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Author Topic: HP z3100 drivers for OS X  (Read 2905 times)
Aaron Nelson
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« on: October 12, 2008, 05:24:28 PM »
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I am using a macbook pro 2.4 ghz core 2 duo machine running OS X 10.5.5 and I am trying to determine what driver to use for my HP z3100 44in printer. Sounds pretty simple right   Well, not for me unfortunately.

Some background: I am a new owner of the z3100. I called HP on Thursday because I was unable to to access the HP Printer Utilities "Run Online Diagonostics" module. I was receiving an error due to a bad server certificate. The tech whom  seemed to be very helpful asked me to determine what firmware and driver I was using. When I told her the driver I was using was driver version 2.3 she said that was crazy and she couldn't believe I was even getting prints. And so begins a long weekend.

She asked me to delete some files form the library directory which I did. She had me download 2 files from the hp site, which I also did. She specifically asked me to download the driver files from HP for OS X, not the OS X 10.5 drivers.

I downloaded the following files from HP's z3100 OS X support page:

Mac_OS_X_HP_DesignjetInstaller.dmg" (225 MB) version 5.1
MacOSXHPDesignjetPrinterUtility.dmg (11 MB) version 3.1

Installed these and instabilities started. HP Printer Utility application would unexpectedly quit on launch. HP tech is gone for the night at this point.

Next day talk to a new tech. He also has me delete some files from the Library folder and download new files form hp. This time he has me download the files designated for OS X 10.5 support page. Makes sense to me.

I downloaded the following files from HP's z3100 OS X 10.5 support page:

MacOSXHPDesignjetInstaller.dmg (143 MB)  version CR2.3
MacOSXPrinterUtility.dmg (27 MB) version 3.0

Installed these and everything seemed to WORK. That is of course until HP tech support is out for the weekend and the HP Printer Utility begins to crash again. So somewhere along the way I've become confused.

I would like to resolve this issue without tech support because I just don't have time to talk to them during their business hours. I clearly need to reinstall the driver for this printer, as well as the printer utility but I really don't know which files I should be deleting first, or what files I should I should be installing afterwords. What is the correct driver version for OS X 10.5 systems?

If anyone can advise me in these matters I thank you in advance.






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dandeliondigital
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 08:10:21 PM »
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Hi Aaron,
It's a long shot, but did you remember to run Disk Utility after installing all that software and Verify and Repair Permissions?

If the answer is no, then that's what I would do first.

Also, if that fails, delete the printer in the setup found in System Preferences/Print & Fax/Printers, by selecting it and clicking on the minus button. Next click the plus sign add button and set up the Z driver.

But before you even do that, you might want to run a small demo print from the front panel just to verify that the machine is happy and working properly, before printing from the newly created driver.

I hope this helps.

Good luck, and so long for now, TOM

Quote from: Aaron Nelson
I am using a macbook pro 2.4 ghz core 2 duo machine running OS X 10.5.5 and I am trying to determine what driver to use for my HP z3100 44in printer. Sounds pretty simple right   Well, not for me unfortunately.

Some background: I am a new owner of the z3100. I called HP on Thursday because I was unable to to access the HP Printer Utilities "Run Online Diagonostics" module. I was receiving an error due to a bad server certificate. The tech whom  seemed to be very helpful asked me to determine what firmware and driver I was using. When I told her the driver I was using was driver version 2.3 she said that was crazy and she couldn't believe I was even getting prints. And so begins a long weekend.

She asked me to delete some files form the library directory which I did. She had me download 2 files from the hp site, which I also did. She specifically asked me to download the driver files from HP for OS X, not the OS X 10.5 drivers.

I downloaded the following files from HP's z3100 OS X support page:

Mac_OS_X_HP_DesignjetInstaller.dmg" (225 MB) version 5.1
MacOSXHPDesignjetPrinterUtility.dmg (11 MB) version 3.1

Installed these and instabilities started. HP Printer Utility application would unexpectedly quit on launch. HP tech is gone for the night at this point.

Next day talk to a new tech. He also has me delete some files from the Library folder and download new files form hp. This time he has me download the files designated for OS X 10.5 support page. Makes sense to me.

I downloaded the following files from HP's z3100 OS X 10.5 support page:

MacOSXHPDesignjetInstaller.dmg (143 MB)  version CR2.3
MacOSXPrinterUtility.dmg (27 MB) version 3.0

Installed these and everything seemed to WORK. That is of course until HP tech support is out for the weekend and the HP Printer Utility begins to crash again. So somewhere along the way I've become confused.

