Using an HP LaserJet 2100TN with Snow Leopard

When Mac OS can’t connect to the printer.

Snow Leopard is the first version of Mac OS that doesn’t support AppleTalk. While that shouldn’t be an issue for most folks, if you’re like me and have an ancient printer that uses Ethernet and AppleTalk to connect to your computer, you might have a problem.

With me, the printer is an HP LaserJet 2100TN manufactured in 1999. Yes, I’m using 10-year-old laser printer. It works fine — or at least it did on all versions of Mac OS through Leopard. But when I upgraded to Snow Leopard the other day, my Mac suddenly couldn’t see the printer.

I’ve been wanting a duplex laser printer for some time now, and I simply haven’t been able to justify the cost. With this sudden incompatibility issue, it looked like I had a good excuse to buy a new printer. But what to do with the old one? My husband is very happy with my previous printer, an HP LaserJet 4MP. And wouldn’t it be better if I could just get it to work?

So I went online. I soon discovered that the good folks at HP have written a support article all about using HP printers with Snow Leopard. I highly recommend reading this article if you’re having any trouble at all connecting an HP laser printer to your Mac under Snow Leopard. It provides steps that I will not duplicate here.

I read the article carefully. It told me two things:

  • My HP LaserJet 2100TN should work with Snow Leopard, even though AppleTalk was no longer an option. It provided complete instructions for connecting.
  • My HP Color LaserJet 2600n would not work with Snow Leopard.

Wow. Was this screwed up. You see, when I couldn’t get the 2100TN to work, I reinstalled the drivers for my 2600n (from the HP Web site) and successfully set it up. So HP was wrong: it would work with Snow Leopard. And no matter how many times I tried to follow the instructions for setting up my LaserJet 2100TN, I was unable to get it to work.

Now the 2100TN is a network printer that uses Enternet connected to a JetDirect device that’s installed on the side of the machine. I recalled having a problem with setup years ago, when I had a static IP address. Back then, I’d had to manually assign an IP address to the printer to get it to work. I really don’t recall why or how I did this, but since it continued to work despite many connection changes, I didn’t change anything.

I pressed the only two buttons on top of the machine simultaneously to get two pages of self-test and configuration information. It told me my IP address was the unlikely I tried repeatedly to use this information with setup, but could not successfully print. Perhaps I had to go back to the default settings?

I found this article on that explained how to do a factory reset of just about any HP LaserJet printer, including mine. I followed the instructions. Then I printed another configuration sheet. Now my IP address was the even more unlikely Of course, this wouldn’t work either.

I powered down the printer, waited a minute or two, and turned it on again. I printed another configuration sheet. Now my IP address was Ah, now we were getting somewhere. But when I used that address, it still wouldn’t work.

I opened the Network preferences pane and saw that Ethernet had a self-assigned IP address. I chose Using DHCP with manual address from the Configure IPv4 pop-up menu and entered (why not?) in the IP address field. I clicked Apply. Then I tried to add the printer again. This time it connected. And when I went back to the Network preferences pane, it showed that Ethernet was connected.

Ethernet Connection

I tried to print and succeeded.

Is this the “right” way to fix this problem? Who knows? All I know is that it works. And you know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

So it looks like I won’t be buying a new duplex printer after all. I just don’t need it.

And, for the record, the configuration page also told me that I’d printed 35,200 pages during the 10 or so years I’ve had the printer. Sadly, that number was reset along with the IP address.

It’s in the Book!

Snow Leopard Book CoverYou can find more information about setting up printers for use with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Visual QuickStart Guide.:

  • Printing & Faxing is covered in Chapter 17, pages 361-388.
  • Networking is covered in Chapter 20, pages 445-486.

100 thoughts on “Using an HP LaserJet 2100TN with Snow Leopard

  1. Dear Maria:

    Thank You. I will bookmark for when I update within the month.

    I have a pair of 2100TN’s and they are at least ten (I think closer to 15) years old.

    I would gladly upgrade, but have not found a better black and white printer.


    • It is a great printer. Not as fast as the $139 Brother laser printer I bought a few years ago for a second office, but much clearer. I especially like the multiple trays and easy feeding of envelopes. HP makes a good printer!

      Just wish it were duplex…but by the time I can justify buying one of those, my printing needs will be so insignificant that i won’t use it enough to make it worth buying.

  2. Just before I found this page – will be trying out your suggestion in a minute – I found another workaround: one of my Macs, a Mini, used as VCR/DVD player, was not yet upgraded to Snow Leopard, so I went to the print & fax preference pane there, and selected ‘Share this printer’ for my trusted 2100TN – after which it immediately showed up in the Add Printer dialog on the Snow Leopard machines…

    Bit of a workaround, but – as stated above: the 2100TN is just a very good and dependable printer, why change and toss a perfectly working device down the drain…

  3. Just a bit more to the story above: though the ‘share this printer’ does effectively works, it would also mean that I could not update the Mini, so it did remain kind of a workaround.

