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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 24485
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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Have a MFC-240C ink jet. Error message is "print unable see

Customer Question

Have a MFC-240C ink jet. Error message is "print unable see trouble shooting and routine maintenance chapter in users guide", or some such. I was out of ink when this came up and put all 4 new cartridges but that didn't change anything. Didn't find anything in the guide addressing this.Richard
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Dustin replied 10 months ago.

Welcome to, my name is Dustin.
I'm sorry to hear about the issue you are having, I will do my best to help you resolve it.

Expert:  Dustin replied 10 months ago.

To get started, I need to know what type of computer you are using, a Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or a Mac.

If its a Mac, please check the OSX version as follows, Click the apple sign at the top left of your screen, then click about this mac. And then where it says version, send that to me as a reply.

Also, lets try something simple first.

Remove all ink tanks from the machine.. Then unplug it from power.. Then, press and hold power for ten seconds.

Then, plug the machine back in and turn it on.. Now, insert the ink tanks one at a time. After all ink t anks are inserted, do you still get the same error?

Dustin S

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Now it says clean unable
Expert:  Dustin replied 10 months ago.

Please try the following.. if we can get this reset to go through, it should clear that error.

Enter machine maintenance mode (on MFC240C all four photo/copy/fax/scan lights flash in maintenance mode). Care is needed in maintenance mode, otherwise critical settings may be inadvertently corrupted.

FAX models with numerical keypads: Press the Menu/Set, *, 2, 8, 6 and 4 keys within two seconds. (if you fail to complete the correct key sequence within two seconds, press the Stop key to try again).

Other (non-FAX) models: Press the Menu/Set and Black Start keys. Next press the “up arrow” key four times to enter the maintenance mode).

2) Press the 8 then 0 keys in the initial stage of the maintenance mode to call up the machine’s log information list (function code 80).

3) Press the Black Start key several times to scroll through the log information list to reach the purge counter. The purge counter is the 25th item in the list.

4) Press the 2, 7, 8, and 3 keys in this order to reset the purge count to zero.

5) Press the Stop/Exit key to return to the initial stage of the maintenance mode.

6) Press the 9 key twice to return to the standby state.

I strive to provide great service, and greatly appreciate a 5 star rating clicked and submitted when you are satisfied.. I always answer follow up questions.

Dustin S.

Senior Technician and Network Switching Systems Operator / Maintainer.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Same error when trying to test print
Expert:  Dustin replied 10 months ago.

Were you able to complete the steps.. ?

Did it show the purge counter at zero when you were done?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Reset twice to 0
"clean unable"
Expert:  Dustin replied 10 months ago.

Understood.. We may have to manually clean the printhead..

Try this, remove all the ink cartridges.. take note of the electrical / copper contacts on each ink cartridge.. Clean then with a lint free cloth and windex or rubbing alochol or a touch of warm water.

Now, for each ink cartridge inside the printer will be a matching copper contact that reads the carrtridges.. Clean those too.

Then, insert all the ink tanks, and turn the machine off and on.. Whats the exact error message you get including the error code?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
There are no electrical contacts on Brother cartridges. I even double checked.
Still same "clean unable 50" error message. (Originally was "Print unable 50")
What now?
Expert:  Dustin replied 10 months ago.

The next step would be to empty / replace the purge tank. However, I can no longer find that part for sale..

For that reason, I am going to opt out so other experts can have a look at this, if no one responds or is able to help solve the issue, this refund link may be of use to you.

Dustin S

Expert:  Nathan replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today.

Sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with this but I’ll do my best to help you out.

Unfortunately Richard there is no further practical action that can be taken at this point.

The next steps would require replacement of the purge assembly and/or printhead. Neither part is readily available and neither is a do it yourself job. Fixing either of these issues would run you $200+ at a repair shop.

This is a 2006 model printer, which was designed and built for a 3 year service life. At this point it has served its designed maximum lifespan more than 3 times over and greatly exceeded any value that could be reasonably expected of it, and is simply not worth any further investment. You can get a brand new and better model with updated features and a fresh warranty for less than half of repair costs.

I do apologize for the bad news, but hope you will find some value in saving any further time and effort on a futile attempt. For comparison purposes, note that taking it to a repair shop would yield a $75-100 diagnostic fee for the exact same outcome and information.

If looking for a replacement, I’d recommend any of the Epson workforce series printers. They tend to be very reliable, are easy to set up and use, have good print quality, and reasonably priced ink. Example: or

Note that these, like all consumer grade inkjet printers, are designed to be low cost and are essentially disposable after a few years, subsidized by the high cost of ink cartridges. If you wish to have a better quality and longer lasting printer, that comes with years worth of ink up front, consider the Epson ecotank models instead:

Alternately, for a more business/commercial grade product that will be rated for a 5 year life, consider a laser printer. Lasers cost more up front also, but a toner cartridge can last for thousands of pages. A black only all in one laser is around $125:

while a color model is about twice that:

If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please take a moment to rate my service using the stars at the top of the page; hopefully I have earned 5 Stars. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at and ask for Nathan.

Thank you, ***** ***** a nice day,


Expert:  Nathan replied 10 months ago.


Expert:  Nathan replied 9 months ago.

Do you need more help with this, Richard?