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Brother printer stopped picking up paper

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Pages coming out of my 5250, as it does every so often, have undesireable ink splotches on them. So I took the printer outside, pulled out the drum unit, and pulled the cleaning "wire" back and forth a few times, and with a super soft brush, lightly brushed of the inside of the printer where the drum goes, and the drum itself. So now after re-installing the drum, it won't pick up paper to print from the paper tray. And it prints just fine from the flip-down, single-sheet feeder on the front. (There's plenty of paper in the tray.)

When trying to print from the tray, it makes a funny sound, 2 or 3 times before it gives up. And the sound appears to be coming from the roller that pulls the paper in to the printer, if there was a piece of paper in the flip-down tray in the front.

I googled the crap out of it but couldn't find anything helpful. And I know JT's a laser printer wiz. ;)

be

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Double check the paper cartridge. The back of the paper guide will get pushed back and then the printer can't pick up the paper. Make sure that the paper is snugged up to the front of the cartridge.

JT

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Double check the paper cartridge. The back of the paper guide will get pushed back and then the printer can't pick up the paper. Make sure that the paper is snugged up to the front of the cartridge.

JT

+1 to what JT said, plus check to make sure the rubber wheels that pull the paper don't have ink "dust" on them - use rubbing alcohol to clean them up.

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Has happened to me with two different printer brands (but I am a pretty high volume user on printers). Try the fixes offered, but if they are older or have a history of high volume use, it may be a broken part. If permanently broken, it is more costly to repair than the cost of a new printer, in most cases. I removed the paper tray & only use those printers now for manual feed or envelopes only.

Linda Chico (L-2035)

Columbia SC

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Thanks for the replies.

Still no dice.

The paper is snuggged up to the front of the paper tray.

It doesn't seem likely that it is a broken part, becaue the problem just appeared after removing/re-installing the the drum unit. I used to be a mechanic so I know my previous utterance many not mean anything - but my gut feeling is that it's not broken.

From looking at it, i can't figure out how the printer picks up the paper from the tray. There a couple rollers in the front, top, but they don't look like they can go down low enough to touch the paper.

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sorry Brian, been busy as hell... you can tell by how little I contribute these days. Unless I have it in front of me I have little to add. :(

JT

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Benos> In another life I was a "Copier Guy" and fixed all kinds of photocopiers, printers, fax machines and what not. From what you described it sounds like you have contaminated the paper pickup wheels with either paper or toner dust. Every copier/printer/fax that has a paper try uses some variant of paper pickup drive wheels that drop down and drive the paper forward to some registration rollers that center the page and pull it up into the paper path. These paper pickup drive wheels are usually made of a soft rubber and are very susceptible to attracting paper or toner dust. Once they get a coating of this dust they lose all of their "Traction" on the paper and it will not pick up the paper out of the tray any more. A good way to test this out is to have it try and feed the paper then when it fails pull the paper out and look for little scuff or smudge marks on the paper. These scuff/smudge marks are from the paper pickup wheels slipping on the paper as it tries to pick it up. Most of the time these paper pickup wheels can be cleaned up by using some rubbing alcohol to get the coating of paper/toner dust off of them. Other times the rubber on the wheels is dried up and simply don't make enough traction any more and need to be replaced. But since you said it worked before you cleaned it out then wouldnt after my bet is on them being contaminated and only need to be cleaned. Try cleaning off the paper pickup wheels with rubbing alcohol first, then see if the manufacture sells replacement paper pickup wheels that are customer replaceable. If they sell replacements then you are in luck because they will be pretty easy to remove and replace making it that much easier to clean them off outside the printer. If this does not get you fixed feel free to PM me and we can dig deeper into the problem.

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I couldn't see any sort of markings whatsoever on the paper.

be

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I'm getting closer. In the print dialogue box, in the menu for Paper Feed, if select to print from "Tray 1", instead of "Auto Select" - it prints from the paper tray.

But that's not an acceptable solution because that printer, ideally, needs to alternatingly print from both the tray and the front feed (paper in the tray and shipping labels from the front feeed).

So I figured it was maybe a corrupt preferences file somewhere. But the only prefs file I could find was in owner/Library/Perferences: com.apple.print.PrintingPrefs.plist. I trashed and restarted but no help.

I looked in the manual, and the only troubleshooting reference I could find was how to restore all its network settings. I did that, but as expected, no help.

be

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I have a thread with more details in fixyourownprinter.com:

http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/forums/printer/65833#8

Summary: The printer will only print from the paper tray if "Tray 1" is selected in the print dialogue box.

If the print dialogue box is set to "Auto Select," it doesn't print as described in paragraph 2 of my OP.

be

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05.17.11: The printer "fixed itself."

Last night I upgraded the Mac OS on the computer that usually prints to that printer. I know this is out there... since that printer is shared, maybe something buried in a print/prefs file got changed/reset with the OS upgrade, so it started printing from the tray, without the tray having to be selected before printing. Stranger things have happened.

be

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05.17.11: The printer "fixed itself."

Last night I upgraded the Mac OS on the computer that usually prints to that printer. I know this is out there... since that printer is shared, maybe something buried in a print/prefs file got changed/reset with the OS upgrade, so it started printing from the tray, without the tray having to be selected before printing. Stranger things have happened.

be

Well, that almost never happens. :") It might have had a bit of paper jammed up in there and you using the other paper try may have broke it loose. Look around in there for a small scrap of paper.

Glad you are running...

JT

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Thanks JT.

Definitely no paper jammed. Since I started this thread, we've been printing daily from the manual front sheet insert with no problems.

be

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Ugh, I had an issue with my brother the last time I changed out the toner cartridge (not the exact same model though). When I put the cartridge back in, I inadvertently pushed on something while inserting it that caused the plastic gearing to jam up and make odd noises and nothing would feed form the printer tray. I honestly forget which part. It was one of those casual hmm that looks stuck kind of things. Definitely not something I would put on a forum anywhere, but the symptoms sound exactly the same. Check you aren't binding things up.

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My Brother laser printer is relatively new. I've only put about a dozen copies through it and now it refused to pick up the paper and I get the error light. I did everything, took out the toner cartridge to make sure it went in free and nothing was jammed up. I removed the paper, fanned it and put it back in and made sure it was in correctly. Then I cleaned the pick up roller and it still didn't work. My next step was to take the top sheet of paper with the roller rub mark on it, flip it over and put the opposite in first towards the feed roller. After that the printer worked fine. I'm wondering if it's the thicker type of paper that I'm using that's causing this. Maybe it's too heavy for the roller to grip. At any rate it's picking up the paper now.

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Since I wrote the last post after I printed out four copies I've let the copier sit for a while. I had to make another copy and selected the print and again it wouldn't feed the paper. Instead of cleaning the roller again I licked my finger and wiped the feed roller with it. cleared the error and it fed. I did notice one thing after handling the copy. The paper I'm using has a very smooth almost sheen to it. I'm going to find a different brand of bright white that might work better in this copier. I hope this helps.

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A different (frankly lower grade) paper might be the difference. For just ordinary printing, I goto office depot or staples or whoever runs the occasional sale on their basic copier paper and pick up 10 reams (500 pp) for around $30 and that lasts me a couple of years.

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