Is there any possible way to have a DHCP reservation set for a device which I do NOT know the MAC address for? In other words, is there any thing that might just be unique for a certain model of hardware's DHCPREQUEST besides the MAC address which a DHCP server can identify it by?

To explain my situation..

We plan on deploying a particular printer model to a large amount of our locations across the United States. I am attempting to figure out how the configuration of this printer can be automated.

This printer needs to join a wireless network which let's just say the end-user will not be able to join it to manually. Also let's say there is no preconfiguration possible.

What would be awesome is that they can simply hardwire the printer to a network, and the printer will be offerred a reserved IP address via DHCP. Once the printer is connected, a utility can be ran which finds the printer by it's known IP, and sends over it's configuration, connecting it to the wireless network.

The hardwire connection already has a DHCP scope setup, so the concern is that the printer could get any IP in that range, while the utility is only looking for a particular IP.

I know it sounds insane, but I'm curious if something like this is possible?

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    Someone at the location is going to have to unpack the printer and connect it, why can't they just make a note of the MAC address at that point and set up the reservation? – Ward - Reinstate Monica Feb 18 '16 at 3:15
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    Oftentimes the MAC is printed on a barcode on the outside of the box, in case that helps. – EEAA Feb 18 '16 at 3:23
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    I'd be more concerned how you are going to deploy the configuration to the printer automatically. Finding it on the network at any IP address would be relatively easy. – Aaron Copley Feb 18 '16 at 3:24
  • @AaronCopley Things like HP's Web Jetadmin can be used to auto configure network printers using policy templates. Not saying that's what OP is using though. – jscott Feb 18 '16 at 3:28
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    There is a good chance the first half of the MAC address will be identical on a lot of the printers. You can make use of that if you are OK with a partial solution and can deal with the rest manually. – kasperd Feb 18 '16 at 11:09

I know it sounds insane, but I'm curious if something like this is possible?

To answer your actual question, no you can't do that you need to know the MAC address to set a reservation.

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Without the MAC address you're pretty much sunk. Possible solutions you could try:

  • Record all known IP address leases prior to hooking up printer. Then hook up the printer and look for the new IP registration and note the IP\MAC

  • If possible you can restrict the printer to a private vlan with its own DHCP server with only 1 IP in the pool (the IP you want the printer to have)

And that's about all I can come up with offhand; both of which are likely way more difficult than having someone just fetch the MAC from the box\printer.

Good luck!

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    I think you missed the part where the OP wants the printers to automagically join their wifi network, out-of-the-box, with no pre-configuration. I agree with all the points of your answer, but at the end of the day, OP is asking for magic. – EEAA Feb 18 '16 at 3:31
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    Well he did mention the possibility of a hard wire which would be the only place my suggestions would be viable. But yea I agree he's in a tough spot. – daikamar Feb 18 '16 at 3:35

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