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I use Mac OS X 10.11.6 (El Capitan) and I would like to find and install a printer driver for an old samsung ML-1210 printer. Can anyone help? If yes, please tell me in simple terms, because I am not computer savvy!

4 Answers 4

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It’s unlikely you will find a printer driver for this model printer.

  • It’s not listed anywhere on Samsung’s support site
  • I found a review of the printer from 2001 making it about 20 years old
  • A service manual I found online confirms that as it’s copyrighted in 2001 (page 79)
  • The specs found on C|Net lists Mac OS 8 as a supported OS and the latest release was 1999.
  • The most recent Mac printer driver I was able to find was for Snow Leopard (10.6.8) for the PowerPC Mac; you have an Intel Mac.

However, there may be some hope...

  • Though the printer specifications list the only emulation as “PrintThru” (I’ve personally never heard of it) it was quite common for printers to emulate “HP LaserJet”. It can’t hurt to try that generic driver.

  • Since it supports Linux, You can try a generic CUPS driver. I found this article How to install the Samsung ML-1210 printer on Mac OS X Lion (and higher). It uses an open source driver (not supported/provided by Samsung).

    Keep in mind this article is from 2011 making it 9 years old. It is technical, so you’ll want to get someone local to assist. It's not feasible for us to test since we don't have access to that printer.

Bottom line... I’ll be the first to applaud your efforts to continue using “useful” equipment, but there comes a point of diminishing returns and if getting a printer working will cost more in time, labor and lost productivity than the price of new one, it’s time to go shopping.

As a buying tip, I suggest you stick with familiar names like HP, Lexmark, Xerox, etc. because you ensure the widest range of compatibility for the longest time. For instance, I have a HP 2025dn (from 2008) that not only has current drivers, but emulates HP (obviously), PCL and PostScript. If your printer can emulate any of these, you can get it to work. Look in either the printer specifications page or in the user manual for confirmation.

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  • Wait, a PowerPC driver for Lion? PowerPC is only supported through Leopard, Snow Leopard with Rosetta. Are you sure it's not a Universal Binary?
    – JMY1000
    Feb 3, 2020 at 16:01
  • @JMY1000 - you're right. I meant to say Snow Leopard. Thanks for the catch
    – Allan
    Feb 3, 2020 at 19:35
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I have the same exact printer and I use it with multiple OSs. With Linux and Windows it gets recognized instantly and you can print without problems. With Mac (Big Sur) there is NO WAY to get it working (even GutenPrint does not provide drivers for ML-1210 but only for ML-1250). So you have 2 solutions, and I've tried both of them:

  • install a WinXP/7/10 virtual machine on your macbook and print from there (a clean installation will boot in few seconds from OSX)
  • set up a local Linux server with CUPS that will allow you to print from literally any device. I've tried with Mac, Win, Android and iOS, and printed flawlessly.

Currently I am using the 2nd solution as I've finally decided to have a local/home server.

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The advice by Allan to use a generic Samsung diver is a solution, but also I agree with his post to buy a new printer. Can you even find the cartridges for your prehistoric printer? Personally I would not bother and buy a new printer, cost about 50-100 bucks.

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Should be availabe, right here:

https://samsung-driver.net/samsung-ml-1210-driver-download/

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  • That site may be genuine but: 1. The installer is dated 2004 and won't run on Mojave (probably PPC). 2. I get really agressive spammy pop-ups telling me to download Flash and MacKeeper, which is seriously worrying.
    – benwiggy
    Feb 3, 2020 at 16:35
  • This is how people get viruses. It's not the mfg.'s site and these people are storing drivers and maintaining a website for you to get things for free? Even if the owners of the website aren't nefarious and only hope to make money from ads, those people placing the ads can't be trusted. Did you see the popups? MacKeeper is malware! Get your software, drivers, etc. only from trusted sources.
    – Allan
    Feb 3, 2020 at 19:56

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