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10.6: Get an HP print server working with Snow Leopard Printers
Snow Leopard doesn't support AppleTalk, but has IP print protocols built-in. So an HP print server (or a networkable printer) should work, right? Tunrs out it's not as easy as it sounds -- not because of Snow Leopard, but because of a few vital details which HP's help desk and tech forums don't mention.

The following relates to an HP JetDirect EX Plus print server (J2591A), but can be adapted for most hardware. First, do a Cold Reset of the print server. This step should never be omitted, as it resets to factory defaults and makes the server reachable on a network to change its details (more on that later).

Doing a Cold Reset on most HP products is not as simple as turning the power off then on again. For the JetDirect, remove all cables (including power). Then plug power in while holding the Test button down for 10 seconds, then unplug power holding the Test button down for another 10 seconds. Then reconnect all cables and power up again. Sounds weird, but this is the only way it will work.

Next, find the IP address of the print server. After the JetDirect has been going for at least two minutes, just press the Test button once and it will print out its configuration pages. The IP address will usually be, with no subnet mask or network server specified. Now change your Mac's IP address to the same range as the JetDirect, so that your Mac can connect (System Preferences » Network » Ethernet). This is just temporary, so take a note of the settings before you do this, including the Subnet Mask and Network Server. Change the IP address to Use Manual settings, not DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol).

Connect your Mac directly to the JetDirect with an Ethernet cross-over cable, then open Terminal (in Applications » Utilities) and enter this command, then press Return twice: telnet When you do, the JetDirect's settings should display. If not, type ? and press Enter; now you will see both the settings and how to change them. (If you cannot connect to the JetDirect or printer, the problem is almost certainly with the Cold Reset. Repeat the reset procedure, and make sure you do it right.)

Change the JetDirect settings to the same range as the original Mac settings you took a note of earlier above (except for the specific IP address), including the Subnet Mask and Network Server. In my case, my Mac's IP address was, so I used for the JetDirect. The Subnet Mask was and the network server (router) was Use the telnet toggle to turn DHCP off (otherwise the JetDirect will default to its factory setting if it loses power).

Type in ? and press Enter again to check your settings. If things look OK, type quit and close Terminal. Now go back to your Mac's network settings in System Preferences and change them back to what you noted earlier. Disconnect your Mac from the JetDirect and reconnect to you router.

Go to Print Settings (in the Print & Fax System Preferences panel), and reset the print queue (Control-click). Add a printer (click the plus symbol). Click the IP tab, select HP Jetdirect - Socket from the first drop-down menu, type in the JetDirect's new IP address, change Name to your printer name, and select the driver using Select Printer Software.

Click the lock to prevent changes, and you should be good to go.
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10.6: Get an HP print server working with Snow Leopard
Authored by: akita on Oct 10, '09 02:05:20PM

You have saved me a lot of anguish!!!! Thank you so much! I have spent most of past 2 days trying to figure out how to add my HP LJ 5MP, and stupidly I was trying to figure out how to directly access the printer... then it dawned on me that all I need is to figure out the IP address on my JetDirect EX+... duh!. this printer fiasco has been absolutely un-Mac-like in terms of upgrading woes. (one would expect this sort of support problem in Windoze, but...)

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10.6: Get an HP print server working with Snow Leopard
Authored by: sjoerd on Nov 29, '09 11:49:23AM

The original hint works great - it helped me to get my LaserJet 6MP to work with a JetDirect 300X which I bought for 1 on ebay for this occasion.

However, getting a LaserJet 4 Plus with an Emulex NetJet card to work was quite a bit more challenging. Since the complete instructions to do that were nowhere to be found on the net, I'd like to document my findings here!

1. Setting the IP address of the printer

  • Find the IP address by printing a test page (can be done from a menu on the printer display).
  • Configure the Mac to be on the same subnet.
  • Telnet to the printer.
  • Press [enter]. Pressing ?[enter] will give a list of commands.
  • Type su[enter]
  • When asked for a password, try system. This is the default password.
  • Set a new IP address for the printer using:

    define server ip x.x.x.x (choose an address in your usual subnet)

  • Type sync[enter] (not sure if this is needed!)
  • Type logout[enter]
  • Restart the printer (wait 30 seconds before this, to be sure the new setting has been saved!).

The printer should now be configured with the new IP address. Check by printing a test page or by using ping or telnet to the new address.

2. Configuring LPD printing

  • Now add a new printer in system preferences. The protocol to be used is LPD, and for the Address type the previously chosen new IP address.
  • Most importantly: for Queue, type PASSTHRU. Any other queue name will not work!!! (Tested blank, auto, lp, lpt1).
  • Type a nice name for the printer, and select the appropriate printer driver.

Note: information about the Emulex NetJet can be found here:

The manual with the absolutely essential information about the name of the print queue is here:

The manual with all commands available when telnetting to the server is here:

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