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Troubleshooting printer installation and communication issues in Mac OS X Tiger (v. 10.4)

RELATES TO:

  • You cannot add the Epson printer driver in the Printer Browser.
  • Printer does not print.
  • You receive "Printer Paused" error messages.
  • You receive a "Communication Error" message.
  • Printouts are faint.
  • The Epson Printer Utility cannot be accessed.
  • Print Settings / Printer Settings is not available or is crossed-out.
  • Print options, such as paper type and quality, are limited.

EXPLANATION:

If you are experiencing issues on Mac OS X Tiger (10.4), either with installing your printer or with printing in general then there may be a communication issue, or you may be using a non-Epson printer driver. This article explains how identify and resolve the problem.

SOLUTION:

Important Information: Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) Driver Support

For all Epson products released prior to Mac OS X 10.4, the original printer software CD-ROM does not contain a driver suitable for Mac OS 10.4. Many Epson products previously supported in Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.3 remain supported with a driver available on the Epson Support site. For some products, support may be available with an inbox driver.

For further information refer to the following Related Articles:

Intel-based Macs: Epson and Mac OS X 10.4 Intel - Driver Support or check the Apple website.
Power PC-based Macs: please check the Apple website.


Notes Icon Note:

For trouble-free operation, we recommend using the latest driver. Mac OS X may add a third party printer driver or an earlier Epson inbox driver instead of the latest Epson driver. If you have attempted to add the printer in the Printer Setup Utility or Print & Fax, you may have added a third party driver, which may even be for a different printer.

Where a product has both Epson inbox driver and website driver support, Epson recommends using the latest driver which is available from the Epson Support website.

Where a product has only Epson inbox driver support, ensure you have installed the EpsonPrinterDrivers.pkg file from the Mac OS 10.4 installation CD/DVD and added the correct driver.


Update your Mac system:

We also recommend ensuring that you are using the latest version of Mac OS 10.4. You can check for updates via  Apple menu > Software Update. Download and install any available system updates and restart the Mac before starting the troubleshooting.

If you use your printer via a USB or FireWire connection, first check the data cable is plugged-in at both the printer and Mac ports. Follow Steps 1 - 4 to check that the printer is fully working.

  1. Check that there is power to the printer.
    • If the printer is powered off, check that it is connected to and powered on at the power socket then press the  Power button to power the printer on.
    • Power is indicated by a green, red, or amber light on the printer's control panel. For printers with an  LCD panel, when the  LCD is on this also indicates that there is power to the printer.
    • If the printer will not power on, see the following Related Article: There appears to be no power to the Printer - all lights are off. What can I do?

  2. Check for any error lights on the printer control panel, or error messages on the printer's LCD panel.



    1. If there is power to the printer but printing does not complete, check for a red or amber error light on the printer control panel.

    2. For printers with an LCD panel, check:
      • For any error lights on the printer control panel.
      • For any error messages displayed on the LCD panel.

        Figure 1: Control panel displaying red error lights


        A red / amber, light indicates an error with the printer. The error and associated error light need to be cleared in order to print again or undertake further troubleshooting. If an error light is displayed on the printer control panel, attempt to clear it. Refer to your printer's user guide for assistance. For printers in the Stylus 'C' and 'D' range e.g. 'Stylus C86', 'Stylus D120', see the following Related Article for guidance: Error lights C and D range printers.

        If only a solid green light is illuminated on the printer control panel and no error messages are displayed on the LCD panel, the printer should be capable of normal functions.

        For printers with an LCD panel, ensure that it is not in the Setup or Maintenance mode.


        Figure 1: Product with an LCD screen, in the Setup mode.


        • If the product is in the Setup or Maintenance mode, this may not allow printing from a computer.
        • Press one of the other mode buttons such as the Photo mode, Memory Card mode, or Copy mode button to exit the menu and return to the normal display. Pressing the Setup mode button may also exit this menu and return to the previous mode.

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  3. Perform a printer operation check.



    If there is power to the printer and the printer control panel is not displaying any error lights or error messages, perform a printer operation check. You will need to load plain A4 paper into the printer's paper sheet feeder.

    Guidance is provided below, if you require further help, see the following Related Article and then return to this step: How to perform a Printer Operation Check (Self Test)

    • Printers without an LCD screen (buttons only):

      Start with the printer powered OFF. Hold down the  Maintenance or  Paper button, and press the  Power button. Release the  Power button, and continue to hold down the  Maintenance or  Paper button until the printer starts to feed paper. This will print a nozzle check.


