asked Aug 24, 2003 at 8:09am
Brother Brother MFC 5100C

Brother MFC-5100C

Can someone tell me what "Machine error 41" is? Thanks very much.
Yes, you can replace it yourself IF you can find a new one. Remove the ink cartridges and unclip two spring clips on either side of the cartridge container (ink head). Lift out the printhead and replace. You MIGHT try removing your printhead and cleaning it first to see if cleaning works.
by Bob on Oct 23, 2003 at 12:02pm Add comment
I just bought a new printer and I was going to keep the 5100 for fax scan etc. I will try to clean the printer. Can I use "denatured Alcohol" to clean with? - Anonymous
Well, it would be remis of me NOT to respond to this thread after this forum saved me $200 - $300 from what I've been reading here.

Bob, You D man!! Also, Paul thanks for expounding further.

Well, I too got this stupid Error 41 on my beloved 5100C (have it for over 3yrs) and truth be told, I pulled out the manual and start to trouble shoot the crap out of it. Well, all they state there was to turn off/on machine; if problem continues contact Brother Customer service. Sh*t....

Ummm, I start thinking BIG $. So after turning on/off a couple times with same result, I said let me Google this stuff and see what forum is out there. VOLLA!!

Followed Bob & Paul instructions and yeah mine worked.

Listen Up: Only use paper towel or toilet tissue or a soft cloth to clean the printer head.

Yes, the head is those two brass looking strips at the bottom of the ink tray. Wipe that puppy dry till all ink is removed.

This has to be a manufacturer flaw!! You guys just save me some $ and frustration caas I was close to giving up. Thanks!! - Anonymous
I got "Error 41". I am trying to change the Print Head myself but the whole thing is stuck in far right and would not move to the middle so I can remove the ink cartidges and eventually the print head. Do you know how I can release or make it move?
Shahab - Anonymous
Glad I found this group. I have a Brother MFC 5440cn and I have been getting "unable to print" (error 41) for a few days. I contacted Brother and they told me where I can have it repaired at my expense. I need to know how to take off the cover so I can clean the print head myself as I cannot afford to take it in for servicing. I was doing great with the directions but the 5440cn does not have a lift out tray as does the 5100. Could someone please walk me through it slowly ;) Oh it will feel so good to fix this problem without having to pay someone. I doubt I'll buy another Brother. Thanking you in advance.
by LuckyMommie on Sep 27, 2006 at 11:24am Add comment
this is paul, sandys husband. let me help please. i actually did the work for her. you know to release the clips. from there. push down gently on the on the edge closest to and then roll it out.

one more time. instead of pulling up and out you must push down and roll it towards you. it will come bee and the head you need to clean is not! attached to the ribbon. you can take it and walk around with if you like. i promise. i believe you are correct about the head leaking. that is what i found. the bottom of the head where the two copper? strips are located were covered witk ink. i simply cleaned ours DRY with a soft tissue and is working fine. this may be a design flaw, but to be honest, its not that hard to fix and overall it anokay machine for the price, we decided to keep it and just clean the head whenever. i hope you give it another try, i believe you will be pleased. i will help you again if you need it. i understand the frustration with printers. BUT thanks to this site maybe weALL can keep our junk(g) running.
goog luck bee and post with results if you feel like it
by paul k.
by unknown on Nov 4, 2003 at 7:15am Add comment
Hi paul i saw u helping someone on line listen i have the same printer and i lost the disk and i have no idea how to install it without it do u have any idea where i can get it or can u send it to my e-mail i don't know help me please. - Anonymous
found your post on the Brother mfc-5100c and your advice just saved me big $$. Thanks, Barney - Anonymous
On cleaning the print head. How do you get the printer to the middle when it is all the way to the right? - Anonymous
ok , that's it , i give up ..... anyone know of a way to disable the printhead so i can still use the fx or scanner ????
by unknown on Dec 20, 2003 at 7:17pm Add comment
Eureka! I've got the printhead off and cleaned it with a paper towel. Then I put a small layer of water into the basin where the cartridges go and blotted it onto a paper towel. This made me see that only black freely flows and so I am going to soak it. I am guessing it's bad to get the computer chip on the back of the unit wet but it's nice you can get all you need soaked w/o getting that wet!

If this works I may put up a little website with photos and my own directions based on everyone's comments here for people to find!
by Andrew on Feb 24, 2005 at 5:05pm Add comment

I have a 3100C and I ended up having to take it about an hour or so. I live in a town of 30,000 and the so the closest repair shop was an hour away, a city of about 100,000.

It took two calls to Brother to get them to correctly issue a work order, so call the repair shop to make sure they have the right documentation before you go. The first time I was very nice and asked if they could help me out and went with the "kill 'em with kindness" idea and they said they'd issue a work order to the repair shop. The guy even tried to find a closer one but had no luck. Of course, he apparently never sent the work order on correctly (or someone else along the way dropped the ball) so I called back a week later. The second time I just stated matter of factly that they said they'd do this and had not yet and could they please rush it through. I said I had no problem waiting on hold while they sent the fax and was not mean, but was very matter of fact and serious.

As I mentioned on 3/7/05 I got the printer back. I had taken out the 4 ink cartridges so they didn't spill any during transport. The place ended up replacing the print head and all 4 cartridges for me, and it was 100\% free! My printer has worked find for over a week since then. I try to print something in color now every other day or so to keep things flowing and what not.

Do note that taking the cartridges out is a good idea if you use non-name brand ink as this violates the terms of the warranty and makes the entire warranty invalid.

Hope that helps,
by Andrew on Mar 16, 2005 at 8:11am Add comment
I also have an error 41. I received a new printer today from Brother and need to return my old one. It says on the shipping notice not to remove the ink, but send it back with the cartridges still in the printer. I have two generic cartridges. Will this make the warranty void?
Karen - Anonymous
My printer wont scan!! It says connecting to PC but then nothing happens, how can i make it scan?
by Anonymous on Sep 7, 2006 at 6:08pm Add comment
I will share my Brother experience with you in the hopes that it helps. Please realize that I can not take responsibility for damage to your printer and proceed at your own risk (But, since it's broke anyway what do you have to loose?) My Brother MFC-5200C was purchased in April, 2003. I started receiving the Machine Error 41 after about 14 months of ownership. I contacted Brother technical support and they were able to ship me a replacement printer. I have owned this replacement MFC-5200C since June, 2004. Yesterday, I began receiving the Machine Error 41 on this printer. After checking the Serial Number, I determined that my printer was manufactured in January, 2003. Let's stop for a second. Your printer's manufacture date can be determined by looking at the serial number under the paper trey. This number is 15 digits long and will begin with U5 or U6. The key thing you are looking for is in the number in the middle surrounded by letters. e. g. U60304>A3<2H456752. For the example written, the machine was manufactured in January, 2003. A=January 3=2003. Now, brother has extended the warranty on the print head to 2 years from purchase date or 30 months from manufactured date so if your printer is under warranty go no further, call Brother for repair or replacement. If you are like me however, and your printer is out of this warranty you so can either call them anyway in the hopes they will help you, replace the print head, clean the print head, or throw the stupid thing away and buy another. Here I will cover how to clean the print head; I will not cover installing a new print head as the process is the same as cleaning minus the cleaning. Items I used were 1. A small flathead screwdriver. 2. Plenty of alcohol pads (Note: You may choose to use Q-Tips with alcohol, I did not for fear of leaving lent behind.) (Note: I also choose to use alcohol pads instead of water for its evaporative properties) 3. Facial Tissue (Soft and fairly lent free) 4. Canned Air. Optional Items: Safety Glasses and Latex Gloves. FIRST - Open the printer as though you are going to replace an ink cartridge. SECOND - Remove the ink cartridges. THIRD - Locate the two metal spring clips on each side of the print head. To remove these springs gently push spring lever down, then slightly pull away from clip. Next, you will need to unhook them form each side of the plastic cylinder they are connected to, then you will need to unhook them from the front of the print head and rotate them forward. Note: Once they are free of all clips they should rotate freely if you are encountering resistance, you have not unhooked something correctly. FOURTH - Locate the plastic cable guide clip on the left side of the print head. Gently open inward toward print head. (Note: Should look like a small triangle overhang on the left side of print cartridge which will prevent print cartridge from coming out.) Note: You may have to use a screw drive to gently GENTLY pry open, Do not break this fragile plastic piece however. FIFTH - Your print head is now ready to come out, rotate slightly down and out toward the front of the printer. SIXTH - Locate the ribbon clip holding the two ribbon cables in place on the back of the print head. SEVENTH - Remove this clip carefully. Note: (Clip is black and runs the length of the print head.) Note: (Reinstallation of this clip is optional) EIGHTH - Remove the bottom ribbon cable, this cable has no locking mechanism and a gentle pull should dislodge it from its socket. NINTH - Remove the top ribbon cable. Note: (This ribbon cable does have a locking mechanism. Should be a 2 tone light brown / dark brown Ziff socket. The top dark brown portion should lift slightly up then swing out away from the print head. (Note: PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION NOT TO BREAK THIS CLIP. IF BROKEN YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO REATTACH THIS RIBBON CABLE.) TENTH - Now that the print head is free, clean bottom and inside with Alcohol pads. ELENTH - Note: (Safety Glasses recommended.) Holding the print head with the inside facing you and the outside facing a garbage bag or pan (Careful not to splatter ink on carpet) gently insert tube from air can over print head injector holes. Gently squeeze trigger to push built up ink out of the other side of the print head. Continue to clean with facial tissue and alcohol as necessary and repeat these step until no more ink appears. REINSTALL. TWELVTH - Reattach top and bottom ribbon cables. Note: (Botton ribon cable simply pushes in. Top ribon cable will need to be reattached and locked with Ziff socket. THIRTEENTH - Reattach back cable clip. FOURTEENTH - Gently re-insert print head back into printer. Note: (Be sure not to catch the springs or cable guide while re-inserting. Also, you may have to gently rotate head in order to reseat in print head slot. FOURTEENTH - Close cable guide cover (Plastic piece with triangle bottom). FIFTEENTH - Reattach springs on both sides. Note: Springs should go UNDER first catch THROUGH cylinder then UNDER second catch. SIXTEENTH - Reinsert ink cartridges. SEVENTEENTH - Clean Print Heads. EIGHTEENTH - Run printer alignment. NINETEENTH - Print test page. You're done. Total time for me was about 15 minutes removal, 20 minutes cleaning, 20 minutes reinstall. NOTE: WHEN USING AIR TAKE SPECIAL CARE NOT TO SPRAY YOURSELF IN THE EYES OR SPRAY FURNATURE. YOU MAY WANT TO PERFORM THIS STEP OUTDOORS BUT NOT IN A WINDY AREA. Anyway, I have tried to provide all of the details possible. I sincerely hope this is helpful, however, I do not check this forum often. Others in the community who have performed this replacement should be more than willing to help you. Anyway, good luck and I hope you get your printer working again. P.S.S. This procedure is such a pain in the ^[email protected] that I've sworn never to perform it again, if I receive another Machine Error 41 a year or two down the road, I will simply throw it away and buy a new one. For those looking for a new one, I recommend the Canon Pixma MP830.
by unknown on Sep 20, 2006 at 8:18pm Add comment
Although I have not yet an opportunity to attempt to clean the printhead on my MFC5200C, I just want to say I appreciate all of the posts by those of you willing to offer the technical assistance that you have. In particular, I thought that the post from tech_uppin of 9/20/06 was outstanding in its detail and clarity. I am looking forward to when I will have the 1 hour (plus another couple for me, as I will be VERY slowly following his instructions), to see if I can resuscitate my MFC or not. (I don't have a Machine Error 41, but the print quality started declining a year or more ago - first the color (which didn't bother me too much), but now the black quality is also gone. I've seen a Machine Error 41 appear momentarily, then disappear.)
It was interesting to see that tech_uppin's history is parallel to mine. Only diff was that I had originally purchased a MFC5100C in 10/02. It was replaced less than a year later with another one due to ME41, and then that one, again due to ME41, was replaced with my current MFC5200C in April 2004. All this under warranty or extended warranty. Once I received the MFC5200C, I felt that I shouldn't need to keep on purchasing extended warranties that themselves cost about half the price of a new machine. This "confidence" was from Brother telling me that this replacement model addresses a number of the problems they were having with the MFC5100. Yeah... Right!!!

Interesting that tech_uppin recommended the Canon Pixma MP830 as a replacement. I picked up a fairly close model on sale, their MP530, in case my attempt to resuscitate fails.

