12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 12, 2010 6:27 PM by babowa
SBJR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have a brand-new iMac (my first after 15 years in the PC world!) running Snow Leopard 10.6.2, and use Microsoft Office for Mac 2008. The computer is connected via wireless network to a Brother MFC-8660-DN printer/fax, and I have "successfully" installed the all the latest and greatest Mac drivers and firmware updates for the printer. When I try to fax something directly from the computer, it goes into the queue and sits there with the words "Waiting for modem to become available" showing. It stays that way forever. Otherwise the printer prints fine, and it functions fine as a stand-alone fax, but I just can't fax from the computer - something I used to do easily with my PC. All settings I've found and checked appear to be appropriate. Apple's support page says my printer is fully compatible with Snow Leopard. Apple's support techs told me it was either a Brother issue or a Microsoft issue. Thanks for any help or ideas about how to fix this.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.2), Brother MFC-8660-DN four-in-one printer
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (255,745 points)
    Contact Brother's tech support for assistance.
  • SBJR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Called Brother's support line today, and spent about an hour with a very patient guy who directed me to try a plethora of things... he finally concluded that my problem with modem access was an Apple software issue and not a Brother Software issue. He then (oddly, from my point of view given what he had just previously said) suggested that I re-download all the drivers directly from the Brother web page. When it rains it pours...For reasons I don't get, Safari has been saying all afternoon that it can't connect to Brother's server (even though I can log on everything else I try). Once I get to their web page I will reload the drivers/firmware and try it all again, but you know the definition of insanity... feeling pretty frustrated right now. I appreciate your help and will do my best to update this post when I have more to tell.
  • SBJR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Was eventually able to log onto Brother's web site and reload all drivers/updates. I'm right back where I started. My document goes into the queue and says it's waiting for the modem to become available. Will call Apple support again.
  • SBJR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Finally... after a total of about 12 hours' time, I stumbled onto the solution to this issue by myself. In the print screen in Word, there is a menu bar entitled "Output". In this bar, which defaults to "printer", the user can toggle between "printer" and "facsimile". When it finally occurred to me to play with this menu bar and select "facsimile" to see if this would do anything, off went the fax just like it was supposed to. Although I finally now know how to send a fax from my computer, I am sorely disappointed that none of the half-dozen tech people at Apple and Brother that I talked to thought to walk me through this seemingly simple (some would say self-apparent, but I am not one of them) step - which is, by the way, MILES different from the look and procedure for computer faxing as it is done in Word 2000, the program I used before buying my new iMac. Since I ordered my computer pre-loaded with Office for Mac directly from Apple, I frankly do not think it too much to expect that its techs could tell me how to accomplish such a basic function in a program that was sold to me by Apple.

    Continuing with my rant, the help screen for faxing does not even allude to the procedure I succeeded with at all. Instead, it instructs the user to select the PDF drop-down menu, which then defaults to a *** printer named Bluetooth DUN and, as mentioned in my previous post, proceeds to dump the document into the print queue for this *** Bluetooth DUN printer, states that the printer is waiting for the modem to become available, and then just hangs there forever. That utterly useless advice was in the iMac help section. The Word help section brings up absolutely NOTHING when the word(s) "fax" and/or "fax from computer" are typed into the search box.

    I do not assist people with computer problems for a living. I do not even consider myself to be a particularly skilled user of computers in general, much less of one with what is to me still a totally foreign operating system - and which I bought in no small measure because of the lofty reputation of its technical assistance people. I am by turns a bit proud of myself for having successfully reinvented the wheel, but at the same time VERY disappointed that I was forced to do so.

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  • dechamp Level 4 Level 4 (3,495 points)
    So I'm wondering... Are you saying that you couldn't fax from any application, or just MS Office?
  • John Blanchard1 Level 5 Level 5 (5,030 points)
    SBJR wrote:
    Since I ordered my computer pre-loaded with Office for Mac directly from Apple, I frankly do not think it too much to expect that its techs could tell me how to accomplish such a basic function in a program that was sold to me by Apple.


    Glad you got it working, but…

    Why not call Microsoft, since they write the software? Or try faxing from an Apple application and then calling Apple? Apple includes software from other companies for convenience, but that shouldn't mean that the Apple techs should know all these applications.

    A good general rule is to try things from TextEdit because it lacks the complexity that applications like Word have.


