Keeping an Epson Workforce 840 alive on Windows 10 in 2021

My Configuration

 




What happened

  1. My Epson Scan began to fail in this manner -- I would scan once, but then the second time I tried to scan from my computer, the scan utility would open briefly, then land in the system tray and would not open. A reboot would fix the problem temporarily, until the second attempt at scanning again.
  2. So I tried completely uninstalling and reinstalling the Epson software, and now matters appeared to be worse. The install software told me that my IP address might be wrong, and the software appeared not to finish installing.
  3. So I tried to check the network connection which is something you do from the printer's dashboard. It told me the IP which was 192.168.100.72, and it told me that all the network checks PASSed the test. But then at the bottom of the page was this message: 
    Network is working correctly.
    *A router/access point channel conflict has been detected.
    If you have problems printing or scanning,
    improve your wireless network environment.
    *If your problems persist,
    see your documentation for help and networking tips.
  4. I went hunting through Epson messages, and eventually found a "solution" in an Epson page titled "About the network environment." It said this:
    Due to low signal strength, printing speed may be slow or printing may be interrupted. Signal interference can be caused by other wireless networks being used in nearby rooms or buildings. Perform the following to improve the environment
    • Place the printer close to the access point
    • Remove any obstacles between the access point and the printer.
  5. I tried the two bullets above, by bringing the printer all the way to the toto router by the front door, but it made no difference.
  6. At this point, I thought there was a real problem, so I tried several things, but eventually concluded it had to be something corrupted on my computer. So I reimaged my computer. Yup. I did a full reset, which wiped out all my apps and app configs. That took a day and a half.
  7. After the reimaging, I got the exact same problem.
  8. After much head scratching, I considered that maybe the error was the error message itself. It was. There's nothing wrong with my network connection, and everything works. The mistake I made the first time was in believing the error message.

The Solution

Ignore the error message. There's nothing wrong. It works. I didn't have to reinstall the printer software and I didn't have to reimage my computer.

I've had this printer since 2011, which means it's ten years old. My theory is this printer is so old that its software has become older than Windows updates are able to handle. I'm okay with that. This is a great printer.

Notes

In the course of this project, I saw that although I could ping my printer by IP, Windows did not show my Epson printer to be on the network (in printers and scanners). I had to "add the printer" the old fashioned way, by inputting the IP address.