I bought one of these in the UK (could only find this official forum so am posting here) and I’ve had an absolute nightmare with it. I’ve written up my experience as a review which I’ve just posted on Amazon. I might send it back but right now I don’t have the energy to think about this infernal machine any more. I’m copying and pasting my review here in case any other poor souls make the mistake of buying this machine and find this via google or in case any Canon representatives might want to comment on it. It’s long winded but then so have my attempts at getting it to function as advertised been.
I purchased this printer a couple of days ago and it was delivered yesterday. Since then I have lost the will to live.
First things first, I connected the printer up with power and a usb cable to my mac and then prior to turning the printer on, I installed the latest drivers from the Canon website as label on the sticker said I must do so. I then turned the printer on, connected it to my wifi network (Airport Extreme based) and my mac detected the printer via USB and let me print to it. Happy days. Then I tried scanning and this is where the descent into madness began.
Using the MF Toolkit software, I tried scanning from the USB connected device but shortly after it started I got a message saying “Cannot communicate with the scanner. The cable may be disconnected, or the scanner may be turned off. Check the scanner status and try again. Scanner driver will be terminated. Error code: 200003”.
Upon relaunching the MF Toolkit software, I now got the error message “Cannot communicate with any of the scanners. The scanners may not be connected, or may be turned off.” It was still listed under the “Scanner” menu as “Canon MF8500C Series USB” but the same error message came up if I clicked on that. The only way to ‘reset’ things was to unplug and replug the USB cable which just started the whole process again.
After going around in circles for ages with this, I thought I’d give up and decide to use the Windows SMB share option instead. This was what I was always after as it should be better for me in the long run as I can set up the share and have all my computers access it so I can say to my wife “Just scan it to the share” and she’ll be able to pick it up on any computer she’s using. Perfect, I think. Except it doesn’t work and the instructions in the manual are completely unclear. You have to add the share point as an address in the address book on the printer. This can either be done on the printer itself or through the web host on the printer by logging in as a System Manager. You have to set the Host Name, User Name and password. Nowhere does it tell you the format of the host name though – does it want ‘’ in front? Does it use ‘’ or ‘/‘ in the address? Can you use spaces? Do you use the text name of the computer or the IP address? Is the username the long form with spaces or the short form? Nothing is ever explained. I’ve tried an SMB share host on my Windows computer and my PC. With passwords and without and with every permutation of ‘/’s or ‘’s. Each time it either scans a page and a bit then feeds through and the printer goes quiet (no message) or it scans through the whole thing and then goes quiet (no message). Looking at the Status Monitor on the web host (can’t find anywhere on the printer to see this), it says ‘End Code #801’. No further explanation is ever given. From what I can tell, the address has to be in the format of “IP-ADDRESS/Share name” or “HOST-NAME/Share name”. Username should be in long format. Why do I think this? Well only because when I set it like that, the full document ‘scans’. Still, nothing ever materialises on the share. This is with both my Windows PC and my Mac. I tried updating the firmware on the printer direct – error so I updated it from my mac via usb. Still no improvement. I tried setting up an SMB only (no AFP) share on my Xserve as well. Same issue. The vague ‘#801’ error code.
After spending a day banging my head against a wall with this, I decided to go back to trying to get the scanner working ‘normally’ on my Mac. I did try a scan to USB to check that the scanner was even working and that worked fine. I still got the errors I had before so decided to unplug the usb cable and the printer driver and set it up as a wifi printer. It is detected in the add printer window but in the “Choose a Driver” box, choosing “Auto Select” didn’t work. I had to select “Select Software…” then manually browse to “Canon MF8500C Series”. Great, it shows it as idle as connected. I print a test page from Safari. The print queue shows it printing. It then disappears from the print queue as if it has printed. Nothing happens on the printer. Nada. I try MF Toolbox again and go to add a network scanner. It doesn’t appear. Adding it as a wifi printer to my Windows PC works fine although the downloaded Canon driver software seems to think I need to have four drivers installed at once – I chose the simplest named one and it seemed to work ok. I haven’t tried scanning to the PC yet – it’s a gaming PC, my work machines are all macs.
I then try connecting the printer via Ethernet instead of Wifi. This is a pain as all the ethernet ports on my Airpot Extreme are being used so I have to disconnect one my machines to test this. FWIW wifi reception isn’t a problem. The printer is sat 3 cm from my Airport Extreme box. Adding the printer as a network printer has the same issues as with wifi – prints disappear into the ether and no scanner appears in the MF Toolbox. This time I manually add the IP address of the scanner to MF Toolbox and it connects! Scanning starts and finishes! It’s a miracle! So now I can’t print but I can scan albeit not in the manner I want to (SMB share). I try scanning to my SMB share again… no dice. I was hoping it was some issue with my wifi network but no. It seems that, despite being advertised, this printer is incapable of scanning to a network share. The email function is bizarre and looks like you have to connect it manually to an SMTP server although none of this is explained in the software or manual. I haven’t bothered setting this up more as I’m just worn down by now and that’s not how I want to scan stuff.
I have now reverted to the wifi connection with a USB connection to my Mac. Manually adding the IP to MF Toolbox now lets me scan to my Mac although I get two names come up in my computer option on the scanner – one is the USB one so I have to select the second one – they come up as identical names on the machine. Wifi scanning takes much longer, it seems to randomly pause a lot. I’ve ordered an ethernet gigabit switch to connect the printer via ethernet permanently. On another mac, I decided to not install the drivers from the Canon site and instead just added it as a regular wifi printer. Yosemite downloaded some drivers and it can print. Of course, that doesn’t give me scanning but it’s better than nothing.
All in all, this printer has been a nightmare to get working. The main feature I was interested in (scanning to Windows SMB share) is non functioning. USB scanning to my Mac doesn’t work. Wifi printing from my Mac doesn’t work. Documentation is useless. Customer support (telephone) is useless. Error messages are too generic and non informative. I’m considering returning this printer as despite reviews being good for it, it is a nightmare to use.
FWIW I’m not an ‘average joe’ computer user. I’ve worked in computer support in the past, have three degrees (including a PhD) in technical disciplines that relied on heavy computer programming and use and know my way around systems. Lord help the average user. I went with Canon over HP as every HP printer/scanner I’ve had just stopped working after a couple of years for no good reason – printing garbage etc. I decided a change would be a good thing. At least the HP printers and scanners worked on day 1 though. I’ve now wasted 2 full days trying to get this to work right. A serious waste of my time and money. Maybe I had high expectations and thought that expecting a £400 printer and scanner would be able to do those functions.