Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Konica Minolta Magicolor 2300 DL and Vista x64

Site Note: It's been a while since I've updated anything here. My apologies. Our baby boy is 6 months old, so getting a few moments to write is becoming less common these days.

I had to share this one, since I spent several hours today fighting with my printer. I place the blame squarely with me. My expectation was that any driver for any prior version of Windows would never work with a later version of Windows. It's a fair assumption, but it was wrong.

The backstory: I migrated from XP to Vista, then after discovering how terribly slow the Vista world really was, I bumped up my RAM to 6 GB. Of course, this meant having to move to Vista x64, otherwise my system would only have 3GB of (yes, 3GB, not 4GB due to the intricacies of Memory Addressing).

Here's the scenario:
You have a Konica Minolta Magicolor 2300DL with Controller Firmware 2.85S (you can find the firmware revision by printing the Configuration page using the kludgey menu system on the front panel of your printer). In addition, you're using the Ethernet interface, rather than USB or Parallel.
In a desire to torture yourself, you have installed Vista x64 on a workstation that you wish to print using your 2300DL.

Here's the solution:
The Windows XP x64/Windows Server 2003 driver is compatible with Vista 64-bit.
Download the XP x64 driver and follow the directions for installing the 32-bit Vista driver up to the point where they tell you to go to the advanced settings and use LPR printing mode. Skip LPR, use Raw, and make sure the port is 9100.
When it's time to select a driver, use "Have Disk" and point the "wizard" in the direction of the folder that you extracted the XP x64 driver to and you're set.

A note about the 2300DL printer and the liklihood that this will work . . .
I've noticed that most people did what I did. When this model went EOL in 2004 (or was it 2005?), OfficeMax and others started selling it (with rebate) for around $400.00. A quick calculation indicated that the cost of the consumables was about $400.00. And a quick look at competing products (at the time) had the next color laser-like printer around nearly double the price.
The printer had its drawbacks: It shipped with 64MB of memory and used enough electricity to cause the lights in your house to blink when it ran. But it had its huge plusses: It used typical PC133 memory, of which any geek has a box full of. It had an Ethernet adapter. And it was a 400.00 Color Laser Printer!!
If you purchased this printer when I did, your firmware is probably alreadya at 2.85S

If you purchased it earlier, there's a chance that your firmware isn't even able to be updated.

Before you embark on updating the firmware, do yourself a favor, call Tech Support at 1-877-778-2687. Despite the fact that this printer is discontinued and mine is well out of warranty, it took 4 minutes to reach a representative who spoke perfect English and I was never once asked to pay a "one-time $45 dollar support fee". You don't see that too often.