Brother 3040 Unable to Print 1A Error

This is kind of silly, but the goal of the post is to provide a solution to a problem with the Brother 3040 color laser printer. Hopefully this shows up in the search engine results and avoids people throwing out the printer.

The Brother 3040 CN printer is a decent cheap color laser printer, but there are newer models that are probably more reliable. It's Amazon rating is only 3.5 stars which is a good sign of problems.

One of the most annoying things my printer has done is refuse to print and give the "Unable to Print 1A" error message. The official suggestion is to open up the printer, remove the toner and drums and let it air out for thirty minutes. The problem is a humidity sensor that is probably sensing too much humidity - so you want to give the printer time to dry out.

However I've left it open overnight without success.

A better solution is to open it up, remove the toners/drums (and possibly also open up the back of the printer - which you might want to do first before opening the main area) and blast it with a window fan on HI for 2 minutes. This works great!

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I'm refilling the printer with toner and drums from Ebay. The printer still goes through toner and drums at a greater rate than you'd expect based on the page estimates, but this has been true of every printer I've owned.

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Brother 3040 service manual

I do NOT recommend refilling your own cartridges as they are prone to leaking around the edge of the toner cartridge plug. A possible solution to this is to use glue to seal the plug - this works but is a pain, and you can get toner cartridges for $14 on Ebay - so it isn't necessarily worth messing around with the toner. The toner dust is extremely fine and will easily volatilize and make a mess.