Printer Stuck On Pause

If you’re having issues with your printer getting stuck on “paused” every time you print a document, this may be of some help.  In my specific case, I was trying to print to a Xerox Workcentre from OS X Leopard over our office network.  After weeks of installing and re-installing drivers, and even having a Xerox technician out, nobody could solve the problem.

The first key is to look at your printer log.  Apple->System Preferences->Print and Fax->Double click on the offending printer.  Then from the Printer menu, select Log and History.  This will open a log in the Console application.  Scroll to the bottom and you should see an error like:  “/usr/libexec/cups/backend/lpd failed”

From what I’ve been able to figure out, Apple updated the lpd executable at some point which destroyed compatibility with the xerox driver.  To solve this, you need an earlier version of lpd.  In my case, I copied it from another Mac in the office.  However you get it, you first need to give yourself superuser access to the broken Mac.  You do this as follows:

Apple->System Preferences->Accounts then Click the bottom left lock to make changes, enter your password, then click Login Options, then the Join button under “Network account server”.  From there, open the Directory Utility click the Lock again and enter your password.  Finally, from the Edit Menu, select “Enable Root User”.

Once you have root user access, you can open a terminal (just use spotlight and type terminal) and copy your newly obtained lpd file as follows:

In the terminal window, type “su” and then your password.  Then “cp location/of/lpd/file /usr/libexec/cups/backend”

That’s it.  All of our problems were fixed.  Hopefully it helps.