Friday, November 5, 2010

Brother HL-2170W: Installation Gotchas + Reset to Factory Settings

Using Ubuntu 10.04, I decided to install this brand new printer and enable wireless printing. If you are using a USB cable, just plug-and-play. It just works. If you are planning to use wireless, read on!

Network Cable

You will need an extra network cable if your computer doesn't have wireless.

Wireless Authentication

The first gotcha is wireless authentication. This printer seems to behave properly only with AES encryption. TKIP will not work. Go ahead and change your settings from your router. I'll wait.

Wireless Setup

Get hold of a Windows or Mac machine. You NEED this in order to setup wireless. Ubuntu does not have an interface to this part of the printer. Unfortunately, you will need the CDs that come with the printer as well. Plop the CD into your computer and run it. A wizard will show up. It's pretty straightforward until you get to the "Top Menu". Here, you need to click the following:
  1. Install Printer Driver (even though we just want to setup wireless)
  2. Wireless Network users (window pops up)
  3. Wireless Setup Only
  4. Step by Step install
From here, follow the rest of the wizard. It should detect your printer and allow you to configure settings such as IP address (if you decided to use static IP) and wireless authentication. Fill it all in. At the end, it will tell you to unplug the network cable from the printer and ask if you want to print the settings. Make sure you print the settings. If anything goes wrong, it tells you on the print-out. When I wasn't using AES encryption, I had "Failed To Associate" under "Wireless Link Status".

MAC Addresses

If you do anything with MAC addresses, the second gotcha is that the wired interface and the wireless interface have different MAC addresses. Be careful that you use the wireless one.


Time to add the printer! Go to System > Administration > Printing > Add. Wait for a little bit. The New Printer popup should automatically detect your printer. Here's the third gotcha. I saw two. One that said "LPD network printer via DNS-SD" and one where it asked for Host (Probe) and Queue. You must select the DNS-SD one. The other one doesn't work! After selecting DNS-SD, it should look for drivers and then ask to print a test page. Make sure the test page prints.


Reset to Factory Settings

In case you screw up the settings and can't access the printer anymore, you can reset it to factory settings.
  1. Turn off the printer using the switch on the side.
  2. While holding down the Go button (big button that lights up blue in the corner), turn the switch on.
  3. Hold the Go button until the Toner, Drum, and Error lights turn on (this may be immediate).
  4. Let go of the Go button.
  5. Wait for the Toner, Drum, and Error lights to turn off (this may be immediate).
  6. Press the Go button 7 times. 
  7. The Toner, Drum, and Error lights should light up after the 7th time. This means the printer has been reset to factory settings.


  1. Thank you Wesley, even if it is 2.5 years later :)

    I have a 2170W and after switching my router i realized I had just screwed myself because doing so had merged two wireless networks to one.

    The brother manual says it requires TEN button presses for a reset and it was not working, seven did the trick.

  2. You're welcome! Glad it helped :)

  3. You just helped me too! (It was the same thing... 7 presses instead of 10.)

    Thank you.

  4. Got to love manuals that aren't correct...

  5. Haha. You just saved me too Wesley.

  6. great knowledge ,thanks for sharing