I updated to Catalina last year. I have several issues in my networking ecosystem at home including printing to my Dell 1320c printer

Basically I used my printer as a network printer, attached to the network via Ethernet cable. So I tried workarounds to circumvent the need for a missing Dell 64-Bit Driver.

I also read this thread and reinstalled my printer with the Xerox driver. The "Filter failed" issue is gone now but another issue popped up.

The Print job is starting but showing the message "printing - connecting to printer" and after a bit of time "the printer is unreachable at this time" or "printer may not exist or is unavailable at this time".

I was also looking for compatible 64-Bit open source drivers but did not find any.

Does anybody have another idea what else could fix this issue?

  • It doesn't look like this is a postscript printer so using the macOS Generic printer driver is out. But macOS uses CUPS (Common Unix Printing Subsystem) and there may be a driver out there for your printer via CUPS. – Steve Chambers Mar 11 '20 at 19:54

Unfortunately, you're out of luck.

The problem with these low cost, entry level printers is that they use the host (the computer driving the printer) to supply the engine for it.

According to the specs (available as a PDF), the Printer Language is "host based." So, it's significantly more than a driver or a CUPS PPD file - it's actual software driving it. Because this software is (most likely) 32bit, there's no chance it's going to run on Catalina.

So, your options are limited:

  • Set up a small, cheap computer (like a PC running Windows 7 or 10) or even a Mac mini running Mojave or earlier and share the printer over the network - basically make a home grown print server.

  • Downgrade to Mojave

  • Buy a new printer (if you go this route, don't get another host based (usually consumer grade) model. Get one that a corporation would buy. Yes they cost more, but you won't run into these issues (I've got a Lexmark that 15 years old still running with zero issues).

  • Your answer inspired me to ask another question: Will any AirPrint-compatible printer work with macOS Catalina? – Nic Mar 12 '20 at 13:18
  • Thanks for the fast and detailed answer. That’s too bad it won’t work. Well, it would via usb but not over network. Also, it’s not worth the hustle and power consumption running a Print Server 24/7. Even using raspi I guess. I guess it’s time to buy a new printer since the old one is also running out of toner. – eALduderino Mar 12 '20 at 21:17

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