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Installing a windows print server based printer on a Mac running Leopard/Snow Leopard via PAL

  • Please note: Unlike connections to a VPS printer while on an ECN network, you will not be able to select from a list of printers when adding a VPS or SOTPrint printer via PAL or another non-ECN connection. Therefore you should first obtain the exact name of your desired printer as it appears on the specific VPS server. Please contact your site specialist for this information.
  • Have the correct drivers installed for the printer. Many drivers are already present within Mac OS X. Search the Knowledge Base for information on specific printers, or contact a site specialist if you need assistance with this step.
  • If your Mac is connected via a wired Ethernet connection, please see the following KB Article:


From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.

Screenshot of Mac's Finder window.

From the System Preferences, select Print & Fax.

Screenshot of Mac's System Preferences window.

Click on the plus (+) sign in the lower left corner of the window. If this option is greyed-out, you will need to click on the orange lock below and authenticate with administrator credentials.

Screenshot of "+" button on Mac's Print & Fax window.

In the resulting Add a Printer window, we need to add the Advanced tab to the toolbar. Position your cursor in the empty space to the right of the Windows icon and right click (or hold the control key and left-click). Select "Customize Toolbar".

Screenshot of Mac's Add A Printer window.

Screenshot of right clicking on Mac's Add A Printer window.

Add the Advanced button (a gear symbol) by dragging it to the Toolbar. Click OK when finished.

Screenshot of dragging the gear on Mac's Add A Printer window.

Click the newly added Advanced tab to begin adding the VPS printer. Select the Type pulldown, and change the selection to Windows. (Your list may be different from what is shown, but a Windows selection will be persistent regardless of installed printer drivers.)

Screenshot of Type dropdown menu in the Advanced tab on Mac's Add A Printer window.

In the URL, append your VPS printer path and printer name to the smb:// call.

"smb://" is shown only as an example. Please acquire the correct VPS or SOTPrint number and printer name from your site specialist.

This is also a good time to add a recognizable name to the printer in the "Name" field. If you leave this blank, your printer will be generically named "".

Screenshot of URL textbox in the Advanced tab on Mac's Add A Printer window.


Once you have selected the desired printer, click on the Print Using selection bar and select the correct printer driver. This is done by finding the printer brand and model number. It is usually easiest to employ the search box by entering part of the model number (eg. 5150 for Canon 5150).

Once found, select Add to add the printer.

Screenshot of the menu for adding a printer.

When you attempt to print a document for the first time, you should be met with a prompt asking you to authenticate. To authenticate properly, you will need to append ECN\ or SOT\ before your username, and then use your career account password.

Note the option to remember your password using the keychain (unchecked by default). This will store your name and password and allow you to print future documents without needing to provide your credentials each time. Please see the important note about using this feature with your career account in the next step.

Screenshot of Mac's keychain window.

Important: Purdue's security policies require all users to change their password on a set schedule. Because of this, the password that you save when you first set up your printer will not work after the next time you change your password. You will not be prompted to re-enter your password. When you change your password each month, you will need to go in and manually delete the keychain entry so that OS X will prompt you for new credentials next time you try to print.

Navigate to /Applications/Utilities and launch Keychain Access.

In the left-hand column, make sure "login" is selected as the keychain, and select the "Passwords" category.

Screenshot of Mac's Keychain Access window.

 In the list of stored keychain items, select the stored entry for your printer (you may have multiple VPS printers set up). It should share the name of your printer, and be labeled as a "Network Password".

Screenshot of a stored keychain item on a Mac.

Once located, right-click (or control+left click) on the item and select Delete. This will remove the entry so that you will be prompted for new credentials next time you print. This must be done each time you change your password if you choose to store your credentials - you will not automatically be prompted for the new password - printing jobs will simply stop working due to incorrect authentication.

Your printer has now been setup through the VPS print server. It is a good practice at this point to print a unique test page to verify that your printer has been setup properly.

For additional assistance, please submit a trouble report here:


Last modified: 2014/10/21 16:18:54.006392 GMT-4 by megan.l.boing.1
Created: 2010/01/08 15:11:52.823000 US/Eastern by



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