Installing the Fuji Xerox 3125N printer
just bought myself a new printer, and as usual it had no OS/2 drivers.
As a result, there was a certain amount of pain involved in getting it
working. In the end, I got it working in two modes
and of course the second of these is what I really wanted. The notes on
this page are in part a review of the printer (which, overall, I quite
like as a cheap but satisfactory laser printer), and in part a
description of how the installation went, in the hope that I can help
others who want to get this printer working.
- parallel printer port
- network printer
Executive summary: it's working, and I'm happy with it. It wasn't easy
to get it working, but it should be easy if you read these notes.
I bought the Fuji 3125N printer because (a) Officeworks was selling it
at a good price; (b) It claims to have both PCL and Postscript 3
support, which means that it should be compatible with any operating
system; and (c) It can optionally be set up as a network printer, which
is attractive to anyone who has more than one computer.
Oh yes, and it's a laser printer. That's especially important given all
the trips I've made over the years to Cartridge World to pay a fortune
for InkJet printer ink cartridge refills. A laser toner cartridge costs
over $100, it's true, but it lasts practically forever. (I've forgotten
the numbers, but it's thousands of pages of typical text.) The
cartridge that comes with this one is a cut-down version that has a
much smaller life than the standard replacement cartridge, but all
printer manufacturers do that, and the initial cartridge still has a
reasonably good life.
It has three interfaces: parallel port, USB, and ethernet. That's a
nice choice to have. I got all but USB working. I'll try to cover all
three in the details below.
particularly pretty. White, rather than the more classy black that you
get with suppliers like Brother. In fact, it looks a little flimsy,
almost as if it was something made by Dell. In my attempts to configure
it, though, I've had to carry it repeatedly between three rooms, and it
hasn't minded being carted about. Its small footprint - spoilt only by
the "tongue" that sticks out to hold the paper - is attractive to me,
because it means that it fits easily on my desk beside the computer.
Fancier printers need more space, but I guess that if you can afford a
fancier printer then you probably have a bigger house.
The box gives an honest description of printer features. I have only two complaints about what it says:
part probably also includes the "Made in China" label. I'm getting
seriously sick of flimsy Chinese-made rubbish that keeps breaking down,
but I guess we don't have a choice. The "level playing field"
introduced by a former Australian government has driven most Australian
manufacturers out of business, and I guess the same is true in most
first-world countries. German manufacturers still make
excellent-quality whitegoods, but I don't think the Germans are into
paper with manual double-sided printing". Sure, but you can do that
with any printer. "Manual" means that you print one side, and then feed
the paper back manually to print the other side. True, this printer
does have a place, above the sheet feeder, to feed a single sheet -
this is a feature I haven't yet tested, and one for which OS/2 support
is not necessarily present - but that's not vastly different from
sticking the page back into the sheet feeder. If I were still making
lots of transparencies I'd appreciate the single-sheet feeder, but that
part of my professional life is over.
- The parts
list. Most of what's on the box is in both English and Japanese, but
the parts list is in Japanese only, which I can't read. I would have
liked to know which cables weren't included.
UNPACKING AND INITIAL SETUP
The box contains
the printer, an initial toner cartridge, and power cords for three
different countries. (I guess I should mail the two unused cords to
friends in England and in mainland Europe. It's rather unlikely that
I'll ever transport this printer to another country.) There's also a
plastic lid for the paper holder - presumably to keep dust off the
paper - a USB lead, and two CDs. There's no parallel port printer
cable, which is a pity. There's also no ethernet cable, but that didn't
surprise me because ethernet cables are expensive. The CDs are for
Windows XP and Windows Vista. (And nothing else, which won't surprise
you. For other operating systems, the only useful things are a PPD file
- of which there are 30 identical copies - and the manual.) When I
later went to do a Windows installation, on my laptop with Windows 7, I
really should have used the Vista CD, because the XP one had missing
files; but Windows rejected the Vista CD with a message "Not compatible
with this operating system".
