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Question about Brother MFC 420CN All-In-One InkJet Printer

1 Answer

Can't get color to print-black works fine.

Hi I posted the problem about my Brother MFC-420CN not printing color ink no matter what I did. I received a reply from "Mix-it-up" which guessed correctly that I had just changed cartridges, and I have been using 3rd party ink cartridges. I have used off-brand cartridges before without any problems, but the ones that I just changed out were completely empty. So now that I changed them, only the black ink prints. I received the solution(from Mix-it-up) as follows:"Power on printer. Press menu then start mono (b/w) then 4x arrow-up-button. Machine will be in maintainance mode and beeps. Press 7 then 6. Machine displays Cleaning_all. Press 3. Power_p all will be displayed. Press start mono (b/w). Machine starts a power cleaning cycle. Wait until machine displays maintanance again. Press 0 (zero) then 9. Machine starts printing ink/test printsheet. If it is OK press 9 then 9 to quit the maintanance mode. If it is not OK press 7, 6 then 4 (init_all), then start mono (b/w). Machine will initialize the cartridges and clean the head. When finished press 0 , 9 again for test printing. If you dont see any success after both procedures, your printhead may be clogged or dryed out." However, I can't get past the 1st step. What exactly do you mean by:" Press menu then start mono (b/w)"? I turned the power on. pushed the menu button, but I don't know what you mean by mono (b/w). I tried hitting the "Black Start" button at this point, but it didn't do anything?? What am I doing wrong? Also, your reply mentioned that the printhead may be "clogged or dryed out". What can I do in either case? By the way, I do appreciate all the your help!

Posted by Old Dad on

  • Old Dad Oct 01, 2007

    Well, I finally did get to go through the sequence as suggested, but unfortunately, it still won't print any colors at all. In the solution reply, you had mentioned that the printhead may be "clogged or dryed out". What can be done if this is the problem? Are these problems somthing that can be resolved without too much effort? Can a cleaning solution be used, and if so, how? Is there a way to un-clogg it? Is it worth it to fix the printer at this point(if it must be repaired) or have the print drum replaced? Is this something a novice can do? Where can I purchase parts for this printer? I hope this printer can be salvaged, especially since it is(was) a good 4-in-1 unit.



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You are on the right way. Press MENU then the blue START MONO Button which normally starts copies in black and white modus. After that press the round button (which can be normally pushed to four sides l/r up/down) UP four times. Now you should be in maintenance modus. Follow the procedure as mentioned before. If there are more questions post it here.

Posted on Sep 29, 2007

  • Anonymous Oct 01, 2007

    Old Dad,
    sorry to read that you dont have any success with the cleaning procedure: The printhead is clogged or dryed out and cant be fixed anymore.

    So, here are my suggestions:
    1. Repair it on our own by changing the head
    A new printhead is as costly as a new mfc!!!
    A cheaper way: You can buy a 2. hand dcp 110c/dcp 115c at eBay to use it as a sparepart but the dcps printhead should work without probs (may have scanner with broken glass). Simply open the dcp (use the pics how to do that:
    Turn one of the three white gearwheels around once, so that you can hear a clicking sound. Now the printhead can be pushed to the leftside (Gearwheels). In that position you can simply pull it up out of the rail. Unfasten the flatcables of the printhead at the pcb. Change the printhead incl. the capillarysystem and ink assy. Do the same with your mfc 420.
    When reassembling watch the printhead to be in good position (encoder strip = foil which runs from one side to the other and leads the printhead). It sould be connected well or you might get an error 50 which indicates that the encoder strip is not within the rail inside the printhead. Check capillaries and connection to pcb. Thats it. You dont have to compute anything within the eeprom :-)

    2. Buy a new one (e.g. mfc 440cn with the LC 57 Innobella) and sell the defective one at eBay. It has a better construction of purgeunit and printhead. Printouts are of better quality and its faster as the old ones.



