Brother MFC-J825DW Printer "Unable to Init AF" Error Code

Read suggestions from Brother re. paper jams. No paper jammed - it prints fine. The issue is w/ the scanning/copying.

The bar(?) that glows green and travels under the glass gets stuck. You can hear it stuttering. Mind you, it does this as soon as it's turned on. I think it's part of its start-up process. I haven't scanned/copied anything since April taxes. Frustrating that something I rarely use all of a sudden causes problems.

Brother customer service was no help. Out of warranty. Woman was reading the page I had up in front of me, online. I certainly don't want to pay to have someone fix it as it will probably cost more than I paid for it new. I have a screwdriver - can anyone point me in the right direction? Thx.

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Just wondering, have you tried the ADF (auto document feeder) option to see if that scans/copies OK or does that fail as well as the scanner glass option?


When I "x" out the error code, the printer automatically tries to move the scanner "bar" again, makes noise, then the error code comes up again. Pressing the Photo, Copy, or Scan buttons don't register.

Also, trying to bypass the printer buttons by using the software to scan doesn't get me anywhere. If the error msg. on the printer is showing, the software gives me an error msg. if I try to scan something. If I clear it, it's only gone until it tries to move the bar again and then gets stuck.

And, no, trying to use the auto feed to scan or copy does nothing b/c I can't get the other printer buttons to work - as it's stuck/defaulted to Fax w/ the error code.


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Here is a link, which describes what to do in the event of an "unable to ..." message being displayed on a Brother printer.

As you have already checked for any loose /stuck paper and foreign objects in the printer perhaps "Cleaning the encoder strip" as per Section B (scroll to about halfway down the page) in the link may be of some help.

If you have already been here, apologies.

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I found it useless since the problem was with the scanner head being jammed or losing it´s location and the link leads to info about the print cartridge head problems which has nothing to do with the scanner problem, The problem was with the scanner not the printer


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My scanner bar started stuttering and getting stuck. The easiest way to repair this would be to replace the scanner assembly, as taking the scanner assembly apart does not appear to be covered by the repair manual.

I was able to take the thing apart, take apart the scanner, reseat things, and put it back together, and now the scanner works without getting stuck or making noise. HOWEVER there is probably A LOT of potential for messing this procedure up, and there are parts that are very finicky.

So if you want to try to fix this, the first thing you're going to need is this file -- the service manual: SM_MFC_J280W_J425W_J430w_J435W.pdf

Follow the instructions from page 3-49 (PDF page 186) through 3-53 (190 in the PDF). Now you should have your scanner unit detached from the rest of the printer. And now you enter no man's land - the manual doesn't seem to help with the rest.

Basically next I took out all the screws I could see. After that, I was able to get the glass to separate from the lower part of the scanner. Under the glass is the scanner bar, the motor that drives the belt that moves the bar, and TWO WEIRD WHEELY THINGS. In my case, I think one of the wheely things was out of place and causing problems. To get the wheely things in place, turn the scanner assembly right side up and look at the top and bottom of the bar. The wheely things are shaped slightly differently and will only mate with one end of the bar each. Before putting them on, move the bar all the way to the left and make sure the cable at the top that follows under it and gets pushed back when the scanner returns to it's home position is smooth and not kinked if you can. Then place the wheely things in position and CAREFULLY replace the glass, ensuring that the wheely things don't move out of place. After this, put all those screws you took out after departing from the manual back in ASAP so that the wheely things lock in place. Now, put the thing back together and pray to your favorite deity. In my case, this worked out.

Worst-case Ontario, you'll just have to replace the scanner assembly (basically the entire upper portion of the printer that is hinged).

Good luck. You'll need it.

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Probably it is not detecting the White Tape on the inside of the scanner unit. It is this that the scanner uses to know when it is in its home position.

The Service manual has a section on that

The AF error indicates that it is not detecting the white tape at its home position

Acquisition of White Level Data

Function Code 55

You will need to enter the end user maintenance mode for your machine.

This is my model machine but the procedure is the same

Hope this is of help to you. You may not need to use the screwdriver at all.


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