    I had printed a configuration page, and also had a bit of an improbable IP address, which was a fixed one, probably set long time ago. So (following a suggestion somewhere else), I found how to do a factory default reset (power down, power up while keeping the ‘cancel job’ button – the small one – until all lights light up, release all buttons, and give it some time to initialise), and then the config page did show a much more probable, DHCP-allocated address.

    So Added the printer using this address – and it all magically works again…

    Thanks a lot for your article – would you mind to post a link to it on

    Kind regards,


  4. Bless you. You saved my LaserJet 2100M when everyone else’s instructions had failed.

    The one problem I had is that I originally misread the IP number you entered into the Ethernet configuration settings. Since only one numeral was different, I originally thought you were entering the same IP number as the printer’s, which of course didn’t work. Fortunately, when I went back and reread, I saw my error.

    • Aaron: Glad I was able to help you! It’s usually better to make old equipment work than to buy new equipment. Not only does it save money, but it keeps the parts out of landfills. I’m one of those folks who doesn’t buy a new thing unless I can find a home for the old one — or I keep it. (Which explains why we have 3 perfectly functioning laser printers in our house and I have several old computers in my garage.)

      As for the IP address, the key is to have a different IP address in the same network. One digit off on the last set of digits should work.

  5. I will be installing Snow Leopard quite soon and am using a small HP LaserJet 1022 printer – should I expect any problems?? I like it because of its size so would not wish to replace it. Many thanks,

    • Traudi: I don’t know if you’ll have trouble. It depends on how you connect to the printer. AppleTalk? You might want to check out the inks in this post. USB? Probably no problems. You might have to re-install the driver. Unfortunately, I only know about the printers I have first-hand knowledge of.

      Good luck to you!

  6. My LaserJet2100M’s config printout gives only LocalTalk name, node (514), and network number (0)…I have reset it according to your directions, but still no direct IP address. I set this up so long ago I can’t recall how I did it. Can you give me any ideas?? Don’t like feeling so out of control of my devices! ;)

    Thank you!

    • Unfortunately, I can only be sure about printers I have. Have you tried the article on that I linked to in the post? It could be that your printer is not network-compatible; I don’t know anything about the 2100M model, but I suspect it’s roughly as old as mine — 10 years? In all honestly, I think we should consider ourselves lucky when we can get old hardware to work well with new hardware, operating systems, and software.

      Sorry I can’t be more help. Best of luck to you!

    • I also have a HP 2100 M. It does not have a JetDirect 600 N print server card. that connects to ethernet. According to the manual that came with the printer, the model with a print server is the 2100 TN.

      Apple tech service was clueless about how to make my printer work. HP tech service told me that if i bought their $345 Jet Direct 600 N card it would probably work but they would not promise it. If it did work, I would still have to go through the set up steps that Maria explained.

      My local independent Macintosh store knew the answer right away. For $50.00 they sold me a “USB Parallel Printer Adapter” made by Belkin. On the advice of my computer store, I did not repeat not load the software that came with the adapter. I just plugged the USB connector into my Mac. Then I plugged the parallel connector into my HP 2100 M. Everything worked immediately with no setup. It was pure plug and play.

      I can now use my 2100 M for another ten years.

      • James: Thanks SO MUCH for sharing this information. If I couldn’t get my 2100TN to work with an Ethernet cable, I planned to explore a parallel to USB adapter solution. Fortunately, I didn’t have to go there. But $50 sure is a lot less than $300+. And I’m willing to bet that your solution will work with any HP printer that’s got a parallel port.

        I’m hoping someone who needs this information finds it here — thanks again for sharing your solution.

  7. Maria,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. I did check the HP article, and everything I can find, but still no luck. My 2100M is probably 15 years old – and boy, do I hate to give it up!!! It’s been a workhorse, and I sincerely doubt I can find anything these days to replace it. But, as you say, time passes and sometimes we have to give up the ghost (or printer)…

    I’m still trying, though. Will repost if I happen upon a solution!


    • Wendy: Have you looked into the new drivers released by HP through Apple Software Update? They just came out a few days ago.

      I should mention here that the only reason I stopped using my old HP LaserJet 4MP 10 years ago (when I bought the 2100TN) is because the darn thing didn’t have enough memory to print the complex PDFs I needed to print back then at a rate faster than 1 page per 15 minutes. It still works fine; my husband uses it to this day.

      Good luck to you!

