my brother dcp-150c printer screwed me…

At home, we’re trying to print a document using our printer, a brother dcp-150c. I was about to print the document when the red “exclamation-point-like” light turned on. And then the display said, “Ink empty Magenta, Ink Empty Cyan, Replace Ink”… Hhmmm… Those are just colored cartridges, the black one is still half-full, so I figured that we can still print, we’re going to print a black-and-white, so we’re OK.

my ink levels

That’s what we thought… I tried printing the document several times and all I’ve got is a printing error. Hhmmm, maybe I have to specify that I’m printing a black-and-white… I did that and still an error… What the?!

the red light of death

This is the point that I started reading the printer manual. Where can I find about “colored-ink-ran-out-and-I-still-want-to-print-in-black” section? After a few clicks I was redirected to the brother help site, I directly went to the FAQs.

There I found this question:

“Can I print using only the black ink cartridge when the Color cartridges have run out?”

That’s nice, that’s exactly what I’m looking for! This is good, I thought, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who wanted this question answered.

Reading on… the brother dcp-150c manual states:

Can I print using only the black ink cartridge when the Color cartridges have run out?


No, your Brother machine is designed to stop ALL printing operations when any of the ink cartridges are empty. This is to ensure the life of the print head and maintain premium print quality. If the unit were to continue printing, print jobs and cleaning cycles would suck air from the empty cartridge and damage the print head. The only way to continue printing is to replace the empty ink cartridge(s).

[link to brother dcp-150c faq]


I am completely disappointed. I know that printers nowadays are much cheaper but that doesn’t mean it should “screw” customers. It’s probably true that a big percentage of printer companies’ profit, like Brother, come from ink cartridges… that’s why they added this “print-head-damage-protection-feature”!

Lesson learned: The next time I buy a printer, I will look for that “can-print-with-black-cartridge-only” kind, and definitely not a Brother!!!

6 thoughts on “my brother dcp-150c printer screwed me…

  1. Mark

    I was just searching for anything related to my issue and your results came up after googling.. its very frustrating!!!!!!

  2. Joel Tan

    My solution might have come a little too late but wat the heck.I’ve manage to find a solution to print even without any of the ink cartridges.When u open up the ink compartment,at the bottom u’ll see the nozzle,followed by a black clip like thingy and the a turquoise coloured clip like thingy. Use black tape to tape up the black clip.The whole of the clip must be covered.It’s actually the sensors.Turn off and then on again.If the red exclamation mark still exist,it’ll tell u which color needs replacing.Thats the one where u didn’t securely tape up. Do it again.

    1. tar Post author

      Thanks. I’ve read about this in some forums. Anyway, I replaced the cartridges with a CISS to fix this for good 🙂


    Thank you joel… I cut small pieces of pvc tape.. approx 6mm x 10mm and stuck them over the small rib inside the two holes in the cartridge half way between the two nozzles… i used tweezers to fold it back over the sides.. it worked straight away..


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