The documentation is terrible. The instructions that come in the box
have headings in English, with translations of the headings in numerous
other languages, but the actual instructions are in the form of grossly
ambiguous pictures. It took me several hours before I guessed that I
might have inserted the toner cartridge back-to-front. It took me a
whole day before I finally realised that one particularly obscure
ideogram meant "shake the toner cartridge". I still need to remove it
and shake it.
The documentation on the CD is a bit better, but it's badly formatted.
It's not too hard to read on eCS with the Lucide document viewer. On
Windows, which uses Adobe Acrobat as its PDF viewer, it's a royal pain
in the bum; it's really difficult to find the page after the current
page. In hindsight I realise that the PDF was designed to be read in
its printed version. Of course, by the time you can print it you no
longer need it, unless you already have another printer installed.
Loading paper is no problem. Inserting the toner cartridge is a matter
of luck - if it doesn't seem to work, try it the other way around. I
now realise that I would have done better if I had known how to
interpret the printer lights and the single button, but that was buried
deep inside the CD documentation and it took me a while to find it. For
future explorers: a red light means that something is wrong, probably a
badly inserted toner cartridge. Holding down the button for about two
seconds gives you a test page. Holding it down for five seconds or more
gives you a status report.
My initial attempts to get the printer working with eCS were a total
failure. I therefore moved the printer to my Windows laptop and started
with that. That took some time, as documented below.
The constraints of my house telephone connection means that I have
computer devices in four different places. My main computer (eCS 2.0)
is on the desk in the study, with a wireless LAN connection. My Windows
7 (hawk, spit!) laptop is on the kitchen table, again with a wireless
interface. My modem/router is on the bedroom floor, next to my server
computer (OS/2, version forgotten since it doesn't have a display or
keyboard). My cheaper printer, a Brother multifunction that works only
with Windows, is in the lounge room, and therefore useless except when
I move the laptop next to it. The lounge room used to be the hub of the
whole LAN, but I had to move to another phone point while my ISP was
investigating ADSL dropouts. Now that I've moved everything into my
bedroom the dropouts happen only two or three times a day, rather than
several times per hour. I'm convinced that that's because there hasn't
been much rain since I moved the router into the bedroom, but that's
still a matter for further investigation.
(I'm at a disadvantage here. I get a good rate from my ISP because I'm
on an Optus DSLAM. If I want to switch I'll probably get better
performance, but at a cost of an extra $40/month, because Telstra
charges like a wounded bull for access to their DSLAMs. For now I'm
deferring the decision, because I'm looking for a new home. Once I move
I'll probably opt for Naked ADSL with MyNetFone, a VoIP provider I've
been very happy with.)
Unfortunately, that has meant that I had to keep moving the printer
around the house while trying to get it working. Good exercise, I
suppose, but annoying.
CREATING AND CONFIGURING AN OS/2 PRINTER
here are for eCS 2.0. I recall that in earlier versions of OS/2 you
created a new printer object by dragging a printer template onto the
desktop, and I can't recall whether that template was in the Templates
folder or the System folder. That's a minor detail, though, and I
imagine that anyone reading this can adjust to such differences. Things
like port settings are still the same.
To begin with, you need to get a file called XP3125.ppd from the
Windows XP installation CD. There are 30 separate copies of that file
on the CD, but I think they're all identical. Furthermore, despite the
name, there's nothing specific to XP in the file. I chose to copy the
file to C:\ecs\install\PRNDRV\PPD\XP3125.ppd, to avoid having to find
the CD later, but in fact there's nothing wrong with using it directly
from the CD.
In the Printers folder inside "Local System" on your desktop, there's a
shadow of the "Printer driver import utility". Run this, select
the option "Import Postscript Printer Description", hit the "Begin"
button, and then specify the above-mentioned PPD file. What this does
is create a new printer driver. It's actually a copy of the generic
Postscript driver, plus some details about what features are supported
by this model of printer.
Now run the "Install Printer" object, and choose "Standard printer".
