Friday, March 06, 2009

Lexmark X4550 wireless woes with OS X, part DEUX

The Mac drivers for the Lexmark X4550 (listed as '3500-4500 series') are a little twitchy in that, after not using the printer/scanner for a while via its wireless interface (e.g. after the wireless router has restarted), it will no longer connect to the Mac to scan nor will the Mac connect to it to print. The typical case when trying to scan and upload to a computer on the network is that the printer will display "Downloading application list" on the LCD panel after you select the desired computer to scan to, and then after about a minute, "Cannot retrieve application list".

Anyway, the scabby workaround for me is a little script which simply kills and restarts a pair of Lexmark driver services:

$ cat ~/bin/

killall LexmarkNetworkServices
killall "3500-4500 Series Button Monitor"
open "/Library/Application Support/Lexmark/"
open "/Library/Application Support/Lexmark/3500-4500 Series Scanner.bundle/Contents/SharedSupport/3500-4500 Series Button"

This seems to do the trick. Of course, it would be better if Lexmark would fix their drivers, but after the last phone calls I had with their tech support I don't think this is a big priority for them (it was an outsourced-to-India tech support line, where the guy did almost everything he could to pronounce that it was a problem with my router or my computer or something, rather than actually passing on information about a probable bug to the dev team... although he did seem to have a decent technical grasp of the troubleshooting steps he performed which makes him infinitely better than the Acer helpline which appears to go to a call centre in Scotland with lots of ignorant people in it. Whoops, my comment in parentheses is longer than the preceding paragraph, boo!).


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I really want to do this but I got the message:

    "There is no default application to open the document 3500-4500 Series Scanner.bundle"

    What application am I supposed to use to do this sort of thing??


  3. Hi Melissa,

    Are you sure you pasted the line exactly?

    open "/Library/Application Support/Lexmark/3500-4500 Series Scanner.bundle/Contents/SharedSupport/3500-4500 Series Button"

  4. well, I didn't get that far. When I get to "Series Scanner.bundle" I can't open it -- says, there is no default application to open it, so I tried the "recommended applications" but none of the worked (TextEdit, Word, etc.), in other words, I can't open the software.

  5. But my instructions don't say to open that file. It sounds like you're pasting only a small fragment of the command. There are 4 commands listed in my post:
    1. killall LexmarkNetworkServices
    2. killall "3500-4500 Series Button Monitor"
    3. open "Library/Application Support/Lexmark/"
    4. open "/Library/Application Support/Lexmark/3500-4500 Series Scanner.bundle/Contents/SharedSupport/3500-4500 Series Button"

    Make sure you're typing/pasting each command in full before hitting enter, and don't leave out the double quotes.

  6. Okay, I managed to get to 3500-4500 Series Button Monitor (by right clicking and choosing "view package contents" in the previous folders), but when I double click, nothing opens, and "3500-4500 Series Button Monitor" is not followed by ".app"

    When I right click and choose "show package contents," I get the following:
    EXEC PkgInfo
    Resources (Folder)
    MacOS (Folder), and

    Where do I go from there?

    Thanks for your help!! This has been driving me crazy for months!

  7. Okay... maybe this is too far over my head. I don't know where to type in the killalls, or any other command for that matter. =/

  8. Oh I see now - it sounds like you're trying to open the file from Finder. These instructions are for typing commands in the Terminal program.

    That said, you can enter that bundle folder by right-clicking (ctrl-click or on a Macbook, hold two fingers on the touchpad and click) on it and selecting "Show Package Contents".

  9. Okay, I found the Terminal program (haven't used anything like that since I had a PC years ago...) and put in those commands, one at a time, pushing enter after each one. Then I just Xed out of the program... I still get the "cannot retrieve application list" message. Do I have to restart?

    I'm getting closer to understanding! haha

  10. Hi Melissa,

    It's a bit hit and miss indeed - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't... sometimes it seems like it should have worked, but nothing happens until I eventually put the laptop to sleep and wake it again. Restarting should work, but it'd suck if you had to do that every time this happens.

    Stupid Lexmark! :/

  11. I don't have a folder in Application Support called Lexmark--- where did you get this? (I've tried reinstalling Lexmark drivers from the apple support page)

  12. Hi Sageev,

    I just noticed a typo in my original post:

    open "Library/Application Support/Lexmark/"

    should be

    open "/Library/Application Support/Lexmark/"

    Note that we're looking in /Library and not the Library folder in your user directory (~/Library).

  13. Thanks for posting this, just fixed the problem I was having with this stupid scanner. Only needed to tweak the instructions slightly since I have a 3600-4600 series.

  14. @Marina

    Glad you got it sorted! I was both unlucky and lucky: my hard drive died and a whole bunch of stuff disappeared (including some baby photos, argh), but after installing the drivers again on a new install of OS X, the printer seems to work fine now.

    But yes, shitty Lexmark...

  15. Here are some new drivers.