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  • I use it quite a bit- just usually not for printer issues (as thankfully, printers aren't usually my problem).

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  • Thank you for giving me the credit. I've just seen the issue so many times working in retail and having people tell me their experiences that it was quite obvious to me what the problem was. That and I'm a huge Brother printer fan and own a couple of them. In IT we can have a tendency to over-complicate things but just remember K.I.S.S. Not saying you are, but it's something I was told the first day of an IT class I took. The professor told us that it will solve most of our problems if we just think from simple up. Awesome article! Excellent job with it! Look forward to more coming out!

    A.J.

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  • The question is, did you pass your probie period yet? 

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  • Chris thanks for sharing your story.

    Personally working on printers are my pet peeve. I have play around them before realizing that its not worth the time.

    Spiceworks community is great and I have on many occasions asked for help here and on few occasions found that the answers are simple but I was taking a complex route.

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  •  Very cool story and well written!  Thanks for sharing!

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  • The advertisement that showed up on the right side of this web page about "printer hell" shows a picture of a printer with flames coming out of it. The ad reads "On the Heat Index, This One is HOT!"

    Pretty hilarious!

    David

     

    attach_file Attachment HotPrinter.PNG 128 KB
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  • man from the first time you mentioned the toner low still coming up I immediately knew you were using aftermarket.  they do that crap here - ordering crappy cartridges - 3 days later toner low and a new one is inserted - god knows that there's probably still good toner in the original aftermarket replacement.

    but it doesnt matter....aftermarket it is until the economy gets better....*cross fingers*

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  •  

    DavidHuff wrote:

    The advertisement that showed up on the right side of this web page about "printer hell" shows a picture of a printer with flames coming out of it. The ad reads "On the Heat Index, This One is HOT!"

    Pretty hilarious!

    David

     

    We actually planned it that way. We're good like that ;)

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  • yeah, I had something similar, we have a Brother all in one beast, we have to replace the printer drum every so often, well the first time I replaced the drum the attention message did not go away,... I thought that was strange, I am lucky I have a boss who knew that I had to manually clear the message out from the queue on this particular device, I imagine he might have had a day like yours in the past lol. I am fond of Spicy knowledge seems to be a rarity to have an issue someone else here has not.

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  • That printer's manual states "Brother machines are designed to work with toner of a particular specification and will work to a level of optimum performance when used with genuine Brother toner cartridges (TN-3230/TN-3280)."

    I can't copy and paste because the document is encrypted for some dumb reason. 

    I do check the manual quite often when dealing with errors. On the HP ones there's usually a cause/resolution table or flow chart. 

     

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  • I have used SW a couple of times for direct problems, but more often have learned far more about the fundamentals in one area or another.  I have often been able to directly apply what I learned here without having directly asked the question.

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  • As an instructor told me in an NT cert class, "Printers aren't computers". I still hate dealing with them. Oh for the day when our paperless initiative actually involves using less paper.

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  • I love spiceworks community.  I have never ever ever had a problem that I couldn't get figured out with some help from a few Spiceheads.

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  • Hey, HP is just as bad at this, you may get a "Non-Genuine cartridge" error.

    The cheap stuff works, but OEM is always best on printers.

    Keeps these issues at bay.

    Brian

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  • Ironic you should have trouble with an 8890DW.  I keep getting an alert from Spiceworks that the Drum Unit has less than 10% left but the web interface on the Brother says there is 40% left.  Daily Spiceworks reminds me I hate this printer.  I have a Brother 7050N I love but this 8890DW is like its annoying kid brother!

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  • This is one of the reasons I forbid them to order generic toners!

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  • Thanks for the 5 minute departure from my day. Perfect blend of fact and movie allusion!

    If you would have beat the printer in the backyard, I am not so sure your job would have been in jeopardy.  When they see how much Brother factory toner costs, they may have promoted you on the spot.

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  • I can say that I've been down that path as well.

    About 7 years ago - I was laid off from a position w/ an independent solutions group and had to find some work quickly.  My job search led me to work for a Copier/Business machines company who sold/serviced MFDs (multifunction devices).

