Each printer on a network has a specific hardware address for the network adaptor in the printer, called the Media Access Control (MAC) address. The address consists of six hexadecimal numbers, each number separated by a colon when seen in print or a dash when displayed on the computer. There may be times when you need to find your printer's hardware address for troubleshooting purposes. This can be as simple as printing the MAC address directly from the printer, or a bit more complicated involving locating it through your computer.
- Skill level:
Check your printer user manual for instructions on printing a configuration or set-up page directly from the printer. This usually involves holding down one of the buttons on the printer for a specific period---a few seconds in most cases. When the data prints, somewhere under the product settings will be the hardware address (MAC). It will look like this example: 00-1f-24-3a-1b-0e. If this is not possible, use the following method, which begins with finding the printer's IP (Internet Protocol) address.
Open the Control Panel and click on "Printers." Move the cursor over the name of the printer on the network. Right-click on the printer and choose "Properties." Click on the "Ports" tab on the printer property page.
Scan down the list of Standard TCP/IP Ports until you find your device under the "Printer" column. To the left there should be a check mark by the specific port with the assigned IP, such as 192.168.1.103. Make a note of this and then click "Cancel" and "Close."
Click on "Start" and in the "Run" or "Start Search" box type "cmd". In the window that opens, type "ARP --a" to display a list of IP addresses. Find the one for your printer that you located through Step 3. To the right of this will be the printer's hardware address. ARP stands for Address Resolution Protocol. It is part of your computer's network software.
Tips and warnings
- If the ARP process in Step 4 does not work, run the cmd program as an administrator. Do this by clicking on "Start" and choosing "All Programs." Locate the Accessories group in the list of programs. Within this group, find a program named "Command Prompt." Right click on this and select "Run as Administrator."
- When inspecting the list of Standard TCP/IP addresses in Step 3, be careful not to remove the check mark or you will lose access to your printer.
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