1720dn Printer Driver for Mac OS X won't install in Leopard (10.5)


Dell Monitors, Printers, Projectors, Hardware and Software discussion

1720dn Printer Driver for Mac OS X won't install in Leopard (10.5)

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The installer fails partway through. With the generic driver, duplex printing is not supported.

The driver for OS 10.4 works fine, but my new machine is in Leopard.

It appears Dell has dropped support for the Mac OS for the 1720 / 1720dn --
though it was available at the time I purchased the printer.

Does anyone know of a good work-around? I'm mostly wanting to regain use
of the duplex printing to save paper (and trees).

If I find anything, I will post here.


Should Dell re-institute Mac support for printers that are sold on that basis?

Dell has sold some printers with Mac OS drivers, but later dropped support for the Mac OS on most printers. They have kept the last working driver available, so a person could still use them if they have access to the older OS. Perhaps Dell does not want Mac users to be happy with their Mac computers. Obviously, this makes us unhappy to be Dell printer users. What do you think?

  • Dell should maintain working drivers for the platforms when practically possible (100%)
  • Dell can release a Mac-compatible printer, but switch to being Windows-only at any time. (0%)
  • Total Votes: 5
All Replies
  • August 15, 2009

    After a bit of internet searching, I discovered a possible work-around, which I will share here. There are some problems that have not yet been solved. And I don't know about this kind of print driver stuff, so I'm in a process of learning some things.

    This is a way to use the Dell 1720dn with duplex on a Mac with OS  10.5

    First, I downloaded three things (hpijs, Foomatic-RIP, and Ghostscript)


    I installed the Ghostscript first, then the Foomatic-RIP, then finally, the hpijs. It may not have been required, but I restarted my Macbook Pro.

    Then I chose Print & Fax from the System Preferences. Click the "+" on the right to add a printer, and choose your printer from the available list. My 1720dn is on a local network, so I chose   "Dell 1720dn    |   Bonjour". You can then select the driver from the driver menu. I chose:

    Generic PCL 6/PCL XL Printer Foomatic/hpijs

     If you have already added the printer and want to change the driver, double click on the printer in the list on the left side. Then click on the info button and you can select the driver from a long list.

    I briefly tested it with a few simple print tasks. The main problem I have noticed is that it only prints in portrait orientation, and not landscape. There may be other problems I have not yet found. 

    There may be another driver from this list that will restore more complete functionality, but this is a start. If anyone knows of a better selection for driver, or some other solution, I would be very grateful for a post.



  • The OpenPrinting website suggests using the following drivers (additional descriptive text is from their website, not me) :

    HP LaserJet Series PCL 4/5  -- Allows up to 600dpi, duplex works. PCL 6 does not work properly - borders around test page are missing and 1200dpi does not work anyway (everything is big).


    Generic Postscript driver -- no duplexing, Works Good (1200dpi x 1200dpi), with generic PostScript level 3 driver on Mandriva 2008.1, on network (port 9100)


    It's not a perfect solution, but better than nothing. Perhaps I can hold out hope that Dell with it's vast resources might see fit to put some resources toward updating the Mac driver. I won't hold my breath.

  • Ok. We are getting close.

    A tech from my work said that Dell printers are rebranded from lexmark. He suggested that I try to find a comparable lexmark model and try that driver. I tried E352dn and it looks better than the other drivers for graphics, and does duplexing. However, there was a syntax error, so I might not have chosen the right model.

    I'm going to experiment with the E250dn as it uses the same print cartridge. If anyone else has time to research which Lexmark model is the "sister", please post that here.



  • Actually, the 1720dn driver that comes on CD with the printer works just fine with both Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6).

    The 1720dn driver that you download from the Dell support website does NOT work as it is a corrupt file.  It fails just as you describe.  But, I repeat, the driver that comes on the CD with the printer works perfectly, full duplex and everything.  I use it frequently on both 10.5 and 10.6.

    I discussed this with one of Dell's specialists in the summer and they were planning to update the driver (which they acknowledged as corrupt) on the website, but it sounds like it didn't happen.

  • Thanks, KhalidY. I really appreciate that info. I installed the driver from the CD and everything works perfectly.

    It's kind of sad (but not surprising) that D[-LL's tech support didn't get the memo that the file was corrupt-- as of my calling in August. They also said the "Mac is not supported," even though I bought the printer because it IS (or, was, at least).

    Oh, well. I'm glad it was an easy fix. I made a disc image of the driver install disc, and might be willing to post it on my server, but perhaps it would not be legal to do so.

  • Ummm...could I get that driver? I just received a 1720dn from a company I worked for, and they did not have the CD for it. I would really appreciate it if you could send me it or point me to where I could find it.

  • Try to contact me via this forum. If you can, I'll get you the file. If not, ping me on this thread, and we'll work something out.

  • In case anyone comes along wishing for this...

    You can find this driver (and others) at the Dell ftp site.


    Here's the full URI for an ftp client.


    Or, use the following URI in a web browser.


    Hoping this helps someone.  :-)