Surf SOHO & Network Printer (wired)

So, I have an elderly Brother MFC-8860DN printer/scanner/copier/Fax. The thing just keeps soldiering on. However, when I transitioned away from our older Cisco router to a Surf SOHO, I cannot get this thing to be seen on the network.

I have checked the physical connections, swapped LAN ports and cables, power cycled all machines involved, etc. Of note, if I watch the LAN ports on the back of the SOHO, I get an orange status light if the printer is on and connected, but I never see a green light. If I check the client list in the Web Admin utility, I can see all of the connected clients, both wireless and wired, but I have no entry for the printer.

The printer works fine and was literally just network printing yesterday on the old router.

Any ideas?

Edited to add: so far I have tried to delete and reinstall the printer on two machines, both Windows 7, one ethernet, one wireless. No dice. The installer cannot find the printer on either machine. Other networked resources (like my NAS) are working fine.

Also, I have no VLANs set up, we’re just doing the most simple thing first, so there should be no issues with cross-VLAN access/visibility.

Seen by who? By computers on the LAN or by the router itself?

First thing in cases like this is always to check the LAN port on the router to insure that the LED lights are lit. That shows that the physical connection is alive and well. A single orange probably means that the printer’s Ethernet port is only 100Mbps. To be expected and not a problem.

The router may not see the printer until it makes an Internet request, perhaps checking for new firmware. Is the printer doing DHCP or is the IP address hard coded? If DHCP, then the router should see it. If the IP address was hard coded, it may need to be changed if your LAN subnet is different.

As for computers, there are 3 versions of the SMB protocol, that may be the problem. An old printer may only do version 1 while new computers may no longer support version 1.

Can computers ping the printer? Can the router ping the printer?

Amswering questions in order:

Seen by who? AFAIK, anyone. The printer has not shown up in the client list for the router, either as currently connected or historical. It cerainly cannot be located by any computer, using the native windows “Add a printer” option or using the install software (current version, downloaded today) from the manufacturer.

Lights on the LAN port? Orange only on the router, green on the printer.

Is the printer doing DHCP or is the IP hard coded? AFAIK, DHCP. There is allegedly an admin utility for Brother that will help change settings, my next task is to try to DL that and see if it can find the router on the network.

SMB? Dunno. I’ll look into it. However, both computers have used this printer before on the old network, so I’m pretty sure they are compatible.

Can anything ping the printer? No, because I don’t have an address to send the ping.

If the printer had a hard coded IP address in the wrong subnet, that would explain everything. Any way you can tell the printers network info from the printer itself?

DHCP is pretty foolproof. Not sure how to debug it as it never fails.

If you know the MAC address of the printer, you can give it a static IP address in the router. This is a great approach for any network printer. And, then you would have something to Ping.

Printers can be frustrating. In addition to what @Michael234 suggested: I’d start with Layer 1: Make certain you have a good “electrical connection.” Double-check to ensure your cables are good and have made positive connections to the RJ45s.

In my experience printers seem happiest when they are assigned a static address. You can probably set that via the Brother’s control panel or, more easily, via its GUI. (Make sure to pick an address outside of DHCP range. If you can’t do that at least establish an address reservation for it in your router.) Then, reinstall the printer on the computer(s) and point the driver to the IPv4 you just set (or reserved.)

Assuming you have not turned ICMP off on the printer (unlikely), if you can’t ping it you are probably not going to be able to use it for much.

And … BTW … did you say Windows 7? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: If I read that right I think I’d start right there …

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Also, I would turn on DHCP logging, its an audit trail of DHCP activity. Comes in handy, especially in this case.

If the router has seen the printer, then the printer name and MAC address will be in its Wake-On-LAN list at System → Wake on LAN.

I would not bother with computers printing until you can find and ping the printer. First things first.

“If you know the MAC address of the printer, you can give it a static IP address in the router. This is a great approach for any network printer. And, then you would have something to Ping.” That was my first thought, and why I went immediately to the client list in the webadmin page, I was going to assign it a static IP that way. Unfortunately, the client list has no entry for the printer, either current or historical (it was never assigned an IP reservation by the router). I’m going to fiddle with the old router and see if I can’t discern the MAC address (or if it has an assigned static IP/subnet) for the printer that way.

As to starting from scratch and checking wires/connections, that was my first go-to. I tried every port with a known good cable. No dice.

And yes, Windows 7. The one computer is old. The other is a gaming computer I built a few years back and I was able to get a Win7 license pretty cheap. The OS does what I need it to do.

My wife’s laptop is with her IT department at the moment for an unrelated issue, so I can’t troublehoot with that. I DO have a laptop with Win10, though I left it at work. If all else fails, I can try that.

You don’t want to check the client list. Better to check the Wake On LAN list. If the printer is there, it has communicated with the router, even if its not in the client list at the moment.
My guess, again, is that the printer has a static IP in the wrong subnet. That would explain everything.

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I was able to get the printer to print out its network settings. It was manually set to a network address that was different than the rest of my network. So I set it to dynamic, it caught a valid address from the router, I then set it to static and then used DHCP reservation on the Peplink to lock it in as a static IP. Test page went through, and I’m going to bed.

Thanks guys!

Just a minor point that avoids these kinds of mishap if you move the printer in the future, or reconfigure your network topology: Leave the printer on DHCP and then let the router’s assignment of a particular IP address for the printer’s MAC ensure that the printer will always be at that particular address when on this network.



Good catch.