors member


    Jan 24, 2006
    hp driver removed - no success

    hi lovemac125,

    i removed the hp drivers (folder in library and the kext in system), and then reinstalled the hp drivers from the Leopard DVD...

    Didn't work.

    It seems the macbook doesn't "see" the printer. If i try to add the printer in the "printer and fax" control panel, no printer is shown.
  6. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    I had to delete some directory (It's on the HP Support forum) and then run the uninstall in the HP Printer directory under Applications. I pretty sure the directory contained the kext file that the above poster reported.

    Once I did that and did a fresh reinstall of the latest drivers, everything worked.

    Sorry, this was about a month ago, I don't remember all the steps.

    HP Should have really posted all the steps in a single document.
  7. FireArse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2004
    Leopard Upgrades & HP drivers

    OK - from what I remember, this is an issue with upgrading to Leopard. Basically, the upgrade screws around with some of the Kexts or drivers.

    I found a fix that required re-installing the drivers from the Leopard disc. You needed to use an open sourced program to install seperate packages off a Leoppard disc.

    Essentially - if its an option - erase & install. In my opinion - only upgrade if absolutely necessary. Otherwise, do a backup of your data and erase & install. Half of Leopard issues are related to upgrades from Tiger.

  8. Sofad macrumors member


    Jan 24, 2006

    Hi FireArse,

    could pacifist do the job?

    isn't the optional install of the drivers from the leopard disc overwriting damaged files as well?
  9. tomthumb macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2008
    help, have printing done on back side paper on HP , weird

    My mother has an HP 2550 printer connected to a mac.
    she started to have pages printing the back of the page with all black, but the front printed normally.
    I did some investigation, and found that she started using some old paper that had a black tab on the side of the paper. Whenever she printed something on this page the back was all greyed

    I then went to see if it was peculiar with mac or with HP, and took the pages to a windows machine and a samsung laser, and same thing!!

    I searched the internet but didnt find any cause. To me it looks like it is some kind of security control, but this does not seem to be documented anywhere.

    has anyone else heard of this, or know where i can find info on this??


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