Adding HP printer to a network

Reader Chris Rose recently upgraded to Snow Leopard and faces a common issue. He writes:

We just upgraded to 10.6 and I have a network HP2100TN printer that used to use Appletalk on the network to be accessed by my computer. It is no longer seen. How can I make this printer work with my iMac over a network?

As you’ve discovered, AppleTalk isn’t supported in Snow Leopard and so you need to find another way to communicate with the printer. I have an HP LaserJet 1300n that I used over AppleTalk prior to Snow Leopard and faced a similar situation.

The first step is to find out the IP address for your printer. In order to do that, you have to force the printer to print a status page. How this is done varies by printer company and, to an extent, printer model. In your specific case, briefly press the printer’s Go and Job Cancel buttons. In a short while a couple of pages should emerge and on one of those pages is the printer’s IP address in the form of a common internal network address—192.168.something.something, for example. The instructions for printing such a page are found in the printer’s manual and online.

Now that you have the address, launch System Preferences, choose the Print & Fax preference, click the Plus (+) button at the bottom of the Printers list, choose IP in the resulting Add a Printer window, and in the Address field enter the printer’s IP address. If all goes according to plan, your printer’s name will appear in the Name field at the bottom of the window. Click the Add button and your printer is added and made available to you.

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