  8. I did not know there was a new software update – thank you for letting me know! Downloading now, fingers crossed!!! I’m lucky that the person who put my system together way back when (incl. Mac IIsi, with 20MB HD – can you imagine?) had the foresight to stuff it with memory. It can take some time with really big jobs, but it’s super quick most of the time.

    Thanks again!

      • Well, no luck with the HP driver upgrades, frankly, but YES, luck, with an HP JetDirect Office Connect 300X print server! Woo hoo!

        Bought used but guaranteed-working 300x on eBay, plus an HP cable (though any brand would do). Removed AppleTalk gear (EtherMac iPrint + cables) from printer, plugged in cable, plugged other end into 300x, then RJ45 from 300x to Airport Extreme. Hit the Test button on back of 300x, printed out info, and no luck, or so I thought – I didn’t read down to the part where it said “initializing”. Checked again later, and it printed out an IP address, which was really all I needed to add the printer to system. Add Printer > Protocol:HP JetDirect – Socket; Address: (IP address listed on 300x Test printout). Done!

        Prints faster than the plain old printer ever did. I am really delighted to be able to continue to use my 2100M!

  9. The 2100M is actually what I have. It’s the same machine as the other, plus built-in AppleTalk through the serial port. But you have to have an optional JetDirect Ethernet card to make the connection without AppleTalk, which is what Snow Leopard did away with.

    • Aaron,

      Would you mind giving more details about your successful connectivity? I did just buy an HP JetDirect 300x print server but don’t yet have the proper cabling.

      My 2100M has been connected via LocalTalk using an EtherMac iPrint to Airport Extreme. What JetDirect Ethernet card do I need now, and where does it install? Once that’s installed, how does the printer get found by 10.6?

      I’d really appreciate knowing more – any info you can give would be a huge help!!

  10. I’ve been using my HP 2100TN with a Mac Mini using a $15 USB2 to Parallel (prolific chipset) adapter. Other user on our network can see this printer via Printer Sharing.

    Upgrade to SL did not affect connectivity to the HP 2100 at all.

    BTW sometimes the HP 2100 even with 24 mg of RAM prints some graphic rich PDF as slow as molasses. So if I want to print out PDF files that are mostly packed with images or use lower resolution printing 300 or 600 dpi, I use the Gutenprint driver for HP 2100 in a second Printer Queue that I dubbed “Fast PDF HP 2100.

  11. Can’t wait for my books that I bought from Amazon. Scanning my family pictures and negatives came to end, can’t find one scanner that will work with the Snow Leopard. Please let me know which one to buy. I have to buy one as soon as possible.

    Also, power supply is burned on my old G3-4, but monitor and keyboard-mouse is very good. If any body can use it let me know, don’t want to trash it.

    • VueScan! with nearly any scanner – I use a CanoScan Lide 25, works great. Check eBay for scanners (the guy who created VueScan recommends the CanoScans, for good quality and price). VueScan is well worth the money, imo.

  12. Thank you!!! I got my trusty 2100 working with Snow Leopard. I love this printer -it is a work horse.

    Now if OKI will put out the drivers for the C5150 color laser I will really be a happy camper..

  13. I’ve been working all morning trying to solve this problem and then I came across your article and now my printer works great.

    In the Network settings, I didn’t have to configure my IP manually though. I was able to use “Using DHCP”


  14. Yes I did the same got the config page to print turned out to be, one number down from the IP of my Mac Pro…. back to printing ebay labels, found the printer on the street in NYC and 12240 pages later it’s still working excellent, free toner from time to time as I spot more of them being thrown out with still toner in them.

  15. Dear Maria,

    I have an HP LaserJet 21000M which I can’t connect with since I installed Snow Leopard. The printer is plugged into an AsanteTalk adapter which is plugged into a router.

    I can’t get the IP address off the 2nd configuration page because I can’t get a second configuration page; I never bought the add-on that would provide that. However, I did get an IPv4 number off Network in System Preferences, but it didn’t work when I tried to add it. Any advice? I really don’t want to replace this printer.

  16. Hi Maria. Just got this HP 2100TN yesterday. I followed your advice and printed out IP Address but I always get I’m on system 10.5.8. When I click to add printer Adobe PDF 7.0 shows up, no matter how many times I delete it. Any ideas?

    • Abby: The same thing happened to me at first. I’m pretty sure I shut down the printer (power down) and possibly the computer and then started them all back up again. The IP address changed to something other than and it worked following my instructions.

      Hope this helps.

  17. For those of you who get IP adress

    Reset your printer to default settings by turning the printer off and then on again but now holding down the smallest of the 2 buttons on the printer for about 10 seconds.

    Give it 2 minutes, print a new config sheet and you should have a new IP adress!

    Worked for me!

    • Dilern: Thanks so much for this tip. I think I just did a shutdown, waited, and started up again to reset to a real IP address, but it was months ago and I can’t remember. If this always does the trick, it’s something good to know. Thanks for sharing it.