    I am going to keep this short.  Coming from logic into moving parts sucks.  I had about 10 years experience in the IT world, and then was put into a position of mechanical repair.

    What I learned during the 2 years I worked for this employer as a repair technician:

    NEVER EVER EVER use 3rd party toner.  It is not rated properly.  It may even appear to work, but there are other problems it causes w/ the developer.  Seriously.  Just don't.

    Toner can absorb moisture.  If a machine sits idle for a long time, it turns into a "crust-like" substance and can cause the gears/actuators that move toner into the developer unit to clog up.

    A piece of paper the literal size of the letter O you just read, can cause an entire finisher to stop working.  How?  It got under a belt & didn't have enough torque to turn the belt.

    Copiers/Printers are not an exact science as much as people want them to be.  I'm glad that you were able to resolve your problem - hopefully next time it will be a little easier!

     

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  • Well written.  Thanks for sharing.

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  • Bacause of our high volume of printing, we also get refurbished/recharged toner cartridges, and I have encoutered this issue, the remanufacturer just did not properly reprogram or replaced the chip. I will contact them and have them send me replacements ones with the proper chip resetted, otherwise ask for a refund.

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  • Yes! Keep it simple. Reminds me of a story. A toothpaste factory was having issues where a toothpaste box every now and then would not get a tube of toothpaste in it and it would get shipped out empty. The company spent millions of dollars and had a bunch of meetings. After all that they installed a new device that would weigh each box. If the box didn't weigh enough it would stop the assembly line and the line worker would have to remove it and restart the line. Woo hoo! Reports now show no more empty boxes being shipped out. Then reports started showing that the line wasn't being stopped anymore. But still no empties were going out. So they inspected the line. They found that the line worker got tired of restarting the line so he bought a $10 box fan and set it up so that when an empty toothpaste box would go down the line the fan would blow it off the line and it would never make it past the weigh station. So they could have saved millions if this guy was involved in the first meetings. Nice...

    Spice (13) flagReport
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  • I. Hate. Printers. I cringe every time a ticket comes through the helpdesk that has the word "printer" in it. We learned our lesson the hard way, and now use all authentic (insert brand name here) printer supplies for our printers - and it has helped us keep printer problems to a minimum (user error, standard wear/tear replacement of parts). I do love the Spiceworks community - there are some purty fart smellers out there who love to help out others in the field.

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  • Refurbished toner cartridges should be banished to the lower regions of Hades! They cause so many headaches that what little money you save is not worth the trouble you receive in increased service calls and now broken printers.

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  • Yeah.  Every time there is a problem with a printer I want to cry!  LOL  They are the bane of my existence...

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  • 7 Years in the business? I've been in the business for 30, and back in the day all we had were noisy dot matrix printers you had to put in acoustic coffins to get any work done. And, we couldn't watch TV by the swimming pool either!

    Seriously though, I found out the hard way early on with laser printers that you always want to use genuine-brand toner. Bad things always happen with brand X toner, no matter what they tell you about compatibility. Good story.

     

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  • I always try an OEM product first if the problem has to do with toner or drum.  Even if its just testing one that is already working in another printer.

    My company tried to go the cheap route on toners and drums.  Only took one month of me tracking how much we were wasting on toners and drums that didn't work right out of the box.  They changed back to OEM real quick!  lol

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  • There's a gear on the brother cartridge that slowly turns down until it hits a sensor.  When that happens, the printer says "toner low" .  When it turns further, the printer shows "toner out" and stops printing.  If you get a cartridge refilled, that gear needs to be turned back to the new position.

     

    I don't know if this is the same on all brothers, I just know that's how mine works.  I also know that the starter cartrige that comes with the printer doesn't have a gear at all - when you buy refill kits, the place also usually has a gear kit to add to the starter cartridge for something like $3 extra.

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  • and to point out, printers are my nemesis. I tell people if they need a copy look at the screen. If they need two copies look away and then look back again... LOL!

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  • After a number of years Brother toners will not accept any 3rd party toner and will only work with OEM.  I just replaced an entire fleet of Brothers and it was the best thing I ever did.  