    • All-In-Ones without an LCD screen:

      Start with the printer powered OFF. Hold down the  Ink or the Stop button, and press the  On button. Release the  On button, and continue to hold down the  Ink or the  Stop button until the printer starts to feed paper. This will print a nozzle check.


    • Printers with an LCD screen:

      Browse through the LCD menu and enter either the Setup, Utility, or Maintenance mode. The option you have here depends on your printer model. Next, select either Nozzle Check or Check Ink Nozzles. Press either the Start or colour Copy button to print a nozzle check.


      Notes Icon Note:

      As this process varies across printer models, please consult your printer user guide for instructions or search the Epson Knowledge Base if you require more detailed instructions.


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  4. Printer Operation Check Results:
    • If the printer does not pass the printer operation check:
      We recommend performing it again. Should the operation check fail again, this may indicate a fault with the printer and it may require a service. No further troubleshooting with the Mac would be necessary at this point. Contact Epson for support.
    • If the printer passes the printer operation check:
      This confirms that the printer is fully working and the issue is related either to a breakdown in communication between the printer and the Mac, configuration of the Mac OS, or the driver installation on the Mac computer. Reconnect the printer to the computer and follow the next series of steps to troubleshoot the issue.

  5. Check the status of the print queue, as jobs or the printer may be paused.



    1. Click on the printer's icon in the Dock.


    2. If the printer's icon is not listed in the Dock, go to System Preferences > Print & Fax and double-click on the Epson printer in the list.
      • The Status column shows whether the document is Printing or on Hold.
      • "Jobs Stopped" appears next to the printer's icon if printing jobs is stopped.
      • If the dialogue states Printer Ready with no jobs waiting to print, move to the next step.

    3. Follow the appropriate instruction below to start jobs, delete jobs, or resume printing.
      • To resume a print job that is 'On Hold', click on it in the list then click Resume at the top of the window.

      • If jobs have stopped, click Start Jobs to resume printing. If printing does not complete, delete the job.


      • To delete a print job, click on it in the list to select it and click Delete:


      • You cannot stop or delete print jobs on another user's shared printer.

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  6. If the status of the printer is now Printer Ready, try printing from Text Edit (found in Applications).



    1. Click on File > Print.

    2. Select the printer name from the Printer: pull-down menu.

    3. To show Epson specific-settings, select Print Settings from the Copies & Pages pull-down menu.


      Notes Icon Note:

      If Print Settings is not listed (or Printer Settings for some Laser printers), the Epson driver has not been added and a third party driver is in use.

      Important: Printer Features is a setting in Gutenprint (third party) drivers.

      Try adding the printer driver again if it appears that a third party driver is in use, and send a print from Text Edit to test the driver and the communication between the Mac and printer.


    4. Make settings as appropriate, check that the paper size selected matches the paper loaded in the printer. Click Print to send the document to the printer.

      Note:

      If the Print dialogue appears, but the Print button does not respond when you click it, see the following Apple support article "Mac OS X 10.4: Print button not responding".

    • If a job that was 'On Hold' does not resume, or the print from Text Edit does not complete, check the connections and Resume the print job.

    • If you receive a "Communication Error", check the connections and click Retry. If Retry is not an option, click Delete Job.


    • If the print is then successful:
      The problem may be resolved and no further troubleshooting required.

    • If the print fails:
      Click Cancel on the dialogue box matching the example above. Open the print queue, Delete the print jobs and make sure that the printer is not set to Paused and that jobs for the printer are not on Hold.

    • Check Status Monitor to check if it detects a problem with the printer such as an empty ink cartridge. If an error is detected, take the recommended steps to resolve the issue. You can access Status Monitor from the Utility icon at the top of the Epson printer's print queue window, or via the Epson Printer Utility (found in Applications, or /Applications/Utilities).
    • Move to Step 7 if you need to continue printer troubleshooting.

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  7. If you are still experiencing printing issues, attempt to isolate the issue. Follow the appropriate section for your printer:

    Isolating the issue - USB/FireWire printers:




    1. Check the data cable (USB, or FireWire) connection at both ends. Connect the printer's data cable directly to a port on the Mac.
      • Do not connect the printer via a third party device such as an external USB hub, a USB extension cable, or a USB port in a keyboard.
      • Use a data cable that is no longer than 1.8m. Anything longer than this can reduce reliability.
      • If there is a response from the printer when you attempt a print, such as some printing occurs or the ink levels can be viewed, move to Step 12.
      • If there is no response from the printer when you send a print job, follow the next step (Step 7b) and onwards.

    2. Open the System Profiler from /Applications/Utilities.


    3. In the Apple System Profiler, click on Hardware under the Contents menu. Click on either USB or FireWire depending on the way that your printer is connected to the Mac.

