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Brother MFC490CW printer offline issue

Bought a new Brother printer on Thanksgiving day sale, though the reviews for a 1 year old version were better I bought this one thinking that it would be more better, but this is worse. The printer has no issues connecting for the first time and I was able to scan,print, copy through it but after 2-3 weeks I had to print a document and the printer would show offline in systray.One design flaw I see straight away in printer was no Ethernet port, WTF and it had only a USB port(at 10 in the night I didn't wanted to go shop for a USB port). Googling on it I somehow found that if you reinstall the printer it would work, later I found that there is no need to reinstall as my router is DHCP and I hadn't given a static IP to the printer it was getting a different IP so I had to go to printer properties and change the port.

After 1 week I had to scan a document for my wife's Math assignment and the printer in systray was showing offline, changing printer properties also wouldn't work as the scanner software was different. I did remote setup, reinstall the software but nothing happened. Again Googling someone told me to install a DNS server, I did nslookup on my printer name and it was resolving to some ip on internet, no wonder it would show me offline, I use roadrunner DNS. No way I wanted to install a DNS server for a freaking printer so I just managed to create a host entry and it worked like a charm. The issue turned out to be brother printer software only understand host name and doesn't go by IP address though you had given IP address, adding a host entry in c:\windows\system32\drives\etc\hosts file fixed the issue.

Net net the point I want to make for Hardware/Software companies is to understand the customer and design keeping the real world scenario in mind. Brother should know that 90% of its customer base is non-techy.I am in technical field I can understand this jargon, it was a troubleshooting issue and it was intimidating and I could spend 3-4 hours fixing it(complex bugs create a curiosity in engineers). A non technical guy who doesn't understand this jargon would simply just give up or call tech support guys. For tech support guys it would be nightmare getting repetitive calls every time. At least brother should put it as a FAQ on their site. Didn't brother guys tested this scenario of restarting the printer and testing again when it got a new DHCP IP address?


  1. Oh..that is bad. Usually newer versions are supposed to be better than the previous one. It is strange that this one was opposite. Didn't you check the specs on this one for ethernet and USB before buying?

  2. Well I did checked and I was strongly going to buy the Brother MFC 295CN that my friend has but the specs and reviews didn't raised a red flag.

    Anyways now that I know the IP/DNS fix its working good but what about other guys facing the same issue and Brother support people :).

  3. Can you explain how to add the host file entry?

  4. I had to go to my router to figure out the ip address of the printer and I had made it a static ip so I dont need to change it every time. Then I went to C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc folder and open hosts file in notepad and added this entry BRW00242c18c3df

    here BRW00242c18c3df is the name of my printer and is the static ip I gave to printer.


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