Thursday, 1 October 2009

Duplex Printing on HP Deskjet 970Cxi - Hopes Raised and Dashed

Ever since installing Snow Leopard I've been moaning about the downgraded printing service I now receive, specifically the lack of full duplex support for my trusty old HP DeskJet 970Cxi. Being the external optimist that I am, I regularly do a search for news of any potential fixes.

Earlier today I performed my weekly Google for my personal Holy Grail (what lofty ambitions I have!), and got quite excited when I found Gutenprint 5.2.4. The Gutenprint drivers installed with Snow Leopard are from the 5.2.3 version. I was a little surprised that the release date for the latest version was July 29th 2009 because it predated Snow Leopard's release but decided to go ahead anyway.

There were no specific details in the release notes pertaining to either Snow Leopard or my DeskJet, but I downloaded and installed the package. As I was in Firefox I decided to run a test print of the Gutenprint download page to see if I could detect any difference. I ran a check on the printer installation a sure enough, the driver for the HP DeskJet 970Cxi was now "HP DeskJet 970C - CUPS+Gutenprint v5.2.4", a definite improvement.

I went into the Print option in Firefox and my pulse started racing as the dialog box came up and had a tick against the "Two-Sided" print CheckBox, and the "Two-Sided" printing Listbox gave me a default option of "Long-Edge binding". The Gutenprint 5.2.3 driver had all references to double sided printed greyed out, and rendered useless.

The excitement was short lived as the printer started churning out separate sheets for each page in the same way as its predecessor. I guess there is still some hope. The possibility of double sided printing has been restored and single sided printing does still work with the new driver.

So near and yet so far...


  1. I share the same frustration. Did you find a solution for this yet?

  2. I just tried PrintFab which kind of works.. maybe I'll just get a new printer. After ten years of use I will accept it being pushed out by the OS

  3. Gutenberg 5.25, which is now out, allowed me to select two-sided printing for my HP DeskJet 932C, but did not actually print two-sided. Grumble.

    I guess I will have to buy a new printer.


  4. found a solution to this problem. Duplexing was disabled for my 940c in 10.6. I bought a new printer which died after 13 months. Bleh. Anyway my hint was from:
    the HP 9800 is still supported in 10.6. Tried the built in 10.6 driver, no luck, duplexing would cycle the paper properly but not put any ink on the paper.
    Then I found
    duplexing is not supported on the 940c but it is on the 9800! Success! Duplex printing on the 940c in SL 10.6

  5. Thank you to tell us so much useful information. So nice sharing. I’m glad to read it.