    Continuing with my rant, the help screen for faxing does not even allude to the procedure I succeeded with at all.


    And there's no reason it should. This is system wide help, not Microsoft or Word specific help.

    Instead, it instructs the user to select the PDF drop-down menu, which then defaults to a *** printer named Bluetooth DUN and, as mentioned in my previous post, proceeds to dump the document into the print queue for this *** Bluetooth DUN printer, states that the printer is waiting for the modem to become available, and then just hangs there forever. That utterly useless advice was in the iMac help section.


    Utterly worthless because you are not trying to use the internal modem.
  • SBJR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Until I figured out the need to toggle to the "facsimile" setting in the output menu, I could not fax anything from any program. And as I mentioned before, whenever I tried the PDF-based procedure described in the Mac help index, it defaulted to the "Bluetooth DUN" printer and provided no other choice; when the "print" function was engaged the document just sat in the printer queue. And for what it is worth, when I typed Bluetooth DUN into the search box it brought up nothing I could use. My computer is Bluetooth enabled, by the way - my wireless Magic Mouse works just fine.
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,385 points)
    Just out of curiosity, what/where exactly is the "output menu" you are referring to? Is this an option within Word? I've been working with Macs for years and have yet to come across such a menu option (but then I don't do Windows).
  • SBJR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It is not limited to Word. I was able to recreate the scenario in Address Book, for example, by doing the following: 1. Open Address book. 2. Highlight a name in Address Book. 3. Click on "File" on the upper toolbar. 4.Go to "Print" on the dropdown menu (mine is the bottom choice). A screen opens containing boxes for "Printer" and "Presets", among others. Below the "presets" box is an unnamed box that has the words "Address Book" in it (assuming you are in Address Book). Clicking on the up/down arrows at the right of that box will open a list of things, one of which is " Send Fax". I clicked that, logically enough. Below that is another box entitled "Output". The word "Printer" appears there by default. Unless you then use the arrows at the right to toggle to the other unseen option in that box, which is "Facsimile", it will not allow the user to enter a destination number for the would-be fax. If the user then selects "Facsimile", the faxing process can be successfully completed. I was only able to get to this place through dumb luck by randomly hunting around for several hours. If you choose the PDF option (the one that is suggested in the Macintosh Help section) by clicking it and then the "fax PDF" option, it defaults to the Bluetooth DUN printer, which cannot be switched away from and (for me anyway), which also doesn't work. This sequence is all exactly the same both in Address Book and Microsoft Word. (I don't claim to be a genius, Apple or otherwise). You don't do Windows, and I am still an infant in all things Macintosh except my I-Pod.

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  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,385 points)
    I just followed your steps and it seems evident that the dialog windows/options you get are mandated/dictated by your printer and/or Windows. Mine (with an Epson Artisan 810 all-in-one) are totally different and do not have any of your choices at all; hence my assumption that it has to do with the printer and/or Windows, their software and how it interacts with the Mac OS. Since I have the same version of OS, but a different printer, I would say it has nothing at all to do with the Mac OS. The various "Help" sections are supplied by the third party manufacturers, so you can tell Brother and/or Microsoft that they're not very Mac friendly. BTW, my iMac will not fax directly because I do not have a modem (none of the newer Macs have modems installed) so I don't expect it to; however, my printer will fax, so I just do it directly using the printer. If I try to fax from my iMac, I get the dialogue window: "No fax modems were found".
  • SBJR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Upon a moment's reflection, I agree that you are absolutely right about this. When I had this printer hooked up to my Windows XP-based computer, everything about the way it did everything was very different. Case in point: the scanner is capable of up to 19200 dpi resolution, but with the drivers I have now the maximum resolution setting choice is 600 dpi. The list just doesn't go any higher. So it does seem entirely likely that my 4-in-1 is somewhat dumbed down in Snow Leopard because of choices Brother made.
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,385 points)
    Thank you! Hopefully you will find that your overall experience with a Mac will be rewarding; I wouldn't use anything else. You will, however, get into situations where you realize that because you've decided to switch, you will need to either buy/install something else or do without. I am asked quite often to help an elderly neighbor taking care of problems with his Windoze machine and I always leave totally frustrated - although I can usually figure out what needs to be done, it is absolutely not intuitive or user friendly.