If my attempts, successful or not, provide any new insights, I will be happy to share them with this thread. - Anonymous
Plug your printer in. As it is coming up to power, hit the ink key and number 2 on the printer keyboard. Quickly open the printer and hold on to the printer head, moving it to the center and let the printer continue to power up. You have to be fast.
by Anonymous on Jan 4, 2007 at 11:31am Add comment
I got that error message on my MFC 51000C. Took it to the almighty Brother repair shop in the Maryland area. They charged me $85.00 to tell me that I needed a new main board. $286.00 plus $85/hour for labor. Went and bought an HP multifunction unit this evening. I bet you had your 5100 for 14 months, right??
by unknown on Oct 16, 2003 at 11:39am Add comment
We have been having the same problem! This is a recall item if I have ever seen one. I am furious. I think we should all get together and make them give us new printers. (However, I am not sure I want one!) I am calling Brother to complain....and tell them I am telling all my friends, their friends and then some. Grrrrr.. - Anonymous
Sandy: I had my 5100 for less time than you. Anyway, it seems to me that they might have lied to you. Since my post, I purchased a Brother MFC 3100<<<<<(dummy). I noticed that the printhead looked identical to my 5100. So, I installed the NEW printhead (3100)on my broken 5100 and guess what. Bingo, The 5100 works just fine. I believe the machine error 41 refers to the printhead, NOT the main board.
by Bob on Oct 16, 2003 at 6:51pm Add comment
Hey Bob, could you please give me some more details about this print head? Where to buy one, how to replace it, written information from a website, etc. I would like to fix this thing for my home use. Thanks
by Sandy on Oct 16, 2003 at 6:58pm Add comment
well mine just started that error 41 message as well :( i'm not about to spend 100s of Dollars to fix it when the printer cost me $150 new..ggrrr... printhead, can i replace it myself?? I would just try to get one of Ebay..hehehe..can someone tell what the deal is please :( i have to say, when i first bought the 3100c i thought it was great but after having it for about lets see...yeahh, about 14 month :O) i don't like it at all, the color quality sucks not to mention that it took me forever to find XP update drivers, you'd think our days those all come preped for XP ??!! and to find the ink cartridges...geeze..if you don't happen to live in a BIG city with lots of resources, which i don't..forget it, i have to order mine of ebay.
by unknown on Oct 23, 2003 at 11:32am Add comment
i searched on ebay they dont have the mfc 5100c print head - Anonymous
I called the local folks who fix Brothers in my area looking for a print head. They gave me a new price of $230.00. I am going to try cleaning mine (thanks Bob) first. I appreciate all the info and will let you know how it turns out.
by unknown on Oct 24, 2003 at 1:51am Add comment
So happy I was able to be in touch with you folks here at the Wow, saved me about 300 bucks. My husband removed the printhead from my Brother 5100C and cleaned it (with a paper towel no less) and hooked that bad boy up and it worked (without an error message #41). Thanks all. It is rare that someone that really does know what they are talking about is willing to share the information. Thanks for knowing what you are talking about and for sharing it with us.
by Sandy on Oct 31, 2003 at 7:17pm Add comment
I have the 5100c and I want to try cleaning like everybody suggests but I can't get the ink holder to come out from the side to release the springs. It won't let me use the ink button to move it out. Suggestions please. I would really hate to buy a new machine if I can fix it myself. - Anonymous
So happy to find this message board. I have a MFC-5200c which does the same thing.

I undid the clips, but couldn't get the printhead out. Seems to be attached to the ribbon bands. I cleaned it without removing the printhead, with 190 proof medical alchol, but can't get underneath the printhead. Looks like the ink cartriges have leaked a lot and dried on it.

Well, it just printed 3 pages (which look fine) and then it gave me the same "machine error 41" message again. Any suggestions on how to to get the printhead out of a 5200C ?

I bought this lovely MFC in May and it has been giving me the "machine 41" message for a month.

I had no luck with the Xerox and hp MFC's either. Am I jinxed?

I'm tired of spending hundreds of dollars on things that don't work. It makes me late turning in work, and drives me crazy.
by Belinda on Nov 3, 2003 at 11:55pm Add comment
once your unclip the two spring clips that are on both sides of the print head caseing, grasp the two thumb plastic grips at both side of the printhead, its easy to remove.
the printhead is almost identical to an epson, without the black plastic nozzle (the epson has them protruding, Brother are almost flush with the casing).
I have no print coming out the printhead, so I am going to soak them in water, then see what happens. If still no print, trash it. Good luck. - unknown
mr BOB,
this is paul k. forgive me for being rude, it is YOU who saved the day with the Brothers. it was on Your advice that i was able to fix ours.
and from there maybe help belinda. i just wanted to make that clear to the forum.
You saved sandy and i a good chunk of change plus no DOWN time.
thanks BOB.

by unknown on Nov 4, 2003 at 7:44am Add comment
after i spoke to you i started looking around the site.
Go to Special deals.
click miscellaneous.
click epson head clean solution.
read NOTE at bottom, a warning about windex and alcohol on print heads. no experience myself, but sounds reasonable . good luck. sandy/paul k.
by unknown on Nov 4, 2003 at 8:05am Add comment
Paul, Thank you very much. Bob
by unknown on Nov 4, 2003 at 11:23am Add comment

Thanks for reply. Even pushing down and rolling it toward me, I can't get it out. It seems to be stuck to the bottom, underneath. And the left post won't come out from under the hook. Any other suggestions.

To clarify, the print head is the thing the ink cartridges sit in, isn't it. Hate to sound so dumb, but since I can't get it out, I thought I better ask. I used to be able to take these things apart and put them back together, but not the newer ones, they have too many parts, screws etc.

Thanks in advance to all.

by Belinda on Nov 5, 2003 at 12:20am Add comment
i can tell by your post that you are on the Right track.(IE,left post etc) and you are working on the correct part. Belinda, please listen and do Not take offense. SOME times, everybody needs help. and i quote. (yours truly included). look back. sandy and i were picking Mr Bob,s brain. Get a friend bee, a neighbor, anybody. let them try, there is no shame and you could save a LOT of money by simply cleaning that head. To close, please let me leave you with this thought. there is no such thing as a Dumb Question, period. Try again BEE, you can do it.
and MR bob
sir yes,sir, you bet.

paul& Sandy k.
by unknown on Nov 5, 2003 at 1:02pm Add comment
This pisses me off that Brother does not post this good information. "Call Brother" What's the deal, just trying to make some extra money.

I'm having the same error and I'm at work and can't wait to get home to clean the head.

- Anonymous
To remove the printer head, you need to also remove the left plastic clip that holds the ribbon, it's blocking the way, remove it and throw it away (you don't need it anymore), and like Sandy said roll the base plate towards you and it will come right off. Maybe the new model has that ribbon clip but the old model doesn't. However it didn't solve my Code 41 problem unfortunately.

by unknown on Nov 7, 2003 at 11:57pm Add comment
I have a MFC5100C. To remove my print head, I press "ink" then option 2, like I'm going to replace an ink cartridge. Then I simply remove the 4 cartridges. Next I push back the straight metal rods/springs on each side.(torward the center of the printer) You can slide the carrier left or right if you need to, in order to gain access to the metal rods.

It seems like alchohol does not disolve my ink. Hot water on a Q-Tip works great. It's taken me several cleanings to get my Magenta flowing again.
by unknown on Nov 25, 2003 at 8:05pm Add comment
I cannot remove my print cartridges to get to the print head to clean. I am receiving an ME 41 and the LED panel will tell me nothing but the error. Is there a way to manually move the print head to the center so I can remove the print head and clean it???? - robin0615
hi, nice to see all the info. anyone know where to download the munual for mfc-5100c? - Anonymous
I got this 5100-c about 14 months ago and like you it died. It has a service contract on it and Brother is sending me a "new" printer saying was that Machine error 41 was "unrepairable". They told me that it would take several days to get the new printer to me (going on a week now).
After reading this site a cleaned the head and it works!!!! I'm still going to let Brother send the new one.....
by Ed on Nov 28, 2003 at 12:42pm Add comment
That's great. Seems like Brother is not much for consumer help. Want to sell your old printhead when you receive your new printer?
by unknown on Nov 30, 2003 at 8:51am Add comment
After I found this thread I did the cleaning twice this evening. It seems that it does not help. Every time I try to print, it prints out a single page and then comes up with the same machine error 41.

Can someone help? What am I missing in the cleaning process?

I did it as described by Paul in his post from 11/04/2003 07:15:01.
by Stanley on Dec 2, 2003 at 1:03am Add comment
Let the printhead sit in alcohol overnight then run it thru the cleaning precess several timesin the printer.
by unknown on Dec 4, 2003 at 12:33pm Add comment
I called Brother and they are warrantying me a new printer. For all of you that still is under the warranty, forget about fixing it, just call and get a new one under exchange.

by unknown on Dec 5, 2003 at 12:52am Add comment
I have an MFC 3100c, about 11 months now.

An inkrefiller company (Island Inkjet) told me I could clean the head by soaking it in a container of either vinegar (white, I guess), or a water & Wwindex mix of 1 to 1.

After reading this fourm, I'm feeling uneasy about owning the 3100c, even though I've had no problems yet. Why is that? :-)
by unknown on Dec 11, 2003 at 7:31am Add comment
Is your printhead clogged? If not you don;'t need to soak it. Soaking in water works much of the time. If not use alcohol.
by unknown on Dec 11, 2003 at 10:28am Add comment
It's not clogged, and I didn't plan to soak the print head. I was passing on some info I'd received.
You think using vinigar or windex/water is a bad thing for the MFC 3100c' print head?

Thanks for checking.
by unknown on Dec 11, 2003 at 6:05pm Add comment
I found this forum through search for Error 41.
Thanks to the older postings from Sandy & Paul
by unknown on Dec 12, 2003 at 6:54am Add comment
hey people ,,, my 5100c is how old ???? 15 months ,,,, yup , been getting that message for about 2 months now , on and off ,,,, now it's only on . tried unplugging like it says , and ok it works again for a couple prints ,,, did that for a month ,,, now i can't get rid of it ,,,, brother told me it was the print head and i had to bring it in ,,, $149.00 for a new head ,,, trying to avoid that though , i cleaned it about 15 times now and still no luck ,,, is soaking it in alcohol over night a good idea ? i guess it wouldn't hurt at this point , huh ? thanx for all the help people ,,, i'll let ya know if i learn anything too ,,,,,
by unknown on Dec 12, 2003 at 7:08pm Add comment
hey again ,,, ok , i tried the soaking overnight , didn't work ,,,, any other ideas ???
by unknown on Dec 13, 2003 at 9:30am Add comment
I hope the info I post for my 3100c is appropriate for this forum. The two printers share some features, such as the print engine, and maybe the ink cartridges and printhead.

An Island Ink Jet Refill franshise owner has now told me that their in-house site suggests putting black electrical tape over the cartridges' sensor windows. This prevents the sensor light from shining into the cartridge and giving a false "out of (color)" message, when the cartridge actually has been refilled and is visibly full. The window is on the top upper front, slanted, part of the cartridge.

This works, but it also disables the "out of ink" message when the ink is really gone. This may lead to using an empty cartridge, and possible damage to the printhead.

Then again, poor print quality usually shows, doesn't it, giving a warning of low ink?

BTW, I got my money refunded with no problems from the company, and still have the ink. The owner tried very hard to find a solution for me. At $8.95Can for a color cartridge refill, versus maybe [email protected]??Can for a generic cartridge, it would be worth it. I think it's much more for a Brother original cartridge.

Brother is very good at trying to ensure that it's difficult to refill their cartridges, & trying to force us to buy their refills. That, plus poor customer support, makes sure... next printer won't be a Brother.
by unknown on Dec 13, 2003 at 11:52am Add comment
Talked to my neighbor. They had Brother Fax, problems, too!
I purchased new Hp7130 today. The FIX I got on the Brother was only temporary.
I had the mBrother for 15 months! Sound familair?
Staples is where I purchsed both machines. They helped me off set the cost of new one.
by unknown on Dec 14, 2003 at 12:25pm Add comment
If your printhead works, I might be willing to purchase it from you. Please let me know. Thanks Bob
by unknown on Dec 14, 2003 at 5:55pm Add comment
ok , took the whole thing apart , cleaned everything ,,, soaked printhead , nothing is working ,,, almost broke out the sledge hammer ,,,, still the error code ,,,,,
bob , no , i know the printhead is the problem ,,, brother told me that once that code is there , if you unplug and plug again and it still comes on ,,, you can't get that out of the motherboard ,,, so it's pretty much shot unless you bring it to the shop for a new head ,,, i'm trying to find a way to bypass the board , ex. a battery or full cleaning , can't find anything yet , leaving it unplugged for a while , see if that does anything ,,,
DUG , the 5100c doesn't have that window ,,,
Pami ,,, how did you get staples to off-set the price ??? that's where i bought mine last year .
by unknown on Dec 14, 2003 at 6:19pm Add comment
The following is from the brother service manual - no other help given in manual.

Error 41 = "The head drive voltage has not been turned from Low to High within the specified time.

Possible causes:
• Carriage ASSY
• Main PCB
• Print head unit
• Power supply PCB

If its your Print head or carriage assembly at fault then its possible that the movement of the printhead rather than the cleaning is helping fix the error (ie. faulty contacts).

As a tech i would stay away fom Bro ink technology - too many printhead problems.
by Anonymous on Dec 16, 2003 at 12:37pm Add comment
I too, have a solid 41 error on my 5100c. Have cleaned the print head a dozen times & still no luck. Printer is 13 mos old, therefore out of warranty by one month, naturally. Print quality always was poor & I suspect Brother is a candidate for some sort of class-action lawsuit.
by unknown on Dec 17, 2003 at 6:17am Add comment
Has anyone filed a class action lawsuit against Brother. They replaced the first print head, but now they won't do anything. They told me to expect it to happen again and it did. - Anonymous
Anonymous , is there any way to check to see if the voltage was switched ??
anyone else have any ideas ? i just got done taking the whole unit apart and putting it back together again and still no luck ....
by unknown on Dec 17, 2003 at 4:19pm Add comment
The way I determined that error 41 was a problem with my Printhead was that I purchased another Brother but a different model (3100C). While setting up the new 3100C, I noticed that the printhead appeared identical to my non-functioning 5100C. I simply inserted the NEW printhead into the Old non-functioning error 41 machine and it worked perfectly. So, if you can get your hands on another printhead of 3100C or 5100C, insert it and see if it works.
by unknown on Dec 17, 2003 at 4:46pm Add comment
There are a lot of people unhappy with Brother equipment and service, and Brother isn't helping.

