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Bugs & Fixes: Dymo LabelWriter's living death

Ted Landau | Sept. 22, 2014
The surprising source of the failure is that the Dymo Label software is incompatible with the latest version of OS X.

dymo 400

My Dymo LabelWriter 400 Twin Turbo died last month. Sort of. There was no hardware failure. As far as I can tell, all the hardware components remain in fine working order. Neither has there been any major shift in technology that would make the printer obsolete. So, in some sense, the printer is still very much alive. It's just that it won't print labels.

The surprising source of the failure is that the Dymo Label software is incompatible with the latest version of OS X. The printer was working fine under OS X Mavericks 10.9.3. However, after I updated to OS X 10.9.4, I could no longer get any labels to print. Instead, an error message appeared that said the printer was "offline" or "not connected."

You wouldn't think that a minor OS X update, one that makes no mention of any printing-related changes, would precipitate this error. I certainly didn't. That's why, when the problem first appeared, I assumed it was a temporary glitch with the Dymo software--completely unrelated to the OS X upgrade. Such glitches had happened before... too many times before. So I went through the familiar drill of suggested fixes: unplugging and reconnecting the printer, deleting and reinstalling the driver, and ultimately completely reinstalling the Dymo software. This time, despite almost two hours of troubleshooting, the printer remained unresponsive.

Nothing at Dymo's website offered further insight, so I initiated an online chat with Dymo support. The technician walked me through all the procedures I had already tried. He even introduced me to a couple of new ones, including how to remove the faceplate of the printer, so as to clean the printhead and rollers. Interesting... but of no help in this case. At the end of our efforts, and out of ideas, the technician did some "further research." He returned to inform me that my "Twin Turbo has shown to be incompatible with whatever changes Apple made with 10.9.4. There is no fix at this time. If you can back down to 10.9.3, that should solve your issue."

I couldn't resist a tinge of snarkiness in my reply: "Now you tell me? Geez. Knowing that in advance would have saved us both a lot of time." It would also have helped if Dymo posted this information to their website--or at least made certain that their technical support staff was aware of the matter.

As for his suggested solution, I had no intention of returning to OS X 10.9.3, possibly to be stuck there forever, just to keep a label printer working. I inquired as to the possibility that Dymo would soon release a software fix to address the conflict. The tech replied: "This printer has been out of production for some time, so it will depend on how complex an issue it turns out to be. Sometimes with the older printers, there is no fix. We will not know for awhile."


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