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My computer and my printer no longer speak the same language.

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My computer and my printer no longer speak the same language. Without changing anything (parameters, settings, software), the printer suddenly stopped printing. I use OSX.5 and an HP Color Laserjet 3600n. This is not the first time this happens. The usual procedure was to create a new printer using the system prefs or a printing utility interface, but this time it won’t work. There seems to be a network issue (although I can’t fathom why). The printer itself works. But when I send a printing command, it spits out a page of weird code, and a ton of white pages. I’m annoyed. Can you help me?
Hello, and thank for seeking technical assistance for your Mac .I am Sr. Mac Support Specialist, TD at your service.

I have dealt with issues with HP printers like this before, but sometimes it is not always the way the printer is connected to the computer, but it is all about the software.

In this case I am referring to the current Mac OS X 10.5 platform that you are using (10.5 Leopard) and the Printer drivers. There is also the question of compatibility with the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard platform working with your printer.

Fortunately per this link below, your printer is listed as compatible with Leopard.

Here is the HP Printer Compatibility list for its printers working with Leopard.

There appears to be a bit more of a Driver issue than network. With this noted, in my research I found a great potential fix to your HP printer issue and it is directly from the manufacturer. It is detailed with great screenshots and easy to follow and you should be up in no time.

(Click the link below. If the link does not open, simply copy the link and paste it in the address bar of your web browser -Safari, Firefox, etc.)

Try this process and if there is still little improvement, please let me know.

I await the outcome. Thanks!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I’m going out of town and I’m leaving in a minute. Can we pick this up on Monday?
No worries, I will be here to receive the outcome, then as we work toward resolution.

You have a great weekend, I look forward to corresponding with you on Monday.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi TD,

I’ve tried the procedure you suggested, and reinstalled everything. The printer is indeed receiving commands from the computer. However, no matter what I send to print, the printer always reacts the same way: it prints a page of code and starts spitting blank pages afterwards. When I say spitting pages, I mean: it’ll empty the tray until it’s empty.

Do you have another suggestion for me?

Yes I do,

It is on the side of a little work involved, but this is worth a try.

All I need you to do is:

•Disconnect your printer from your Mac.

• Completely remove the HP Color Laserjet 3600n driver from your computer
• Run Disc Utility

Go to Finder Menu bar
• Click Go > Utilities > Disk Utility and open up Disk Utility app.
• Click on Macintosh HD volume (or on the name you have changed
this volume to.)
• Select "Repair Disk Permissions"
**Let Disk Utilities run this repair permissions until completion

This is not often a necessary step, but in the many of the hands-on software and Mac OS X troubleshooting I have done on Macs, I almost always run it just because it does repair alot of the permissions on files which can sometimes affect how certain applications, files and folders work. It also improves your Mac's performance a bit too:)
Once Disc Utilty is completed:

• Reinstall the LATEST HP Color Laserjet 3600n drivers from HP's website
** Keep in mind, I did check for the latest drivers and the only download I saw for
a driver for your printer was from November 2005.
** There is however on the same page, an updated driver from January 21, 2008
but, it has to be order in CD- format from HP.

Here is that link:

(If you click the link and it does not open, simply copy and paste the link in your web browser)
• Reconnect the Printer to your Mac.
• Attempt to Print.

From the steps above and because of the age of the only downloadable driver for the HP Color Laserjet 3600n, I would recommend you order the newer update which is on CD.
From my experience, working with Printers of various brands, any printer, that prints out in "gibberish" is a sign of a driver of that printer not communicating with the operating system it is installed to work with.
More times than not, this is the issue with manufacturer not updating the printer software, than it is your Mac OS X 10.5 platform.

So with that said, if you would like to be more proactive on this issue, my suggestion would be to order the CD with the most current software, even if its over a year old, but FIRST-:

•• Contact HP Support (via the link below), and find out if they have or are planning to release newer drivers, this year for your printer and to work with your Mac OS X 10.5.6 Leopard platform. Then if they specify that you have to order the disc, have them send it to you asap.

(If you click the link and it does not open, simply copy and paste the link in your web browser)

I am here and will be keeping a watch for your posts. Let me know the outcome as I am confident you are going to get the resolution you need for this current issue.

Best Regards,

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Wow TD!

This is a long winded procedure. I will order the new driver first thing tomorrow morning and apply your suggestion. However, this does not explain why my printer had been working well with OS X 10.5.6 for nearly a year without a glitch. As far as repairing the permissions, before replacing the driver, I had already tried that without any results.

Oh well... I’ll give this a shot.
I agree! It is a bit long winded.
However, that is why I admonished you:
"It is on the side of a little work involved, but this is worth a try."

To explain this procedure, I will state it this way for you.

As of mid December 2008, was the time that Apple came out with the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update. As we are only a few days approximately, into 3 months later since the release of that update. So in essence, the Mac OS X 10.5.6 is a relatively new update.

Also, if there are issues with a printer driver, especially one that has been working on your Mac OS X 10.5.5 (and earlier versions), before the 12/08 update, more often than not, the culprit will be the software driver of the printer. Working with printer issues as long as I have, the issue with print coming out in "gibberish" lies with it being a question of software communication and then hardware.

Additionally remember, Mac OS X is an operating system with a Unix backbone.

As Unix is a permissions based system in any troubleshooting, deleting, purging of files, apps, drivers, etc, it is important to keep the the permissions of files and folders on your Mac, in optimum health and in the contiguous state they need to be in.

I hope this gives you a bit more understanding to my intent, as your MacExpert, for taking you in this direction: Isolating the issue as efficiently and practical as possible.

Please keep your questions and thoughts coming, as I am a strong believer in "brainstorming" on the path toward issue resolution, while I am researching this issue.

Again, keep me posted! CheersCustomer


MacTechTrainer and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Good morning TD,

The last time I had such a run for my money is when I was courting my wife (lol). To give you a blow by blow description of the steps I took would take a few chapters. To cut to the chase, I’ve deleted from both the main library and the user library anything pertaining to HP printers, restarted the computer, flushed the thrash can and reinstalled the 2005 drivers. From the preference panel, I deleted the old printer and created a new one, and... voilà!

I took me a couple of hours on the phone with HP. Apparently the 2005 drivers ARE THE ONES to use. The Jan 21 2008 drivers are for PC’s and not for Mac according to these people.

In conclusion, your assessment of the situation was right on the mark. I hope you’re not offended that I went to HP to confirm your “medical” opinion (lol). Actually the HP techs were impressed with your diagnostic, so there! :o)

Thanks again for the help, your professionalism, your knowledge and above all... your wisdom. I’ll gladly pay your fee, and then some...

I have no problem whatsoever, with you going to HP. There have been a number of times, where I have performed onsite support for customers regarding issues with their HP printers connection issues, that I have personally been on the phone for hours with HP for the customers!

So as long as the issue has been resolved for you, that means I had a hand in seeing you get there. What can be more exciting than resolution!

Thanks so much for the update and for using to assist you in your quest for resolution with your Mac Technical issues.

Best Regards,

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hey TD,

Thanks for the heads up. Everything is running smoothly right now. Actually, I rarely have issues with my gear since I perform maintenance on a regular basis. But there’s the odd glitch that gets me in a jam from time to time, and that I cannot fix in spite of having fixed my own Macs for 15 years. That’s when I seek a higher power with “gurus” such as yourself. Thank God for gurus! :o)