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Troubleshooting printer installation and communication issues in Mac OS X 10.1 - 10.3

RELATES TO:

  • You cannot add the Epson printer driver in the Printer Center (10.1, 10.2) or Printer Setup Utility (10.3).
  • 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 opened.
  • Under 'File' > 'Print', the 'Print Settings' or 'Printer Settings' option is not available in the Copies & Pages menu (but Printer Features is listed).
  • Print options, such as paper type and quality, are limited.

EXPLANATION:

If you are experiencing issues on Mac OS X versions 10.1 - 10.3, either with installing your printer or printing from the Mac, then there may be a communication issue, or the system may be using a non-Epson printer driver. This article explains how identify and resolve the problem.

SOLUTION:

Important Information: Mac OS X 10.1-10.3 Driver Support

    For all Epson products released prior to Mac OS X, the original driver CD-ROM does not contain a driver suitable for Mac OS X. Many Epson USB printers that were supported in Mac OS 9, are supported with a driver available on the Epson website. For some products, support may be available with an inbox driver support.

    Notes Icon Note:

    Most Epson products are supported on Mac OS X version 10.2.8 and higher only. Some earlier USB printers can be used on earlier versions of OS X. For users of 10.1, please check the documentation that came with your product for confirmation of the supported operating systems.

    Epson printers are not supported on 10.0. We recommend upgrading your system to at least 10.2.8. Other versions include 10.3 (OS X Panther), 10.4 (OS X Tiger), and 10.5 (OS X Leopard).


    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, you may have added a third party driver, which may even be for a different printer.


Update your Mac system:

We recommend ensuring that you are using the latest version of Mac OS X. You can check the exact OS version via Apple menu > About This Mac. You can check for updates via Apple menu > Software Update. Download and install any available system updates, and then restart the Mac before you start the troubleshooting below.

  • For 10.1, the last version is 10.1.5
  • For 10.2, the last version is 10.2.8
  • For 10.3, the last version is 10.3.9

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.

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.


  3. Perform a printer operation check. For laser printers, see your user guide for instructions on printing a status sheet. For large format printers, see your user guide for instructions on printing a nozzle check.


  4. Printer Operation Check/Self Test results:

    • If the printer does not pass the 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.

    • If the printer does pass 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.

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  5. Check the status of the print queue, as jobs or the printer may be paused. See the following Related Article for assistance: Mac OS X: How to cancel printing and open the Print Queue


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


  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:


      Isolating the issue - Network printers:


  8. Check that the correct Epson printer driver is listed in the Printer List.


  9. If the Epson driver is not listed, download and install it from the Epson Support website. See the following Related Article for instructions: How to install a Printer in Mac OS X 10.1 - 10.3

    However, if you have a printer only supported by an Epson inbox driver, see the following Related Article for help with installing the printer: How to install the Epson inbox drivers (EpsonPrinterDrivers.pkg) from the Mac OS X CD/DVD

    Notes Icon Note:

    If you use Internet Explorer to visit the Epson website instead of Safari, please be aware that Internet Explorer may rename the Epson file to 'redirect.aspx' when it completes the download. If this happens, please change file extension from '.aspx' to '.sit'.


  10. Once restarted, the printer driver needs to be added to the Printer List. Often USB printers will be added by Mac OS X automatically, and as this can cause a third party driver to be added it will need to be checked. Open your Mac OS X hard disk then /Applications/Utilities. Double-click the Print Center (10.1, 10.2) or Printer Setup Utility (10.3). Check the list for your printer.

    • If not listed, move to Step 11 for instructions on adding the printer.
    • If listed, click on the printer name to highlight it.

      • 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 'Gimp-Print' in the version or under Kind. The printer icon should also be at an angle e.g. .
      • If the correct driver has been added, 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 the Delete icon. Move to Step 11.

  11. Attempt to add the correct printer driver to the Printer List.


  12. Make sure that the paper size you use most regularly is set as the Default Paper Size in Print Center/Print & Fac. We recommend setting 'A4' as opposed to 'US Letter'. For instructions on changing this 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.


    • If this is successful, the printer is ready to use. Try to print from Text Edit (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, uninstall and reinstall the printer driver using the following instructions:


  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 Gimp-Print (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.


  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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