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older Brother printer issue
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 01, 2020 03:18PM
Trying to decide if it's worth trying to fix or just continue to deal with the workaround.

I've had this Brother MFC-240C color inkjet printer for...a while. The earliest reference I can find in my records is an email confirming purchase of generic ink carts for it and that was a little more than ten years ago.

Anyway, it's been working fine for as infrequently as I need to print anything in color. Except sometime last year it got stupid. Whenever I try to print, it says the printer is offline. My workaround is that I go over to the printer, unplug the usb cable then plug it back in, and then it starts receiving data and prints fine. It's just a minor inconvenience, but there's a part of me that thinks it must be a simple fix, and I figured I'd ask here.

I must have tried downloading new printer software at some point when this first started happening because the printer appears twice in my System Preferences and consequently in my print menu, and no matter which I choose it says it is Not Connected or Offline, until I go and do the unplug/plug routine again.

Do you think it's worth the time and aggravation to try to fix this (and possibly make it worse) or would you just live with the workaround? There's always the chance that if I attempt a permanent fix, I'll break it for real. I'm hoping I'm just overlooking a stupidly easy fix.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: modelamac
Date: February 01, 2020 03:36PM
wurm,

It should be a fairly simple fix.

1. Go to Sys Pref/Printer and unlock the lock. Delete both printers by highlighting them and then hit the "minus" sign.
2. Now use the "plus" sign to find and add it back.

Take a screen shot and print the screen shot. You should be back in business.

Removing and adding back has cured 95% of my printing problems over the years.

Quote
wurm
Trying to decide if it's worth trying to fix or just continue to deal with the workaround.

I've had this Brother MFC-240C color inkjet printer for...a while. The earliest reference I can find in my records is an email confirming purchase of generic ink carts for it and that was a little more than ten years ago.

Anyway, it's been working fine for as infrequently as I need to print anything in color. Except sometime last year it got stupid. Whenever I try to print, it says the printer is offline. My workaround is that I go over to the printer, unplug the usb cable then plug it back in, and then it starts receiving data and prints fine. It's just a minor inconvenience, but there's a part of me that thinks it must be a simple fix, and I figured I'd ask here.

I must have tried downloading new printer software at some point when this first started happening because the printer appears twice in my System Preferences and consequently in my print menu, and no matter which I choose it says it is Not Connected or Offline, until I go and do the unplug/plug routine again.

Do you think it's worth the time and aggravation to try to fix this (and possibly make it worse) or would you just live with the workaround? There's always the chance that if I attempt a permanent fix, I'll break it for real. I'm hoping I'm just overlooking a stupidly easy fix.



Remember how when you were little
you could just rip off your diaper and
just run around naked and everyone
thought it was so cute and funny?


Anyway, I need bail money.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: February 01, 2020 03:58PM
I often have an issue with my older Brother.
Though I don't think he has a printer.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: btfc
Date: February 01, 2020 04:10PM
Sometimes the “Reset the printing system” procedure can help:

[support.apple.com]
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: testcase
Date: February 01, 2020 04:34PM
A decade plus ago, I set up two seniors with that model and, both users have been happy with it. Before I left NY, I made sure both seniors had extra ink cartridges (generic packages I got cheap on Amazon). If you have extra ink cartridges, I'd say try to revive your 240. If you don't have extra ink, then I'd say to look at a newer replacement that would also give you modern features like wireless printing, duplexing etc.

I've heard good things about the Epson Eco-tank models. They're a LOT more expensive than basic MFCs but the ink tank system Epson has developed will run two+ YEARS before ink refills are needed. Over the long haul, an Eco-Tank MFC can cost less than a "cheap" printer.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2020 07:08PM by testcase.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 01, 2020 05:55PM
Thanks, all. I was going to try the delete and re-add the printer next. Wasn't sure if that was the best solution. I'll also try that printer reset that btfc linked.