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  • Submit a cost analysis to management factoring in all the generic toners you wasted, compared to the cost of the genuine toner and watch them change their tune real quick!

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  • I also agree that refurb toners are a nightmare, but I must admit that the ones that we buy have been doing really great. I haven't (knocks on wood) had any toner related issues at all that come to mind in the 7 years I have been with this company.

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  • By calling Brother you can request a 'passcode' that resets the warning caused by by not using their official toners. I suppose they are microchipped. To reset, it's a series of pressing the right buttons at correct time and sequence, and paying attention to flashing lights on printer.

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  • And then, someone else tells you it actually didn't have ANYTHING to do with using a Brother Brand Toner cartridge.  I am that someone, and I have had similar issues, as we have 8 Brother printers in-house.  We have went back to using original brother ink in all of them because of other problems. 

    If you look on the Toner cartridge, there is a piece on the toner that actually tells the printer how much toner is left in the cartridge.  Now, the K.I.S.S. method tells us all as we look, it's a phillips head screw, you must pull the screw out, move the position sensor to the highest position, then replace the screw.

    I hope this helps all of you to keep your costs down when buying refurbished cartridges.

    We had problems with the cartridges that we purchased having worn out parts, therefore, we stopped buying refurbs.

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  • A quick heads up for those not used to dealing with printers on a regular basis. Some manufacturers have an embeded chip\device on the toner that is used to authenticate supplies from the manufacturer and to track the toner usage. the chip usually tracks the amount of pages printed (rather than the amount of physical toner used) so printing 1000 pages of 1 character each will register the same as 1000 pages of text. the result is a toner cartrige showing as almost empty even if it may not be 50% used (HP, Xerox). Also some manufactureres (Cannon, Xerox) will set an "expiration date" on a cartridge and it will show as empty or failed at that date regardless of the physical condition or toner level of the unit.

    A good rule of thumb (IMHO) is that you can expect more error messages (false and real) from re-manufactured toner cartriges, at least more than from the OEM. Always check the chip and the printer sensor when replacing your toners, regardless of who you bought them from. Several times i have found remanufactured toner chips improperly regluded to the toner cartrige.

    PhilG

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  • Good story and well written, CBolin.  As ceez just stated, I saw that one coming.  Years ago, I fought tooth and nail to convince my manager to dump the aftermarket cartridges and the "printer service" company that came along with them.

    What finally convinced him was the 16 new HP LaserJet 4240n printers we had just purchased, along with an extended warranty.  HP stated they would not honor the warranty if they could determine that aftermarket toner had been in use.  And as in your case, newer printers (and most electronics) try to out-smart their humans, now-a-days.  This particular printer model can sense if a non-HP toner cartridge is installed.  After experiencing several "low toner" anomolies, I got the approval to purchase HP branded cartridges.  Viola!  The printers were happy once again.  Plus we no longer had to clean the insides of the printers on a regular basis, as the aftermarket cartridges always left toner feces behind.

    As it turned out, the LJ 4240 printers were reliable, yet particular on which cartridge it accepted.  I later tried a high-yield HP cartridge, and a whole new "low toner" issue surfaced.  It turned out the 4240 would only accept the standard-yield cartridge, which it shared with the 4350 line, yet the high-capacity toner was incompatible with the 4240.  My solution?  I popped the chip off a standard-yield cartridge and stuck it on the high-yield!  Even though I successfully out-smarted a 'smart device' I do not know if we got the standard or the high yield supply of toner.  I was DONE with it!

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  • Another fine example of why SpiceWorks Community is the best!

     

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  • Simple instant fix: Press Clear/Back while the cover is still open. A menu will appear that will allow you to reset the drum or toner counters. For color lasers you can even choose which individual color to reset.

    Buying authentic Brother toner is unnecessary. My users have been using quality non-refurb third party toner for over four years.

    For older or other non-MFC Brother printers the process is slightly different, just Google it.

    There are also many ways to extend the life of toners by resetting the counter gear and covering up the detection window on the cartridges. I've had excellent long term results with all of Brother printers I've deployed once you learn these simple tricks. My users love them and end up buying them for home too.