  18. Hi,

    I have an HP LaserJet 2100M that I can’t get connected. I’m having trouble

    figuring out the IP address of the printer. I can’t find it on the Self Test / Configuration

    printout. Might it be because I am only getting one sheet when I do the

    Self Test / Configuration?

    Any help would be great.


  19. Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post this – It saved me from going mad! I was oblivious to the removal of appletalk from snow leopard, and the 2100 workhorse of a printer is used for our playgroup, so the loss of it was a real nightmare, what with all the paperwork required in the UK

    Thanks again,


    • To everyone who has been sending thanks my way: you’re welcome! I’m glad I could help out.

      To everyone who has additional questions about other printer models: sorry I can’t help you. I can only troubleshoot printers I own — and then, barely. Best of luck to you.

  20. We just upgraded to an iMac 27″ i7 with Snow Leopard and I also have an HP Laserjet 2100TN printer. My problem is printing in Excel with gridlines. I can print everything so far except any Excel spreadsheets with gridlines. They print fine without grids, but nothing with grids. Microsoft says it is not their problem. Apple says it is not their problem. HP says all drivers are imbedded with Snow Leopard. Would your solution solve my problem? Or, is there something else I am missing?

    • Marilyn: Congratulations on your new computer! I’m not sure if my solution will help you print grids, but it will help you to print if you can’t print at all. Best of luck.

  21. Maria,

    Very impressive work. Thank you for your efforts, as Apple nor HP, nor all the erroneous posts did the job.



  22. Maria, you are the BEST! Thank you and thanks to all who commented on your post. I upgraded my iMac to SnowLeopard 2 days ago. Our other laptops (on Leopard) can print to the HP LaserJet 2100 TN without problem. But not my iMac. I also was having difficulty finding the correct IP address. I turned the printer off and then back on. And by holding the 2 buttons on top, I got the test page which showed the IP address which was one digit more than the other IP addresses on my system. I put that into the dialog box and immediately it worked! I spent an hour on the phone with Apple, many hours trying the advice on HP’s website and more hours googling this problem. You are the only one who knew what to do and you presented it so clearly. Thanks a million!

  23. Hi Maria,

    As I mentioned to you last month, got my HP laserjet to work with your advice re Snow Leopard, ie the solution.

    Problem is that I took the laptop to work and plugged it into another ethernet cable, and now am back to square one, ie cannot print at home any longer to the above IP address. Even tried to put in, but it does not work either.

    Not sure if one must change a different internet setting (ie, manually configure, or manually configure with DHCP, etc. Did those too previously, but now does not work.

    I am hoping you have an idea (or two).

    Thanks much,


    PS From your last reply:

    There is a new comment on the post “Using an HP LaserJet 2100TN with Snow Leopard”.

  24. I tried the and it shows that Ethernet is connected. When I try to print something from, for example InDesign, the “Printer” shows the, and PPD shows “Generic Postscript Printer” and when I hit print, the ethernet status message reads: Network host ’′ is busy; will retry in 15 seconds…
    And it doesn’t successfully actually connect with the printer. Also everytime I print the printer configuration page it shows IP address as Even after rebooting the printer holding the little button down at startup.

    • I am having the same exact problem as you. Have you resolved it? I was able to get beyond to and tryed to change last three numbers to 191 but no luck. Im ready to buy another printer!

  25. To all of you still having problems:

    While I don’t want to discourage you from posting your problems here — I can’t promise to resolve them for you. Every computer setup is different. I explained how I was able to get it to work with my setup and quite a few people had success using the same technique. So I know my solution works — at least for US.

    The main point to remember is that you MUST learn the IP address of YOUR printer. It might not be the same as what I’ve mentioned here. I don’t know what it is. I can’t help you find it beyond what I’ve already discussed here.

    With all this in mind, someone else reading this may have a solution for you. My advice: post your problem and subscribe to the comments for these posts. If a solution comes up, you’ll get it. You can always cancel your subscription when the problem is resolved.

    Sorry I can’t offer more help. Best of luck.

  26. Thanks, It worked for me when all other solutions failed. I suspect It had to do with snow leopard itself as I pick up 2 Printers last week and neither would work through my router. Once I configures the HP Laserjet 2100m/TN (89,482 pages). It must have reconfigure the ethernet protocols as the Lexmark E120 connected easily. My aunt and my daughter will be the recipients of these ‘saved’ printers.

    I once had a similar problem with a piece of software that could not recognize the database that it had previously worked with. I pointed the software to a demo database and then back and it recognized it w/o problems.

    After cold booting your Laser 2100 to set to factory defaults, give it a few moments to initialize itself before printing The Config. page. I’ll look for the book.