      USB - The USB Device Tree appears on the right, listing the devices including printers detected on the USB Bus:


      FireWire:
      Any detected FireWire devices, including printers, will be listed in the information window on the right under FireWire Bus.


      • If the Epson printer appears: The printer is detected by the Mac. Move to Step 8 for further troubleshooting.
      • If the Epson printer does not appear: There is a communication issue. Re-check the data cable connections, as described in Step 7a.
        • As the System Profiler does not update itself quickly, if you reconnect the data cable you should allow it a few minutes to update. Click on the View menu, then click Refresh:


          If this fails, disconnect all other USB or FireWire devices except the keyboard and mouse. Restart the Mac with the Epson printer directly connected to a port on the Mac.

        • Epson also recommends changing the data cable for a different, known-working cable. If the Epson printer is not detected in the System Profiler, test the printer on a different computer (Mac or Windows) where possible.
        • If you are using a printer which has both a USB and FireWire port, you could try using the other interface connection. Click Refresh and allow the Profiler a few minutes to update.

          Alternatively if another printer is available, try printing to it. Verify that the connections are working, the printer is ready, and that any required software for the additional printer is installed.


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    Isolating the issue - Network printers:




    Recommendations from Apple's support article:

    • Verify that other network services, such as file sharing and Web browsing, are available and work.

    • If you are sharing a printer over the network, ensure that Printer Sharing is enabled in the Sharing pane of System Preferences. Ensure that Printer Sharing is also allowed on any Firewalls in use.

    • If the printer is an AppleTalk printer, verify that AppleTalk is active in the Network pane of System Preferences. Access this setting in the Network preferences by selecting the network type under the 'Show' pull-down menu (e.g. Airport, or Built-in Ethernet). Click on the AppleTalk tab:


    • You may also need to check the default Location - ensure that when you exit the Network pane (after Applying any changes), the network you use is the last screen tab open. You can check and change it if necessary from Apple icon Apple menu > Location. Automatic discovery may be recommended unless you want to connect to different networks.

    • If another printer is available, try printing to it. Verify that the connections work, that network preferences are correct, and that the any required software for the additional printer is installed.

    • If there is another node on the network that can successfully print to this printer, move the computer to this node. It may be necessary to change network settings at this point.

      Notes Icon Note:

      Epson do not support the use of third party print servers, nor devices such as Apple's AirPort base stations. Please follow the documentation provided by the manufacturer of the print server or AirPort base station to troubleshoot the issue.

      Click here to open Apple article 'Connecting a USB printer to an AirPort base station'.


    Epson Printer Utilities

    If the printer prints but you cannot view Epson Printer Utility are only supported when an Epson printer is connected via one of the following methods:

    • A standard and direct USB cable connection.
    • A standard FireWire connection.
    • Using a supported Epson wired/wireless print server.
    • Using an integrated Epson network card (supported products only).
    • Using the integrated Wi-Fi/Ethernet connectivity (supported products only).

    Apple's AirPort base station models do not support printer utilities. In our experience, it is often the case that third party print servers do not have the capability to support printer utilities.


    Shared Printers

    • Epson do not currently support cross-platform printer sharing e.g. Windows - Mac. This is because Windows Sharing does not use the Epson Mac OS X driver, but instead uses third party Gutenprint drivers. Therefore the remainder of the troubleshooting steps in this article cannot be applied to try to resolve an issue with a cross-platform shared printer. Click here to open the Apple support article for using a Windows printer in OS X.

    • Sharing printers between different Mac OS X systems can normally work, however some products may be supported by an Epson inbox driver on one system, and use a non-universal binary Epson driver on another; therefore it may not be possible to share that driver with OS X v.10.4.

      Make sure that the printer is set to share in Print & Fax. Consult any Apple Mac OS X documentation regarding printer sharing for the version of Mac OS X on the host and the client machines.


      • If you are sharing with any Macs running OS X 10.5, consult the Apple Mac OS X documentation.
      • Apple recommends using the same printer driver version on the computer sharing the printer and the computer printing to the shared printer, to avoid an issue whereby an application you attempt to print from quits unexpectedly (or "crashes").

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  8. Check that the correct Epson printer driver is listed in Print & Fax.



    1. Click on the Apple icon Apple icon then click on System Preferences.

    2. Click on Print & Fax and click on Printing.

    3. The added drivers are listed here. Check the list for your Epson printer.

    4. If your Epson printer is listed, click on the printer to highlight it and the driver information will appear in the pane on the right.