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  • This reminds me of an inkjet I've got.  It constantly says "Order Yellow Printhead" on it.  Sometimes it's "Printhead Alignment Failed".  I've spent way too much time on it and we've already bought and installed a replacement Inkjet for it and both are now in production until I run out of supplies for the one that's always got a message on it.  Even though it shows these messages(and the printheads and cartridges are made by the manufacturer of the printer), it still prints and prints well.  Even all my users still prefer it over its replacement.  The bummer is that I have way too much stock on it and it just won't die...

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  •  

    This was a great post.  I enjoyed reading it.  I agree with what AJ said, I think in IT and myself personally have a problem with jumping to it being the motherboard instead of it being the power cord unplugged.  Remembering something like K.I.S.S can save a lot of time and stress but printers suck in general as well.  I'm also in the IT department and change out printer cartridges.  Luckily I have not run into any printer problems that haven't been able to be solved yet.

     

    Take care and thanks for sharing.

     

    ~Jon

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  • We have a number of Brother printer/fax/copiers, use refilled toner cartridges and sometimes get that error or similar messages.  I use the following steps that so far have worked for us.

    To reset the sensor after installing a new toner cartridge follow these steps.

    Please note that this must be done with a new cartridge so the unit will see that there is toner in the cartridge.

    Option 1:
    1. With unit powered On, open the front cover.
    2. Press the "Options" key. Display will show "Replace Drum?"
    3. Press "Start" key.
    4. Press 10.
    5. Display will show "Accepted" for approximately 2 seconds. Then display will change to "Cover Open".
    6. Close cover and see if Toner Life End error message has gone.

    If Option 1 did not resolve the problem try Option 2.

    Option 2:
    1. With unit powered On, open the front cover.
    2. Press the "Options" key. Display will show "Replace Drum?"
    3. Press "Start" key.
    4. Press 11.
    5. Display will show "Accepted" for approximately 2 seconds. Then display will change to "Cover Open".
    6. Close cover and see if Toner Life End error message has gone.

     

    Like others have stated I am replacing the Brother MFC's with either HP's or Canon's.

     

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  • Great article, I had similar issues, but we had a company to service the printer for us and thus new knowleadge was gained from the experiance of others. By the way this is not just a brother thing, but all laser jets have this issue when you insert after market. We had the message using HP 8000 series printers. Avoid the headache and say to your purchasing dept you need to buy genuine part. If they why, you say because I.T. said so and your not going to come down every other day to replace a good cartriage because they did not follow procedure. Plus they will be saving on time, money, and resources.

    Good luck.

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  • gotta love Brother printers :) my favorite trick is to cover up the spy hole on the side of the toner, and get an additional 700 pages!

    Welcome back to the REAL world CB!  :)

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  • My experience has been, that no matter how "good" of a deal you're getting on the aftermarket toner, it won't offset the time / labor you'll spend fixing the problems after they get installed. I've not bought any in years (stick with strictly OEM), and will likely never do it again thanks to past experiences.

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  • Funny story, feel you on the dust and heat too...some of those units can be used a critter traps after accumulating enough dirt :)

    It is not just after marker thing...it is bad cartridge thing and it happens but more so on 3rd party products.

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  • Though beating that printer with a bat could have been stress-relieving. Damn it feels good to be a gansta.

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  • Miggy wrote:

    Yeah.  Every time there is a problem with a printer I want to cry!  LOL  They are the bane of my existence...

    Man I came here to say the exact same line (seriously!): Printers are the bane of my existence...

     

    I tell that to EVERYONE who comes to me with a problem with their printer, whether it's a coworker, family member, friend ... I hate printers :/

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  • Sosipater wrote:

    As an instructor told me in an NT cert class, "Printers aren't computers". I still hate dealing with them. Oh for the day when our paperless initiative actually involves using less paper.

    I used to ask "Why do we need fax lines again?" .... I thought Email was utilized lol.... but no we just added to fax lines the other week.

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  • Yeah, we also abandoned the cheapo toners about 7 years ago.  Nothing but headaches for the small savings on price upfront.

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  • +1 for the BBT reference!

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  • Printers are my bane and by far my least favorite things to work on.  

    Grats on finding a solution!  

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