In this article, we will explain in detail why the error ‘Prepare new imaging unit’ occurs in many printers, including Samsung, and how to fix it.
If you are not interested in knowing what is behind the error ‘Replace new Imaging unit’ and you just want to know the solution, you can directly watch the previous video, which explains it quickly and easily.
To follow the instructions in the video, you only need a 56 ohm resistor. You can buy it from this link.
Now let’s get down to business!
What is the imaging unit and when should you change it?
Laser printers require an imaging unit (also known as a drum) to function. This component is responsible for transferring the ink onto the paper. How does it work? A series of electrostatic charges inscribe what we want to print on the cylinder of the imaging unit. It then transfers it to the paper using heat and pressure. Finally, a cleaning strip removes excess ink from the imaging unit’s surface, preparing it to receive the next set of information. This process is repeated with each print. Quite amazing, isn’t it?
Considering the function performed by the imaging unit, it is reasonable to assume that its useful life will eventually come to an end. When? Well, when the printer starts to produce poor print quality, either due to ink being impregnated on the drum and making it dirty, or because it can no longer transfer the ink properly. In such cases, replacing the imaging unit becomes necessary.
However, many times the printer will prompt us to change the imaging unit even when it is not necessary. This is merely a planned obsolescence error (sound familiar?).
Planned obsolescence? What is that?
From this point on, the explanation will focus on Samsung printers, particularly those that use the CLT-R406 imaging unit (such as Samsung CLP-360/365/368, CLX-3300/3305, among others). However, the same principles apply to other printer models, so you can understand why the error occurs and how to resolve it.
In Samsung printers (as well as many others), two components are programmed to fail: the toners and the imaging unit. What does this mean? It means that even if they are functioning properly, the printer will eventually deem them useless after a certain number of copies. This is known as planned obsolescence, as manufacturers intentionally program these components to stop working.
Regarding the imaging unit, once 16,000 copies have been made, the printer’s LED will turn red and the screen will display the error message ‘Replace new Imaging unit’.
If the printer has been working well and producing good prints, it is likely that you are encountering the planned obsolescence error. To confirm this (although it is almost always the case), you can open the printer and check if the imaging unit appears dirty or deteriorated. If not, don’t be fooled: they want you to replace something that still works perfectly fine.
Alright, so we know that our imaging unit is in good condition, but the printer insists on replacing it. Furthermore, if we don’t change this component, the printer will eventually crash and prevent us from printing. Why? Simply because it has reached the maximum number of copies! It’s time to trick the printer by resetting its copy counter, making it think that a new imaging unit has been installed.
How can we achieve this?
Someone discovered the mechanism to reset the counter and started selling ‘magic chips’ online to fix this problem. These chips cost around $15, which is not bad compared to the approximately $100 for a new imaging unit. However, don’t be fooled: you can fix it for just a few cents. Now, let’s unveil the ‘secret’.
To reset the imaging unit’s copy counter, all you need is a 56 ohm resistor (which costs about 5 cents) – that’s what the ‘magic chip’ contains.
So, how does it work? The chip we mentioned is a plastic piece located on the front of the imaging unit, and it contains one or two resistors.
If there is only one resistor, it means that the imaging unit came with the printer from the factory. If there are two resistors, it indicates that the imaging unit was purchased separately. The resistor that is always present has a value of 200 Kohms (a very large resistor). The second resistor, which is only present in the latter case, has a value of 56 ohms (a very small resistor).
Note: In some printer models, this plastic part is not present by default, or it is present but with both resistors already installed. For such cases, refer to the frequently asked questions at the end of the article.
Now, here’s the trick.
When the printer is turned on, an electric current passes through this chip. If there is only the 200 Kohms resistor, the printer continues its normal operation (i.e., it keeps counting copies) because the current is small (more resistance means less current). On the other hand, if the 56 ohm resistor is also present, the current will be very high (less resistance means more current), and the printer will detect this sudden increase in current. This will reset the imaging unit’s copy counter. The 56 ohm resistor will burn out (as it is not designed to handle such high current) and will no longer be functional. From that point on, the imaging unit will work for an additional 16,000 copies without any issues. After this time, you will have to repeat the procedure to resolve the error.
That’s why if the imaging unit comes from the factory, it doesn’t need the small resistor (as its counter is already set to zero). However, if you buy the imaging unit separately, it needs the resistor (which will burn out upon first use to reset the counter and will not be used again).
So, that’s one of Samsung’s secrets. If you’re experiencing this problem and want to solve it with this trick, it’s time to watch the video. There, you can see a step-by-step demonstration of how to place this resistor and fix the error. And all it requires is a 56 ohm resistor, which you can purchase from this link.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or contact us.
Does this trick work for my printer model?
This trick works for all models that use the CLT-R406 imaging unit. What are those models? Some of the most common ones are the CLP360 series, CLX 3300 series (the video was made with a CLX 3305 printer), and XPRESS C400 series, also known as SLC 400. For these models, the solution is exactly the same as shown in the video.
There are other printer models that use the CLT-R409 imaging unit, such as the CLT-P4092. This imaging unit is almost identical to the one used in the video. The only difference is that the plastic part that holds the resistors is located on the side of the imaging unit, rather than the front. However, the process remains the same. The only thing that changes is the location of that piece.
For printers that are not among these models, this trick may not work. For example, many have asked about the M2600 and M2800 series models. Unfortunately, these models use the MLT-R116 imaging unit, which cannot be reset using the method shown in the video. Currently, we don’t know of a simple solution for these printers, but if we find one, we will update the information. For now, we can only suggest purchasing the reset chip or replacing the imaging unit. At the end of the article, we discuss where you can find them.
What should I do if my support (plastic part) already has two resistors?
If your support already has two resistors, you need to look at their values. One of them will certainly be 200 Kohm. You can recognize it by its color code – the bands painted on the resistance are red, black, yellow, and at the end, usually gold or sometimes silver. This resistor should always be kept. The other one is most likely 56 ohms, and its color code is green, blue, black, and finally gold or silver. You should remove this resistor and replace it with the new 56 Ω resistor. Ideally, you should unsolder it, but if you don’t have a soldering iron or don’t know how to do it, you can also cut its ends with pliers. In its place, you should install the new 56 Ω resistor.
Alternatively, you can leave both resistors and install the new 56 Ω resistor as shown in the video, disregarding the others. This should also work.
Can I use a resistor other than 56 Ω?
The manufacturer recommends using a 56 Ω resistor, and that’s what they always provide. However, resistors in the range of 0 to 100 ohms often work as well. A 0 ohm resistor would be equivalent to a wire in place of the resistor. Some people have had success with 0 and 100 ohm resistors, but it may not work for everyone. If you have any of these, you can give it a try – there’s nothing to lose. If it doesn’t work, you should use a 56 Ω resistor or one with a value closer to it. For example, a 47 Ω resistor has worked in all the cases we tested, as it is very close to the 56 Ω resistor. If you’re planning to buy a resistor anyway, we recommend purchasing the 56 Ω one because it is guaranteed to work and costs the same.
What should I do if I don’t have the support (plastic part) for the resistors?
This often happens with the XPRESS C400 series printer models. In this case, the manufacturer intentionally omitted the plastic part to make it difficult to reset the imaging unit. Our recommendation is to buy this plastic piece once so that you have it forever in case the same error occurs again. At the end of the article, we provide information on where you can obtain it. Alternatively, some people have tried connecting the resistor directly to the terminals of the printer cover, which are the points that the part would touch if it were present. It may not be the most conventional method, but it can work and save you the expense of buying the part.