Select the "Install" button, and then "Install new printer driver". The
list of printer drivers now includes a "Xerox Phaser 3125 PS", and
that's the one you want. Once you have the right driver, edit the Name
field to whatever you like, and choose an output port. For now, choose
LPT1, which is correct for the parallel port connection. For other
options, you'll come back later to change the output port.
Finally, the "Create" button creates your new printer object in the
Printers folder. You'll probably want to right-click and choose the
"Set Default" option, but if you prefer you can do that later.
OPERATION USING PARALLEL PRINTER PORT
Since there is
no parallel port printer cable in the box, I didn't get to test this
initially. My old printer (an HP DeskJet, now retired because of the
cost of ink) does have a suitable cable, but it took me a couple of
days to realise this, because you have to lift a lid to discover that
the cable can be unplugged without the aid of sidecutters.
Once I had the right cable, this worked immediately with eCS. Text
printing isn't as dark as I would have liked; that's probably because I
didn't initially understand the instructions to shake the toner
cartridge before inserting it.
Warning: before the first print operation, check the job properties.
Mine had somehow been initialised to 2 pages/sheet, for printing A5
size on A4 paper. This saves paper (the text is shrunken), but isn't
what I normally want. I had to save my preferred 1 page/page setting
several times before the setting stayed saved. I haven't yet worked out
whether this is a bug in Aaron's editor, or a printer driver problem.
INSTALLATION USING USB CONNECTOR
(Warning: this didn't work for me. I think there's a bug in USB printer support.)
The cable for this is included in the box, so it was the first thing I
tried. To make this work in eCS, your CONFIG.SYS must include
(Some of these might be missing if you didn't specify a USB printer
during installation. If they are, make the necessary CONFIG.SYS
changes, and reboot.) In my case, however, this wasn't enough. I
therefore carted the printer into the kitchen to connect to my Windoze
As soon as I plugged the printer into the laptop the "Found new
hardware" spook downloaded a driver. (1.8 MB! Whatever happened to the
days when a device driver took up a couple of kilobyte?) Once the slow
download was finished, the driver installation went very smoothly, and
I had a working printer almost immediately.
Surprisingly, the driver was only a PCL driver. The big selling point
of the 3125 is that it supports genuine Postscript 3, so why didn't it
install a Postscript driver? At this stage, I started to wonder whether
the reason why the eCS installation failed was that it wasn't a genuine
For now, I still don't have it working under eCS, so let's move on to the next section.
INSTALLATION AS A NETWORK PRINTER
This appeared to
require a Windows computer, because no other operating system was
supported, and the manual didn't mention any other operating system. In
hindsight I now know how to do it independently of Windows - and rather
more easily - so don't follow this section step by step, or you'll end
up doing it the hard way, as I did.
To have a network printer, you must first connect the printer to the
router, using an ethernet cable. This part went smoothly, and the
router immediately recognised the printer and, using DHCP, gave it an
address. Then there are two further jobs:
That first step
took me several hours. According to the manual, all you have to do (on
Windows) is to run Setup.exe, and then choose the option to install a
network printer. This doesn't work, because the setup software can't
find the printer. (I think this is because the Windows Setup makes
brain-dead assumptions about the network gateway, but it took a lot of
hindsight to discover that.) After several hours of experimentation, I
found that the correct approach (for Windows) is the following. There's
actually an easier way, which I would have found a couple of days
earlier if I hadn't been sent down the wrong track by Setup.exe, and
I'll describe that later; but I'll first describe the "obvious" way. If
I had to suffer, so should you.
- give the printer an IP address on your LAN;
- install suitable "network printer" driver software.
mysteriously, did not see anything at address 192.168.1.250. Possibly
that was because its DHCP server only allocates addresses in the range
192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.20. In any case, it didn't matter. Pointing
Firefox to http://192.168.1.250, I got a printer status page.
the printer to the router, and then hold down the printer button for
more than five seconds. This gives a printout that includes IP address
(incorrect and irrelevant) and MAC address (very important, so make a
note of this twelve-digit hexadecimal number. Ignore the colons,
because Windows won't accept them).