I would like to resolve this issue without tech support because I just don't have time to talk to them during their business hours. I clearly need to reinstall the driver for this printer, as well as the printer utility but I really don't know which files I should be deleting first, or what files I should I should be installing afterwords. What is the correct driver version for OS X 10.5 systems?

If anyone can advise me in these matters I thank you in advance.
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Aaron Nelson
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 11:02:33 PM »
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Thanks Tom . The permissions have been repaired and I believe the utility and driver are operational, but I'm concerned the driver that is installed is outdated. When I add the z3100 to the print/fax printer dialog I am asked to select a driver for the printer to use. The only option I am provided with is to use the "HP Designjet Z3100 44in Photo -PCL3 raster" driver. I am currently using this driver and it states it is version 2.3.  Previously I was offered the option to select a driver called the "HP Designjet PCLS raster 5.1" and I am under the impression this was the driver I am supposed to be using. How do I get that driver back into my system, assuming it is the driver I need... you see my problem

Aaron
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dandeliondigital
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 10:45:53 AM »
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Hi Aaron,
It seems HP has quite a few different schemes for naming and numbering it's software and firmware, and it's real easy to loose track fast.

I have the Z3100ps (postscript) printer which uses either the PCL3 driver or a PS driver. I checked and my PCL3 driver is version 2.3.1

Version numbers are the kind of thing I could never get a straight answer from HP because I think their version numbering scheme confuses even them.

I hope this helps. Did you print a demo? HAve you printed to the printer driver and get a successful print yet?

So long for now, TOM

Quote from: Aaron Nelson
Thanks Tom . The permissions have been repaired and I believe the utility and driver are operational, but I'm concerned the driver that is installed is outdated. When I add the z3100 to the print/fax printer dialog I am asked to select a driver for the printer to use. The only option I am provided with is to use the "HP Designjet Z3100 44in Photo -PCL3 raster" driver. I am currently using this driver and it states it is version 2.3.  Previously I was offered the option to select a driver called the "HP Designjet PCLS raster 5.1" and I am under the impression this was the driver I am supposed to be using. How do I get that driver back into my system, assuming it is the driver I need... you see my problem
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neil snape
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 11:11:26 AM »
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Yes use the raster driver. You obviously have a PS version. For images the raster driver does everything you need. IF you use the PS driver , you have other Postscript options like PAntone color matching etc but for straight out images , the raster driver is best.
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dandeliondigital
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 12:33:35 PM »
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Hi Neil,
One comment on your comment to use the Raster Driver.

Keep this background info in mind when you read the following comments: I have had already three different versions of firmware and I think 3 diferent versions (updates) of drivers on my printer since I purchased it. I tired printing the same image with the following variations at one point: Out of each driver and using either Application or Printer Managed Color Management. The results varied.

Given the look of all the prints, I settled on the PS driver. I usually print either out of Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign or Adobe Photoshop. Many times the images contain type or vector art. Both B&W and Color images printed on matte papers did quite well with the PS driver.

In contrast, I plan on doing a B&W printing project shortly which will require the Quad inks and the PCL3 driver will offer this capability and I can't wait to get going on that!. Now that I can print baryta papers on my Z!

Are there specific items you look out for that I have not mentioned when you compare and contrast prints made with either driver?

I know you have a lot of experience and knowledge, and if I should be looking for something specific, I'd love to get a pointer or two.

So long for now, TOM

Quote from: neil snape
Yes use the raster driver. You obviously have a PS version. For images the raster driver does everything you need. IF you use the PS driver , you have other Postscript options like PAntone color matching etc but for straight out images , the raster driver is best.
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neil snape
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 01:28:08 PM »
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The PS models have a true Adobe Postscript rip on a chip on the comm card where your Ethernet connection is plugged in.
IT is a robust little chip with enough horsepower to run anything I could find and then some.

What you do need to know is it converts or maintains an all three channel workflow. So the color world created when it rasterises will convert the colors in a way that is optimised for the Z. By doing so variables are taken out of the workflow which is a good thing.

Firmware can be a bad thing though, if the evolution of the the raster drivers are changed incongruently to the PS driver/firmware.

I could be wrong but I believe the PS chip has a specific engine code that is not changed with firmware updates.

So if there are color variations between the PS updates, raster updates and firmware as well it only makes sense that there will be differences.

