asked May 29, 2010 at 5:22pm
Brother Brother HL 2170W

HL-2170W Toner Life End

My printer has been flashing the toner light everytime I print for the last month or so and now when I look in the web interface for my printer it says Toner Life End. I have tried resetting the printer, updating the firmware, and I called Brother and they were no help at all. I tried replacing the toner to see it that would fix the problem but it did not work. I was reading some other discussions and it said the put black tape over the holes and that did not work either. Here is a copy of my Maintenance Information that I copied from the web interface. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Node Information
Model Name Brother HL-2170W series
Serial no. K8J959699
Printer Firmware Version 1.15
Network Firmware Version 1.09
Memory Size 32Mbytes

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

Device Status
Page Count 3066
Drum Count 3066

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Remaining Life
*Drum Unit 8934 pages
(\% of Life Remaining) (74.4\%)

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

Total Pages Printed
A4/Letter 3062 pages
Legal/A4 Long/Folio 2 pages
B5/Executive 0 pages
Envelope 0 pages
A5 0 pages
Others 2 pages

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

Total Pages Printed
Plain/Thin/Recycled 3066 pages
Transparencies 0 pages
Thick/Thicker/Bond 0 pages
Envelopes/Env. Thick/Env. Thin 0 pages

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

Replace Count
Drum Unit 0
Toner 0

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

Total Paper Jams 12
Jam Tray1 5
Jam Inside 6
Jam Rear 1

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

Error History (last 10 errors)
1: TONER LIFE END Page: 3066
2: JAM INSIDE Page: 2274
3: JAM TRAY 1 Page: 2274
4: JAM INSIDE Page: 2274
5: JAM TRAY 1 Page: 1991
6: JAM REAR Page: 820
7: JAM INSIDE Page: 743
8: JAM TRAY 1 Page: 743
9: TONER LIFE END Page: 743
10: JAM INSIDE Page: 743
I was able to fix it. I had to open the case and flip the power switch to turn the printer off then turn it back on while I was holding the main button. Then press the button 2 times then after that press the button 7 more times and it reset the toner and it is all fixed now.
by JMorgan75149 on May 29, 2010 at 6:02pm Add comment
Hi, I am having the same problem with a brand new HL-2170W. After setting up this new printer, the toner life message came up only after printing up a few pages. I saw your fix and want to try it but I had a question.

Is the main button that you refer to the blue one on the front of the printer? Or is it another button on the inside of the printer, which would be the reason to open up the case? I would appreciate your help on this.

Thank you!
by unknown on Jun 15, 2010 at 3:34pm Add comment
1)open case (generates error message & red light), turn off machine.
2)close case. then hold down main blue/button while switching on power button (facing machine, on rear right)-- release after a few seconds.

4)press 2 times
5)press 7 times

by unknown on Jun 23, 2010 at 1:33pm Add comment
Actually, I succeed BUT only after leaving the front case opened

1)Open the front case (generates error message & red light), turn off machine.
2)Leave the front case opened, then hold down main blue/button "Contact" while switching on power button (facing machine, on rear right)-- [Note that the button is actually placed on the front case and as it needs to remain opened, you need to use its corresponding contact on the main unit]
3)Release it when all the three LEDs (Toner, Drum, Error) are lit.
4)Press 2 times
5)Press 7 times

Note that at each time you press (4th and 5th), the button-contact lights up. - Droplipf
I had same problem: My 2170W printer decided that the toner cartridge was at "life end" but the pages were still coming out just fine.

I put in a new toner cartridge and turned the printer on (didn't print). Then I turned off the printer, put back the old cartridge and turned the printer back on again. The printer was now good with the old cartridge that was previously at "life end".

Having the printer decide when to change the cartridge may be a good way to get users to spend more money on toner but it's bad design and bad customer relations. I can SEE when I need a new toner cartridge; I don't need the printer telling me when it's time to change AND REFUSING TO PRINT UNTIL I DO.
by unknown on Oct 11, 2010 at 10:23am Add comment
This worked!! Thank YOU!!
by unknown on Oct 16, 2010 at 10:48am Add comment
I tried the button pressing fix from JMorgan et al. It worked for a few pages but then went to end of life again. In another Brother Thread some suggested putting black tape over the "window" on the side of the drum to trick the printer that there is still toner. This worked for me. No more flashing toner light. Annoying.
by unknown on Dec 7, 2010 at 8:37pm Add comment
Tried the power off reset power on main button 2+7 which didn't work. Main button went blue on 2+#4 and went through typical start up and eventual yellow toner light plus main light off = no printing. My guess is I have different firmware.

Placing black tape on the right side of the CARTRIDGE, not the drum did the trick. Remove the toner cartridge and apply the tape.

Thanks to all who make suggestions to help bypass meaningless user restrictions. As a side, I have an HP color printer which the end of life feature activated almost two years ago. Luckily, HP offers a software feature to disable toner monitoring.
by unknown on Jul 8, 2011 at 6:51pm Add comment
Black tape on right side of CARTRIDGE worked for me too. Thanks for the tip!! This saved me money and a last minute trip to Micro Center.

