Setup HP 3050 with Mac OS X Lion

I’ve had this HP 3050 Deskjet printer for a few months now, but for whatever reason, I never got it properly setup to work wirelessly.  Today I made the effort and it wasn’t as easy as it should be.

First of all, the HP 3050 doesn’t have a great built-in menu system.  I’m used to working with bigger enterprise printers that all have really advanced user interfaces built into the device itself, so this was odd.  Every single help document from HP referred to me setting up the printer using the menu, but of course, the limited menu didn’t have the options they said it did.

Note to HP – you website and support online are an abomination!

After about an hour of trying a number of different things I simply unplugged the USB cable from my iMac, reset my printer settings and decided to start again.

I managed to find the Lion drivers on the HP site and installed the whole package – smart move by me!  

The full HP Software package has a variety of other setup tools that don’t seem to be documented anywhere.  As I went through the installation of the package it gave me the opportunity to setup the wireless printing as part of the process.  The first thing it does, that again isn’t documented anywhere, is it tells you to plug the USB cable back in – the software connects via USB to setup the Wi-Fi.  Once that was done the printer found my router, let me put in the security password and I was away.

Windows 7 setup was just as easy, downloaded the full software suite – which HP doesn’t make easy to find.  It found the printer during installation and we were off to the races.

There are a couple tricks:

  1. HP Documentation is rubbish, throw it away
  2. Download the HP Software for the Lion for the printer
  3. Make sure you’ve not got the printer previously installed on your Mac, if so remove it
  4. Have your USB cable handy
  5. Install the software and follow the prompts, it really is easy
  6. Plug you USB in when it tells you to and unplug it when it tells you to

Done and dusted.  The key is to not get frustrated with the sheer stupidity of the HP support site – if you can navigate your way to the full software package for the printer, you’re home, just follow the prompts.

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