06-04-2013 11:59 PM
I finally made the decision to move from an expensive-to-maintain HP InkJet printer to a more cost effectively, black and white laser printer. My first attempt was a Brother printer, and I had network problems and horrible support. So, I bought a Canon MF4880dw based on price, features, and my trust in Canon. (I own 5 different Canon cameras.)
Unfortunately, I'm having problems. Here's my scenario.
The primary reason I wanted the MF4880dw was the wireless networking support. I have about 15 different networked devices in my house, both wired and wireless, all living happily on my Asus RT-AC66u router. I'm using WPA2-PSK for wireless, and I have multiple Macs, PCs, iOS devices, and game systems functioning on that wireless network just fine.
During my original installation of my printer, I was ecstatic. Everything seemed to "just work" perfectly. I was able to find my ESSID of my network, and manually enter the passphrase. The printer hopped onto the network, got its DHCP lease, and showed up just fine. I installed the drivers on my MacBook Pro first. Bounjour did its thing, and I was able to print within minutes. I installed the drivers on one of my PCs, and had the same seemless experience. I even did a few scans. While I thought the experience of using MF Toolbox was a bit unintuitive, I was able to initiate scanning both from the printer, and from at least my MacBook. My wife was happy. She could print. Life was good.
Then the next day came.
My wife needed to print something. The printer didn't respond. My first thought was that it went into a low power mode, so I hit the power save button on it (forget the name) to wake it up. The first thing I saw was a notification that the device got a new IP address. I know that the DHCP server on my router issues DHCP leases and IP addresses based on a hashing algorithm, so I didn't think there was a chance of the router doing it, but I checked. Nope. The lease was still listed as active. So, I looked at the IP address on the device. It had given up on DHCP, and issued itself an Auto-IP address in the 169.xxx.xxx.xxx range. (I forget the exact IP.) My network is a 192.168.1.xxx Class C network. Something was up. The printer still thought it was on the wireless network with solid signal strength.
I started looking into the logs on my router, and saw that the printer was still doing a DHCP discovery, but it looked like it was ignoring the offered IP address from the router. Here's a log snippet:
Jun 2 13:09:12 dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPDISCOVER(br0) 6c:71:d9:6e:71:6d
Jun 2 13:09:12 dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPOFFER(br0) 192.168.1.46 6c:71:d9:6e:71:6d
Jun 2 13:09:13 dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPDISCOVER(br0) 6c:71:d9:6e:71:6d
Jun 2 13:09:13 dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPOFFER(br0) 192.168.1.46 6c:71:d9:6e:71:6d
Jun 2 13:09:20 dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPDISCOVER(br0) 6c:71:d9:6e:71:6d
Jun 2 13:09:20 dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPOFFER(br0) 192.168.1.46 6c:71:d9:6e:71:6d
It looks like the router is trying to give the printer the same IP address, but the printer gives up after 8 seconds, and picks its own auto IP. I did witness the printer successfully negotiate its IP address initially, but that's no longer in the logs right now.
So, I started trying all kinds of things. I was eventually able to get the printer to get another IP address after completely resetting the network settings and reconfiguring the device. Everything worked again for a day or so, then the same problem happened.
My first thought was to look at the printer firmware, and see if there's an update. It looks like there is a version of firmware available that claims the following:
"This update resolves a problem that, in rare cases, causes the device to no longer be able to connect using Wi-Fi"
Sounds like it might be good, right? Well, here's my next problem. I wasn't able to download the firmware. I tried to download both as a Mac for OSX, and for Windows 7. For both options, when I entered my serial number (my real, valid serial number, that I used to register my product), I was told it wasn't a valid serial number for that firmware, and that I couldn't download it.
At this point, I'm getting a bit angry and frustrated. I haven't been able to find any more details about this issue. I'd classify myself as an "advanced" PC user. I'm an engineer in my day job. (Embedded software. Not a printer guy. Not an IT guy. But I'm at least literate.) I have some things left to try, but they all annoy the crap out of me. I'm thinking of configuring the printer for a static IP address, and then reserving that IP address on the router. I was also thinking of trying wired ethernet, but that's REALLY not convenient, and the whole reason I bought this printer was the wireless networking support.
So now, I want to make this think work the way it's supposed to work. The way it claims to work. If I can't get it to work, I want to return it.
Anyone have any suggestions or similar issues?
06-05-2013 09:01 PM
Still can't download the firmware. I've tried Internet Explorer and Chrome on Windows 7, and Chrome and Safari on OSX. Both give me the same error.
Also, I tried contacting phone support. No luck. They don't appear to be open when I'm actually at my house, near my printer. Not helpful. I was tempted to try to install the firmware from a different download site, but I really don't want to brick this thing.
06-06-2013 09:46 AM
Thanks for your inquiry. The Canon Forums aren't intended for immediate support, however you can feel free to contact our Tech Support Team by phone at 1-800-OK-CANON (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET, excluding holidays), or email 24 x 7 by clicking HERE.
06-16-2013 08:17 PM
I think that you should try assigning a static IP address to that printer, both in the printer networking itself, and in your router. I hope that solves the issue. I have ordered a MF4880DW to arrive this week and I am planning to use the wired networking, because the location is close enough to make it wired and networking and it will still be wireless via my network at home.
This printer is replacing a HP Officejet that was built of plastic and broke of plastic.
06-16-2013 10:46 PM
Your frustration can be understood, and I am sorry to hear about your networking difficulties. The firmware update could help with the issue. If your laser printer was purchased in the U.S., yet your serial number is not being recognized, please do contact our technical support group for further assistance regarding the network issue, your serial number and the firmware. The number is 1-800-652-2666 and you can reach them between 8AM - 8PM EST. They will be glad to help.
10-06-2013 08:18 PM
I have the printer working with a static IP address.
I still feel like there's something not quite right about the DHCP client on this thing. It seems like a race condition between the DHCP client and WPA2 authentication. It's like DHCP gives up before the device is completely on the Wi-Fi. I had thought about getting some packet captures, and DHCP server logs (which definitely show that it's offering a lease), but it wouldn't do me much good if Canon didn't think it was enough of an issue to try to resolve it.
So, go with the static IP and see if it helps. And remember to either reserve that IP address from the DHCP server on your router, or assign one that's outside of the DHCP address pool. IP collisions are really painful to debug.
10-10-2013 01:56 AM - edited 10-10-2013 01:57 AM
Thanks for your response! I have it close enough to my router that I might try an Ethernet connection and see whether that helps at all. If that doesn't work, I'll go with the static IP solution.
I'm really annoyed with Canon - you think they would have a more permanent fix out for this by now. From the number of times people have viewed this thread, this is clearly not an uncommon problem. I'm going to think twice about buying one of their printers ever again.