Mike Mclain discusses one possible fix to the EPSON Scan Error (Cannot Communicate with the scanner. Make sure the scanner is on, correctly setup and connected with no errors indicated. For detailed information, see Solving Problems in the User’s Guide.) while using a EPSON workforce network printer.
Before I begin discussing my solution to this particular problem, allow me to provide a brief disclaimer:
First, it is important to recognize that this particular error message is inherently (if not intentionally) generic by design and the number of problems that can ultimately produce this particular error is extremely vast.
Likewise, there are also a number of other creative (error message) scenarios generally revolving around the notion that some type of communication problem exist between a computer and the scanner.
Conversely, while I might touch upon some of these scenarios within my solution (and hopefully my solution can resolve your particular variation of this problem); however, given that this problem is extremely vague in nature, I can make no guarantees that my solution will resolve your particular variant of this error.
Furthermore, if your scanner utilizes a USB or serial connection, I can definitely say that my solution will not resolve your problem; however, (under such circumstances) I highly recommend that you examine the list provided above, prior to searching the web again, since the majority of USB related problems are cable or Windows service related (at least based upon my research while solving my particular problem).
Second, given the diverse occurrence of this particular problem (since scanners are practically a household item), I attempted to make this article as broad as possible in order to make it more palatable to an assortment of technical backgrounds. Conversely, as a result of this objective, I have incorporated a number of screenshots into this article (since a picture is typically worth a 1000 words) and I would like to briefly mention that these screenshots are being presented (within this article) under the fair use doctrine since their inclusion is strictly educational.
Now, with the preface out-of-the-way, allow me to begin providing a brief overview of my current hardware configuration. To begin, I currently own four network scanners:
that are connected to a mid range overclockable Intel i5 Windows 7 computer with 16 gigabytes of memory via wireless LAN using a older D-LINK DIR-615 router. While such hardware configurations are slightly atypical (excluding the poor quality wireless router) to the average at-home consumer (predominantly because my doctoral research necessitated a rather beefy computer and I have a substantial amount of family pictures I am currently digitizing); however, my ability to scan images via EPSON scan was working perfectly until I installed a rather recent Windows update (likely a update between KB2889936 and KB2899513).
Conversely, while I cannot definitively say that the Windows update created the problem I encountered or if it simply aggravated some inherent instability within the EPSON scan software; nevertheless (after installing these Windows updates) and upon clicking the EPSON scan application icon:
I was greeted with the following error message:
While I am not inherently a stranger to this particular error message (predominately because when my network scanners automatically turn off or they are disconnected the same error message will occur); however, after ensuring that my scanner was powered on and ready, this error message occurred again upon re-executing the EPSON scan application and I knew something far more sinister had occurred.
Likewise, upon performing some preliminary inquiries about this message via Googling (and testing both my EPSON Workforce 2540 and my EPSON Workforce 3530 to no avail), I decided to attempt to connect to my EPSON scanners using another scanning application (in my particular case I used VueScan) and I was able to perform a scan, thus quickly indicating that my issue was software related and not hardware related. Conversely, after ensuring that the EPSON services were running and that the Windows firewall was not blocking communication to the application (via temporarily disabling it), I attempted to reinstall the EPSON scan application to no avail.
Now, upon eliminating the majority of problems that can create this particular error (so much so that most of the online troubleshooting guides were somewhat stumped), the EPSON technical help website did vaguely mentioned that the EPSON scan settings application could be utilized to help resolve this particular error message when everything else fails.
Conversely, upon searching for this application within the Windows 7 Start Menu:
I was fortunately able to find the recommended EPSON Scan Settings application:
Likewise, upon execution of the EPSON Scan Settings Application:
I discovered that the EPSON software was (apparently) not associating the scanner with a network LAN address. Conversely, upon clicking the add button (within the EPSON Scan Settings Application) I was greeted with another dialog box:
And interestingly enough, I discovered that the "search for address" feature was unable to find my scanner on my local network.
Now, while I could have investigated this issue further (predominantly through sniffing packets via WireShark) in order to try and further isolate the underlying cause of this particular problem (noting that printing to the device worked perfectly and this eliminated some of the network possibilities), I opted to try a more direct approach by manually assigning the scanners IP address via the EPSON Scan Settings application (noting that the dynamic IP feature of my D-Link router kind of makes this approach somewhat undesirable since the scanners LAN IP can change, thus making static IP assignment of my network scanners a good idea in the near future).
Conversely, because I frequently administrate a number of routers and network devices (an attribute that makes the memorization of local LAN IPs rather difficult), I quickly opened a Windows console via the start menu:
and, upon opening the console application, utilized the IP configuration command (via typing
ipconfig) in order to obtain some basic information about my local LAN network, as shown here:
noting that this particular step was predominantly geared for rudimentary home networks. Likewise, (after performing this step) I was able to quickly determine my routers administrative LAN address was
192.168.0.1 upon examining "the Default Gateway" returned by the
Conversely, upon entering this address into my web browser (Mozilla Firefox in my particular case):
and upon logging into my routers administrative interface (noting your routers administrative procedures will likely differ from mine) and accessing the list of attached devices on my local network:
I was able to determine that my EPSON workforce printers were located at
192.168.0.193 respectively (noting that your results will vary but the LAN IP address you obtain can be validated by typing the IP address into a web browser and seeing if the printers web administrative interface appears like so:)
Conversely, with the LAN IP address in hand (noting that you can also physically navigate the scanners status menus via the function keys on the scanner in order to determine this information as well), I typed this information into the EPSON Scan Settings Application (noting that I also created a name to easily identify the scanner in the future ):
and pressed the okay button.
Likewise, upon execution of this particular task, the following menu appeared:
and upon pressing the test button, the following message was obtained:
which indicates that the IP address utilized was correct and that EPSON scan is now able to communicate with the scanner (noting that if you are unable to obtain this message and you are reasonably sure that IP configurations are your underlying problem, you will need to remove the entry you added and try another possible LAN IP address for the printer).
Conversely, upon exiting the EPSON Scan Settings Application (via pressing the OK button) and running the EPSON Scan application again, the application should now be able to communicate with the scanner and everything should work again (noting that if you are still getting the, previously discussed, error message, chances are good that your error message is likely the result of another, previously mentioned, issue and you will unfortunately have to look elsewhere for another solution to your problem).
At any rate, hopefully this information proves beneficial in your quest to resolve this particular error message (noting that I myself had a heck of a time tracking down this particular variation of the problem); however, if not, I highly recommend that you try and isolate your problem as best as you can and then try searching the EPSON support forums for other possible solutions.
By Mike Mclain