(Please see today’s earlier entry below for the problem statement). Apparently I’m not the only person who emits a bug-inducing personal force field.
A reader emailed me today, having experienced the same problem. The quote below is excerpted verbatim:
It is amazing that the same thing can always happen to both you and me, the Canon rebate scam, and now the Epson 3800 driver described in your blog today!
Mine stopped working exactly as you described, after my Adobe CS3 suite installation and the most recent security upgrade to 10.4.9 OS. I am not sure they are indeed related though, but I have enjoyed two months printing free of any kind of driver problems before the upgrades, and explored the Roy's $50 QTR RIP calibration subjects with the QTR 3800 driver.
Eventually, as you suffered, I had to remove all my printer drivers and therefore lost all my printing
settings. However, I did some search and found a discussion (could not find again as I just tried) that led me to download the $25 "Printer Setup Repair" shareware, which eventually solved all my problems apparently by setting the permissions straight after the (automatic) driver reinstallation.
The reader suggests the Printer Setup Repair utility described in a MacFixIt article. For now, I tried Apple’s to repair disk permissions (remaining skeptical). It’s not amusing that Epson’s installed printer driver files generate a huge number of complaints from Disk Utility about invalid permissions. Perhaps this will resolve the problem; I’ll report back in a few days.