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I had the same problem with my Brother MFC 490 CW. It suddenly started printing yellow instead of black. I believe my problem was cause by a mislabeled third party black ink cartridge. The cartridge was labelled black but it had a yellow end piece. In any case I took out the black cartridge and replaced with another. Initially it made no difference I assume because some yellow ink was still in the tube. After 10 or so pages of printing the print turned darker. I also did three cleanings and unplugged the unit and then plugged it back in. I am not sure what if anything these latter two actions accomplished, but I wanted to report all I did in case they were actually part of the solution. My own conclusion is that it was simply a mislabeled cartridge.
I had the same problem with mine but I bought a refill cartridge instead of a new one and went through three refilled cartridges when I found that it was that I needed a brand new one. For some reason, the HP printers and some other printers need to know that you are using the same brand of ink as the printer. if it is another brand it wont except it and it wont let you print anything! So make sure it is a brand new hp brand ;)
The Brother machines require all colors in order to print anything, even just black. You can put a small piece of electrical tape over the clear window on the cartridge and the machine will think it's full.
All cartridges are new...report shows 0 pages for yellow left yet all others added at the same time show thousands of pages left. Everything printed is in black with no color. BTW: I have 3,000 pages left with black cartridge and the display says I need black.
I had the same problem with the yellow cartridge.
Yellow quit printing, put in a new yellow and
still would not print yellow.
I had a help file, don't know where I got it, but
it suggested replacing the black ink cartridge
also, even though the black wasn't low yet.
Replaced the black, ran a few nozzle cleans and
everything worked fine. Don't know why.