Brother HL-2150N toner rip off. And how to fix it.


I bought a Brother HL-2150N printer a couple of months ago. It’s actually a pretty nice B/W network laser printer, tagged at an affordable price. It works out of the box on OS X and Linux. Also, I was able to get the number of printed pages in Cacti, through SNMP. Pretty cool.

I don’t print a lot, and usually nothing that requires color (flight reservations, administrative stuff, etc.)

Today, I had to print around 100 pages. While proceeding, the printer stopped working with 28 pages left. With this error : TONER LIFE END.

The toner reference is TN-2110, which is supposedly capable of achieving 1500 pages (@ 5 % coverage). Except it stopped working tallying only 238 pages ?! Looks like Brother has been a bit shallow filling my unit..

As I was pretty sure there was still powder left, I searched the web about the issue and came across this Amazon review from Chad :

There is a clear plastic circle at each end of the toner cartridge. The printer shines a light through to see how full the toner is. Simply cover one of them with a piece of opaque tape, and the printer will think that the toner is full. I’ve already gotten 1500+ pages out of the starter toner that was “empty” at 983, with no difference in printed quality.

I covered the plastic circle on one end, and the printer started working again, with no noticeable difference in quality.

Thanks Chad !

Oh, and when I really run out of powder, I’ll get a refill kit. Don’t get mad at me for being cheap Brother, okay ?

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