Posted by: The Amoeba | November 30, 2008

Review: Lexmark X4850 Printer – Check Your Router

Some of you who are regulars with Quilly, and have visited here, may remember when Quilly and I started wrestling, unsuccessfully, with a new printer we’d bought. A lot more folk visited the blistering review I wrote, so much so that the review post is the second most popular of all the entries on this blog. The Lexmark people boasted that their x4850 box would print and do all sorts of other things wirelessly, possibly with the exception of slicing bread. And we could not get the thing to talk to our computers without a wire … and sometimes, even with a wire. For ten months, we got nowhere …

Until today. Today, everything works perfectly.

No, it wasn’t sunspots, planetary alignments, Murphy taking a holiday, or even Jesus.

It was a dead router.

Y’see, a couple of days ago, the router we’d been using for our abode’s wireless network stopped delivering wireless. Picked it up, it was hotter than a Macbook on your lap hell, and though the lights were on, there was nobody home. The thing was dying of old age – and it hadn’t seen its first birthday yet.

We two were less than pleased about being dumped into the 21st-century equivalent of the Dark Ages by a device that had a far shorter concept of “lifespan” than we did. So, willy-nilly, we ventured into the roiling Black Friday Weekend waters in search of a geek store that had routers in stock. We found one, we got one, and we got out alive. To spend a good chunk of that evening plugging wires in and out, filling out virtual forms, and pattering around with passwords. Finally, Quilly was able to post and read her emails. And it wasn’t even close to sunrise.

The next day (which, it happens, is today, 30 Nov 08 CE), it occurred to me to try the old printer on the new network. Of course it wouldn’t work on the old network, it never did and now it never would, since that was the network that was, and now wasn’t. Naturally, I’d long ago lost the printer’s setup utility, and there was no way to get it back without, for the 5,932nd time, downloading the x4850 printer driver.

Download. Expand. Install. Configure. Print.

Well I’ll be [expletives deleted].

The whole thing went flawlessly, and took less than 15 minutes.

To judge from the traffic that the old post continues to get, I reckon lots and lots of people are having trouble with the wireless setup on the Lexmark x4850. Our lesson: check your router.

The NetGear WGR614 v7 works.

The Belkin F5D8233-4 doesn’t.

Who knows what other do / don’t combinations are out there.

Dammit, we almost had it right away. From the original post:

OK, it’s the router. Don’t know where the router instructions are, don’t have the patience to dig them up. Bedtime.

Big mistake.

Of course, if there had been any indication from Lexmark that router incompatibility might be an issue …

O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2008 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.

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Responses

  1. Your review certainly put me off Lexmark printers for sure. We even bought a printer with the new computer and didn’t realize it didn’t have wireless capability until we got home or something. It had lots of other bells and whistles so we were ok with it. The laptop is never even in the same room with the printer, unless it is being hooked up to print from the the way cool copier, fax, scanner, etc. Oh yes…we love our new printer, but will trouble shoot the router if something won’t work someday.

  2. We just switched from a Belkin. It’s garbage. The old router wasn’t compatible with anything, and we were about to add more onto it. Switched to a Linksys, and so far, no more luck than last time. I’m going to push hubby to return it and get something that isn’t crap. (In it’s defense, the Linksys is a faster piece of crap than the Belkin.)

  3. I think the router anomaly is more of a coincidence than anything else. My girlfriend and I both have iMacs – her’s is the newest gen iMac 24″ released in March ’09, mine is the previous gen iMac 20″ purchased in Dec ’08. I downloaded and installed the recommended driver image, “4800_Series_Web_Installer.dmg”, from the Lexmark website. The installation went very smooth, and the printer was detected instantly during the WSA portion of the setup and configuration. Test printed a text file with no problems.

    Next, I used the same driver image on my iMac. The installation went smooth until the Wireless Setup Assistant portion of the setup. The WSA could not detect the printer. I could ping and access port 80 on the printer over the network with no problems, so i don’t quite think it is a nwtwork issue. Next, I downloaded the alternate driver image from the Lexmark website, “4800_Series_Web_Installer_LPD.dmg”. This driver looked very promising. it installed and discovered the printer flawlessly. However, all subsequent attempts to actually print a document fail. Very irritating and annoying.


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