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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...

Helping PC Techs With Mac Ethernet & Printing Problems
June 15th, 2001

Hello there, everyone! Today's edition of Ask Dave deals with helping PC-oriented technicians troubleshoot problems they have encountered when faced with a Mac. We discuss solutions for a disappearing Ethernet driver, and we talk about finding missing printers in the bowels of Mac OS. If you have a question of your own, you can e-mail me, or ask in the comments below. Alternately, you can visit the new and improved Tech Support forums and let everyone take a stab at answering your questions! And now... on to the juicy stuff!

AJ Mayor writes, "I'm a PC Tech for Charter Communications. I install Charter's answer to Time Warner's Road Runner known as "The Pipeline." The bulk of my experience has been with Window 9x and 2k PC's and have had limited exposure to Macs. Today another tech and I hovered over a G4 with Mac OS 9 trying like blazes to configure it for TCP/IP, DHCP and reconfigure IE 4.5 (Apple version) to work for Pipeline, but alas to no avail. In the TCP/IP Control Panel we only had the options of AppleTalk (macIP), AOL link, AOL link advanced, and PPP. Figuring that option #1 looked closest to what we wanted we attempted to configure it but ended up with nada. Later we found What I believe was called the 'Setup Assistant' and it walked us through the setup of a cable modem after we were done Still nothing. Reboot...still nothing??? Can you help?"

OK, AJ. I've seen this problem before, too. The cards were stacked against you today. The option you were looking for in the TCP/IP Control Panel is "Ethernet", but it wasn't listed. My guess is that a quick trip to the Apple System Profiler would have indicated that FireWire wasn't available either (it just wouldn't have shown up in the devices list). This problem has happened to me personally on my PowerBook (FireWire) no less than three times in the last six months. I have had multiple solutions work on this. They are (in no particular order):

  • Shut down the machine completely, let it sit for 30 seconds, and start it back up again.
  • Use a program like TechTool to reset the PRAM
  • Trash the "Mac OS Preferences" and "System Preferences" files from the Preferences folder (which lives within the System Folder), and reboot.

As I said, I've seen each of the above "solutions" work for this problem. My guess is that it's something faulty in the Mac OS 9.1 hardware detection routines, and any one of the above steps resets this and causes it to redetect the hardware. Simply rebooting the machine has never worked to solve this problem for me, but (as I indicated) shutting down and starting back up has. Good luck!

Kathy Barcoski writes, "I work almost exclusively with PCs. The Mac world is new to me. One of my clients lost communication with her Apple LaserWriter 370. It does not show up in Chooser but there is an icon on the desktop. I also noted that there is no extension listed for it. Please forgive my ignorance. This is only the 2nd time I have worked on a Mac and I am really lost. Temporarily I installed a DeskJet to give her printing capability. Please help! Thanks."

This is interesting, Kathy. The LaserWriter 370 didn't sound familiar to me, and a search of Apple's site turned up nothing. I'm guessing this is merely a typo and it's a 360. If that's the case, it uses the standard Mac LaserWriter driver. If there is no listing for "LaserWriter" in the Chooser, then we need to either activate or install the proper software. Try the following:

  • Go to the Extensions Manager (in the Control Panels folder), and see if the LaserWriter extension is there but unchecked. If so, check it, and reboot the machine. "LaserWriter" should now appear in the Chooser.
  • Download the latest LaserWriter software and install it on to the machine. Once installed, "LaserWriter" should appear in the Chooser.

Once "LaserWriter" appears in the Chooser, you should be able to click on it and see her printer appear in the list to the right. Choose the printer and all should be well.

That's it for this edition, folks! Feel free to send your questions to me at [email protected], or ask in the new Tech Support forums. Enjoy!

P.S. Have a Nice Day.

is President and CEO of The Mac Observer, Inc. He has worked in the computer industry as a consultant, trainer, network engineer, webmaster, and a programmer for most of the last 10 years. During that time he has worked on the Mac, all the various Windows flavors, Be, a few brands of Unix, and it is rumored he once saw an OS/2 machine in action. Before that he ran some of the earliest Bulletin Board systems, but most of the charges have since been dropped, and not even the FBI requests that he check in more than twice a year.

Ask Dave is here to answer all the Mac questions you have. Networking, system conflicts, hardware, you ask it, he can answer it. He is the person from whom all Mac knowledge flows....

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