    Victoria, British Columbia

  27. Finally success!!! After cold booting again to reset the IP I let the printer sit for 30 minutes then printed out a new Configuration page.
    This time IP was When I entered it, it found it immediately.
    FYI: If it goes to default, it will not connect, do not waste your time, it should find the printer name on its own. Thanks so much for everyone’s help. This was all because my husband disconnected the router. He is banned from touching it!

  28. I must begin by saying WOW!!!
    I’ve been at this for hours and finally achieved success!! My HP LaserJet 2100TN is printing (!!!) from an iMac 27″ i7 with Snow Leopard 10.6.4 via an Ethernet connection.

    I repeated the instructions here countless times, with different IP configurations; all with no success. My printer’s IP reads as This IP address came up after doing a factory reset. (the initial printer IP stated

    Maria has the link for the reset posted in the upper part of this page. Quote: ” I found this article on ”

    From the factory reset, I tried the IP address and countless other configurations of an IP address, all of which did not work. Most of the time, the printer dialogue box said: Network host is busy; will retry in 15 seconds. Then the message said will retry in 20 seconds; then 25 seconds…and so forth. No luck.

    I did a 3rd factory reset, then let the computer and printer sit for 30 minutes (thanks Darlene!).

    The configuration page again said the address is That is the address I put in the Configure IPv4 pop-up menu (manual). (This was the umpteenth time I tried this address, along with others)

    These are the steps which I think made a difference and resulted in success:
    The factory reboot
    The 30 minute “rest” for printer (?)
    When I added the printer, the driver selected was: HP LaserJet 2100 series.

    The next dialogue box says something like “to get the most out of your printer, make sure your printer configuration is correct”. THIS TIME, I looked at the configuration sheet and saw my available memory is 21.47 MB

    The drop down menu’s memory was set at 5-7 MB (or something small like that)
    I changed the memory to the 21-27 MB setting (this I’m sure of)

    I then tried to print the page, and after countless attempts, and hours of patient trying, the page was immediately sent to the printer and the FIRST print from this 12 year old printer with 22,000 + pages was produced with my iMac.

    I’ve repeated this print test a few times, and from what I can see at this point in time, the printer is working!!!!!

    I love this printer and have used it through many computer upgrades. Thank you Maria and all the others who added their knowledge to this page.

    (From Canada)

  29. Just wanted to add that my network IP address is 2 digits off the last set of digits of the printer address.

    “Share this printer” is not checked.

    I tried numerous variations of network address + printer address, with the “Share this printer” turned on and off. Thankfully, the above noted settings work on my system.


  30. I am an old leopard and became whitefaced too, but nevertheless got inspired by Maria’s guides and by Wendy H’s posting (September 23, 2009 at 11:04 am · Reply):
    Get the IP-address following Maria’s advice to press the two buttons simultaneously (to have the configuration printed).
    Then, Add Printer > click on IP >Protocol:HP JetDirect – Socket; Address: (IP address listed on the above-mentioned print-out); name (optional); Done!

  31. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I have a new iMac and just upgraded from my tiger 10.4.11. I was using filemaker on “Classic”. My old powerPC G4 was the last machine that support “Classic” and the OS X. When I got the iMac I got a new Filemaker program that I used for my school roster. When I went to print it I was very sad to not be able to use my old printer. My other printer would not print the complete page unless I did a pdf. After reading your article, I typed the IP address manually for the printer and WAHLA it worked. My appreciation for your sharing your information to help me get my Laser 2100TN up and running.

  32. When you change you ip with to see the printer on it’s possible to change the printer ip. Open the terminal, print “telnet″ enter in prnter with “/” you can see the actual configuration, with “ip: ” it’s possible to change the ip, after that you can return to original network ip with dhcp.
    Remeber to don’t give to the printer an used ip.

  33. I have the 2100 and my Mac has found the printer. But it does not print what I selected, only
    %apl-dsc-encoding: utf8
    %aplproducer: (version 10.6.3 (build 10d232
    Bought a parallel to USB Belkin adapter on Ebay but haven’t installed the software because the Mac found the printer. Does anyone know I should try now. I really like this printer and can’t afford a new one. This us my 1st Mac but love it already.

  34. My Jet Direct Configuration page says that AppleTalk Status: Ready. I have trying to connect with no luck. Could the AppletalkStatus: Ready be the problem?

  35. Thank you VERY VERY MUCH. My fabulous printer HP Laserjet 2100tn (year 2000) is working just now. The same problem : IP address Now, my ip adress is the same that yours and I enter the same adress in Ethernet (

    Ty and I’m sorry : my english’s bad, I’m french and living in Martinique.