A suggestion:
If we want to do something, visit a complaint site, such as

Or do a search of Google or your fav engine for "consumer complaints site".

At, you can actually write a public email, explain the situation, tell what Brother has or hasn't done to help. You can even send a copy of your complaint to Brother via email if you have their email address.

If enough people do this, Brother may listen.
by Anonymous on Dec 20, 2003 at 8:41pm Add comment
Sorry, I forgot to add my name for the above
"There are a lot of people unhappy with Brother equipment and service" message.

C'est moi, Dug.
by unknown on Dec 20, 2003 at 8:44pm Add comment
need your Tech support phone number!

I'm trying to hook up the mfc5100c to the computer my disk keep saying that i have the wrong windows.(I have windows XP)please help me to connect my computer to it again!It was hook up before i took it to best buy store!


by unknown on Jan 8, 2005 at 3:38pm Add comment
I have a Brother MFC3100C that I purchased in Sept 2003. I just started getting the "Machine Error 41". I researched the issue before calling Brother, so I knew this was a notorious problem with Brother printers. Even though my 12 month warranty had expired, Brother is still covering the repairs. I didn't even have to complain. After saying it was out of warranty, the operator asked me to hold. A minute later she came back on the call and said they'd cover the repairs. I think Brother is aware of the amount of problems these print heads are having. I appreciate Brother covering this, but I'll never buy another Brother product.
by unknown on Jan 19, 2005 at 7:43am Add comment
I soooo glad to happen across this site. I was just about to attempt replacing my own Print Head (hoping it came with instructions). Naturally the closest Brother dealer does not stock them. They get $35 for the head, $85/hour for labor.

I will attempt cleaning first. If that doesn't work I will buy the head and install it.

I bought mine for $40 at a Thrift Shop still in box almost virgin last July. It's worth another $35 to keep it awhile if I can keep it running. Print quality isn't all that great but the price was right! Brother said they would cover under warranty, said they had extended the warranty on these print heads as they had had an UNUSUAL number of them failing. Then the shop they referred me to refused to fix under warranty unless I had the Original Receipt.

Guess you'll hear from me again if I can't get the head out but I think after reading all your posts I have enough information to do without any problems unless the head is really gone.

Does anyone know anyplace to get cheap aftermarket parts on these?

by unknown on Jan 20, 2005 at 12:49pm Add comment
Brother MFC 3100C err message #41. removed the print head and cleaned everything up replaces and still get err mess #41.

Any other ideas????

by chet on Jan 23, 2005 at 7:51am Add comment
I also cleaned my printer head and still got the 41. After cleaning the head four times without success, I took the time to clean the little bras or copper tab on the lower right side. This tab connects to a wire to give power to the ink head. After cleaning the connection tab the printer works.
- Anonymous
I too am disgusted with brother. I just sent them an email..I had a 5100c for 19 months before it did the error 41 Ill try all the suggestions!!!!! thanks
by unknown on Jan 23, 2005 at 12:53pm Add comment
Feedback on this machine and this board. After looking everywhere for info on the error 41 issue and finding out small morsels but no complete understanding of how to deal with the issue I was able to restore my 3100C machine. I also will testify that all of the Brother Bashing that is going on is really not warranted. It should be kept in mind that in some other machines the print head MUST be replaced when replacing the ink cartridges.

1)Get a new print head ( should probably have a spare always anyway) for $35 shipped .
2)Installing the new print head is easy peasy and the instructions included with the print head are more than adequate.
3)Run test print page from the printer menu and verify that all of the ink colors are functioning. Clean if necessary.

The error 41 has absolutely nothing to do with using improper inks or setup problems. It is a hard fault in the print head in most cases.
by chet on Feb 7, 2005 at 6:27am Add comment
chet--where do I get a print head for $35 shipped? I can't find one anywhere.
thanks, david - davidg
Convince me that this Brother bashing is not warranted by telling me where you bought a head for $35 because Brother wont sell them - Anonymous
Just called Brother about my MFC-5100C. The nice woman went to check my warranty and even though it was already expired she said Brother would pay for the repairs and would take 24hrs for the work order to process and told me the location to take it to.
by gerbly on Feb 8, 2005 at 3:53pm Add comment
Just got this in an email today after calling about my MFC-3100C having a Machine Error 41. It sounds like they're willing to fix printhead issues for up to two years now! I had called earlier in the week and they supposedly set me up with an authorized repair place. I have not called the local place to confirm or taken it in yet as it's about 1 hour 15 minutes away. Here's the message...

From Brother:
"Thank you for purchasing a Brother product. Our records indicate that you have purchased one of our Ink Jet Facsimile or Multi-function Center® models identified in the list below. Customer satisfaction is the utmost importance to us and we are pleased to announce that we have modified the limited warranty offered on your Product. More specifically, the maximum warranty period for the Print head for certain failures has been extended from 90 days to 24 months from your original date of purchase at no cost to you. Please click here - - to see the revised warranty in its entirety and please print a copy for your records

Brother International strongly recommends the use of Genuine Brother replacement ink cartridges. Use or attempted use of potentially incompatible ink and/or cartridges may cause damage to the machine and/or may result in unsatisfactory print quality. Our warranty coverage does not apply to any problem that is caused by the use of unauthorized third party ink and/or cartridges. To protect your investment and obtain premium performance from the Brother product, Brother strongly recommends our customers use genuine Brother supplies.

If you are currently having any issues with your product or our services, please contact us by phone or email, so that we may assist you.

Call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-284-4329 or send us an email by clicking here - mailto:[email protected]?Subject=Revised_Warranty_Feedback

Thank you for your continued interest in Brother products.


Brother International Corporation

Models Covered by Revised Warranty
FAX1800C, FAX1820C, FAX1920CN, MFC3100C, MFC3200C, MFC3220C, MFC3320CN, MFC3420C, MFC3820CN, MFC4420C, MFC4820C, MFC5100C and MFC5200C
by unknown on Feb 17, 2005 at 6:23pm Add comment
14 months old, very seldom used, bought it for the scanner mostly...used a usb printer, now cant use any part of it...will never buy another brother product again...buyer beware?
buyer...dont buy!
by Andrew on Feb 17, 2005 at 6:29pm Add comment
Someone else asked but got no reply so I'll ask again, because I have the same question. Is there any way to disable the error 41 code so I can still use the fax?

by Anonymous on Feb 17, 2005 at 9:23pm Add comment
I just read your question, dated 2-17-05, in reference to disabling the error code 41, so that you can still use the fax. Have you resolved your problem yet?
Dee - Anonymous

Free shipping on all orders and it's $34.95 ... I haven't ordered it from there but I guess that's where.
by Andrew on Feb 22, 2005 at 7:05am Add comment
Thanks for the quick reply Andrew. Don't know why this site didn't come up in a google search. - Anonymous
I just checked out and the price quoted for a printhead is now $49.45. Must be a big demand for them. - Anonymous
Yea, I think they're on eBay somewhere too, or at least used to be, as that's how I found them one time.
by Andrew on Feb 22, 2005 at 7:27am Add comment
I tried ebay first...couldn't find one. Of course, that's me on the last post as "Anonymous." Don't know why that happened.
by davidg on Feb 22, 2005 at 7:33am Add comment
Also on ebay by the seller:
Feedback Score: 279
Positive Feedback: 99.6\%
Member since Sep-27-04 in United States


by gerbly on Feb 22, 2005 at 2:17pm Add comment
Thanks gerbly, but the link doesn't connect. I spoke with last evening, same store, and they are the way to go for a new print head. $35 and they ship free first class USPS from So. Calif.
by davidg on Feb 23, 2005 at 5:55am Add comment
Links here require http in front to work. The store's eBay link is if you want to read their feedback and stuff.

Meanwhile, I called Brother and they said give them 24 hours to issue a work order to my local repair shop and 8 days later there is still no work order so it looks like I may be joining in the ordering of a printhead! Let us know how it goes with Inkcessories davidg.
by Andrew on Feb 23, 2005 at 7:06am Add comment
Thanks Andrew for the link to Inkcessories. I get "access denied" when I use the cgi link above. Inkcessories said new print head solves 99\% of printing problems. They will accept a return if it's in resaleable condition, which tells me once we try it we've bought it.

As we all know, Brother CS sucks. I was on the phone w/them twice this week, to no avail. I asked them by phone and email to make a customer happy by just sending me a new print head, and they refused with the old "we're sorry, you're out of warranty." I also mentioned the revised warranty and they did not acknowledge that at all. I told them I would have to complain to every website and venue I could find about their product and service, and they responded by email warning me they have legal people monitoring the internet and would press civil charges if I slandered them! Ha! Naturally, I replied back saying how scared I was and that the "truth would do just fine, you slander yourselves." Wow, they are incredible.

I do have some good news. After seeing that getting a new print head from Brother was impossible, I wiped off my print head with a tissue to see if that would help. The magenta and yellow started to flow again, but the quality still bit. So, I soaked the print head in hot water overnight, dumping and adding more hot water several times till all the ink was out of the head and the water was clear. The next afternoon I reinstalled said head and voila', for now it's working again. The color printing is as good as it ever was. It's been 3 days now and I've run at least one color print a day to see if this is a real fix. So far, so good. I say try this first before ordering a new printhead. I can't believe how easy it is to remove, clean, and replace this printhead once you're told how. Even if you can't clean it anymore, the $35 option is ok. The fact that Brother does not tell us how easily we can do our own maintenance speaks volumes of the type of rip off company they are. Professional installation of a printhead for hundreds of dollars that a child can handle?? Brother is pretty sad.

I want to say how fortunate I feel to have found this site and thank everyone who has contributed to it. I'm not in a good financial position, so the information here helped me help myself, and save alot of money in the process. We have a much needed Brother support group here in which we can help each other stay sane. Yay.
by davidg on Feb 24, 2005 at 8:51am Add comment
Yes, it seems I won't be getting any real service from Brother. Fighting for a week plus and even I "win" that fight I end up having to drive an hour plus to my closest service center, meaning 3 hours off work since the service place isn't open weekends or nights.

How did you figure out how to remove your printhead? I'd like to try that but am afraid I'll break something if I do. I have a 3100C so it may be a little different but I'd appreciate any ideas.
by Andrew on Feb 24, 2005 at 8:56am Add comment
Andrew---I learned how thanks to the people in this forum. Scroll to the top of this page and read all the early posts. Note especially sandy's post on 11/4/03 @ 715am. Read down further posts and you'll be an expert in no time. It seems 3100 and 5100 have the same printhead. Just two metal clips on either side, push down and roll the printhead out. I soaked it in enough water to cover the inkholes leading to the head to make sure they would be free of any clogs as well. I had to change the water at least 3-4 times, hot tap water, before all the ink was out. Write back if you have any problems.
by davidg on Feb 24, 2005 at 9:17am Add comment
Oh, the metal clips push back and out a little to release. The ink tray is what you remove by pushing down and rolling forward. The printhead is attached underneath. Hope it works for you too.
by davidg on Feb 24, 2005 at 4:27pm Add comment

Does anyone can help me to solve my brother mfc-5100c problem?

My priter can't print out MEGENTA color. others color are fine. What should I do? I don't have error #41 problem.

Your advice will be appreciated.

by unknown on Feb 26, 2005 at 5:35pm Add comment
If Anyone Can Help Me out here it would be greatly appreciated!! When i got my printer someone lost the disc in my family so now we cant print things out or scan things all we can do is copy and fax...IF YOU CAN HELP FEEL FREE TO E-MAIL ME! THANK YOU!!
by Whitney on Feb 27, 2005 at 8:34pm Add comment
i have message 41 brother told me they would cover repair we shall see i'am very interested in joining class action law suit anyone have info on joining ?
by unknown on Mar 5, 2005 at 10:32am Add comment
I too am having message error 41. I think they should be sued in a class action lawsuit. I'll join Tom - Anonymous
I cant do anything not print nor scan, i cant even use the fax. can someone please tell me what machine error 41 is and how to fix it, i would really appreciate it.

by unknown on Mar 5, 2005 at 10:58am Add comment

Alan and Luis: Brother has said they'd fix my printer as they extended the warranty to 2 years for a Machine Error 41 problem (see link from my post on 2/17/05). I took it to the shop and they fixed it free of charge. All that's left is for me to pick it up so I'll report if it's actually fixed or not Monday.

Alan: If they said they'd fix it and it's under warranty, why do you want to sue? The fact they extended the warranty shows they're at least trying. At least wait until and see and get angry only if don't fix it!

Luis: Read above, it basically means the printhead has died. You can order one online or call Brother and get them to fix it if it's under warranty. They'll tell you based on the serial number if it's under warranty or not.

Everyone: Replacing a printhead is not a big deal. They are considered consumable by all printer manufacturer's because they don't last as long as the machine itself.

