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Time Machine: how to restore installed printers?

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J. Tad Newberry
Time Machine: how to restore installed printers?
on Jun 25, 2009 at 6:13:57 pm

I wasn't able to print (computer suddenly wasn't talking to the printer, though i printed this morning with no changes since), so i thought i would delete the printer and reinstall it. No luck, so i thought i would go back in Time Machine and drop in System Prefs from an hour ago. No dice. Looked for "Printers" on an old TM backup and didn't see that either. What would be the best way to restore previous System Pref settings or anything else with Time Machine? My guess is i'm just not looking in the right place on the old TM backup for where to restore my printer settings...

Thanks again!

J. Tad Newberry
Big Ya Productions
Mac Pro 2.66 GHz Quad-Core

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Zane Barker
Re: Time Machine: how to restore installed printers?
on Jun 27, 2009 at 4:09:02 am

I think you may be a little confused as to how time machine works.

A Time Machine backup can be used in one of two ways.

1- Restoring a computer that has a fresh install of the OS.
2- bringing back individual files.

Printer settings are not really a file you can just bring back.

Try resetting the printing system.
Go to Print & Fax in System Preferences. Right click or control click on the list of printers and select reset printing system.

Once you reset the printing system try re-adding the printer

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!

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Julian Bleecker
Re: Time Machine: how to restore installed printers?
on Aug 10, 2010 at 12:31:16 am

Actually, this is perfect for TimeMachine. In OSX everything is represented in a file in some fashion — you just need to know which ones do what, which can get quite obscure quickly. In the case of printer descriptions, they are stored in a rather baroque corner of the filesystem under /etc/cups/ppd. If you go to this directory in the Finder's browser (starting at the very root of your system disk which will have directories like /Applications, /bin /cores /opt /System and so on — you'll see a directory called "etc" — go in there, then into cups then into ppd while in TimeMachine. Restore the files from there into your (probably empty) /etc/cups/ppd directory and then you'll need to restart the cups process, which probably means just restarting, unless you're more expert at starting and stopping system processes under OSX. That should sort everything out.


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