I agree with MCline, "I can SEE when I need a new toner cartridge; I don't need the printer telling me when it's time to change AND REFUSING TO PRINT UNTIL I DO." Shame on you Brother!!

I think my next printers will be HP. I like the ability to disable toner monitoring.

I am thinking of placing black tape on the cartridges of all my other Brother laser printers to manually disable toner monitoring. There is nothing wrong with applying this fix long term, is there?

Thanks again!!!
by mikej99 on Aug 8, 2011 at 6:34pm Add comment
If not Brother for a laser printer , who then makes a good one?
by unknown on Sep 12, 2011 at 1:02am Add comment
I am so glad to have found this article, because my next step was Amazon to buy a new Toner cartridge. I went to school for IT...for two semesters....I have little knowledge of computers, however some things are just common sense. The toner light had been coming on for about 8 months, but I know the quality of what is being printed is affected if the toner is actually low. Thanks for the tip, and if you don't have black tape, color clear tape with a black marker.... :-)
by unknown on Oct 29, 2011 at 10:48pm Add comment
A little square of electrician's tape on the right side of the cartridge (covering the little hole) worked great. Before, toner was at 'end of life'. After, remaining life is showing half (5 out of 10 dots). Page count is at 532 (these toners are rated for 1000 pages, I think).
Overall, I am very pleased with the printer, but this cartridge scam is below the belt. Shame on Brother.
by unknown on Dec 4, 2011 at 2:13pm Add comment
Thanks to everyone here for letting me know about the black tape trick. It worked perfectly, saving me the annoyance of having to go and get new toner before I really needed it. I'm still satisfied with the printer performance overall, but the fact that I had to resort to using duct tape to make my own goddamn printer shut up and print is pathetic. Come on, Brother, you can do better than that.
by unknown on Sep 6, 2012 at 9:53am Add comment
Thank you all so much! The button pressing did not work for me, but the piece of electrical tape did the trick over. Put it right over the little clear lens on the right side of the toner cartridge. I paid for school pictures for the son online, and needed to print a receipt to include in the order form. His pictures are tomorrow. The printer toner went "end of life" just today at 9PM when the one store that had toner supplies just closed... This did the trick and the pages that printed are perfect. no streaking, or faded spots. Without this thread, I would have been scrambling to print the receipt somehow in the morning.

Thanks you all!
by unknown on Oct 2, 2012 at 7:24pm Add comment
just used the black tape trick on the right side of the toner. worked great. thanks!
by unknown on Oct 27, 2012 at 11:45pm Add comment
Another great big THANK YOU to the person who originally suggested placing tape on the end of the printer cartridge.

When I was working, we used to take out the toner cartridge, shake it up a bit and put it back in to squeeze out more copies. I tried this and it worked for a bit.

However, when I placed the tape on the end of the cartridge this worked like magic. I was ready to replace the cartridge, but this worked so well I've been printing lots of extra copies ever since with no end in sight.

So whoever the original poster is who suggested this, I surely wish I could locate this thread, for we all owe this person big time!
by unknown on Apr 5, 2013 at 9:01pm Add comment
Just wanted to comment that red tape works too! Thanks for the tip!
by unknown on May 7, 2013 at 9:06am Add comment
I tried that stupid turn on and press button trick- didn't work BUT taking the toner out and shaking it on it's side for a bit did.. When I put it back into the printer, 4 test pages fired out and I was able to print again.
by unknown on Sep 4, 2013 at 10:40pm Add comment
The button trick did not work for me. Maybe it resets the drum count? However...

There is a toner page count lever (my name for it). When it gets to the end (all the way to the right), the printer thinks it's out of toner. The lever is on the left side of the cartridge as you can see "Brother" right side up. It's white, and towards the back. You can see that it travels a little less than half a circle. You want to move it from the right side to the left side to reset the toner page count. This is how:

Turn the toner cartridge so the left side is up.

Remove the gear cover by taking out the 3 screws.

Carefully take the cover off making sure not to dislodge the gears still on the toner.

Turn the cover over.

Remove the small gear. There's a small clip in the center. Push it to the center and the gear will come right out.

Remove the only other gear in the same fashion - noting the position of the gear. It's going to go back in the same place, the same way. (It doesn't have to actually come out, just pull it up an eighth of an inch.)

Move the toner page count lever to the extreme other side.

Push the large gear back into place.

Put the small gear back.

Put the cover back on the cartridge, and replace the screws.

Your toner is now reset.

Total time for this procedure - 2 minutes. It takes longer to find a crosspoint screwdriver.

Note that you really will run out of toner at some point. Watch for blotchy print or faded streaks. Then, buy a new one.

Good luck!
by unknown on Mar 21, 2014 at 9:33am Add comment
Tried Coast Ranger's suggestion to move the toner page count lever. This was easy and so far, so good! - unknown
Followed Droplipf's instruction. Is printing now (wired) but not wirelessly. Does this FIX reset all settings so that I have to set up wireless again.
by squilly on Aug 21, 2014 at 10:56am Add comment