Why the HP Photosmart C4780 Printer Sucks

When I purchased the MacBookPro, it came with a free HP Photosmart C4780 printer. I know, I get what pay for. The thing has given me nothing but trouble since day one. First, even though the software was supposedly pre-installed on the laptop, it didn't work until I installed it manually. Then, it wouldn't see the proper install (I couldn't uninstall the one that came installed on the machine.)

As this one worked with the WiFi network, I donated our old HP all-in-one to the Boy Scout troop. Too bad the reason we kept this one, namely the WiFi capabilities, have been horrendously bad.

The scenario:

I kept getting 'printer offline' messages, even using the USB connection to the Mac. Troubleshooting nets me 'no printers are available,' but the diagnostic tells me that my network is fine.

The install printer dialog shows no printer options, until I select "I can't find my printer," then Photosmart C4780 magically appears. I go through the entire install process, then get a 'your printer is not supported' message.


Tech support live chat nets me a person who immediately informs me that they don't support the Mac line via live mode. However, we're having the issue with the PC as well, the technician tries to walk me through things I've already done. He tells me to print out the Network Configuration checklist, and it tells me something I already know: there's no IP address for the printer.

That avenue exhausted with someone who didn't know what to do, I check the router to see what resources it has. Ed's iPhone, my iPhone, the Mac, GameTeen's DS and three unknowns (one that I know is Chef's iTouch).

I manually try entering in those unknown IPs, in the hopes of manually getting it to work, without success. Then a download of software, AFTER perusing the list on the HP support site that says my laptop came with the drivers already installed for the C4780.

Searching the Internet, this seems to be a common refrain. Many Mac users get this printer free from Apple with the purchase of their Mac computers, yet HP doesn't support Mac users in a way that is helpful.

Research has given me several answers, none of which have worked. More than a few reports out there are that people got HP to admit that there's a glitch with this model-but there is NO PATCH for the Mac users!

Guess I need to research a new printer, because I've spent half the day trying to print documents I need for a class or fiddling with this headache.

At one time, I was a huge fan of the HP product line. The last few products have really soured me on ever getting anything else with the HP badge.

Hello, Canon?


meghan said…
I have a new unopened printer i was going to offer to sell you cheap, but then remembered it's also an HP...
Easy fix, when you try to print the next time look at what printer is selected. If it has a plug next to it, it assumes you have it plugged in. Choose the printer id without the plug next to it and make sure the network you are using is the same as the one you have programmed in your computer.
Suzanne said…
Interesting! You are far more helpful than the tech support at HP. Thank you! :)

Typically, I'd see one printer. I'll check that the next time I have the opportunity.

In the time since I wrote this, I had an unfortunate incident with Mi Manzana and had to replace it with Mac 2.0. The new laptop came with a free printer as well, but I went with the Epson. So far, so good.

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