Normally the PS driver should send the elements over Ethernet or USB to be rasterised (spooled sort of) in the printer whereas the raster driver has to spool the data on the host computer.
Another advantage of the PS version is of course run length in theory but I found it choked at the time just as easily as the raster version of the driver if the res was more than 225 ppi. on long prints.

In terms of color in the beginning there were no differences between the PS and non PS. Even after several firmware updates I saw no differences. That could have changed, but there wouldn't be such a difference that calibration and profiling wouldn't adjust the differences.

Oh if you're printing from Adobe applications the color engine should be very similar if not identical to each other too. Where there would be slight differences would be if the CMM was set to a non ACE engine.
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dandeliondigital
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 08:53:59 PM »
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Hi Neil,
Wow. Thanks for all the information. I really appreciate it.

I expect to be doing more testing now that things have firmed up.

On another note, I only wish HP had made an upgrade for Z3100ps owners and the dreaded "red" issues supposedly "fixed" in the Z3200 series. My reds are deficient (so orange it's amazingly not red) with either driver, and on almost all media but especially the matte papers.

IMO, the product cycle has been sped up to the point where unless you are really a big deep pocketed user you cannot keep up with the technology which is really regrettable because in the end it reflects back badly on everybody.

If HP could only have made things like this an optional paid upgrade, IMO, I would appreciate that, and could probably afford that. I cannot however "upgrade" to a new Z3200ps without too much hassle and $$$$. And IMO, no, this type of upgrade is not like the upgrade of the Canon 5D to the Canon 5D Mk II which I think was used as an excuse by someone (or something like that). Sigh.

Thanks again, and so long for now, TOM

Quote from: neil snape
The PS models have a true Adobe Postscript rip on a chip on the comm card where your Ethernet connection is plugged in.
IT is a robust little chip with enough horsepower to run anything I could find and then some.

What you do need to know is it converts or maintains an all three channel workflow. So the color world created when it rasterises will convert the colors in a way that is optimised for the Z. By doing so variables are taken out of the workflow which is a good thing.

Firmware can be a bad thing though, if the evolution of the the raster drivers are changed incongruently to the PS driver/firmware.

I could be wrong but I believe the PS chip has a specific engine code that is not changed with firmware updates.

So if there are color variations between the PS updates, raster updates and firmware as well it only makes sense that there will be differences.

Normally the PS driver should send the elements over Ethernet or USB to be rasterised (spooled sort of) in the printer whereas the raster driver has to spool the data on the host computer.
Another advantage of the PS version is of course run length in theory but I found it choked at the time just as easily as the raster version of the driver if the res was more than 225 ppi. on long prints.

In terms of color in the beginning there were no differences between the PS and non PS. Even after several firmware updates I saw no differences. That could have changed, but there wouldn't be such a difference that calibration and profiling wouldn't adjust the differences.

Oh if you're printing from Adobe applications the color engine should be very similar if not identical to each other too. Where there would be slight differences would be if the CMM was set to a non ACE engine.
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Charles Gast
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2008, 07:02:09 AM »
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Since the cost for me to upgrade is the same whether I go to an epson 7900 or to a z3200 it is likely I will follow the epson path. The likelyhood of the 7900 being even nearly as lame in so many areas as the 3100 was and the 3200 has the potential to be is highly unlikely.  The only question I have is whether the 7900 will throw  a third to half the ink in the waste bin keeping its printheads clear! Of course the $3000 it appears I would now have to spend to upgrade to a z3200 (which allegedly works) would pay for lots and lots and lots of ink  As for the built in profiling I can get mailed in profiles done for about $45 each and I usually end up sticking with four or five media. Even with the built in profiling of the z3100 I had to mail out for good profiles when using matte papers and the reds and yellow were still not what they should be - and would be on an Epson. $4000 is what I have spent on the z3100 and later the APS.  Throwing another $3000 at HP means I have spent $7000 on a 24" printer.  Oh, don' t forget the nearly 2 years of frustrations with the 3100!!
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Aaron Nelson
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2008, 04:55:26 PM »
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After finding time to get in touch with HP it has been determined that the correct driver version for my z3100 photo printer with OS X 10.5.5 is HP_Designjet_Z3100_44in_Photo PCL3 raster driver version 2.3. So, in other words, the HP tech that I originally spoke with was wrong about the correct driver to use, and sent me on a wild goose chase. Misinformation, thanks for the confidence builder HP.
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