  36. I upgraded my MacBook to Snow Leopard now my HP 2100TN doesn’t work like many of you.
    My printer is on a router and I am using airport. I want to try the ip solution, but via airport I do not see the settings. Anyone with any ideas?

  37. I had the same problem and try for a time and then decided to give the 2100 away. Lukely I saw your article and yes : it works. I noticed somehow tht the 2100 had a good IP adress and I could connect it directly by filling this adress in HP Jet direct connection for IP printers.

    Thanks very much.

  38. Maria’s solution uses the wired internet connection of the Mac to communicate with the HP 2100TN. As Emanuel found, this approach does not allow your Mac to connect to the internet through the wired port. A wireless connection must be used.

    If you want your Mac to have a hardwire Ethernet connection, here is a solution if you have a router:

    Get the IP address of the HP 2100TN by pushing down both buttons. Then change the router’s IP address to be compatible with the printer’s.

    In my case: HP 2100TN =

    So I changed my router’s address to be:

    With both the computer and printer connected to the router, you benefit from the speed of the hardwired internet connection to the Mac.

  39. I love my 2100TN. Like many of you, it has served me well for 10+ years. I have other printers, but it is my workhorse. I reluctantly moved to 10.6 as I knew there were some drawbacks with InDesign, but I had to make the move to use a piece of software. Imagine my shock when I was in a huge hurry but my computer could not see my printer! Ugh!! I have another laptop running 10.5 and have been using that to print. Today, I found the answer to my problems. Thank you, thank you Maria for posting this article.

    • Karen: Glad I could help!

      It’s killing me that the 2100TN still works fine (despite a few weird squeaky noises sometimes) because I’d love to get a new printer but I simply can’t justify the expense.

      One thing’s for sure: my next printer will be an HP, too. My husband is STILL using my old HP 4MP — the only reason I gave that up was because I needed faster printing of QuarkXPress and PDF files long ago. Now I hardly print anything. No new printers in my future.

  40. Maria
    Your instructions are the only ones on the web that worked! Thank you.

    HP2100TN ethernet cabled into an Airport extreme, unable to print from an iMac 2010 with MacOs 10.6.8

    My DHCP assigned ethernet address was (Printer was as per config page)
    I went to DHCP with manual IP and entered (why not? ;-) )
    It worked via HP socket direct with IP address

    You are the Snow Leopard Guress!!!!!

  41. Maria,

    Maybe this question does not belong here but I believe it is somewhat related. I have a small business that I run out of my home. I currently have (2) Macs, an original MacBook Pro up graded to 10.6.4 and a newer (2009) imac running 10.5.8 that I refuse to upgrade until this issue is corrected. Both of these along with the following printers are on an ethernet network, 3 HP printers, (HP4600dn, HP4050N, HP8000dn) and 1 HP DesignJet 1050C Plus Plotter. I use a dlink with modified firmware.(i can explain later) All of the printers will print from the Imac without issue but, none of printers will print from the MacBook Pro until the printer being printed to, is shut off and turned back on. I fully understand that the imac is using appletalk and the MacBook Pro is using TCP/IP since as you know 10.6 lost appletalk. After a period of approximately 30 minutes the printers revert to sleeping and need to be shut off and turned back on to print. I also don’t think the printers need to go to “sleep” for this condition to occur, It seems to be more of a time related issue. I have set the network router for each printer to have static IP addresses which finally (months ago) allowed a connection Vs. using router DHCP addresses. I also use Parallels to run Quickbooks and the same thing seems to happen when printing. When a file is in the printers queue all that needs to be done is to shut off the power to the printer, turn it back on and immediately it will begin to print. There are also new HP printer drivers waiting to be downloaded which I am also reluctant to download in fear of creating more of a problem.

    Your thoughts?


    • Dennis: Sorry, but I can’t shed any additional light on your problem. I know that my HP 2100TN often has connection issues these days, but that’s to be expected considering its age and the fact that it was built for a different OS. I consider myself lucky that it works at all. If I printed more, I’d likely buy a new printer. We really can’t expect these things to work forever.

      Good luck resolving your problem.

  42. Using IP printing worked for a few months. No it stopped working and I get the message “Network host (ip #) is busy; will retry in 10 seconds” and it is not bust. My other computer which is NOT running Snow Leopard can print fine. THIS IS BS Apple should have a fix for this.

    Anyone have any ideas!

    • Rob: This is the EXACT problem I have once in a while. I’ve discovered that leaving the printer on (or at least having it on for at least 30 minutes before printing) avoids it. I’ve actually put my printer on a timer so it powers down at night and otherwise is on all day long.

      Expecting Apple to resolve a problem with a printer that is more than 10 years old is not reasonable. Haven’t you heard of planned obsolescence? Neither HP nor Apple want us keeping hardware this long. As I mentioned elsewhere, if I printed more, I’d just buy a new printer. But since I print fewer than 20 sheets a week, my aging HP 2100TN, even with its quirks, is simply not worth replacing.

