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Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 20537
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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I have a Brother 490CW printer that won't print black. I've

Customer Question

Hi John...I have a Brother 490CW printer that won't print black. I've run the cleaning cycle several times, and also changed the cartridge, but it still won't print black....it prints colors very well
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I’m Nathan (John is offline at the moment), and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble.

Are you using genuine brother cartridges, or generic/refilled ones?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Generic/refills
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you there Nathan?
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 year ago.

Yes I am, my apologies, I did not get your earlier reply.

The most likely cause of this is the generic ink you are using - the pigment is not as fine and leads to the printhead being clogged/damaged.

Please insert the proper oem ink if possible, and repeat the cleaning, up to 5 times total. If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning.

I have to caution you up front though that the manual cleaning process is messy and time consuming. It also has a low chance of success, if you see no improvement at all from the automated cleaning. It is most likely a hardware failure (bad head) which the cleaning can’t fix, as printheads are a wear item and do fail with time/use.

Realistically, it’s probably time for a new printer. As this is a 2009 model printer, it is well past its 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising. While it can be fixed, it is not worthwhile to do so. You would have to, at a minimum, replace the printhead, which costs about $85; if the logic board is bad you’re looking at $200-250. For $80-100 you can replace the entire machine with a brand new model, with current technology and a fresh warranty, which makes more sense than buying the new part for an older printer.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, if you wish. Let me know how the built in cleaning function works, and I’ll guide you through the manual steps next, or I can recommend replacement options if you prefer.

Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,

Nathan