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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 24891
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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I have model MFC-240C. Has been in storage approx. 3 years.

Customer Question

I have model MFC-240C. Has been in storage approx. 3 years. Ink cartrages left in during storage. Printer screen says to replace ink. Can I replace Black only an skip the other cartages? Will the printer operate with only the black cartrage? I don't need the other colors.
JA: What's the exact make and model of your printer?
Customer: Brother---see above for model and questions. questions
JA: What kind of computer are you printing from (Mac or PC)? What Operating System (OS) are you running?
Customer: Not connected to computer. Just used for copying.
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: See my first entry for all information you have asked
JA: Anything else you want the printer expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: NO
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 9 months ago.

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble with this but I'll do my best to help you.

Expert:  Nathan replied 9 months ago.


there are a few issues here. Inkjet printers are not designed for storage, if they sit more than about a week even the nozzles dry out and clog up, and in a case of sitting for many years it is almost never able to be cleaned up to a point of being operational again. Ultimately when you try to print or even clean it, the nozzles will likely overheat and be permanently damaged.

Also you cannot do just black, it will require you to install all cartridges prior to use or it will not function.

You can certainly try, and there are some cleaning steps here that I can guide you through as well, but there are no guarantees on a printer this age. This is actually a 2006 model, so even before being stored, it was already significantly past its designed 3 year service life.

Personally, I would not consider the printer worth any investment at this point, even ink cartridges. It is likely that you'll spend $80 on a set of ink cartridges, only to find that the printer will still not function and has to be replaced. I would recommend discarding the printer at this point and starting over. You can get a brand new and current model with a fresh warranty for about $75. This will benefit you as well because if you ever want to use it with a computer, the old brother is not compatible with the new software like windows10.

That said, if you'd like some help through the cleaning process, or help finding cartridges, just let me know.

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:

If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please take a moment to rate my service as this is the only way I am credited for my time. Hopefully I have earned 5 Stars but if not please let me know what I can do to ensure you are satisfied. 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 9 months ago.

Hello, it appears your question is still open.

Do you need more help with this?
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