    • Rob,

      I have the same message for all of the HP printers I use, turning off the printer for 1 second and turning it back on corrects the sleep/busy issue. the only thing in common with all of the printers are replaceable HP jetdirect cards ie. 600n or 615n I understand that HP had a replacement program which has such ended. I do not know if that is the problem though or the lack of code for the HP cards.

  43. Maria,

    Thanks for such a quick reply.

    I leave my printer on all the time, so that isn’t the issue. I had a power outage a few days ago, and that might have caused the problem. Like I said my other mac running os x printing is fine. It is just this snow leopard crap.

    I re-set up the IP printing and still shows busy. Any other idea how to get this working?

    I don’t print that much so buying a new printer is a waste of money. And we all know that is the one thing we can’t waste any of.

    I hope to resolve this soon.


    • Rob,

      Read last night on the web if you connect to your LAN via. an ethernet cable vs. wireless it will print correctly. Have been testing it all day and not once has it failed wake and print while physically connected to the LAN.

  44. Hello everyone,

    I got my printer working on Snow Leopard months ago with the help of the directions here. I’ve since followed additional posts with great interest.

    My HP Laserjet 2100 is still working, with no issues and I thought I should write a post to that issue.

    I *do not* install the HP printer driver updates that come rather frequently. I do install the OS updates each time they are issued.

    I use a heavy duty APC battery back up. The instructions on the APC state a printer should not be plugged into an outlet that is linked to the computer’s sleep cycle.
    Thus, my printer is always on.

    Since setting up the printer with these parameters, I continue to be able to print with it and will continue to avoid installing any HP print driver updates.

    I hope this information is helpful to someone!

  45. Rob,
    Thats exactly the issue, when you shut down the printer with a print job spooled in the print queue. It resets the jetdirect card to being no longer busy and the job in the queue should print without doing anything else.

  46. Maria,

    I have turned the printer off and back on. Still says busy. Again, my other mac has no problems printing.
    Might try remote printing via the 2nd mac if I cannot correct this soon.


    You most likely are onto something with the HP update.
    The power outage and HP update happened the same day.
    I will try and go back into TimeMachine to get to the settings before.
    Now I just need to figure where that hides.


  47. Thank you for this post! After searching and searching I was able to set up my HP Laserjet 8150dn printer using an ethernet cable! Six hours of searching and this was the most useful page! Thank you thank you!

  48. Thanks for your posting on this important (to me) issue.
    After browsing around and much trial and error, I found that holding down the small button while powering up the printer was required to perform a cold reset to get IP address I had to hold it down till all the lights went off and then came back on again plus about 7 seconds.

    Only then, could I do the same thing with the large button to get a useful IP address from my local area network, which uses DHCP.

    Then I entered the new IP address into the Address window under Protocol, which is set to Line Printer Daemon – LPD.

    Hope this works for others as well. It is much simpler than some things I have read on the subject, and which I could not get to work.

  49. Another success story, almost 2 years after the original post…

    I followed Maria’s steps and also read a few of the comments and got my trusty 2100M back online!
    It took me a while to get an IP from the printer (I have the JetDirect card installed), which I finally got after restarting my Mac Pro and the printer. My IP came in as In the Add Printer pull-down menu, I chose “HP JetDirect Socket” option and entered the IP, as well as a name and location (optional). On the Mac Pro, I used as my IP, using DHCP with Manual Address. After a little “thinking”, the printer was added successfully.

    The HP is being shared over our LAN and was added quickly on my MacBook Pro! I just sent a page to it and I can hear the “engine” in the other room…success!

    Thanks again, Maria, and everyone who wrote about their experience and offered solutions.

  50. My friend had my printer for a while and when they upgraded their computer I got it back. When I had to upgrade I ran into the same problem of not being able to print with Snow Leopard. I had already tried several times earlier. I did get the computer to see the printer but when I tried to print it always told me the printer was busy. On a whim I decided to turn the printer on first and establish a connection with the router/modem and then start the computer. It worked like a charm and was such a simple solution that I still grin every time I send something to print.

  51. Not meaning to resurrect a dead thread, but being able to change the IP back from to something more useful like with the telnet command allows you to use your ethernet cable for both internet access and printing.

    Another solution, if you have the floor space, is to buy an old G3 iMac off of craigslist for $25-$30, and use it for a dedicated print server running some flavor OS X 10.4. Simply share it from the iMac using Appletalk, and you don’t have to worry about the IP address changing by itself.

    It is a great printer.

  52. Hi Greg,

    I’ve held onto an old G5 (non intel) and now use it as a wireless server; there’s a lot to be said for keeping (or buying as you suggest) an old computer.