HP, Lexmark, and many other brands have the printhead on the cartridge so it requires you to change it every time you change ink, which is why it's ~$50 to change HP ink. Brother and Cannon have a separate printhead to save you money on ink cartridge prices but it's a pain to change the printhead when it does die out. I have previously posted two links above (02/22/05 and 02/23/05) to a website and an eBay site by the same people. They sell a 3100/5100 printhead for under $40 shipped so I'd check that out. You can also call Brother but I think they charge a bunch more.
by Andrew on Mar 5, 2005 at 11:15am Add comment
I cleaned the printer head and when i install it back I get machine error 44. enybody knows what does it means. Thank you. Alex.
by unknown on Mar 7, 2005 at 3:24pm Add comment
I had the same issue with my MFC 590 and I found in the net: unplug the powerplug and hold the menue button ...plug in the power plug .. wait for "Maintainance" ... enter 99 ... wait ... and then be surprised :-) ... it worked! Stefan - Anonymous
For everyone's info, I got my printer back from the Brother repair shop and there was no charge and they replaced the print head.

Also, I took out the 4 ink cartridges and they put 4 new ones in for me at no charge as well! So I got a new print head and $60 of ink for free!

Alex, I have no idea what Error 44 is?!? One site I saw said for another model it was meant "Head thermistor broken" which would be a print head issue as well!
by Andrew on Mar 7, 2005 at 3:51pm Add comment
thank davidg for the information how to clean the printhead. this people form Brother want to rip our pokets.
by alvin on Mar 7, 2005 at 5:20pm Add comment
I have a simular problem with my 5100c not printing magenta. I DO NOT get any error. When I try to print anything with red in it, it prints yellow. If I move the magenta ink to the yellow slot and the yellow to the magenta slot, it prints the reds but not the yellow. Do you think that I just have a clogged jet(s)? If so, how do I clean it/them? Can anyone point me to a site that shows how to disassemble the print head for cleaning? Thanks!
by toddmyers898 on Mar 15, 2005 at 8:14pm Add comment
OK, now that I've read the whole thread, I see that my question above has been answered. Thanks a lot for the help. This site is great. I'm soaking my print head now and will see if that works. Cheers!
by toddmyers898 on Mar 15, 2005 at 8:24pm Add comment
Very interesting stuff here. I had seen this website a couple of months ago when I got the dreaded Error 41. Brother of course was no help at that time, but now I see they've extended the warranty as Andrew pointed out. I will try to call them again today. Andrew, did you have to drive an hour and a half or did you take it locally in the end? And what was the process? What do I need to know?
Thanks so much everybody!
by unknown on Mar 16, 2005 at 8:01am Add comment
Andrew, Sorry to hear you had to take your printer so far to get it repaired. Your situation should of been handled a different way. Kenny as for you, if you call 1-800 284-4329, we will give you the extended warranty of 24 months of proof of purchase or 30 months of serial number. If an Authorized Service Center is too far from your location, we do offer other ways to get it repaired at no charge. Hope this information is helpful.

Best regards,
by Brother on Mar 16, 2005 at 9:57am Add comment
I just got off the phone with Brother Customer Service asking about the extended warranty for the Error 41 code on a MFC-5100C. She said the warranty did not cover my machine, but I am pretty sure the I purchased it on 2/14/03 which would make it eligible for the 30 months based on the serial number. The serial number is U56582H2N513490. Is there anyway you can get me to someone at Brother who could actually get me a work order. Thanks. - Anonymous

Good to hear from someone @ Brother. As for me I did not press about having to take it an hour as I have family in that area so it was a good excuse to see them. I'm sure had I asked I would have been given another option. I appreciate your writing back and good to know that Brother is taking steps to change the warranty in favor of the customers. I do not know of any other company who has ever done this!
by Andrew on Mar 16, 2005 at 10:41am Add comment
About "Brother"

refer to my post above on 2/24/05 8:51am. brother would not grant me the extended warranty. brother would not send me a new printhead, and i was nice. so, what's the deal?

the printhead i cleaned on 2/24/05 is still performing ok. like Andrew said, we have to run color prints often to keep the jets clear. this is BS and a waste of ink to me, and should be unnecessary, but we bought poor quality printers so i guess that's the penalty.

to any new posts, read the entire thread to help yourself clean your printhead, or replace it from ($35 shipped). additionally, buy your ink from no shipping charges and around $5 per color cartridge. they ship fast and first class from Oregon. i received 2 orders in Florida in about 3 days. yay.
by davidg on Mar 17, 2005 at 3:38pm Add comment
Well, so far so good. Brother told me the name of an authorized service center which wasn't too far for me - it was about a 10 minute drive - albeit in the worst part of town - and they now have my printer, I'm waiting for a call from them as to when it will be done. They of course have to wait for the go-ahead from Brother. So we'll see.
by unknown on Mar 19, 2005 at 8:29pm Add comment
Wow, well, I got my 5100 back today from the repair. Works fine so far. And Andrew was right, they put all new ink in for me. It's so great I found this site. Good luck to everyone else. But, see, the warranty is now 2 years and it can be done!
by unknown on Mar 23, 2005 at 5:19pm Add comment
I have been messing with this thing for the last hour trtying to change the ink cartridge but the thread will not pull back the cartridges when I open up the fax machine and I cant get to them to change them. The manual was lost in our office, help!!! If anyone can thanks!
by unknown on Mar 28, 2005 at 1:48pm Add comment
Nikki -
I am no technician, but here's the way I know ...
1. Press the "INK" button
2. Press 2 to choose REPLACE INK
3. Pull the Scanner cover release lever and lift the Scanner cover.

and you should be able to do the rest.
Let me know if this helped.
by unknown on Mar 28, 2005 at 5:04pm Add comment
Thank you so much! Its so easy but without a manual, you could just be pushin buttons! thanks again! - Anonymous
I cleaned the printhead and replaced it. Now it's NOT recognizing that ink has been replaced!!! At first I was getting error 44, now I keep getting "PLEASE OPEN COVER"...then when I do and reclose, nothing happens!! it start dispalying "PLEASE OPEN COVER" again!

Don't know if I got some areas wet that shouldn't have been wet or ruined the little bronz colored metal strip to the right side where the print head is re-inserted. I am so frustrated!!!! I'll call the toll free number after nine and see what happens.
by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2005 at 4:38am Add comment
" I keep getting "PLEASE OPEN COVER"...then when I do and reclose, nothing happens!! it start dispalying "PLEASE OPEN COVER" again!"

We're dealing with this problem now. Haven't used the piece of crap because the print quality was too poor, so I left it unplugged for a bit. Plugged in it and received the dreaded "Please Open Cover" message. I opended the cover and got a "Please Close Cover," so I did. This when on and on and on. I was just about to pull out the hammer when I decided to scrap the project I was working on. Tried again with this machine yesterday, and now it only says "please open cover." It won't do a damn thing. What BS!

I will NEVER buy another Brother product (it's right up there with EMachines). And let me say, whenever we are in a store looking at printers, computers, etc., we are VERY vocal to other shoppers about what NOT to buy.
- Anonymous
I cleaned (soaked in water several times) and reinserted my printhead and it's still working ok since 2/24/05. Read this whole thread and you'll see some folks had your error message too. Additionally, you can buy a new printhead for $35, shipping incl., from if you need to. That's my plan when this printhead stops working. It's the cheapest solution. Or, even better, get a QUALITY machine instead of a Brother.
by davidg on Mar 29, 2005 at 6:52am Add comment
could u tell me how if u have the manual with the steps please i am desperate or is there another way i can find it or get it please help. thanks
by Anonymous on Mar 30, 2005 at 10:59am Add comment
Karen--DO NOT send generic cartridges w/the machine! I'm willing to bet they'll use it against you. You were in the middle of changing them when you had to ship it back. Leave it at that. Don't offer that info unless they ask why.

by davidg on Apr 1, 2005 at 3:43pm Add comment
I agree Karen. Especially since you already have the new printer from them. Just take out the cartridges and send it back. They won't say anything about it. Kenny
by unknown on Apr 3, 2005 at 7:18am Add comment
After having read all the info on this site I wish I had purchased something other than the Brother MFC5100c, but I have a different problem if anyone can help.

The printer started printing all on it's own, printed half a page and now it won't stop! It's not actually printing anything now but the printhead keeps going back and forth and the control panel display tells me it keeps going offline and back to readyready. Had to unplug the damn thing.

We've tried everything to get it to stop: uninstalled it completely and then reinstalled, left it unplugged for 2 days and it still does the same thing. I've called Brother and have been referred to "the software department" but can't call during their hours since I'm at work.

Any suggestions?
by unknown on Apr 8, 2005 at 5:18pm Add comment
Hello Maureen,
I just saw your question about your problem. First of all, I am almost positive that it has NOTHING to do with your software. It is a printhead problem. How long have you had your MFC-5100C?
If it is less than a year, Brother will replace your printhead free. You will have to carry it to a repair shop, that they instruct you to take it to. I called Brother and they wrote up a report and the next day a repair shop about 30 MILES from me called me to bring it in. They also replaced my ink that they had to take out. Mine if freestanding, not connected to my computer, that is why I am pretty sure that it is not a computer software problem. I have a totally different printer connected to my computer, thank the Lord. There has been so much trouble with the printheads on this model, that I have heard that Brother has even replaced them after a year, if it has been used alone, not with a computer. From what I have read on this site, this model is a nightmare. Hope this helps you.
- Anonymous
You can use the fax to fax out if you have an Error 41 code. Just ignore it and send a fax as usual. You obviously can't receive faxes since Error 41 means your printhead is finished.
Hope this helps.
by unknown on Apr 17, 2005 at 12:12pm Add comment
I have a Brother MFC-5200C, I sent it back to Brother 3 times because of the error 41. Every one, same problem. Seems to me they should have had a recall on them or something. Bad business.
by unknown on Apr 27, 2005 at 9:38am Add comment
Heather---read this entire thread. You will then know how to clean, or purchase another printhead for $35. You're right, they should have had a recall! And stop making inferior products.

Good luck! Write back if you need any more questions answered. The thread here is pretty complete w/info.

by davidg on Apr 27, 2005 at 12:20pm Add comment
It seems to me that davidg is selling printheads. or getting a kickback of some kind:)

so far so good with my new printhead.
by kenny on Apr 28, 2005 at 8:30pm Add comment
Wrong, Kenny!! Know the facts before you write. If you had truly "understood" my previous posts, you would "understand" that I'm a person who is sick and tired of being a victim of poor products and poor customer service. Brother on both points. I would like to be led in the right direction to help myself, which this thread has provided, and I'm doing the same for others...FOR FREE. Don't mislead people entering this thread for help. That's pretty lame!! Not all of us had a warranty to fall back on like you did. You got lucky.

Go back and read. My information about where to buy printheads for $35 shipped came from Chet and Andrew in THEIR Feb. 2005 posts. I have not had to buy a printhead as the cleaning job I did 2 months ago is still working properly. If and when I need one, I'm thankful for the knowledge of where to go to get one, and I pass it on...FOR FREE.

If you're not interested in helping people solve their problems out of warranty, then why are you here??

by davidg on Apr 29, 2005 at 6:54am Add comment
Dude, relax, I was kidding.
"Bringing some light into a bleak Brother world."
by unknown on Apr 29, 2005 at 3:30pm Add comment
I have been reading on this site about cleaning the print head when you get the message "Error 41". I want to give this a try before I fork out the $$ for a new print head. My question is this (keep in mind that I am a computer idiot!!) How do you get the print head to a place where you can remove it. My printer will not let me push the "ink" button because it keeps telling me error 41. I am afraid to pull on it too much to get it to the center of the printer. Has anyone else had this problem?
by bgbldmn on May 10, 2005 at 8:50am Add comment

I have the same problem. Any solution?