- Go to your
OS/2 machine, run Firefox, and bring up the page for your router. (You
presumably have this in your router documentation.) The details are
different for different routers, but if you search long enough you will
find the MAC address that you noted in step 1. Make a note of the IP
address that has been assigned to this MAC address. In my case, it was
184.108.40.206. If you don't succeed in getting the information from the
router, try the "ping" command, starting with the lowest address, until
you find an address that responds and that doesn't already belong to
something else on your LAN.
- Go back to
your Windows machine, which is presumably still running Setup. Choose
the option to change the printer's IP address. This utility starts, but
will not find the printer. Choose the "manual configuration" option,
and enter all the tedious details. The IP address and the MAC address
are as noted in step 2. The mask should be 255.255.255.0 if you have a
192.168.*.* LAN, or 255.0.0.0 if you have a 10.*.*.* LAN. Check
carefully for typos, because this is the point where Windows will still
fail to find your printer.
that the printer is at last found, change the IP address to something
compatible with your LAN. I chose 192.168.1.250, on the grounds that it
was within my 192.168.1.* subnet, that 250 was an easy number to
remember, and that the address was outside the range that the router's
DHCP server uses to allocate dynamic addresses. (My Billion router
doesn't have an explicit provision for static IP addresses, so the way
to get them is to choose an address outside the "dynamic" range. Some
other routers, more sensibly, let you specify which addresses should be
reserved as static. The important thing here is that you need to give
the printer a static address.) Obviously I would have had to choose
something different if that address was already in use.
OK, we're now back in Windows. Run Setup.exe again, and this time
choose the "Install software" option. Then choose the option to install
a network printer. This time, at last, the installer will find the
printer, and all will go smoothly.
Well, relatively smoothly. In my case (Windows 7) it failed to find two
files it needed. These were files that existed in earlier versions of
Windows but that became obsolete. I found the first of the files by a
Google search. The second one turned up in my "Windows.old" directory,
where I had backed up Windows Vista. (Long may it rot in Hell.) If
you're prepared to search the web, you'll eventually find those files.
Actually, I suspect that a web search will also turn up a device driver
that works with Windows 7, but I haven't yet done that. (Is Windows the
only operating system where device drivers for one release are
incompatible with the next OS version? That's like saying that a word
processor should default to producing documents that earlier versions
At the end of all this, I was able to print a test page from my Windows laptop.
That was the hard way, which I discovered because I had a computer that
ran Windows. Now I'll describe the easy way, which I would have found
much earlier if I hadn't been sidetracked by the Windows software.
Perhaps Fuji Xerox could do its users a favour by selling the printer
without any installation CDs. (Well, I guess it would still need to
distribute the PPD file.) That way, assuming that they directed
everyone to the printer's web interface - which I don't recall seeing
mentioned in the documentation, although it was probably mentioned
there somewhere - we'd all get the printer working a lot faster.
You still have to start by discovering the printer's IP address. As
initially configured, the address is allocated by DHCP, which means
that you don't know what it is without searching. Not a good decision
in the long run - who wants a printer whose address is unpredictable? -
but I guess it was necessary given that the vendors don't know in
advance what your LAN addresses are. To find the address, you have to
look at your router's web interface, and/or use tools like "ping", to
discover an address that wasn't there before.
In my case, I knew that my LAN addresses had to be in the range
192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.254. My router uses the last of those
addresses. I have a wireless access point - a gadget that gives my main
computer a wireless connection via an ethernet port - at 192.168.1.220.
My server lives at 192.168.1.4, and my main computer is currently at
192.168.1.2. (I wasn't sure about that, but the "hostid" command told
me the answer; and the "netstat -r" made it obvious where the router
lived.) It was less obvious what address my laptop occupied - getting
that sort of information from Windows is like pulling hen's teeth - but
that could be resolved by shutting it down. That left a device at
192.168.1.3 that was responding to "ping" commands. By a process of
elimination, that had to be the printer.
