What to do about “The optical photoconductor needs to be replaced” printer error

There appears to be a compatibility issue with Mac OSX lion and lots of printers.   (Talked about here on the apple support pages)  The printer may or may not work properly, but you will get an error that says “The optical photoconductor needs to be replaced.” If you see this error it may be that your drum needs replacing, but it could also be a communication problem with the printer.

When I try to print on my new Fuji Xerox document C4350 last week I got an error saying “The optical photoconductor needs to be replaced.” and the printer would not even print.  If you play around with a different print setting (e.g. USB, Jetdirect, LPD, IPP) you may be able to get the printer working (still with the error!) till Apple repairs the problem. Here’s how I got my Xerox printer working.

How to get a Fuji Xerox Printer working with OSX Lion

I just purchased a Fuji Xerox Docuprint C4350, and there have been a couple of issues getting it running.

1. Installing the Drivers

The 1st issue is that the Fuji Xerox drivers from the website do not run under Lion, they are PPC code which means you need to have a PowerPC computer or Rosetta to run the installer. The actual PPD files are fine however, so the workaround is to install the drivers onto an older computer (I used my old G4 Powerbook) and then copy them via thumb drive or e-mail onto your new computer.

In my case the file was called “FX DocuPrint C4350 PS.”  The Installer puts it into the Library/Printers folder and you need to move it anywhere on your Lion machine then when you are selecting the driver  choose ‘Other’ and find the file.

2. “The optical photoconductor needs to be replaced.” ERROR

After setting up the IP address on the printer and then selecting the computer to print using IPP printing, whenever I tried to print I would get the error “The optical photoconductor needs to be replaced.” Not only this –  it would pause the printer queue and not print the page! A little Google search shows that this is a common error under Lion.

In my case I found 2 other ways to get the printer working.
The 1st was simply to plug it in by USB instead of Ethernet printing. This gave me no errors at all and the printing works fine, it’s just a bit slower.

The 2nd way was to still use IP printing but select HP Jetdirect – Socket instead of IPP printing. Xerox calls it port 9100 instead of JetDirect so make sure on your Xerox printer you enable port 9100. This still gives the error, but the printer at least prints the page normally.


11 responses to “What to do about “The optical photoconductor needs to be replaced” printer error”

  1. kazi

    hi…am having an issue with xerox docucentre II c3000

    before, it was printing well. all of a sudden, it now says printer is busy.

    what could be the problem and any solutions?


  2. KG

    This is an excellent. I was able to fix the same problem with the HP Jetdirect setting. Thanks!

  3. Aarpee

    hi…i am having an issue with my sharp mx-m623u

    i am just not able to print on this printer from my any machine. installation goes perfectly. i can see the printer on machine, can give print out, it doesnt show even error. but doesn’t print.

    what could be the problem ? Any solutions ?


  4. Caitlyn

    I’m having this issue on a Konica duplex printer. And I’m operating on OS X 10.9.5, so I’m completely at a loss here. I actually am unable to print right now!

  5. Fantastic! I had to use an Hp color printer socket, but it worked like a charm.

  6. Brad

    @Caitlyn – You just need to add the printer again and choose one of the other options rather than the default IPP protocol. LPD worked for me and now I can print again.

  7. STS

    Same is happening with a Brother printer. However I have
    not updated beyond El Capitain. The printer is working fine but the notice says the optical photoconductor will need changing soon, which is alarming. Sounds like something in the printer, not in the computer (?).

    1. Dan

      I just received the same optical photoconductor notification for my Brother printer. I am running High Sierra, so I do not know if the OS has anything to do with it. Until I found this site, I too suspected it was the printer, not the computer.

      1. It may be the printer, but it may be the computer as well.

  8. nami

    After a week of troubleshooting the optical photoconductor error, the suggestion to select the Jet Direct option worked!!! Finally, I got this printer monkey off my back. Thank you for sharing this. I would have NEVER found this solution on my own and would have continued to find a driver that worked. You guys are great!

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