Thanks - Anonymous
Leisa - you should still be able to use the ink button if you get the error 41 message. alternatively, just turn it off and you can pull it across when the machine is off.
by kenny on May 12, 2005 at 8:55pm Add comment
I have been monitoring this post for several months hoping to find an answer for my 5100. I used the advice here and I thank you for the postings. I had the problem of the bad print head error 41 so after several attempts to clean it and it worked partially. I bought a new printhead off EBAY, (a great way to get one)and I still had a problem with printing magenta (or red). I believe it to be a driver board issue. I have come to the inevitable conclusion that Brother printers are worthless and a waste of my hard earned pay. I went out and bought a new HP all in one printer with some great success. I wish all of you the best of luck because I will no longer need to get any advice regarding anything to do with the Brother brand name. I will however visit this site for other PC related issues.
by unknown on May 27, 2005 at 7:35am Add comment
Not here to complain about Brother, I've used and sold many of their products with much success. I do have a malfunctioning MFC3100C here though, looks like the user installed the ink incorrectly and now the head unit is stuck in the cleaning position and won't budge. Anyone have an assembly diagram for this unit by chance? Much thanks.
by unknown on Jun 13, 2005 at 3:17pm Add comment
Well guys I'm on Brother #2. What a piece of junk! Error 41 on both. I'm going shopping today and believe me it won't be another Brother that comes home with me. The people at Brother are so rude I won't spend my hard earned money on another one. So long Brother..........
by unknown on Jun 16, 2005 at 8:34am Add comment
Can't wait to find a new printer, scanner, fax, copier, etc. I have had the MFC 5100 C for two years and this is the second time for error 41. I am not mailing it to the repair place 100 miles from me and will buy a new machine NOT A BROTHER. Anyone got any ideas on a good one, 4 in one, at a good price? Thanks NR
by unknown on Jun 21, 2005 at 8:12pm Add comment
bug brother-just put your foot down, complain, bicker, tell them it was a defect and that you are not alone, don't back down, and it is possible brother will give you a new have to be firm with them about it though.
by Cprossu on Jun 23, 2005 at 3:04pm Add comment
i'm not sure what Cprossu is talking about - Brother will never replace it. Only if it is within 15 months of when you bought it, they will pay for it to be fixed.Otherwise you're screwed. But, hey, it's worth a phone call!
by unknown on Jun 23, 2005 at 7:49pm Add comment
I have a brother MFC-5100c. I had some computer trouble with some spyware, and in my doingsvdid a restore and needed to reinstall my drivers, which I did. Now the printer is having trouble. I am using Windows XP Home edition. It says the installation failed, and something about a parameter being incorrect. I have also tried installing the drivers by downloading them from the net, in case my cd went bad. No luck, same thing. If anyone has suggestions, or a number for real live tech support, would you PLEASE EMAIL ME! Thank you very much. :)
by Alice on Jun 28, 2005 at 9:04am Add comment
Alice I believe I can help call me 801-546-6100 or email [email protected] Ask for Curtis.
by coopersinc on Jun 28, 2005 at 10:00am Add comment
I am using Windows XP. Ever since buying the new pc that uses XP, my printer won't bring the cartridges to the center to where I can get at it to change the ink. I reloaded the software for windows xp instead of windows 98 but that didn't help. Do I need to download additional xp drivers [ other than what came with the installation cd ?] Please help, if you can. I am so frustrated!!!
by unknown on Jun 28, 2005 at 6:33pm Add comment
the MFC's are literally littered with layers of's most likely that whatever sensor they put to detect the state of the flap gaining access to the cartridges is stuck.
by Cprossu on Jun 28, 2005 at 6:38pm Add comment
Anything I can do about it? - Anonymous
Hi Everyone,

I've been having problems with MFC 5100C for so long and I am so thankful to have found this site. Brotehr has been of absolutely no use to me. The Company I work for is located in Dominica (Caribbean Island) so it's not as easy for us to send it back and get a new one. We do have an office in Miami so we could get the printhead shipped there and then shipped to us. I guess what I really need is for someone to please tell me exactly what to do. You all seem so nice, that I'm hoping someone will offer further assistance. I want to try and clean it first, will that work? If so, I have no idea what a print head looks like, so instructions would be nice. If that's not a good idea where can i get another printhead. Please help me. I appreciate any assistance anyone can offer and I offer my heartfelt thanks in advance.

by Nikima on Jun 29, 2005 at 10:33am Add comment
cprossu, Any way to "UNstuck the sensor?

[the MFC's are literally littered with layers of's most likely that whatever sensor they put to detect the state of the flap gaining access to the cartridges is stuck]
by unknown on Jun 30, 2005 at 8:11am Add comment
One of the cartridge lock lever has popped up and the print carriage is stuck against the unit case(common if you are using refilled cartridges). Take a flashlight and see if I'm right. If so, with the unit unplugged, take a screwdriver to hold the lock lever down while you carefully pull the carriage to the center. Then press it down to lock the cartridge in and plug the unit back in. Now you can proceed with changing the cartridge through the ink replacement menu.
by coopersinc on Jun 30, 2005 at 12:22pm Add comment
Well, I called someone at the Brother 800# today and wouldn't you know it!?? While on the phone with her, when I lifted the cover, the cartridge came to the center where I could get at it!!! I tried various things over the last few days. Maybe it was a delayed reaction from my pc!!! Anyway, thanks for your help! I will keep this place in mind. [ And I am happy with my mfc 5100C again!

BTW, I have never used refilled cartridges on this machine because I learned a lesson about those with my last printer [ a Canon ].

Again, thanks!
by unknown on Jun 30, 2005 at 8:35pm Add comment
Tengo una multifuncional mfc 590 con el dichoso error 41. No es un error que me bloquee la maquina, pues desconectandola de alimentacion ya me funciona por un tiempo pero me gustaria saber el motivo del fallo y la reparacion que debe tener una maquina de estas. Gracias
by Ofiespres on Jul 8, 2005 at 12:46am Add comment
Same problem Err 41 - cleaned with lint free paper towel but no help - will try the alcohol bath overnight and see if it works.

BTW Ofiespres
Dont mean to be rude but find an online transator and post the friggin message in english. the same language that ppl use in this forum. might get some answers faster.

Cause me no komprende

by unknown on Jul 8, 2005 at 9:26pm Add comment
For USA customers Brother has extended the warranty period for "Machine Error 41" to 24 months of proof of purchase or 30 months of serial number. Please call our toll free customer service support line at 1-800 284-4329 M-F to verify if your machine is within the warranty period. They will assist you on locating the nearest Authorized Service Center. If your product is within the extended warranty period, Brother will cover the repair cost to have your Print Head replaced. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best Regards,
Brother International USA
by Brother on Jul 12, 2005 at 1:54pm Add comment
just wanted to add my thanks to the board and contributers to this thread. brother has been taking their sweet time getting me a work order so i went ahead and cleaned the head myself. wiping it with a towel did not work so i rinsed it out with water. hard to believe how much ink was built up in there!

well that worked, so i will see how much longer it holds. i have not even printed a test page yet, i am just happy the error is gone.

i agree with the few who are defending brother... this seems to be an easy fix, and even if you have to get a new one for $35 that is not unreasonable. the problem is that brother refuses to inform customers how easy it is to do themselves and instead were trying to get them to spend $100 + for a shop to do it (before the extended warrenty happened). think how much money they are wasting paying shops to do this when they could just send out some free print heads to those that complain and tell everyone else to get one for $35 or try cleaning it!

by Anonymous on Jul 14, 2005 at 11:39am Add comment
Way to go, Chris. Becoming self-sufficient is the only way to combat companies like Brother.

My fix from my earlier post in Feb. 2005 seems to have run it's course, and it's time again to soak the printhead in water. Seems too quick for the ink to clog again, but it beats buying a new printhead, or paying the king's ransom to Brother (which is completely unacceptable).

You're absolutely right about them hiding this simple information from us so they can reap even more $$ out of us. Pretty lame. In fact, I asked them specifically to send me a new printhead in Feb. and I'd replace it myself. Of course, they flat out refused. Lame, lame, lame.


ps--to any new 'victims' of Brother MFC-5100C, go to the top of this thread and read. Chances are you'll find your answers.
by davidg on Jul 14, 2005 at 1:03pm Add comment
Believe me, I gripe as much as any of you about the inferior product that the MFC5100C is. But at least Brother has taken some responsibility in extending the warranty, you must give them credit for at least attempting to rectify the situation. I happens to be that a 2-year warranty for a relatively cheap printer is not bad. I mean, let's be honest, we all took the cheap way out by tring to buy a cheap all-in-one that does everything - instead of opting up for the laser printer.
Anyway, congrats to everyone on this thread for extending the helping hand and trying to save everyone else a few hard-earned bucks.
by kenny on Jul 14, 2005 at 4:40pm Add comment
Hey there all you poor people who are suffering the dreaded error 41!

I work for Brother customer service (although not for much longer!) and I want to help all you guys who are being screwed by Brother's cheapness in not developing a decent printhead in the first place. To be honest I think with all the warranty replacements and repairs it has cost them much more than the development costs! Anyway, here's the inside deal. I know "Big Brother" checks this forum and I don't care. You guys know you're in the wrong and you should be ashamed of the way you are treating your customers.

Ok. As I'm sure you're all aware error 41 is a problem that affects a LOT of Brother inkjet printers. It basically means the printhead is screwed and needs replacing. Despite what they say (and what they tell us to tell you guys!) it is a huge problem, and they know this. The good news is they have extended the warranty on it to 24 months by purchase date or to 30 months by your serial number. Additionally if you have had any warranty repair or exchanging for whatever issue you have another 6 months extension on the warranty coverage. My personal opinion is that this is not good enough. They know it is a problem and should cover anyone who has this problem, no matter the age of the machine. If your machine is out of warranty it's gonna cost you about $30 for the printhead and $80 for the repair... Brother should pay this but of course they don't. However, if you kick up a fuss and ask to speak to a supervisor. They will not cover your repair BUT they will send you out the equivalent in ink!!! Better than nothing but not good enough in my opinion. They screw up... they should fix it.

Some more advice to anyone who has one of these machines and hasn't had the error yet. Call in and pretend you do. They don't ask any questions... they'll set you up for a no charge repair straight away. Get yourself their new printhead put in. I actually think the new ones they've designed are a lot more reliable and you might as well cover yourself because I'd estimate about 50\% of the units suffer this problem.

A couple more things. This problem is still there in their newer units - it just comes up under a different name!! If you get "unable to print" on a 420CN, 210C, 5440CN, 620CN it's the same crap again!

And I love their little money spinner on the color ink cartridges. If any of them are empty, you can't print out in black... even if you never use color. This of course is for your own protection because "it can damage your printhead trying to print without all the cartridges in there"! Whatever!! To be fair they need to make their money somewhere and the machines come pretty cheap to buy but still. Who really actually has a need for a color fax machine?!

If any of you Brother execs are reading this, please take some advice. Look after your customers... especially when you know that the fault is yours. OK, it may cost you to fix their problem but believe me if you take care of your customers they are going to come back and use you in the future. I know you have pressure from shareholders to make short-term profits but if you keep a customer happy they will come back and HAPPILY spend a lot more money on your products in the future. Surely you can see the business sense in this?! You are nothing without your customers. They will switch to other brands out of principle. I am not proud to work for your company, mainly due to the way you have treated customers with this problem.

To all you consumers. I hope I have been of help and if you have any questions I'll do my best to try and answer them. If I could ask you guys one thing, I know Brother have p***ed you off but please don't take your anger out on us poor people on the phones. They pay us way too little and wors us way too hard to be a sounding board for your frustrations. To be fair, the Brother machines aren't bad at all... but they really should take responsibility for their errors... well to be more precise their error 41s! Everyone is allowed to make mistakes, as long as they do their best to fit them!

Happy printing
by WhistleBlower on Jul 16, 2005 at 2:10pm Add comment
Hey -- We need more whistleblowers in America. Watergate, Enron, Philip Morris, you name it.

Just one suggestion. Your local congressperson might really like to hear from you, Some of them are really into this stuff, and have their staff work on going after bad corporations like Brother. I used to work in a federal agency (Federal Trade Commission), and I know that this is the kind of pressure that corporations fear most.

You can find your congressperson in the phone book under "government pages. Being an anonymous whistleblower is OK, and they would NEVER reveal you identity, but it's even better if they have your name and you allow them to use it.

This would not take much time at all to start the processw -- just something as clear and concise as your post here.

Thanks for your help. And I agree -- it doesn't help to take stuff out on the person on the phone (unless they're really snotty, like the very bad-attitude guy I talked to today, and even then it won't do any good).

Mickey - Mickeyten
I have found out, that if there is the slightest bit of print being produced, the printhead is salvagable. I suggest flushing out, NICELY and calmly in an orderly fashion (now where have I heard that before), the printhead. Flush with the colour ink designated for each nozzle. I tried water, but my print was mixed with water..and it looked..well, yech!
flush it with ink.
by unknown on Jul 22, 2005 at 11:54am Add comment
Just a thank you for the information on "Machine Error 41" in this thread. Repeated cleaning did not work. I tried to get a new print head at a Brother-authorized repair center in Nashville. They have 40 but said they were earmarked ONLY for warranty repairs and that a non-warranty order would take a minimum of two weeks. The tech said they did about 40 printhead replacements a month under warranty. Cost $45 plus tax. As suggested above, went to ebay and inkcessories. Ordered a new print head via PayPal for $37.95 with 1 cent shipping. It arrived in only two days and was installed in about 15 minutes, most of the time taken in reading the instructions. The printer now works. I plan to get all future ink cartridges from this outfit and save a bundle. Again, thanks for the excellent information you all have provided.
by eickmewg on Jul 23, 2005 at 12:20pm Add comment
Reading this forum is upsetting. It looks like Brother made my 5100C with a bad defect, and won't do anything

I get black, and blue, no yellow or red. (Just yesterday, only red was broken, and maybe I hurt the yellow by trying to clean the head with water.)

Anyone know of a cheaper source of printheads? It's worth $40 to fix it, but I don't want to risk that much if I'm not sure that it willl fix anything.

Has anyone tried blowing air through there, with one of those air cannisters that shoot out hig-pressure air?

Thanks in advance.

by Anonymous on Jul 29, 2005 at 8:47am Add comment
Sorry, I didn't mean to be anonymous. I guess I didn't fill in the blanks properly.

I talked to Brother, and they said I'm not eligible for the extended warranty because I don't have error 41, even though my printhead has failed. Anyone know how to deal with this? If I bring it to the shop, I guess they'll know that I don't have error 41. Any way to make it say error 41 so they'll fix it. (OOOH, that would be a bad thing to do to such a nice corporation.)
by Mickeyten on Jul 29, 2005 at 9:21am Add comment
How about -- does anyone have a really broken 5100C and would like to sell me the (still OK) printhead? That's how we do used auto parts, like a still-working transmission from a dead car at a wrecking yard. It's a nice way to recycle old stuff and keep our money away from some not-nice corporations.