Does that sound messy? It isn't, really. Most people have a LAN with
about two devices on it, so it doesn't take long to eliminate
candidates. People with more complicated LANs tend to be more familiar
with what addresses are in use. DHCP servers have a preference to start
with low addresses, skipping only those addresses they think already
belong to somebody. Thus, it doesn't take long to find the printer. If
your router is helpful enough to list MAC addresses, it's even easier,
because you already know the MAC address of the printer. In case you've
forgotten: hold down the printer button for at least 5 seconds, and
then let it go, and you'll get a status printout that lists (among
other things) the MAC address. You just have to remember that the IP
address on that printout is meaningless, and not the address you're
Here's another search method, if you want one. In your web browser,
look at http://192.168.1.1. (Or whatever is the lowest possible address
in your LAN.) Then try http://192.168.1.2, and so on. It shouldn't take
long before you find something that is obviously the status page for a
Once you've found the right address, go to that address in Firefox.
You'll want to change that dynamically allocated address to a static
address. Click on the "Properties" tab, and then on the "+" in the left
area next to "Protocol", and then on "TCP/IP".
Next, change the BOOTP/DHCP option (which is probably initially set to
DHCP) to "Static". Now go down to the next section, labelled "TCP/IP
Settings". Change the IP address to the one you'd really like for the
printer. (I chose 192.168.1.250 - a high address in my LAN, on the
grounds that the low addresses are the ones preferred for dynamic
rather than static allocation.) The net mask can probably remain
unchanged, but in any case it must be set to something that's
appropriate for your LAN address range. The Router/gateway address MUST
be set equal to the IP address of your router.
That last point is where I made a serious mistake. That address had
defaulted to 192.168.1.1, which is a commonly used router address. (In
fact it's the address my previous router used, before it was damaged by
lightning.) What I had forgotten is that my current router doesn't have
that address. (If I had thought to run the "netstat -r" in a command
window, it would have made that fact obvious.) The error in my router
address meant that I lost a lot of time wondering why the printer
Once you've set those addresses - you shouldn't need to change anything
else - go to the bottom of that web page and select "Save Changes".
At this point, your web browser will lose contact with the printer,
because its IP address has changed. But of course you know what it has
changed to (you did remember to write it down, didn't you?), so you can
quickly point your browser to the new address, and verify that it's
OK, you now have the printer at a static IP address. Now it's time to
change the "port" setting on your printer object, to turn it into a
network printer object.
There are several ways to do this, depending on what you want to do
about spooling, etc. I haven't tried all of them, because most options
get you into really confusing configuration decisions. Having taken
advice from some helpful people, I chose the simplest method. For this
printer, the simplest option is IPSpool. IPSpool sends your printer
data to port 9100 at the printer's IP address, and luckily this printer
knows how to deal with port 9100.
IPSpool is not included in eCS, so you'll have to download it from
somewhere. Go to http://hobbes.nmsu.edu, and search for ipspool. (If
you're in Australia, and you don't mind a slightly earlier version, go
to http://www.os2site.com/sw/util/printer/index.html). Unzip it, and
run install.cmd. Allow the installer to put it into the Startup folder.
Next, run "ipspool /i". Give the port a suitable name (I chose "xerox")
and a human-readable description. Specify the printer's IP address, and
select port 9100. Click on "Change/Add", and you've finished
Next, go to your already existing printer object for this printer,
right-click, and select Properties. Go to the "Output Port" tab. Here,
you should see a port called \PIPE\nnn, where nnn is the name you chose
when configuring IPSpool. (Don't select \PIPE\LPD0 or \PIPE\LPD1, which
are for an option we're not going to use.) Close the Properties
notebook, and your printer is ready to use.
And if it doesn't work? Well, at least you'll have some understanding
for all the false trails I went down before finally getting it right.
The big problem for me was getting the default gateway (the router
address) wrong in the printer's tcp/ip properties, because then
printing failed with no obvious reason why. If it fails for you, you'll
need to backtrack through the instructions to find the point you missed
After all that, is Windows printing still working? Who knows? Who cares? I didn't bother to check.
Last modified: 3 July 2010