We just got a new Officejet 4500 that I began to set up last night. First I followed the recommended setup path for setting it up wirelessly: USB connection to my MacBook Pro, install the software, use the setup wizard, etc. It chugged away for a while and eventually I got back a bunch of errors "Failed to retrieve IP".

I have a wireless access point provided by my ISP which I have set up with WEP (no Mac filtering, no special firewall within the home network). After googling around for a while I decided to switch to WPA personal. I got my MacBook working with that, then tried the printer wireless setup wizard again. No go, same errors.

Next I tried setting it up (still with WPA) directly on the printer using it's menus. This also didn't work. The printer printed out a Wireless Network Test Report which looked like this in the Diagnostics Summary:

Wireless On: PASS
Wireless Working: PASS
Network Name (SSID) Found: PASS
Security: PASS
Printer Settings Consistent with Wireless Router Settings: PASS
No Filtering: FAIL
Connected: Not Run
Signal Strength: Very Low
Other networks detected matching your network name (SSID): No
Downlink count: 2
Channel: Not Run

I also switch back to WEP and reran the setup via the printer menus, and failed the same way and got the exact same diagnostic summary.

What now?

  • Try WPA-PSK (Pre-shared key) mode. Many newer devices will not accept older security procols. – user125733 Mar 30 '12 at 17:57
  • I think the OP mentioned he started with WPA – Jeremy W Mar 30 '12 at 19:23
Signal Strength: Very Low

Move the printer and the AP (Access Point -- what you called a "wireless hub") closer to each other. It's possible that your printer's antennas are not as good as your other devices, so the next thing you need to do is solve this signal strength problem so you know it's not failing due to being on the hairy edge of its range.

If you move the two devices within 3 meters of each other (but more than 1 meter away) and they signal strength doesn't become excellent, then I suppose it's possible that you have a defective printer. Maybe its antenna leads became disconnected in shipping.

Just because a client device can see the network in a scan does not mean it's within reliable working range of the network.

  • I'm thinking it's a dud. Right next to the wireless access point -- literally 6 inches from it-- having the same problem, and the wireless test printout says signal strength is "very low". – jlarson Jan 4 '12 at 2:32
  • 1
    @joelarson Radios can get overloaded when the signal is too hot, so that's why I said "...but more than 1 meter away". But you're probably right, you probably have damaged/disconnected antennas, or other radio-related hardware defects, in that printer. – Spiff Jan 4 '12 at 3:19
  • sorry - I should have mentioned I initially had it about 6 feet away, then tried 6 inches as a last attempt. thanks – jlarson Jan 4 '12 at 14:44

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