I really don't want to risk $45 since it may not fix it. But I'd be happy to pay you a little or send you a nice present.

by Mickeyten on Jul 29, 2005 at 9:28am Add comment
Has anyone ever refilled their cartridges? My magenta and yellow cartridges were saying low, so I refilled them myself, and now it is saying empty ... i have tried taking them out and putting them in numerous times and i have turned the printer on and off as well to no avail ... any ideas??
by unknown on Aug 3, 2005 at 8:24pm Add comment
Kenneth---did you use the "ink" button on the right front of your machine to change the ink?? When you replace any color ink, it asks you if you changed the color ink you removed in order to reset the counter. The ink counter counts the ink dispersed to tell you when it is low. It sounds like yours is not reset and still using the old cartridge's memory.

To Annie and anyone else looking for the whole procedure of removing and cleaning the printhead, scroll up to all the 2/24/05 posts above and you'll see how easy it is. Just remember you start by positioning the cartridges close to the middle of the machine by pressing the ink button on the front right and select "replace ink." The printhead is attached under the cartridge tray.

by davidg on Aug 4, 2005 at 8:51am Add comment
David, thanks for the response. i did go through that process. i push 1 for yes, and it goes into the clean cycle and at the end it still says "ink empty yellow". I don't know what else to try!
by unknown on Aug 4, 2005 at 10:30am Add comment
by CHUCK ZIMMERMAN on Aug 8, 2005 at 8:55am Add comment
My Red and Yellow won't work. I've removed the printhead and soaked it, still won't work.

Does anyone think that this magic solution from ebay could do anything?

by Mickeyten on Aug 10, 2005 at 7:29am Add comment
Sorry, the link didn't come out right.

Here's the stuff from ebay
by Mickeyten on Aug 10, 2005 at 7:32am Add comment
I called an authorized Brother repair shop and they told me there are steps involved to replace the printer head with a new one. He did not explain what the steps were. Does anyone know?

by Hoz1595 on Aug 25, 2005 at 8:48am Add comment
Bill, it's pretty easy. Remove the cartridges, and the two sides each have a snap that pops out. the printhead will then pull right out. Follow the same steps to put the new one in.
by unknown on Aug 25, 2005 at 11:44am Add comment
dude, read back through the postings and you will see where to get the printhead.
by unknown on Sep 14, 2005 at 9:29pm Add comment

MFC 5100. Error #41. I replaced the print head and put in new ink cartridges the error went away but it will not print. No color what so ever. I have tried the cleaning cycle many times, still nothing. The instructions that came with the new print head said to to "update the head property information stored in the eeprom of the main PDB" and to "correct the positioning error of the print head unit, refer to section 4.3 adjustment." I do not have information on how to do that. Any ideas. Thanks for all your help.
by Anonymous on Sep 16, 2005 at 2:54pm Add comment
Hi All, Just another add-on to this saga. Got a reasonable deal on a "refurbished" 5100c last year. It worked well out of the box but soon developed lines in the printing. I cleaned regularly and used tons of ink, switched to clone cartridges ($20 ea for OEMs), all registered empty or no ink, right after replacement. Lines got worse, then yellow/magenta stopped completely. Tried the cleaning noted above, started to work very slightly. Tried cleaning again, then got the Machine 41 error. nothing works at all now. Considered the replacement printhead as noted above. Decided "screw brother" since it's not worth $40 to get marginal printing that needs to be maintained almost daily. I'm buying a different MF Printer today, Not Brother !! If anyone is interested, I have a year old MFC 5100c with 3 black and 1 each Cyan/Magenta/Yellow cartridges for sale (plus thoes in the printer) at $35 for everything. I live in Fremont, CA for delivery/pick-up only. Best Regards to all and thanks for your very helpful input !
by unknown on Sep 18, 2005 at 2:19pm Add comment
My Brother MFC-5100C keeps saying paper jam but its no paper jam at all! Who knows the trick to fix it?
by unknown on Sep 25, 2005 at 12:22pm Add comment
I had error 41 on my 5100c.I ordered printer head from brothers parts dist. center 7905 N. brother blvd. Bartlett TN USA 38133.Phone 901-379-1000. Iinsalled part. It works like new.It took about 2 minutes. Part cost 29 dollars Plus 8 dollars for shipping. It took 3 days to come to my house. I'M a happy camper.Good luck.
by unknown on Oct 11, 2005 at 3:10pm Add comment
I had error 41 on my 5100c.I ordered printer head from brothers parts dist. center 7905 N. brother blvd. Bartlett TN USA 38133.Phone 901-379-1000. Iinsalled part. It works like new.It took about 2 minutes. Part cost 29 dollars Plus 8 dollars for shipping. It took 3 days to come to my house. I'M a happy camper.Good luck.
by unknown on Oct 11, 2005 at 3:15pm Add comment

by unknown on Oct 15, 2005 at 10:28pm Add comment
Wow, I had no idea how many people were having trouble but here is the real kicker. I don't have any trouble with the printer. heheh. My problem is that all button controls on the panel don't work. Don't beep don't change parameters nothing. It all started after I did a simple black cart. change. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
by Anonymous on Nov 6, 2005 at 4:11pm Add comment
Wow, I had no idea how many people were having trouble but here is the real kicker. I don't have any trouble with the printer. heheh. My problem is that all button controls on the panel don't work. Don't beep don't change parameters nothing. It all started after I did a simple black cart. change. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Dennis in Canada.
by Anonymous on Nov 6, 2005 at 4:14pm Add comment
I loathe Brother Customers. I'd rather not see an error 41 ever again - or a Brother customer for that matter. I bet you took the advice of some snot-nosed punk earning just $5 an hour at a department store who told you that the Brother machine would really suit your needs – it probably was not the right machine for you in the first place. If you don’t need color – buy a laser – they really are great. The ink doesn’t cost that much and I bet you’ve all tried non-genuine because “it cost too much to run”. Other printer manufacturers charge you much more per ink cartridge because they include a new printhead each time. There’s no doubt Brother inkjets are junk – just like other cheap inkjets. Didn’t your parents tell you that get what you pay for? All your pressure on price makes these machines cheap junk. I have seen printers go from using quality parts to cheap plastics because the market demands more for less. Higher resolution (DPI) means smaller printhead nozzles that clog more easily, so poor quality inks clog these printheads. Switching the machine off for long periods or running them dry will trash the printheads so be warned.

As an Australian repairer for Brother, we too get many error 41's and we have to fix them, yet we see so many of these machine (over 90\%) with non-genuine inks and the client will never admit that the non-genuine ink may have caused the fault. I have literally dozens of after market ink cartridges and every brand has a unique color! They all claim to be 100\% compatible, yet the ink is visually very different (god knows how they differ chemically). EG Yellow - some yellows are very dark, some are pale and watery while others are orange or even almost red! I also found some refills will cause the machine to "clean" the printhead more frequently or dribble into the purge unit or fill up the waste ink tray under the machine (not saving $$$ when it's just wasted). If you use non-genuine ink and you stuff up your machine – IT’S PROBABLY YOUR FAULT.

As for Error 41, Brother has come to the party and will fix it for 2 years - even when you use non-genuine ink (which may ultimately be the cause). How long do you expect one of the cheapest machines on the market to last when you don't use the proper supplies???

As for us "Warranty Repairers", are we supposed to put your non-genuine ink that possibly may have damaged the printhead back into the new printhead and damage that one too??? I get no satisfaction out of dealing with the cheap and nasty scrooges that whinge when they do the wrong thing, and only want to blame others for their tightfistedness. One point Brother make about non-genuine ink is this - would you use olive oil in you car engine? - just because it is "oil", doesn't mean it has the some chemical properties or will perform the same - even engine oils have different grades and prices - you get what you pay for! Now don't even get me started on color matching or light fastness, that's another forum.

Many clients have admitted that they used genuine inks for a year or so, then changed to non-genuine inks and it was immediately after doing so that Error 41 occurred. These people change to non-genuine for 2 main reasons:

1 The ink is expensive
2 The machine goes out of warranty

I say this: check out what the genuine is really supposed to be worth (RRP)- some dodgy refillers (but not all) charge more than retail for genuine ink to increase the margin between their refills and genuine ones.

Finally, this is what I say to all people: regardless of whom you are or what brand of printer you own - you get what you pay for. If it costs less, it's probably not as good by an equivalent amount... WHY NOT ASK THESE SO-CALLED INK DISCOUNTERS TO DO YOU A BETTER DEAL ON GENUINE INKS - THAT WAY WE ALL WIN.
by Anonymous on Nov 8, 2005 at 4:43am Add comment
Hey Australian repairer---thank you for your input. I have the 5100c, out of warranty, and now have the error 41 message. I've cleaned my printhead once, but it would not clean again, and then the error 41 appeared a few weeks ago. I cannot get the printhead to come to the center to change it. It won't budge from the extreme right side. How do you get this thing to move to change it?? Thank you.
by davidg on Nov 8, 2005 at 8:20am Add comment
Hey, David G, when you change the ink you just press ink on the front panel and then it will ask you which color etc and just follow the intructions. At some point it says to open the cover and when you do this the ink will come to the center and is easily accesable.
by unknown on Nov 9, 2005 at 2:25pm Add comment
to Australian repairer....I have always used brother ink and I would love to hear why and what to do about the fact that none of my front panel buttons will do anything.....The window says a date and the word FAX and that's it. I cannot change any of the parameters due to the fact that none of the buttons will work. Thanks
Dennis in Canada
by Anonymous on Nov 9, 2005 at 2:29pm Add comment
Dennis in Canada---thanks for the input, but I know about the ink button. Problem is when the error 41 message flashes, none of the panel buttons work. I did manage to stop the carriage in the middle by immediately opening the cover upon plugging the unit in, before it finished it's cycle. However, I still don't know if I change the printhead; will it work? Or will it still have to be reset by a Brother tech? Who knows with this POS! I don't feel like investing another $37 on a whim.
by davidg on Nov 9, 2005 at 5:19pm Add comment
I forgot to say that it was an error 44, Stefan
by Anonymous on Nov 30, 2005 at 3:55am Add comment
OR E-MAIL ME AT [email protected]
by dougutz on Nov 30, 2005 at 1:28pm Add comment
$34.99 sounds a little expensive for a hammer. - Anonymous
If you have an error 41 display call Brother, they have the printhead for sale. I think I paid $37.00 total including shipping. Everything worked fine after I installed the new part.
by Anonymous on Nov 30, 2005 at 3:40pm Add comment
I spoke w/a Brother tech last week (in person) about the error 41. He told me the machine would still have to be reset after replacing the printhead. He quoted me about $95 for everything.

Anonymous above (3:40pm), are you saying that you replaced the printhead and everything worked w/out seeing a Brother tech for this resetting???

by davidg on Dec 1, 2005 at 7:21pm Add comment

I called an authorized Brother repair shop in my area and he mentioned he had the part however, he would have to reset (or something to that effect) the machine. It didn't sound right to me. When I finally decided to purchase the printhead I ordered it from Brother directly. My thought was: I'll spend $40 and if it doesn't work, I'll buy a new machine. Brother admitted there were no instructions with the new part which I thought was strange. They probably started selling the part to avoid any more hate e-mails about their product. I removed the old printhead and installed the new one. I don't recall resetting or doing anything else to restart the machine. Make sure you have ink in all your cartidges, an empty cartridge could damage the printhead.

by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2005 at 7:51pm Add comment
One more thing: I remember having trouble getting the printhead to center so it could be removed. I literally opened the cover and before the printhead went completely to the right to set itself I forced it to stay center. This is obviously not a good thing to do but I was about to trash the machine anyway. It turned out I did not damage the machine and I have good copies at this point. AND I'm using generic ink.
by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2005 at 7:57pm Add comment
Thanks Bill. I did the same as you to get the printhead to stop in the middle. The Brother tech I talked to was a cool guy too, but he didn't even want my machine for free!! I wasn't going to spend more $$ for the reset either. I may try a printhead like you did to see if it will work. I've been ready to trash the machine for weeks now. It's cost me too much already.
Thanks again,
by davidg on Dec 1, 2005 at 10:26pm Add comment
by dougutz on Dec 12, 2005 at 1:34pm Add comment
Who are you and what company do you sell the printhead for? I need one really.bad. My entire machine will not work because of this problem. I cannot afford a new machine right now. I need this machine for my extra job...and I am losing $$$ by going to Office De POT to use thier fax - Anonymous
How about -- does anyone have a really broken 5100C and would like to sell me the (still OK) printhead? That's how we do used auto parts, like a still-working transmission from a dead car at a wrecking yard. It's a nice way to recycle old stuff and keep our money away from some not-nice corporations.

