My workhorse home office printer/scanner/copier/fax is an HP Photosmart C6180 All-In-One. It’s really quite good – an excellent printer, especially for photos, with solid scanning and fax capability. But HP’s software leaves something to be desired. In both Vista, it would “forget” how to find the scanner after a few months, forcing me to reinstall. Once I switched to the Mac, I was amazed that the printer and scanner worked so well out of the box, but was annoyed to see it do exactly the same thing after a month or so. But it turns out that the problem here might not be all HP’s fault!
It turns out that the HP Printer Driver 1.1.1 from OS X Software Update, which is pushed out by Apple, interferes with the scanner communication for this, and lots of similar devices in the C5100, C6100, C6200, C7200 series. Everything works fine until you install this driver update, and then the scanner function ceases to work even though it can still see the device.
So here’s how to fix it:
- Uninstall the HP software using the HP Uninstaller (inside Applications > Hewlett-Packard)
- Reinstall the latest version 9.7.1 software from the HP website
- Run Software Update (under the Apple menu)
- Highlight HP Printer Drivers Update 1.1.1
- Go to the top menu and select Update > Ignore Update
This will prevent your Mac from downloading the HP Printer Driver 1.1.1, and thus killing the scanner functionality.
While you’re at it, add a new Quartz filter to reduce the size of the scans!