    5. This is where the Name of the printer name is listed, Location, Status, and the Kind. Under 'Kind', the Epson printer model should be listed e.g. 'Epson Stylus xxx' (where 'xxx' is the model). It should not have the name of another printer nor feature 'Gutenprint' or 'CUPS'.

    6. The driver version can be checked by opening the Printer List via the Printer Setup Utility. Highlight the Epson printer in the list then click on the Show Info icon:


      Under the General tab, you should find the printer's Driver Version.


      Alternatively, open an application and click File > Print. In the Print dialogue, click on Summary from the Copies & Pages pull-down menu. Under Summary there are collapsible sections; click on Print Settings - the exact driver Version is listed here.

      • The correct Epson driver should not have the name of another printer nor feature 'Gutenprint' in the version or under Kind.

      • If it is the correct Epson driver, move to Step 12.

      • If it appears that the correct Epson driver has not been added, click on the printer entry to highlight it then click on delete. Move to Step 9.

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  9. If the Epson driver is not listed, download and install it from the Epson Support site.

    If you have a printer only supported by an Epson inbox driver (so a driver is not posted on the website), see the following Related Article How to install the Epson inbox drivers (EpsonPrinterDrivers.pkg) from the Mac OS X CD/DVD. Then power on the printer and (where appropriate) connect it to the Mac. Return to Step 10 of this article.

    For other products, follow the guidance below:




    1. Click here to open the Epson Support site.
    2. Select the product range, model and Mac OS X (Intel or Power PC) as the operating system then click on the appropriate button to proceed.
    3. Download the driver in the support section.
      Run the downloaded file to install the driver. Double-click on the Epson file and the file will mount a disk image on the Mac Desktop.
    4. Double-click on the mounted file and a window will open.
    5. A blue VISE icon will be listed in the window, double-click on the VISE icon to start the Epson Installer.
    6. Read through the license agreenment carefully. Click Accept to continue, and follow the on-screen instructions. Enter your Mac username and password if you see the Authenticate dialogue.
    7. When the Installer has finished, power on the printer and connect the data cable directly from the printer port to the port on the Mac.
    8. Restart the Mac.

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  10. Once restarted, the printer driver needs to be added to Print & Fax. Often USB printers will be added by Mac OS X automatically so this will need to be checked.
    1. Open System Preferences then open Print & Fax.
    2. Check the list for your printer.
    3. If listed, click on the printer name to highlight it.
    4. The driver information will appear on the right. Under 'Kind' the printer name should be listed, e.g. 'Epson Stylus xxxx' (where 'xxxx' is your printer model name) with a version in brackets.
      • The correct Epson driver should not have the name of another printer nor feature 'Gutenprint' in the version or under Kind.
      • If the correct driver has been added, move to Step 12.
      • If it appears that the correct Epson driver is not listed in Print & Fax, click on the printer entry to highlight it then click on  delete. Move to Step 11.

  11. Attempt to add the correct printer driver to Print & Fax.



    1. Click Add button add from the bottom of the printer window.
    2. The window that will appear first will be the Printer Browser.
    3. Follow the section appropriate for your Mac (Intel or Power PC):

      Power PC-based Macs:

      1. Click on More Printers. This will open another window.
      2. Click on the pull-down menu and select the option that represents the way that your Mac connects to the printer:
        • EPSON USB for USB printers
        • EPSON FireWire for FireWire printers
        • EPSON AppleTalk or EPSON TCP/IP for printers.

      3. The Epson printer should appear under this menu. Click on the Epson printer then click Add.
      4. The printer will now be added to the Printer List.

      Intel-based Macs:

      • If you are using the printer via FireWire, AppleTalk or TCP/IP (AppleTalk or TCP/IP if you use an Epson print server/Epson Network Interface Card):
        1. Click on More Printers.
        2. Another window will open, click on the pull-down menu and click on either EPSON TCP/IP, EPSON AppleTalk, or EPSON FireWire, as appropriate.
        3. Click on the Epson printer driver for your printer to highlight it and click on Add.

      • If you are using the printer via USB:
        1. Do not click on More Printers. Instead, click on the printer name in the list to highlight it and click the Add button.
        2. Do not choose a different model from the list of printers that may be present.
        3. If the Add button is greyed out, leave the Printer Browser open for 10 minutes and ensure that the printer is powered on and connected directly to the Mac. Do not connect it via a third party device such as a USB extension cable, an external USB hub or a USB port in a keyboard.

      • However, if you are adding a printer and see "Driver not installed", you may need to specify the type of printer you are using.
        1. Try to add the printer again but do not add a 'Gutenprint' model.
        2. When you see the Add Printer dialogue, click on "Select the driver to use" from the Print Using pop-up menu, and then select the Epson driver for your printer.

