My new printer works in OS-10, but its not in the OS-9 chooser. Help?

I just bought a G-5 I-Mac and got a free printer with it. The printer is an Epson C-86.
I thought the problem was because I had loaded the printer software before I realized OS-9.2.2 wasn’t loaded.

After I loaded 9.2.2, I uninstalled the print drivers (and deleted from Print Center in OS-10.3.6) I turned the computer off, turned the printer off then on, started the computer. Then I made sure OS-9.2.2 was running. I reloaded the print drivers.
Once again they appeared in the print center, but not in the chooser…What the heck am I doing wrong?

The printer drivers that work under MacOS 9 and X are going to be (very probably) completely separate files, or sets of files, and will reside in separate folders. They should not interfere with each other, so there’s no need to uninstall any of them once they’re installed — unless you suspect the files have been damaged for some reason.

And I don’t quite know what you mean by “reloaded the printer drivers” after you had uninstalled them. If that’s literally true, then surely they would have been unavailable? Are you using “load/unload” for “install/uninstall”? Or “enable/disable”?

As it stands now, you probably need to reinstall the printer’s MacOS 9 drivers while running under OS 9. I think the download page, for both OS 9 and X, is here, if you don’t already have the installers on a disc that came with the printer. And even if you do, the website should have the most recent versions anyway.

Hope this helps.

The print driver under OS 9 is generally going to be a simple file —a file in the Extensions folder of the OS 9 System Folder of file type “PRER”. If you aren’t fully familiar with Macintosh File Types, see note at bottom of post*.


hp deskjet 4.3
Acrobat™ PDFWriter
Epson Stylus Color
LaserWriter 8
Print2Pict 3.7.1
SP 700
StyleWriter 1200

In some cases, additional folders get installed along with the PRER file *. LaserWriter 8 and the Epson printer both have folders with additional description files, watermark files, preferences files, etc.

But it’s the PRER file* which puts an icon into the Chooser.

If your printer software installation CD comes with a single Macintosh installer program, right-click it and see if you have the option of launching it as a Classic app. If there is a MacOS X installer app and a MacOS 9 installer app, you need to launch the OS 9 installer app. If there’s only one installer app and it doesn’t give you the option of launching it as a classic app, you’re probably SOL but launch it anyway and see if there are any options for installing MacOS 9 printer drivers. Also check the CD for folders or README files —the MacOS 9 driver may exist as a file on CD that you can just drag and drop into the Extensions folder of your MacOS 9 System Folder.

  • File Type is a four-character hidden file characteristic; it is not displayed in the Finder window or even the Get Info window (for some stupid reason) but if you go Command-F in Finder to bring up the Find window, you can click the dropdown list at left (where it usually defaults to “Name”, as in “Name contains ____”) and switch it to “Type” and do a search for files of type PRER on the CD.

Mac Epson C86 Drivers

Isn’t that the link I already gave?

Yes. I missed it in your post.

Thank you. The installation instructions indicate the same drivers are used for both OS-9 and OS-10. There is only one drive installer on the CD.
In the instructions: then remove the Epson CD and restart your computer." Then its covers going to the chooser to select the printer.
I’ll get the print drivers as you suggested.
If I still have trouble I’ll be back.

As you’ll see from the Epson site, the OS X and OS 9 drivers are completely separate things.

I don’t know if you’ve had a Mac of any kind before, or perhaps you had one without OS X, but things are quite different between the two versions of OS.

On the hard drive, you’ll see an “OS 9 System” folder and just a “System” folder. Any driver needed for OS 9 will be in the OS 9 folder. It won’t appear in the OS X System Preferences or Print Center.

Conversely, any driver for OS X will not appear in Chooser, which is purely an OS 9 or Classic application.


I went to the Apple website. On the user board, the problem was rampant.
The instructions that come with the printer say nothing about seperate drivers, but indeed that’s (at least part of) the problem.
So far, not having the printer available in OS 9 isn’t a problem since the only application I’d print from keeps crashing (sigh)

Thanks for all the help.

Workaround: download the MacOS 9 $20 shareware driver Print2PDF and put it in your OS 9 Extensions folder. Print your OS 9 application printouts to PDF file and then double-click them — they’ll open in the OS X application Preview (or the OS X version of Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, if you’ve told the OS to use one of them instead) and you can print those out under OS X to your regular printer.

I feel like such an idiot. I finally went to the Epson website, downloaded the OS 9 drivers and (am not stubborn, am not am not) lo and behold! There is that silly printer right there in the chooser! It even found the USB port. I’m so happy.
Now, I’m trying to burn my vinyl to CD. I’m going to use one new piece of hardware and 3 software apps. I will not come begging for help and solace when I’ve burned 25 CDs and have no music to show for it.

Thanks everyone :cool: