Drum Error Message in Brother

Owners of Brother printers or MFPs may encounter this device message. The Drum Error or Drum Error message is most likely to occur for two reasons: dust or toner contamination of the drum cartridge, or a malfunctioning main control board (formatter).

How to identify a malfunction? Everything is simple – remove the drum cartridge from the device and inspect it. If it looks clean and new, the problem is most likely in the control board. In this case, you should contact the service center. Especially if the printer is still under warranty – this repair is expensive.

Now consider the case when the “drum error” message appears due to the drum cartridge.

How to clean the Brother drum cartridge

This instruction will work for any model. Structurally, drum cartridges may differ, but the principle of disassembly and cleaning is the same.

Take this drum cartridge from a Broher printer as an example:

Separating the toner cartridge from the drum cartridge. To disassemble the Brother drum cartridge, you need to remove the drum axle. Use a flat-blade screwdriver to remove the drum axle retainer.

brother image drum error

Then, pull the axle out from the back and pull it completely out of the drum unit.

drum brother error

Remove the top cover with the drum unit.

drum brother error

Take the drum unit out of the case

drum brother error

This fluff must be removed from the brushes with a vacuum cleaner.


During operation, dust and lint accumulate on the drum cleaning brush. When there is a lot of lint, the brush becomes ineffective. Leakage current appears and causes the message “drum error”

drum brother error

drum brother error

Use a soft cloth to clean the surface of the drum unit.


Do not use aggressive cleaning agents such as acetone or solvents for cleaning. Ethyl alcohol can be used.

drum brother error

Use a vacuum cleaner to clean all parts and the drum cartridge housing. Compressed air can be used to clean hard-to-reach areas.

When assembling the drum cartridge, the axle must be inserted from the gear side of the drum unit. If you insert it from the opposite side, you can damage the contact tendrils that are inside the photogal. And you can’t insert it without additional effort.

drum brother error

If the printer’s control board is working properly, this Brother drum cartridge cleaning procedure should clear the drum error message.

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