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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi Printers
Snow Leopard only hintI have a venerable HP Deskjet 990cxi with a double-sided print feed attachment. It has worked brilliantly through all the versions of Mac OS X I've used. However, with Snow Leopard, I'm stuck with using single-sided printing via the free Gutenberg printer driver, as HP has declined to support this model in Snow Leopard.

After some experimentation, I've found that the native HP DeskJet 9800 series driver seems to work fine -- I've got my double-sided printing back. Additionally, the driver also seems to be giving me ink supply levels details, functionality that the original driver never had.

Hope this is of use to anyone else out there struggling to get this printer working in Snow Leopard.
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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi | 13 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: revmatt on Nov 11, '09 07:57:41AM

I doubt I'll ever buy an HP printer ever again. When 10.5 came out they dropped support for my 1 year old multifunction printer. I have a G4 iBook that we use for casual web browsing anywhere in the house and pulling video off the TiVO, it did not get upgraded to 10.5 and if we want to print anything other than the most basic single sided text-only documents we put it on the iBook and print from there.



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: asmeurer on Nov 11, '09 08:41:36AM

There have been multiple hints of this sort on this site: make your printer work by using a different driver. How hard would it be for manufacturers to just make that the driver for the printer too. Or better yet, develop an open standard for printer drivers so that there is no need for 1000 different drivers for 1000 different printer.



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: kopf on Nov 11, '09 09:53:32PM

My understanding is that the SL printer drivers need to support 64-bit mode. The older drivers will work as long as no 64-bit app tries to print using them.



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: Sven G on Nov 13, '09 01:15:58AM

Why don't HP - or Apple, or others - simply port their excellent HPLIP Linux printing suite to Mac OS X? There would be instant and almost full compatibility with many "old" printers and multifunction devices!

For example, I also have an OfficeJet G85 (connected through USB: and this is probably the source of the problem), which works perfectly in Windows and Linux (with HPLIP), but has never worked in Mac OS X 10.5.x and 10.6.x (no official HP drivers anymore): the Gutenprint and/or HPIJS drivers theoretically should work for printing, but in practice there is no output from the printer (or the queue hangs forever waiting for the device); known problems, but with no solution sofar.

Would it be so difficult and time-consuming to port the complete HPLIP suite to Mac OS X (IIRC, there had even been some attempts to do this some years ago, also on the MacPorts front)...?



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: satcomer on Nov 14, '09 07:52:31AM

Well The Linux drivers have been ported to a Mac. Just use the web page:

http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/macosx/hpijs#HPIJS_for_Mac_OS_X



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: Sven G on Nov 14, '09 09:05:04AM

Yes, of course I know that; but HPIJS is only a subset of HPLIP: for example, with HPIJS you only get basic printing (if it works) with multifuntion devices, while with HPLIP (sofar only on Linux) you get full or almost full functionality (similarly to the proprietary HP Mac OS X drivers and software).

If HPLIP were available for Mac OS X, old multifunction devices - such as the OfficeJet G85 and others - could be used not only for printing, but also for scanning and even faxing on some models.

Maybe it is also the USB implementation on Mac OS X that has delayed such a full port of HPLIP - who knows...?



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: jonboy on Nov 13, '09 01:13:59PM

Could you let me know how you did this.
I have an HP 932 printer. It is strong like bull, and I don't want to replace it.
When I try and change the driver to the 9800 my Imac still thinks it is using the 932.
Plugging the 932 printer into the USB tells my Imac to use the 932 printer driver.
Do you need a 9800 laying around to fool the computer?



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: ruralvoice on Nov 19, '09 07:39:50PM

Go to the following Apple web site and download all drivers for OS 10.6:

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/apple/macosx_updates/macosxv1061update.html

After you install them, go to System Prefs and select the Print & Fax pane. Click on your printer then click Options & Supplies. Select Driver. Then under the pull down menu "print using" select printing software and find the 9800 printer driver. Also, check the box for duplex printing. I believe that is how you would do it. You could also load on the drivers from the installation disk, but they would not likely be as complete as the current driver file you download. Hope this helps/works!

Edited on Nov 19, '09 08:01:49PM by ruralvoice



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: gg66 on Dec 05, '09 04:33:28PM

Unfortunately, this does not seem to work for the Deskjet 970Cxi. The 9800 installs and prints w/o complaints, but the pages are emtpy. However, I found the commercial software PrintFab, which provides drivers under 10.6 for many old printers, including Deskjets. It supports duplexing for my 970, and has extensive color settings. At some point, under 10.5, my HP Toolbox lost the capability to read ink levels and to perform maintenance such as nozzle cleaning and head alignment. This works nicely with PrintFab. Of course, the low end PrintFab version costs as much as some of the cheapest inkjet printers. But I hate throwing away a sturdy, well-built Deskjet that has been going strong for nine years. I'd rather give the money to the people who wrote really great drivers (it's hard to tell, but it appears to me that PrintFab produces nicer dithering than the original HP drivers).
At least for the 970, the Gutenprint driver is awful, even disregarding the lack of duplex. The color dithering is ridiculous. Maybe I missed some setting that would improve that, but then, software should come with reasonable default settings.



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: Jean on Mar 24, '10 10:16:17AM

I was so hopeful, but the suggested fix (using the 9800 driver) to enable two-sided printing on my HP deskjet 990cxi was unsuccessful. Even though I could get two-sided printing, my only menu choices, aside from 'off,' were for a side- or top-binding option. This resulted in side 2 being printed either reversed or upside-down. My old HP has been the most faithful and trouble-free of a number of printers, and it doesn't even guzzle ink like the Epsons, so I hope I can get this resolved. If anybody has another suggested fix, I would be grateful if you could post it.



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: Cstillman on Jan 05, '11 09:54:45PM

The 9800 series driver seems to work on my HP990cse printer for double-sided printing. I also get a credible ink supply reading. I have not tried all settings but found that when I chose Fast normal for print quality I got a hung printer and a veritable light show on the printer's front panel lights. Fortunately, printing looks good if I select Normal print quality. I'm guessing that if one setting causes problems, others will too. But for me, I'm off and running for my two-sided print jobs. I have other printers than can do other tricks.



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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: PierreMBP on Feb 10, '11 04:52:54AM
Great, I could successfuly use the *duplex mode* with my 990Cxi on MBP 10.6 OSX, using the the HP deskjet 9800 Series driver (Duplex mode that is not working with the Apple 990Cxi driver) - Thanks for the tip !

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10.6: Possible solution for printing to HP Deskjet 990cxi
Authored by: gnadworny on Mar 13, '11 11:41:48PM

I downloaded it of the Mac driver's and it works!!

Thanks for your help!



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