    4. The printer should now be added to the printer list in Print & Fax.

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  12. Make sure that the paper size you use most regularly is set as the Default Paper Size (we recommend setting 'A4' as opposed to 'US Letter'). For instructions on changing this in Print & Fax, see the following Related Article: How to change the default paper size in Mac OS X

  13. To test the printer, attempt to print a nozzle check from the Epson Printer Utility.



    1. Ensure plain A4 paper is loaded.

    2. In Print & Fax, double-click the printer name.

    3. A window will open, click on Utility from the top of the window.


    4. In the Epson Printer Utility, click on Nozzle Check.

    • If this is successful, the printer is ready to use. Try to print from Text Edit (found in Applications) to check if printing from native OS X applications is possible (as in Step 15).
    • If the print fails, or it is not possible to open the Epson Printer Utility. from Print & Fax, move to Step 14.

  14. If the print fails, or it is not possible to open the Epson Printer Utility from Print & Fax, uninstall and reinstall the printer driver using the following instructions:



    1. Close any applications that are open.

    2. Open /Applications/Utilities and open the Printer Setup Utility.

    3. Delete the printer. At this point in the troubleshooting, we recommend resetting the printing system.

      'What does the Reset Printing System feature do?'

      • Deletes all print queues and jobs.
      • Resets all printer settings to their default settings by deleting configuration files.
      • Performs a permissions check on the /tmp directory.

      Any printers and faxes that previously appeared in the Printer List and Fax List will need to be added again after resetting the printing system.

      • Open the Printer Setup Utility from the /Applications/Utilities directory. Click on the Printer Setup Utility menu and click on Reset Printing System.

        Notes Icon Note:

        If Printer Setup Utility won't open at all (which may occur if there is a printing system issue), you can try to access the Reset Printing System feature by holding down the Option key while opening Printer Setup Utility.


      • If other (non-Epson) printers are installed and you do not wish to re-add them then only delete any Epson printers. All Epson files will be removed later, so any Epson printers should be deleted. First make sure that there are no printer queues or jobs for the printer. Click on the Epson printer in the list to highlight it then click on  delete.

        Notes Icon Note:

        This may not be as effective as using the Reset Printing System feature.


    4. Disconnect the printer's data cable from the Mac or printer.
    5. Open the Mac OS X hard drive, then: /Library/Printers.
    6. Drag the complete EPSON folder to the Trash.

      Caution Icon Caution:

      This removes all Epson printers.


    7. Also Trash any drivers that were previously downloaded.
    8. Restart the Mac.
    9. Once restarted, empty the Trash.
    10. You will now need to run a repair utility that may take up to 30 minutes to complete so please plan for this.
    11. Open /Applications/Utilities. Double-click on the Disk Utility icon.
    12. Click on Disk First Aid at the top of the window.
    13. Select your Mac OS X Tiger startup volume (hard drive) in the column to the left of the Disk Utility window.
    14. Click on Repair Disk Permissions at the bottom of the dialogue box.
    15. When this process is complete, restart the Mac.

      Once restarted, you will need to download, install and Add the printer driver to Print & Fax. For instructions, see Step 9.


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  15. Try a print from Text Edit, as it is native to OS X.
    1. Click on File > Print.
    2. Select the printer name from the Printer: pull-down menu.
    3. To show Epson specific-settings, select Print Settings from the Copies & Pages pull-down menu.
    4. Make settings as appropriate, check that the paper size selected matches the paper loaded in the printer. Click Print to send the document to the printer.
    • Some printers will have further options on the menu such as Extension Settings. For special printing tasks such as photos, you may need to check the settings in these menu options. This should not be necessary for this print test.

      Notes Icon Note:

      If Print Settings is not listed (or Printer Settings for some Laser printers), the Epson driver has not been added and a third party driver is in use.


      Printer Features is a setting in Gutenprint (third party) drivers. Try adding the printer driver again, and send a print from Text Edit to test the driver and the communication between the Mac and printer. Follow the instructions in Step 11 to add the printer.


  16. If the troubleshooting fails:
    • If printing fails and Status Monitor cannot connect to the printer, test the printer on a different computer system where possible. This will help determine where the problem lies.
    • If you can print to the printer on a different computer, the problem is with the Mac system and we recommend contacting your computer supplier or Apple for support.
    • If you are still unable to print when using a different computer, we recommend taking the printer to a local Epson Express Centre for testing or contact Epson for support.
    • If printing is possible but the you are experiencing slow printing times, see the following Related Article for assistance: Troubleshooting Slow Printing in Mac OS X

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