I really don't want to risk $45 since it may not fix it. But I'd be happy to pay you a little or send you a nice present.


by Mickeyten on Dec 18, 2005 at 8:00pm Add comment
I am in need of MFC program disc & all driver controle support disc from manufacture. Mine were lost in fire a year ago, I would like to use my5100c, but cannot seem to be able to locate home page for Brothers. if any one can holp me please be free to contact me at [email protected] Thanks.
by unknown on Dec 20, 2005 at 9:06am Add comment
Dino, I believe you can get the material on the brother website. Try this:

Good luck, Kenny
by unknown on Dec 20, 2005 at 9:12am Add comment
My girlfriend has a 5100 and she used no brand cartridges now it wont work. She was told to buy new ones and use the cleaning paper, but she also gets the error 41.

by Anonymous on Dec 31, 2005 at 8:30am Add comment
Your comments and suggestions have been extremely helpful (and at times humorous) I am part of the 'screwed by 41' club, and will try to soak the head overnight. Will someone please post if they did soak the head in water and it worked afterwards? I don't recall if someone actually did have success with this method. Anyhow, we should probably all get HPs since our time is valuable. And if you buy another Brother, you've obviously got error 41 in your brain.
by unknown on Dec 31, 2005 at 10:18am Add comment
we tried soaking the printhead..shooting warmish distilled water through the head worked for a few pages..very poor quality print (assuming it was the water and ink mixture), but after a few pages of solid black it died.
so why knock your head against a brick will...MFC printers (non-Brother) are cheap...Try Canon (individual inktanks...user replaceable printheads).
by Roy on Dec 31, 2005 at 11:02am Add comment
Sounds impossible to me, but . . .

My 5100c developed troubles printing out all colors. I discovered this thread on the Error 41 nightmare while trying to figure out the problem I was having. (Though I haven't seen any error codes) So I changed out the cartridges for new ones, with some minor, temporary improvement. But nowhere near up to snuff with past performance. So I figured the printhead had gotten clogged. Following the advice here, I cleaned the old head more than once. Not much improvement.

Again following the advice here, I picked up a new printhead from Inkcessories. Figured all would be well. Install was straightforward. . .
output non-existant &\%^@#$\%#^\% !

I've cleaned the head at least 10 times, run the print test til I'm silly, and tried all the positions of the "Print Head Adjuster" to no avail. There's ink trying to come out of the cartridges, cause it's a bit inky at the seals of the cartidges to print head. But nothing seems to make it to the paper. When I swap back in the old, sick print head, it at least makes feeble attempts to print.

Anyone have any ideas ?

I was scraping together just to get the printhead, and really don't have money to buy another printer (which sure won't be a Brother!) So I'm open to soaking the printhead in Green Tea, inviting Dorothy and her slippers over, or anything else.
by unknown on Jan 5, 2006 at 11:50am Add comment
I've had my Brother MFC-5100c since about the spring of 2003 and have never had the error 41 (knock on wood), but I am having the same problem as a few others on this message post insofar as the print quality. The magenta, yellow, and cyan colors are not printing correctly. I just replaced the cartridges (with Brother cartridges) because the other ones had run out But, they're still not printing correctly. I printed several B&W and color pages thinking sometimes it just takes a few prints to get the ink flowing (happens with HPs sometimes) In fact, in the Brother software set up, under "maintenance" it seems to recognize that the cartridges are full (although I would think it would show 100\% full, the graph seems to show only 97\% or so full) and then at the bottom comment, it says one or more of the cartridges are empty. I haven't used the printer much over the last 1 1/2 years and periodically it prints black okay and other times it prints nothing. I found that, for a while, it printed just perfect in blue. For example, my airline itinerary wouldn't print in black although the Jet Blue logo stuff all printed, so I cut and pasted my airline itinerary into a Word document, highlighted it all in blue, and it printed just fine! But it wouldn't do the same thing in black! Anyway, the machine does still fax and it was scanning up until a few weeks ago but that may be some other connection problem. I haven't really looked into it. My main issue is getting it to print correctly. I will take the advice of others and try cleaning the printhead. I'm just wondering if those with the print quality problems who did soak their printheads had any luck? Did your printers print correctly after soaking them? Thanks for your input! - Anonymous
you can remove the printhead very easily. two silver colour hooks on each side of the printhead, lifts out...BE very careful when cleaning this head. You may want to try soaking the printhead in simmering water on a paper towel.
the ink cartridges are held in with plastic very careful.
by Roy on Jan 6, 2006 at 12:16pm Add comment
Thanks Roy for your reply but my problem is getting the print head to the center so that I can remove it. It is stationed at the far right and the buttons will not respond to make the print head shift left so I can remove cartridges and the head. Do you have any advice on how to manually move the print head to the center where I can operate on this thing? It will not budge out of its current location which is totally unaccessible. Thanks! - robin0615
If you have a machine error 41 it can not be fixed without a new printhead and new firmware downloaded to the machine. This must be done by a authorized service center. Find one near you at

Your carriage is stuck to the right either because of the error or the cartridge covers have "popped up" and are catching on the underside of the unit. Either way unplug the unit and rotate the main gear(white)on the inside left side of the machine toward you until you hear a click. That click is the carriage being released from the purging unit. Now gently pull the carriage to the left grasping only the carriage itself and not the flat carriage cable. If it is still stuck use a screwdriver to hold down the cartridge covers as you pull the carriage. The cartridge pop up mostly when using non-brother cartridges.

good luck


by coopersinc on Jan 6, 2006 at 2:26pm Add comment
The new printhead didn't help. Couldn't get it to output any ink. More infuriating, the machine tossed me the dreaded Error 41 and refused to respond other than three beeps. Shut off, waited, swapped heads, tried again. . . and again. . .

and gave up.

Ordered an HP 7210 with 2 year on site from Staples on sale for $339 delivered to my door.

Any ideas on resurrection ? I could donate it to the MS Society in good conscience if I could get the bloody thing to work.
by unknown on Jan 10, 2006 at 9:12pm Add comment
Just called brother (Canada)and tried to get them to send me a printhead. They offered to send a print head for free to a service centre, but they refused to send it to me directly so that I can install it myself. I let them know that I would not pay a $1 more to get this printer fixed and told them they could keep their print head.
When I asked them why the printer was not recalled, I was told that I could complain to the head office in Japan. By far the worst company I have ever dealt with.

Needless to say I will never buy another Brother product ever!! and will encourage my clients to do the same.
by nlopes on Jan 20, 2006 at 9:44am Add comment
I have had my Brother MFC5100c for about 2 years and I have liked it except recently when it had the infamous error message #41.It is out of warranty and past the 2 year limit from brother to get the printhead replaced.I checked with a local repair place recommended by Brother and they quoted me a price of $182 for a new printhead and $50 to install it.I instead elected to purchase a new printhead from for a price of $49.95 ,including postage.It took one week to arrive after ordering.It arrived today and I was very excited to take out the old printhead and install the new printhead.Taking out the old one and putting in the new one is a piece of cake.An 8 yr old could do it.Everything was going well --but after I installed the new one--I got a message that the black ink was empty--so I installed a new black ink cartridge(I have always used the Brother ink cartridges).But I keep getting the message that the black ink is empty--even after installing the same full black ink cartridge about 6 times.Does anyone know what the problem is and how to go about fixing this?

by don100 on Feb 2, 2006 at 10:39am Add comment
To Place print head left of centre ... Push INK button... then select 2 (Replace Ink Cart message) ... then open cover. If you want it in the dead middle... it's a matter of timing... Open cover ... then close cover 1-2 seconds and re-open the cover... you should see the print head should move all the way to left and then go back all the way to the right...
I just unplug the printer when the print head is midway...
Hope this helps...
by Anonymous on Feb 5, 2006 at 1:04pm Add comment
I also have the dreaded curse of Error 41. I have tried the helpful suggestions for "home remedy" of the problem, but without success. After reading the thread, I am eligible for the 30 month serial number warranty extension. Can anyone tell me where the serial number is located on my machine? I have turned the machine upside down (literally) and cannot find it. I found this site today by accident, and think it provides a great service for the consumer. Thanks.
by Bobspixie on Feb 9, 2006 at 4:29pm Add comment
Error 41 is a printhead error. Contact Brother for repair. The normal 12 month warranty has been extended for this error.
by Anonymous on Feb 9, 2006 at 6:48pm Add comment
I have quite a bit to post on this subject, especially since I used to work for Brother at the U.S.A. distribution center in Tenn. I worked in the parts dept.-Inventory Control (or better yet, LACK of inventory control!) Brother knew this and other printer and fax models had problems BEFORE the first models were ever sold! They would react to problems after the models were released, even though they knew they had print head problems before release, especially error 41!!!( it takes two months or so for product to arrive in shipping containers from Japan). (They would ship first, before removing/testing all the bugs/problems with their product, and then notify us of the problems while they were in transit!) They have one department that spends 24/7 testing all defective new printers AFTER they are released in the marketplace, but before distribution. What a collossal waste of time and money! Also, their inventory accuracy was continuosly 20-50\% off!!!(despite my superhuman efforts to attempt to correct the problems. It just wasn't a high priority. Go figure.) They waste hundreds of thousands of dollars re-shipping the correct items every year. Complete morons!!! You can see why I don't work there anymore. Inventory accuracy wasn't a big concern. They were more concerned that upper management didn't find out about the problems than they were about fixing the problems. I'm sure that anyone that has ordered from their parts department knows what i'm talking about! My advice, go buy an HP printer or fax. You can buy a new machine cheaper than you can fix an older one! You have been warned !!!!!!! Take Care. ScubaSteve
by unknown on Feb 28, 2006 at 9:04pm Add comment
I've been a member of the Error 41 club on and off for a couple of months. Power cycling the printer appeared to be a short term fix that worked on occasion. The printer is now out on the curb ready for pickup by the city sanitation department.

I am heading to my local office supply store to purchase an HP. Oh Brother ... c ya!

by mshelley on Mar 5, 2006 at 8:24am Add comment
I read every single message in this thread and it was a tremendous help. Please note that I was not a victim of Error 41. My problem was that I mostly use this color fax/copier to receive faxes or to copy, but almost exclusively using the black ink. Over the past 6 months or so I found that more and more frequently I would receive a fax that could not be read because there was essentially no ink on the paper. I could not even surmise where the fax came from except for looking at the journal. On these occasions I would clean the print head and have good quality for another 5 or 6 faxes - then the problem happened again. I never had any problems with color printing at all.

So I began to believe that it was all related to the fact that I used mostly black ink (Brother brand). My printer is over 2 years old and thus I called a local Brother service center. I was told that I needed a new printhead for approx $45 and $80 installation charge. I did consider getting a new machine but realized that I had a significant investment in a stock of printer cartridges for this machine and hated to waste them.

Then I happened on this web site. As mentioned I read all the previous messages. So being handy with machinery I decided to give a try fixing it myself.

I took out the old printhead (VERY EASY TO DO). (Before you take out the printhead be sure to note exactly how the little metal pins on the side are situated so that you will put it back correctly.) I rinsed it many times in and inch or two of warm water in a small container. Each time I blotted the printhead copper with a paper towel and was amazed that the colors seeped out even when the water seemed to run clear in the rinse. Obviously the colors were being softened and dissolved with the warm water. So after the water ran clear several times I let it soak overnight in enough water to cover the bottom part of the printhead and the inlet holes for the four colors.

This morning I rinsed the printhead again and let it sit for several hours on a thick pack of paper towels. A little bit of color ran out but a lot of black continued to run out and get sopped up by the paper towels. When the black slowed down, I blotted the entire mechanism gently with another paper towel. I then reinstalled the printhead being careful to properly seat the little metal clips on each side. I am sure that when doing the rinsing I did get the copper chips on the back of the printhead wet, but that didn't seem to make a difference.

The only "trouble" I had was that two of the color cartridges were just about empty and the machine told me to change them, which I did.

I then printed a test page, and all was hunky dorey - translated into computer language I think that means :0).

I am very glad that I did this process, and I would do it again if the printhead gets clogged up again (and I suspect that it will what with the way this machine gets used). There is no sense of buying a new one and paying someone for what would take less than a minute to do. Also I really do like my MFC 5100C. It has all the features that I like and it does awsome enlargements and reductions when copying.

So best wishes to all of you helpful folks. Thanks so much for the valuable information.
by rosece on Mar 13, 2006 at 5:24pm Add comment
After you clean the printer head, and put it back in the printer, did you have any problem getting it going again? What are the procedures?

I cleaned my printer head put it back and restart the printer. But could not get it going, keeps on getting a message, "Pls open cover."

Could you help?

Thanks - Dumandy
Hi All,

I know from first had what you all must be feeling but dont you think brother has done us proud by extending the warranty by 24 months with proof of purchase or 30 months with serial number? I mean would HP do something like that? what about canon? Im not saying im all for brother as majority of machines in this messed up universe have problems. As for the usage of fake ink. Fake ink is crap its a messed up solution that DOES ruin you machine i had an HP inkjet put refills in and it crapped out after 3 prints we need to realise that yeah while the fake ink is cheaper is it worth recking your printer for it? it would be like putting the cheaper gas in your flash car just because it was cheaper...(at the rate the fuel is these days)it would be like putting coke in your radiator other than water these inks are made totally different Brother, Canon and HP would not produce inks if they were not made for the working of the machine.
by Redeyes on Mar 16, 2006 at 1:33am Add comment
Great message board

We recently moved and lost the software to install the drivers for our MFC 5100C to our computer. Our computer was also lost in the move. We have replaced the computer but we don't have the software to load onto our new Dell computer. Does anyone know how we can go about replacing the software so we don't have to replace the printer?

