I recently got my hands on a second hand HP printer to replace a my old HP. A neat thing about this one, was that it supported WiFi networks natively. Having gotten it second hand, I had no idea how to configure it. Given how hard the process of setting up WiFi on this thing actually is, and how little information I found online about this task, led me to document my efforts here.
As it where, the printer is fully compatible with Mac OS Lion 10.8.2 over WiFi, and even has a neat web management interface. It’s just so simple to setup, that it’s hard.
Most of the HP documentation refers to the installation software, and how this magic installation software will guide you through the WiFi setup of the printer. I don’t have this software, and could not find it online. But you don’t need it.
Furthermore, HP’s Support pages point to WPS setup. I run my own WiFi and so I assign IP addresses with permanent DHCP leases as per MAC address. So the WPS setup option is a not available to me either.
So here is how I did it.
Install the printer as a USB device:
(Note: you only need the cable the first time you install the printer, because you need to have access to the printer and the Internet at the same time. Whilst on the hpsetup network Apple Software Update will not be able to fetch the drivers. Once the printer and your computer are on the same network, which has internet, you can skip the cable install. This is useful for installing the printer on other computers on your network.)
- Keep your Mac on the Internet so that you can run Software Updates from Apple.
- Power on the printer and connect it with USB.
- Run through the USB install, which will download the latest drivers automagically through Apple’s Software Update.
- Once the printer is happily installed and functional, disconnect the USB cable.
Reset the printer’s WiFi configuration:
- Make sure the printer is not on standby/power saving.
- Press and hold down the Cancel button for 2 seconds, and then (still holding Cancel), press and release the wireless button. (Thanks be to Wi-Fi-Guy)
- The printer will acknowledge the reset with a flashing of the blue wireless light.
Use the hpsetup network:
- The reset of the network configuration will have dropped the printer into it’s default point to point WiFi network called “hpsetup”.
- Use the WiFi configuration of your Mac to connect to the “hpsetup” network.
- The Mac and the printer will be somewhere in the 169.254.0.0/16 range (class B), but don’t bother hunting for it.
- Use the Mac’s System Preferences – Print & Scan utility to add a printer. The printer will automagically make itself visible using Apple’s Bonjour.
- Walk through Apple’s wizard to setup the printer.
- At this point you have added the printer to Lion, but the network configuration is still not correct (it’s on a device to device WiFi called “hpsetup”).
Adjust the network configuration:
- Whilst you are still on the “hpsetup” network, go back to System Preferences – Print & Scan and select Options & Supplies for the newly added printer.
- Then go and click the Options & Supplies button.
- You can now go to the administration web interface of the printer to adjust the network settings, and Bonjour will keep track where the printer is, if the IP changes.
- You will want to use the Wizard to configure the setting of your usual WiFi network.
- Once you’ve changed the network settings, you will no longer be able to refresh the page.
- Disconnect from “hpsetup”, which no longer exists.
- Go back to your usual WiFi network with the Mac, and see how Bonjour finds you printer again.