Secret drivers for LaserJet 3030 and other HP LJ all-in-ones



If you have been trying to use the HP LaserJet 3030 -- or one of the
other HP LJ multifunctions -- with MacOS X like I have and you haven't
used it as a boat anchor yet, there are secret drivers that enable you
to use all its features under recent versions of MacOS X. I reviewed
the LJ3030 in another, but I assume you bought this because you wanted
a printer, scanner, FAX, and copier (or at least two or three of
those). I believe HP's decision to use AiO was misguided and Mac users
have suffered as a result. In any case, I found a workaround to enable
reliable printing with AiO and new (almost secret) drivers to enable
scanning from TWAIN applications.

If you are happy accessing just the printer function from MacOS X, then
you are probably fine. The printer works fine as a USB-connected
PostScript printer using the drivers included in the
HewlettPackardPrinterDrivers.pkg included with MacOS X. It might even
work fine as a generic PostScript printer even if the
HewlettePackardPrinterDrivers.pkg wasn't installed (I never tested this
and I don't know how much AiO support is required for just printing).
Or you can install the latest HP LaserJet V.5.5.2 [print-only] drivers
(which includes updated PPDs and PDEs for printer-specific features and
supports both PPC and Intel).

However, the scanner component is inaccessible when used this way -- an
AiO driver must be installed to access the scanner (and the FAX
capability). Unfortunately, I found that when HP AiO's drivers are
installed, printing is unreliable. In particular, when a job is queued
up while a job is printing, the queued job is dropped. For example, if
you submit jobs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Job #1 will start printing, and jobs 2,
3, 4, 5 will queue up. After #1 finishes, the Mac will send over #2
except the printer will ignore it. After #2 is sent over, then #3 will
start printing. #4 will be lost and then #5 will print out. Note that
is only happens if the LJ3030 is connected directly to the Mac via USB.
If the LJ3030 is connected to a JetDirect en3700, then the Mac prints
via LPD, JetDirect/9100, or IPP and there is no problem.

Also, the all-in-one software V.5.9.5 (note confusing naming and
versioning -- these drivers date from 2003/2004) includes a TWAIN
driver stopped working with 10.2 (it definitely doesn't work with 10.3
and 10.4).

First Fix: New drivers
While HP's drivers page for MacOS X only shows the V.5.5.2 [print-only]
drivers and the all-in-one V.5.9.5 drivers, the MacOS X drivers page
for the Color LaserJet 2820/2840 have the new all-in-one V.6.0 drivers.
This 180MB download from Feb '05 actually includes support for dozens
of HP multifunction/all-in-ones. Although the icon for the HP Director
is wrong, this driver otherwise fully supports the HP LaserJet 3030
under MacOS X 10.3. In particular, it replaces the TWAIN driver with
one that is compatible with 10.3+ (possible 10.2+ but I didn't test
this). FAX send support also worked under 10.3 and 10.4 from "admin"
(from a regular user under 10.4, PrintJobMgr crashed on attempts to

Second Fix: Delay for CommApp
Still missing: full Intel-support and reliable printing.
Unfortunately, full Intel support can only come from HP, but I found a
workaround for reliable printing when the HP drivers are installed and
the printer is connected via USB. When the HP drivers are installed
and the LJ3030 is connected via USB, all communication to the LJ3030 is
done through "HP". Printing in this situation
handled by a "CommApp" backend that forwards to HP Communications. The
fix is to insert a delay after "CommApp" runs so that the printer has
time to recover before accepting a new job.

My hack to create the delay requires creating a wrapper script for
CommApp which adds a "sleep" after calling the real CommApp.
As root after HP's drivers are installed:
# cd /usr/libexec/cups/backend
# mv CommApp CommApp.exe
# cat <<EOF > CommApp
/usr/libexec/cups/backend/CommApp.exe "$@" && sleep 8
# chmod 755 CommApp
# exit

Stilling Missing: Manual feed and Watermarks support. See next post.

David Lesher

Hey; I would like to modify a 4050 PPD so as to force Letterhead to
be fed from Tray 1 & to be single-sided.

I had a hack working in OS9 but when I tried the same thing with
the OSX version, no joy.

Any comment?


David said:
Hey; I would like to modify a 4050 PPD so as to force Letterhead to
be fed from Tray 1 & to be single-sided.

I had a hack working in OS9 but when I tried the same thing with
the OSX version, no joy.

Any comment?

Hi David,

We did this kind of thing all the time at a place I used to work.
Simplified a lot of things as far as printer installations and on-going
configuration correctness. I had one of my guys do it on a day-to-day
basis, though.

Anyway, seems like there would be two ways to do this:
1. Modify the PPD so that a) selecting Letterhead includes codes to
pull from Tray 1 and force duplex/tumble off and b) ensure the output
ordering is such that codes for paper selection comes after codes for
tray selection and duplex mode.

2. Modify the PPD with UIConstraints to prohibit the combination of
Letterhead with either duplex/tumble or a tray other than 1.

#2 is probably cleaner but I'm not sure if current Mac dialogs would
handle this in a user-friendly sort of way. I don't have access to a
LJ 4050 or any HP printer with more than one tray so I wouldn't be able
to test anything I try.

If you would like to e-mail me directly, I use Gmail as an ISP and my
account there is bzgnyc.


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