Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Troubleshooting a Brother DCPL2540DW Wifi Configuration

This is one of those posts I'm mostly doing for the benefit of "The Next Poor Bastard". My Mom got a new DCPL2540DW printer the other day and it took a little headbanging to get it talking to the other devices in the house.

It's a fairly nice printer: built in scanner/copier, two-sided printing, WiFi with autoconfiguration, etc. Initial setup was easy, including one-touch wifi configuration.

Just one problem: you could see the printer on the network, but attempts to print to it just died -- nothing could talk to it. Connecting a machine to it via USB worked fine, so there was a problem with the configuration.

Condensing down about two hours of troubleshooting:

  • The Wifi status printout page doesn't tell you anything useful, but the Network menus have a status option that does -- stuff like IP address.
  • The Printer was connecting to the WiFi router fine, but instead of getting an address in the 192.168.2.X range like all the other devices, it was showing a 169.X.X.X address -- a self-assigned IP address.
  • My guess is that the WiFi router doesn't like to route packets to 169.X.X.X addresses, but probably accepts packets from them. So all the local devices could see the printer's "hey guys, open for business" announcement, but not do anything with it.
  • OK, several possible ways to fix this: tweak the router so it routes between 192.168.X.X and 169.X.X.X, force the printer to get its IP from the router, or the brute-force solution: give the printer a fixed IP address in the 192.168.2.X range.
  • So brute-force it is: go into the router configuration DHCP settings, and adjust the range of IP addresses it gives out to connected devices. It was, I changed it to .2-249. Then go into the printer's settings, and there's an option for setting the IP address -- set it to

Bing! Printing now works from everywhere; Macs, iPads (Airprint), even the phones.

Some other minor tidbits:

  • The Mac drivers package only installs on Mac OS 10.7 and higher, but Mom had an older 10.6.8 machine. However, you can download individual components (CUPS printer driver and Twain scanner driver) and they do install.
  • With the scanner driver installed, you can use Image Capture to control the printer and scan, even from a 10.6.8 machine.
  • You can print from a 10.5.X machine using the generic PCL 6 CUPS driver, but not over the network; you have to use the USB connection.

I'm probably going to try and get remote email printing working at some point, if so I'll update this post.

Brother Support Pages for Printer


Anonymous said...


I have a problem with my mac 10.6.8
I can't use my scanner.
I have the same machine as you.
I can use the printer but not scanner.
can you help me plz?

آنی said...

"The Mac drivers package only installs on Mac OS 10.7 and higher, but Mom had an older 10.6.8 machine. However, you can download individual components (CUPS printer driver and Twain scanner driver) and they do install."

I have this machine and the same ios (10.6.8) but I can't install any driver for scanner.
I can use only the printer.
could you help me please?

MadOverlord said... should be the downloads page for Mac OS 10.7

Download the TWAIN driver - not the combined driver - and install it.

You should now be able to use Image Capture to scan.

This worked for me, if it is not working for you then there is some sort of configuration problem going on that I cannot diagnose remotely.

آنی said...

Thanks for replying.
but it doesn't work.
it says :

You have Mac OS X 10.6.8. The application requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later.

but thank you.

MadOverlord said...

All I can tell you is that for me, the *individual* twain installer worked. The combination installer that installs all the drivers fails.

Dave Ensing said...

The use of the separate drivers with image capture worked great for me with 10.6.8.

Thanks very much for the tip. The image capture method is waaaay nicer than the packaged Brother program as well!

Brew Crew said...

I just purchased this Brother from amazon. I can't believe how SLOW it is printing over wifi - much slower than any other printer I have had on the same wifi router. HELP
Also, can't figure out how to program the scanner to print from the machine to the printer over wifi.

MadOverlord said...

I really can't help with that level of problems. All I know is what worked for me -- and that I have documented.

Jordan said...

MadOverlord: THANK YOU. Your fix resolved our wifi issue right away and has been working consistently since. You are awesome. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm running Mac OSX10.6.8 and due to various reasons, am not able to upgrade. I stupidly bought a Brother MFC-L2700DW printer without looking at the compatibility chart. Your work arounds worked for me, and saved me the hassle & frustration of having to return the printer (at a loss, I'm sure). So far so good, haven't tried the wifi set-up yet or fax, but the printer works, ADF works, scanner works. Yes!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip! Managed to get it to print wirelessly but I still can't scan wirelessly even after installing the scanner driver separately. I need to connect to the USB to scan which defeats the purpose of the Wifi feature. Any advise will be much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Could you tell me if the 10.6.8 machine is 32-bit or 64-bit? I got the printer working using the instructions you provided - thanks. But the scanner won't connect. As I look at the drivers, the TWAIN driver seems to be fine, but the ICA driver has the circle with the slash on it indicating that it's not compatible with my system. Just thought it might be a 32-bit/64-bit OS incompatibility.

MadOverlord said...

IIRC it was a Mac Mini, so probably 64 bit. But TBH I don't remember.

brimar said...

I have exactly the same problem trying to connect to a Brother DCP-J4120DW.
Both, the printer and my MacBook Pro ( OSX 10.11.1 ) will connect to the router, but will not connect wirelessly to each other.
The IP of the router is
The IP of the MacBook is
Unfortunately, your workaround has not worked for me. Any more ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Mark Thomas said...

I think I need to force the printer to take its IP address from the router. I have PCs and Macs that need to talk to this printer. How do I do this?

MadOverlord said...

I really have no idea, sorry. I no longer have easy access to the particular printer, so I can't play with it (and my Mom would kill me if I messed it up!)

Easy Answers said...

So to get it to print on OSX 10.6.8 I let it find the printer then selected the print driver in the print & fax ->options and supplies -> Driver using Brother MFC-8910DW CUPS, that will get you wireless printing. For the scanning I use the control center 2.5.3, which comes up under OSX 10.5 options for MFC-490CW or follow this link.

The newer features i'll use on my newer mac, phones etc, but this should get you running for most of the features. You can select your newer printer in the control center and use it for image capture.

Anonymous said...

For OS X 10.6.8.... I have tested and am currently using the Brother DCP-L2540DW driver that I downloaded from here:

This driver which includes everything you need in one install package has corrected all issues related to wi-fi and scanning directly from printer.

Areed said...

Thank you for the details and it is really very usful.