    My question is with this:
    “Simply share it from the iMac using Appletalk,and you don’t have to worry about the IP address changing by itself.”

    Can you please detail what machine you are sharing from and to? I thought the problem here is that Snow Leopard abandoned Appletalk and thus, this great workaround via ethernet. I’m asking because I will have to upgrade to Lion at some point and don’t want to lose my HP Laserjet HP 2100TN printer when I leave SL.

    Thank you,

  53. Snow Leopard can see and share with other Macs with earlier versions of the OS, such as Tiger. Set up the HP on a Tiger-formatted Mac, and then share via printer sharing. I assume Lion is the same, but haven’t played with Lion yet.

  54. This is so confusing! The first mistake I made was to reset the IP number without taking off the Jet Direct card. Now what do I do?

    Oh, I should mention that before I did that, I downloaded a whole lot of software updates, none of which have worked so far since I can’t get the “Add a Printer” to recognize the printer. (Then I saw the recommendations NOT to download all the software updates because it might just muck up everything.) Good grief!

    Someone posted that I could avoid the whole problem by getting the Belkin Parallel Adaptor, but the only one listed on the Belkin web site works only for Windows. There are a lot of them listed on Amazon, but it doesn’t say whether they work on Macs or not. Another person wrote that he bought one and it didn’t work and he couldn’t send it back because he had opened the package. Not going to waste my money that way.

    I really hate to throw out this printer. It worked great at school with my old eMate, but now they have updated all the computers, and I can’t get it to work anywhere. (If only I had not updated my iMac (from 2003) to 10.4.11. . . .)

  55. That previous reply was a bit premature. I typed in the new IP address into the TOP part of the Add a Printer box (not the bottom), and it worked! Of course, the name of the printer is now the IP address, but who cares? I actually works from the iMac. Now I will try it from my newer laptop!

    Thanks to all the previous posters, even though I understand less than a third of what was said! :-(

  56. Well…I guess we should start talking about Lion and its compatibility with our beloved HP 2100M. Who has had success configuring it in Lion? So far, no luck over here. I tried using the same IP address I know works in Snow (I’m using a separate system disk on my Mac Pro for Lion), but no love so far.

    How’s everyone else doing? Maria?

  57. Hi
    Instead of resetting the printer to change it’s ip address, I simply changed the ip-address range on the router so that the ip-address already set up on the printer was within this range. All the Macs, PCs, and stuff on your network will pick up a new ip in this new range automatically if you’re using DHCP. You can also make reservation for the printers ip address so that other devices doesn’t pick it up while the printer is off, but this was not necessary in my case.

    Printer: Laserjet 2100tn
    Router: Airport Extreme Basestation
    Mac os x 10.6.x

    No problem

  58. Génial !!
    En suivant votre façon de connecter une HP LaserJet 2100 series à Ethernet 2 d’un Mac Pro (sous OS X 10.6.8), celle-ci refonctionne après 1 mois de galère et de non-impression.
    En même temps Ethernet 1 (deux ports Ethernet sur Mac Pro) est connecté à ma Livebox.
    Sans tout comprendre : pourquoi une adresse comme alors que la HP a l’adresse
    Dans votre article vous dites :
    “manual address from the Configure IPv4 pop-up menu and entered (why not?).
    Cela a été déterminant.
    Un grand merci. Étant français, j’ai dû lire au moins 5 fois votre article (Belle récompense !!).
    À votre tour de faire un petit effort pour lire ma prose !!

    • Michel: Merci! Je suis content que mon instructions peut vous aider.

      J’ai utilisé Google Translate pour m’aider à lire ce que vous avez écrit. Maintenant je l’utilise pour écrire de nouveau à vous. J’espère que vous n’avez pas besoin de trop rire!

  59. I, too, have lost access to the printer after upgrading from Snow Leopard to Lion (10.7.2), which doesn’t make sense, since it’s just communicating to an IP address.

    It couldn’t automatically find the printer, and when configured manually and a print job sent, it just says that the printer is busy.

    Is this the end of the line?

  60. This worked perfectly for me to set up a client’s MBP running 10.7.4 to connect directly via ethernet to an HP2100TN.


  61. FANTASTIC! You’re a genius! As Wile E. Coyote would say “SUCH A GENIUS!” Your instructions of changing the IP address by one digit WORKED! “Old Reliable” isn’t going to be an anchor! I don’t know how to thank you enough. I’m so glad I stuck with it and kept searching the web just knowing that there had to be a way to get Snow Leopard to print to my baby. I love this old HP Laserjet 4 M Plus. She’s been with me a long time and I was sick in the stomach with the thought of having to shell out for a new piece of inferior crap printer. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

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