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Related Questions:


If I am out of one of the color inks, can I just

Yikes! No. That's how they designed it. You always to have all 4 ink because the printer does self-cleaning every so often. Otherwise, the jets dry & clog.
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Black ink on my Brother MFC-420CN is faint and streaky

You said you replaced the cartridges. Were they Genuine Brothers' Cartridges?

My Brother MFC-240C, does not like Generic Printer Cartridges. That sounds like your problem. Also I had with Brother's was problem with Color. Color that should be Yellow, will turn out Green, or Blue Green, etc. The Generic Cartridges, also printed lines thru the words. That's what the Companies do., so they can keep selling the ink cartridges.

Some Printers, are able to use Generic, but you have to fill them up yourself and I heard, quite MESSY, or Take them to have them filled.

So I learned, thru trial and error, that you must use the ORIGINAL Genuine Cartridges for the PRINTERS.

This is the only advice I can give you. If you find this helpful, pls rate me.

Thanks and Good Luck :0)

Brother 420CN printer will not print black ink. Have replaced the cartridge and after several cleaning cycles, it still will not print properly. Test Print shows colors are fine but black ink is hit and...

I have a brother MFC 3240C. My Black ink stopped printing(initially printed horizontal faded lines and gradually got worse), the other colors were printing fine. I tried cleaning numerous time( 50 -100 times over 1-2 weeks ). Still no improvement. The way I print now is:
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This takes a long time to print 1-2 minutes per page. However, this works for me since this is my Home printer and use it for printing only few pages here are there.

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My brother mfc 420cn printer quit printing...

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Will no print black color doc if any other color ink is empty

actually, its not. the reason is, there is a small resovoire (sp?) in the ink cartridges. if you continue to print, the nozzles will clog up, and can cause all the nozzles not to work. even when you do just black, the printer has to clean at times all the nozzles and if your nozzles are empty, air will go into the deep and dry up the excess ink.

if you are going to do primarily black prints, you should get a black and white laser for those uses only.

Want to print with black ink only using Brother MFC-420CN

I see it's been a while since you posted your question but in case anyone else is wondering about this, I'll answer.  The information is not in the User's Guide booklet but in the Software User's Guide which should be available on your software disk, or you can view it here 

Basically, you go to the advanced tab under the printing preferences and select grayscale.  

MFC-420CN does not print black

My yellow cartridge was doing the same thing as your black. So I took the cartridge out, and took a flashlight to see how it works. There is like a little straw on the right hand side which goes up into the printer cartridge, this I assume is to measure the ink. I took a needle and cleaned that 'straw' thoroughly. Reseated the ink, ran cleaning and test print, and then the printer found the yellow ink! You could give that a try. It might work for you too. (I have never used any ink but Brother ink in the printer, btw.)

Receiving faxes

First make sure your line cable is plugged into the correct place. Most Brother machines have a plug for Line and a plug for Extension (EXT), make sure it's plugged into "Line".

Go into the menu on your Brother machine and select Fax, then Setup Receive and then select Easy Receive. This will usually solve most recieve problems.
Brother machines come with s default of 4 rings before they will answer, make sure none of your other devices (such as an answering machine) are set to a lower number of rings or the fax machine will never grab the line.

If you have distinctive ring, make sure you have it set up in the machine. There is a section in the owners manual for setting up discinctive ring.

If the machine grabs the line and goes through the motions but nothing comes out on the page (no black print) then make sure you are using a Brother ink cartridge (not refilled or generic) and print out the test page using the "ink" button. Allow the machine to clean a few times and see if the test page prints out correctly. If you are using refills or a generic black, you might have premanently damaged the print head. In this case take it to a service centre to have the head tested.

Black Won't Print On MFC 420 CN

Use another new genuine (original brother) BK cart. Do the cleaning twice only for BK. Wait some time (4 hours). If the ink has dryed up, the cleaning ink will break up the dryed one. Do the cleaning again. If it doesnt work, please write again.
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