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Brother MFC-490CW Troubleshooting

This inject printer is all-in-one device that can print, copy, scan and fax documents. The device can be used wired or wirelessly through a network, so files multiple users can upload files to the printer. This troubleshooting page should help users resolved issues using the main functions of the printer.

Device shows no power ¶ 

Some signs range from the printer not turned to more complex problems such as damage to the LCD

Check the power switch ¶ 

Make sure the power switch is in the on position.

Check the power cord ¶ 

If the power switch is on, check to see if the power cord is securely plugged into the outlet. If the printer still does not turn on, there may be a couple of

Check the power source ¶ 

It may be possible that the power coming from the outlet is not supply the electricity to the printer. Check the fuse box to see if the fuse needs to be replaced or if the the circuit breaker needs to be reset for a breaker box.

Check the LCD screen ¶ 

It is possible that the LCD may be damaged, but functions of the device can still be used.

To check to see if the only the LCD screen is broken, you can make a copy of a document.

  • Place a document on the scanner or load the document on the automatic document feeder.
  • Press the copy button
  • Press enter

If a document comes out, then the device is working properly, but the LCD panel needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, the entire control panel must be replaced. Replace the panel using this guide.

What to do when you receive Error Messages ¶ 

Solutions to error messages on Machines display, computer.

What does "COMM.ERROR" on the LCD screen mean ¶ 

This means that your Brother machine experienced a communications error when sending or receiving a FAX. This is generally caused by either interference on the line, phone line connection or another device on the line.If the message still appears, there may be a problem with the way the Brother machine is connected or you may have a bad telephone line. Disconnect any other equipment on the telephone line, i.e. answering machine, modem, extra telephones, switching devices, adapters, etc. Make sure the telephone line is connected directly from the jack (socket) on the Brother machine labeled "Line" to the telephone wall jack (socket).

I receive an error message when trying to use network functions ¶ 

Verify that the LAN cable and the power cord of the Brother machine are connected. If the power cord is connected to a surge protector or power switch, remove the cord from the device and connect it directly to the outlet. You can also check the Firewall setting on your computer to see if it is active or not

Paper Jams and Loading Tray problems ¶ 

solutions to paper jams, loading and handling systems

Paper Jam ¶ 

Unplug the Brother machine from the AC power outlet (electrical socket)

1. Turn the machine around and open the Jam Clear Cover

2. Look inside the machine and remove any jammed paper.

3. Close the Jam Clear Cover. Make sure the cover is closed properly.

4. Pull the paper tray (1) completely out of the machine.

5. Look at the inside of the machine where the paper tray was. Using your hand, lift the front of the machine approximately 150 mm (6 in.) off the surface.

6. Remove any ripped paper you found in-between each of the black exit rollers

Printer not responding ¶ 

1. Check to see if the printer is on and there are no errors

2. Make sure this printer is the default printer

3. Delete all printer jobs

4. Check to see if the printer status is paused or offline

Papers/photos printed are smudged ¶ 

1. Make sure pages aren't curled or too thick

2. Unplug the printer

3. Lift the scanner cover and clean the area under it thoroughly

4. Close the scanner cover

After a scan when writing data to the memory, the status seems to not be updating ¶ 

  • When the progress box is open, it means the scanner and your computer and communicating. Sometimes the data takes a while to transfer and interrupting the process can delay the job even more.

Device will not send or receive any faxes ¶ 

The device is not scanning the page that is being faxed or problems with the telephone line.

Check the phone line ¶ 

1. Make sure the phone line is connected to the printer as well as the phone wall jack. Also check if the phone line has not been damaged which could hamper the communication.

2. Check the dial tone. This can be done on the machine.

  • On the control panel, select the menu button
  • Use the up/down arrows to find and select initial setup
  • Use the left/right arrows to find and select detection
  • Select OK
  • Select Stop/Exit

3. Make sure the line is not being used. Check all phones to make sure they are all disconnected.

Telephone line interference ¶ 

  1. Press Menu
  2. Use the up/down arrows to find and select Fax
  3. Use the up/down arrows to find and select Miscellaneous
  4. Use the up/down arrows to find and select Compatibility
  5. Use the left/right arrows to select either High, Normal or Basic
  6. Press OK
  7. Press Stop/Exit

These settings adjusts the speed of the modem. Try the different settings until the interference is gone.

Copied documents are too light or the quality is poor ¶ 

The text of the copy contains some missing parts. The black ink or any of the color inks may be printing inconsistently.

Adjust the quality settings ¶ 

1. On the control panel, press Copy

2. Use the up/down arrows to find Quality.

3. Use the left/right arrows to select either Fast, Normal or Best. Best is the optimal setting. Select OK.

Modifying the paper settings can also improve copy quality

1. Select Copy from the control panel

2. Use the arrow keys to select Paper Type

3. Select Stop/Exit to complete setup

Follow the procedure depending on the current paper setting of the printer

  • If the printer is set to plain paper, change the setting to inkjet paper
  • If the printer is set to inkjet paper, change the setting to Brother BP71 or Glossy

4. Select Stop/Exit to complete setup

Changing the brightness/contrast of the copy ¶ 

1. Select Copy from the control panel

2. Use the up/down arrows to select Brightness

3. Use the right arrow to make the increase the brightness of the copy; use the left arrow to decrease the brightness

4. Select Stop/Exit to complete to process

Clean the print head ¶ 

  1. Press Ink
  2. Use the up/down arrows to find Test Print. Select OK
  3. Use the up/down arrows to find Quality. Select OK
  4. Press Color Start

Check the test print to see if there is any missing lines,

  1. If the test print is fine, press 1 (yes)
  2. Press Stop/Exit

If the test print is missing lines,

# Press 2 twice (no)

# Press 1 to clean the print head

# Repeat step 4 under clean the print head until the test print is good.

  1. Press 1
  2. Press Stop/Exit

2 Comments

it's say unable to print 36

Larry - Reply

Mine says the same thing -"unable to print 36" Does anyone know what this means?

Kathy Vachon - Reply

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