As I said I've been very content with this old beast for the infrequent use it gets. I still have a few cheap generic carts, but ink does't seem to be the problem.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 01, 2020 06:15PM
did you try a new USB cable? I don't think that is the issue, but you do mention that you unplug/replug and it works. Could be a bad cable (although unlikely)
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: February 01, 2020 06:35PM
.....family is everything......nice that you are helping your older brother......with his printing issues......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: February 02, 2020 07:41AM
Five years ago and completely my fault, my MFC-J825DW wouldn't print correctly.
I cleaned it & got it working again. The long post detailing the event.

5 years later, it is still going strong. Just won't quit!





39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 02, 2020 08:40AM
Well, neither of the above solutions did the trick. I deleted both instance of the printer from System Preferences, then when I went to add it back, it couldn't be found. So I went to the Brother website and downloaded the latest drivers and installed them. Still couldn't find the printer in System Prefs, so I went to that printer reset page of Apple's. Followed those steps and the printer now shows up in System Prefs so I figured it was fixed. Then I went to print and it shows the same Printer is offline and Printer is not connected messages that I had before.

So I guess for now I'll just resort to my old workaround...which thankfully still works. Thanks for your efforts.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 02, 2020 09:32AM
is there a way to reset the settings in the printer? maybe the printer is in some form of energy saving mode and it wakes up when you plug the USB cable.

EDIT: are you using CUPS or Airprint?

[support.brother.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2020 09:34AM by space-time.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: raz
Date: February 02, 2020 10:05AM
Have you tried a different cable?



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 02, 2020 10:22AM
Quote
space-time
is there a way to reset the settings in the printer? maybe the printer is in some form of energy saving mode and it wakes up when you plug the USB cable.

EDIT: are you using CUPS or Airprint?

[support.brother.com]

System Prefs shows the printer as CUPS, so that's right according to Brother. I've just been though all the menu setting on the printer and they all seem right. When the printer is on (I rarely turn it off) the LCD display shows the date and time by default and is always on display, so it's not in any kind of sleep mode.

If it's a bad usb cable, wouldn't it always be bad? Why would unplugging "fix" the cable? Anyway, I was all set to try that as a last resort when I realized all my longer usb cables are in use. Time to start hunting around.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 02, 2020 10:57AM
BTW, the manual says to connect with a usb cable no longer than 6 feet. It's currently connected by a cable about twice that length, and that's connected to a usb extension to a hub. I realize it's not recommended, but could that really be the issue? It's been hooked up that way for years and only in the past six months or so has been giving me this problem. Maybe I've just been lucky? Or maybe that usb cable has finally given up the ghost.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: btfc
Date: February 02, 2020 11:03AM
Are you running more USB devices than you used to?
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: GGD
Date: February 02, 2020 11:10AM
If not the cables, maybe that hub is dying. I'd move the printer closer and do a test with a different 6' or less cable directly connected, and if that works, slowly try each part of your original connection to see what causes the problem to appear.

6' cable alone.
6' cable with extension
6' cable without extension, connected to hub.
6' cable with extension to hub.

12' cable alone.
12' cable with extension
12' cable without extension, connected to hub.
12' cable with extension to hub.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 02, 2020 02:55PM
No more usb devices on that hub than there have been for a few years. It's a 4-port powered hub and I just tried switching to a couple of different ports on the hub to no avail.

So I figured I'd start with the simplest test troubleshooting first. I unplugged the end of the usb extension from the hub and went right into the Mac Mini. Son of a gun. That did it. So the rest of this time has been spent looking to see what other usb stuff I could plug into the hub to keep that Mac Mini port open for the printer.

My external monitor is a Dell with built in usb ports and that acts as a usb hub. So I've hooked up my dvd player/burner and my Time Machine drive to that monitor. And instead of plugging the Dell (hub) into the Mini, I've plugged that into the port on the other powered hub that the printer had been on. Thankfully, they both work fine on the Dell hub, so I'm a happy camper for the time being. Now let's see how long it all lasts.

Thanks for all the advice.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: February 02, 2020 07:11PM
Note that the hubs in some dell monitors go to sleep when the monitor sleeps. Had this issue with my last dell monitor.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 02, 2020 09:26PM
Not an issue. I turn that monitor on only when I'm working actively on it or watching a dvd. When it's on, Time Machine runs.
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Re: older Brother printer issue
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: February 03, 2020 07:17AM
.....you are a good younger Brother.....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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