What options to keep alive? Working printer, with 'dead' software

Hello all,

Would really appreciate some suggestions!

This has confirmed what I have already known for a long time >> the days of our using our Samsung colour laser-printer are numbered. :roll_eyes:

The printer works perfectly fine – but the fun and games started back in macOS Yosemite/El Capitan already – with it being increasingly difficult to scan from the printer.
The issue is the driver software – which had not been updated by Samsung since even before then.
Now, Samsung appears to have sold their printing division off to HP(??), which at least still has the driver to download – but again, no updates.

At the moment, through a process of elimination, we have it working relatively well.
Connecting to the network has never worked well.
But a direct plug-in via USB, has mostly done the trick.

However, of late, whilst printing is still fine – scanning in B&W works, but scanning in colour delivers an empty (but massive) PDF file, that won’t even open on account of being ‘corrupted’.
The final straw is that it is (as above) a 32-bit piece of software, and I am not holding my breath for any updates to work on Catalina and further.

We spent quite a bit of money on the printer, albeit being purchased on a great special – but since we’ve only had it 2 years or so, it still works perfectly. At least, the hardware does.

So we will shortly be faced with – from what I gather – the following options:

1.) Bite the bullet and spend the +/- $500 on an equivalent, but newer & air-print ready Brother laser printer.
This will be a bitter pill to swallow, since as mentioned – the printer is not that old, and still works well.
We’ve also replaced all the cartridges recently, which is not an inexpensive exercise…

2.) Look at picking up a cheap 2nd hand Mac something (older Mac Mini/MBA/cMBP) – and plug it in and leave it, directly connected to the printer, in the study…
This is tempting – since as the one child has already hit the age where plenty of printing is needed for school (with another one, a few years behind) – she would presumably be able to airdrop/share directly to the Mac, and print from there, without our intervention…

3.) Keep the downstairs ‘home-server’ MacMini (2012 quad-core) on Mojave, attack the upstairs printer & its software again – and see if I can finally get it connected to the Network…
This is tempting – BUT me and networking, are not friends…

4.) Buy an even cheaper Windows NUC/old laptop (or Raspberry PI??) – and set-up a something involving a direct-connection to the printer, and a “print-only” GMAIL account for it to access, to allow my kids/SO to “email” their printing there, and then open&print…
Could work – but kludgy. Potentially cheap though…

5.) Install VM software on my and my SO’s machine, to have the driver still work (presumably) over in Windows.
I mention this last, since it will require 2x licences for Parallels (one new, one upgrade), and 2x licenses for Windows (one new, one upgrade from Win 7) and since my specced-out 15" MBP will deal well with VM, my wife’s 11" ageing MBA, not so much…
Also – this will still require our machines as a go-between for the kids’ printing, which is not ideal.
So this is a viable, but not really friendly, option…

The cleanest option is 1.), but its the one I only want to take if the other options are really not worth it…

Any advice on the others? What would you do, assuming you were budget-sensitive?
(Many thanks for the read!)

What a pain!

Raspberry Pi could be interesting…and you may not need to setup the email workaround. As long as the printer is supported on linux, you can print via airprint from your mac and iOS devices.

I’ve been where you are many times, both personally and professionally. Why buy something new when the printer (computer, TV, car, etc.) is still working?

The problem with items 2, 3, 4, & 5 is most of them will require some money, and
all will require your time, setting up and maintaining a less than satisfactory solution.

Buy a new printer. Spent the time you save with your family.


Did not know that… Hmmm, thanks – will check its compatibility!

Yes, that is hard to argue against, and a not-insignificant factor in all of this – so thank you! I just figured I would hear what others have to say.

Infuriating, and also, why do we still need drivers? Protocols like TWAIN, PCL and Postscript have been stable for a long time. How hard is it to send a well-known format over wifi or USB? Is all the ripping done on the Mac still?

Sounds like planned obsolecence again, a way to force people with perfectly working gear to buy again.


If you can find the right deal, I might go with the buy a used Mac idea, install Hazel, and have it print automatically somehow.

Otherwise, definitely agree with WayneG.

As the printing seems to work fine, have you
looked at something like Vuescan?

They indicate support for Samsung, but I
don’t know what model printer you have.


I agree, just get a new printer. All the other solutions and suggestion are, no offense, way too complicated and time consuming.

Buy a new printer, hook it up, and you’re problems are solved.

Thanks - will have a look at this!

Some good advice to consider when buying ANY technology is to buy the most current version of hardware you can. We all know that money can be saved by buying discontinued printers, scanners and other add on peripheral’s. Peripheral companies don’t make any money by updating drivers and letting customers download them for free, that’s a FACT. Buying as new as possible will balance out the dollars paid vs the actual service lifetime of your purchase before drivers become an issue yet again.