How to make the HP Photosmart M425 work on a Mac

2007-03-12 00:31:14 UTC

  1. Get out the HP drivers CD.
  2. Put it in one of these.
  3. Push the button.

Silly me, trying to use a device with the Mac drivers that come with the device. Turns out it works just fine with the built-in Mac OS X drivers, either via PTP (whatever that is), or as a mass-storage device. In fact, Image Capture works the same either way.

With the HP drivers, a program called “HPCamera_PTP” would crash whenever I plugged in the camera, whether I did this in Image Capture or iPhoto. I found that switching the camera to mass-storage mode (“Disk Drive” in the USB Configuration menu) worked around that problem nicely, and Image Capture (and iPhoto) even work transparently in this mode.

Later, I was tinkering with Image Capture in some way (I forget why) and noticed that it has its own PTP driver. This gave me an idea, and having long ago uninstalled the HP uselessware, I switched the camera back to PTP mode (“Digital Camera” in the USB Configuration menu) and plugged it back in. Huzzah! It worked exactly as it did in mass-storage mode.

Kudos to Apple for making it do the Right Thing either way. Antikudos to HP for making non-functional drivers.

I also got a new scanner yesterday, a CanoScan LiDE 600F. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work without drivers. Fortunately, its drivers work. (Both devices let me use Image Capture without touching any of the apps that come with them, which I consider mandatory given the nearly-consistent asstasticity of the UIs of such apps in general.)

2 Responses to “How to make the HP Photosmart M425 work on a Mac”

  1. Simone Manganelli Says:

    Oof. I have learned my lesson long ago about installing any Mac drivers from CDs included with printers, especially HP ones. If the stock drivers don’t work, only THEN do I install the drivers from the manufacturer, and even then I usually download them from their website to make sure I have the latest version.

    Me on an experience with HP printing software. Warning, lots of profanity, I was pissed. :)

  2. Peter Hosey Says:

    Yeah, downloading from the website is important too. The CanoScan drivers from the CD crashed on launching Image Capture (similarly to the HP drivers), but I got a subtle impression that they were PowerPC-only. (I didn’t check. I just went straight to the website.)

    After getting the current drivers, which this time were explicitly marked as being UB, the scanner works fine.

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