I would appreciate anyone's feedback that could point me in the right direction.

by unknown on Mar 18, 2006 at 9:31am Add comment

You can download the sofware from
Its free and easy to follow
by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2006 at 8:24pm Add comment
Hey!!! I have a MFC5100c that is printing from the pc, but printing out a big black page when I copy, scan or fax... Did attempt some help by talking with ' Brother ' Customer service who, of course directed me to an inconvenient dealer. It could be my scan lamp, any ideas? Anybody have this experience? Obviously I have to contemplate whether an additional investment is towards a new printer, or maintaining this one. Call me frugal but I hate the 'throw it away' mentality but the truth is, getting a new one could be the better choice. I need advice!!!
by bowmaster on Mar 28, 2006 at 4:08pm Add comment
I have the identical problem with my 5100C printer as described by Bowmaster. I noticed that the scan lamp is dead in my printer. Does anyone know how how to get and install a scan lamp in this printer?

by unknown on Apr 3, 2006 at 7:53pm Add comment
I just contacted Brother (MFC3100C) due to the same 41 error code. It means the print head needs to replaced. If you're under warranty, great; if not, they quoted about $50, but you have to go through an authorized service center. Call 1-800-284-4329. Good luck!
by Anonymous on Apr 24, 2006 at 12:25pm Add comment
Can anyone help me with my problem?

My MFC 5100C (about 16 months old) keeps on giving me the message "replace black ink cartriage', even after I just replace a new catriage.

I followed the procedure posted by nice folks in this sapce and clean the print head. No luck. The first time I try to restart the printer, got as far as answering the questions of " did you replace the ink catriages?". Then I got a message, "open cover". No matter what I do, there is no other botton works.

Can anyone help me please?

by Dumandy on Apr 30, 2006 at 4:05pm Add comment

You are my hero. I've been staring at my Brother and this forum for months now saying "well, fine, but what if I can't even get the dumb cartridges to the center???"

Rotate the main gear, which is white, and located in the left rear of the machine until you hear a click. Then carefully slide the print thinger over.

by Anonymous on May 3, 2006 at 4:58pm Add comment
I am completly new to forums and such like! but i have a brother MFC-410CN and in the last couple of weeks, it has not been printing out red. The red cartridge is full. I have been refilling the cartridges for the last lot of months with jet ink refills, approx. 6 months.
I have been told by viking, who i got the machine from, that i invalidated the warranty by refilling the machine with other ink aside from Brother and the print head would probably need to be replaced, but i was wondering if there was a way to clean it instead?
If so could someone give me step by step instructions? or if someone could let me know where to get a replacement print head?
Thanks in advance
by stephany on May 20, 2006 at 2:54am Add comment
This is a great forum! Lots of imformation. I have a big problem with my machine. Everytime I press any button the machine will just give a ba ba ba sound and will not do anything. It will not fax or copy, but works perfectly from the pc (it will print and scan if I persorm the funtions from my computer). I am not able to replace ink or anything.

If someone can help I will really appreciate it.
by unknown on May 21, 2006 at 10:16pm Add comment
Hi Sami
I am experiencing exactly the same problem. Everytime I press any button the machine will just give a ba ba ba sound and will not do anything. It will not fax or copy, but works perfectly from the pc both printing and scanning. Dennis in Canada mentioned this problem also but I can't seem to find a response to either of your queries. Have you managed to find out what the problem is? Is my 5100C history or can I do something about this? It stopped for a day or so but is now back. I have also experienced intermittant problems with the magenta ink not working. In saying this, there has never been an error message displayed on screen. I would really appreciate your time and support. - k2 kiwi
Hi Sami
I am experiencing exactly the same problem. Everytime I press any button the machine will just give a ba ba ba sound and will not do anything. It will not fax or copy, but works perfectly from the pc both printing and scanning. Dennis in Canada mentioned this problem also but I can't seem to find a response to either of your queries. Have you managed to find out what the problem is? Is my 5100C history or can I do something about this? It stopped for a day or so but is now back. I have also experienced intermittant problems with the magenta ink not working. In saying this, there has never been an error message displayed on screen. I would really appreciate your time and support. - k2 kiwi
I have a MFC5100C, which I purchased whilst I was living in New Zealand.
I have returned to the UK perminantly and I am getting the dreaded error code 41.

Brother UK do not want to help me, even though I have stated that I will pay for the repair.

I have found a company thet will supply me with a new print head, and would like to know if there are any setup procedures that I will need to carry out, when I install the new head.

Any assistance and advise will be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks.

by Pajero on May 22, 2006 at 2:25pm Add comment
I am also having an error 41 issue. I am having trouble getting the printer head to move to the middle so I can remove it. I tried the ink button as if I am changing the catridge but it does not work. Any ideas?
by TJF on May 30, 2006 at 11:15am Add comment
Here's the fix to not being able to get the cartridge holder to the center of the area:

It will help if you have the printer plugged into a power strip with an "on-off" switch.

Using the power strip, turn the printer off. Open the cover (not the scanner bed lid, the entire cover.) Look on the lower right corner of the top of the printer case now exposed and you will see a post that sticks up about 1/2". (That post works like the safety switch on your washing machine.) Now look at the underside of the cover, above the location of the post. There is an assortment of holes and a round object above where the post is. Locate the rectangular hole that matches up to the post and gently insert a flat-head screwdriver oriented in the same manner as is the post. You will feel the switch depress if you have the correct hole and orientation. Keeping the screwdriver in position on the switch, use the switch on the power strip to turn on the printer. When you see the print head carrier in the proper position, immediately turn off the power strip. You can now change the print head.

I have had to change the print head on my MFC5100C three times now, none under warranty. Brother,can you spare a dime (or $33.98 X 3?) They should be ashamed for selling a product that has a built-in defect.

Best of luck,

- Anonymous
I have a "Brothers" 210C, which I purchased from "Staples" last year, and I'm trying to install a new the yellow ink cartridge without any success. It is a genuine "Brothers" cartridge I purchased at "Staples", the prompt keeps telling me my yellow ink is empty, replace cartridge. Any clues the what I am not doing wrong, or what I need to do right?
Thanks for any help you can give me!!! Joe Malta
by Anonymous on Jun 14, 2006 at 7:19am Add comment
Your problem with the Brother 210C is that the cartridge should not be removed until it says the it IS EMPTY. Do not change these cartridges when it says thaat it's LOW on ink. Only change when it says it's EMPTY. I'd try putting the old on back in and using it until it says it's EMPTY, then replace with a new cartridge. Hope that helps.

- Anonymous
I happened on this site searching for error 41 & could not believe that so many people had the same problem I did. We had purchased the MFC-5100C in 10/2003 from Staples & had bought a 1 yr extended warranty. We had called Brother numerous times complaining about the inkfrom day one; how it wouldn't print if one was used up, how you must always clean the ink to get good quality, etc. Brother sent all new ink once to us. After I read this forum on 6/7 we called Brother & at first they said fax us your proof of purchase & we'll see what we can do since it was out of warranty. The next day, before we faxed it, they called back & said they'd put in a work order to have the printhead fixed for FREE, only 14 miles away! We dropped off the 5100C on 6/9 & picked it up on 6/13 cause they had to wait for the new parts which included NEW INK! So everybody should hound Brother to make good on a new printhead. Good luck to all of you.
by patD on Jun 14, 2006 at 11:31am Add comment
Back on 3/13/06 I posted a suggestion of how to clean the printhead. My solution worked for a week or so, and then again gave me a problem. So I went ahead and ordered a new printhead from Cost $44.95. Installed it myself easily. See comments about how to replace the printhead - it's easy. All is well with that since then.

NOW I HAVE A NEW PROBLEM - perhaps someone can help with this one. I had never used my 5100C as a scanner. I've now repositioned the unit and connected it to my PC and think that I've installeld the software properly. It does everything else just fine EXCEPT it will not scan to my PC. It sends and receives faxes, makes copies etc, but for some reason the computer knows that a scan is coming in to the PC but the PC does not recognize the Brother MFC. It keeps expecting something to come from my Cannon camera, and tells me that the camera is not connected.

Suggestions will be appreciated. If you have any suggestions, please hit "reply" and this system will inform me that a reply to my question was submitted.
Much thanks
by rosece on Jul 18, 2006 at 5:23am Add comment
On our computer, when you put your sheet in to scan and select scan to email a box pops up as to what program to use, ours has Imaging or Smart UI, we have to check the Smart UI and it works.
- Anonymous
I appreciate all the advice, and I'd like to try it, but my printer won't move the head away from the end so I can remove it. It hides the head under the end where I can't get to it.

I unplug it, plug it back in, but it just reports error 41 and locks up, so I can't clean or replace the head, it won't come out. I tried pulling on it, no luck. Any ideas?
by unknown on Jul 19, 2006 at 6:34pm Add comment
push ink and #2 if that does'nt work try unplugging open lid catch head before it gets there. - drews24
i got the same error almost right after warranty was up...
never bothered to fix it.
Now the FAX doesnt work either.
Where can i get a parts list for this thing? Source for parts such as FAX modem or printhead?

by ohiobenz on Jul 23, 2006 at 7:26pm Add comment
I had an error 41 repair done a couple months ago. Now my MFC5100 is doing nothing but beep three times after I push any button. It will not print, fax, or copy.

Any ideas? Thanks.
by unknown on Aug 6, 2006 at 7:52pm Add comment
I gently(ha ha) disasembled my brother mfc 4420 into as many pieces as possible, saved the power cord for use with other electrical devices (maybe a lamp), and placed all remaining parts into the trash can for pickup by the county garbage collector. I'm glad that's over!
by Anonymous on Aug 7, 2006 at 5:57am Add comment
The message is that i am out of ink only need to use the black ink is it possible for the printer to work with out color ink being filled and if so what do i need to do?
by dewayne on Aug 14, 2006 at 11:47am Add comment
by Anonymous on Aug 17, 2006 at 12:37pm Add comment
I just got the error 41 code today.I've had my machine for about 4 or 5 years.I guess there's no hope for me.Except trying the cleaning
thing.I don't use the thing that much.So maybe that's why mine lasted so long. I will be looking at hp or cannon or anyone else.At least I can still fax till the I get a new one. Thanks to everyone!!
And don't call me Brother.
by drews24 on Aug 21, 2006 at 7:37pm Add comment
I was able to take the printhead out and clean it with a paper towel and it worked great after doing so.. It must have had dry ink on it
To take it out you take out the cartridges first then there is spring loaded clips on the side of the printhead and take out and clean with paper towel.

I even called brothers suppport line and they told me to bring it in
they couldnt even tell me to try that first WOW
by unknown on Sep 5, 2006 at 6:37pm Add comment
I recently bought a used MFC-5100c printer for $20. After reading all the posts about the error message and print head problems, I am glad I didnt pay more for it.

I dont have any error messages, but do have white lines in all the color boxes on the test print page. My question is this, are you all soaking the print head with the cartridges installed or taken out of the print head carriage? I have run the cleaning cycle about 10 times and still have the white lines, so soaking the print head seems to be the next step.
by bricken on Sep 6, 2006 at 11:14am Add comment
Well just when I'm discouraged with technology and the need to keep all these machines running correctly, I discover this forum and appreciate the capabilities of technology once again. My 5100C was printing the old "white stripes through the test pattern" even after 7 or 8 cleaning cycles. Brother was no help except to recomend a service call which I knew would be more costly than a new printer, and I hate to dispose/donate/recycle items so easily. After hearing and seeing warnings not to touch anything inside, I thought there must be some way to clean the head more thoroughly. After finding this site and reading the entries on the ease of removing and cleaning the head, I had hope. Thanks for all your input and help. GLB
by unknown on Sep 8, 2006 at 9:55pm Add comment
it relates to bad printhead. You may luckout by cleaning it, but most of the time you need to replace it
by unknown on Sep 14, 2006 at 11:24am Add comment
had the same error 41 problem. clean the print head and now it reads error 44, of course like so many of you the warranty has ran out. please help!..
by unknown on Sep 25, 2006 at 12:48pm Add comment
Glad I found this group. I have a Brother MFC 5440cn and I have been getting "unable to print" (error 41) for a few days. I contacted Brother and they told me where I can have it repaired at my expense. I need to know how to take off the cover so I can clean the print head myself as I cannot afford to take it in for servicing. I was doing great with the directions but the 5440cn does not have a lift out tray as does the 5100. Could someone please walk me through it slowly ;) Oh it will feel so good to fix this problem without having to pay someone. I doubt I'll buy another Brother. Thanking you in advance.
by LuckyMommie on Sep 27, 2006 at 11:22am Add comment
i would like to know where would i find an insturction manual for my brother MFC-5100c
by Anonymous on Oct 3, 2006 at 12:12pm Add comment
by Anonymous on Oct 16, 2006 at 1:59pm Add comment
I have Brother MFC-3100C. I had intented repair it, but it appears the message "error 51". What is the meaning of that message?
by lisi-maco on Nov 13, 2006 at 5:44pm Add comment
I recently moved and lost the installation disk to my MFC 210C, I've scoured the web attempting to find a way to get the program, but have only encountered a whopping amount of computer jargon. I'm no computer expert so can someone please tell me in laymen's terms what I should do.
Thank you
by unknown on Nov 16, 2006 at 3:24pm Add comment
Try this link for the 210C software - Anonymous