Question Brother scanner (all in one) issue


A friend called me with an issue on his GF work computer. This is her computer that is used for work. I know very little background other than what I just helped them through. I am not on site .

The PC is an Optiplex 7xx series loaded with Windows 10. First gen Intel machine so far as I am aware, maybe second. They have an all-in-one Brother printer scanner model DCP-L2550DW. The machine will print fine, it works both wired and wirelessly. The issue is that the scanner quit operating and will not be detected by the PC and the printer will not detect the PC if you attempt to scan directly from it.
If you navigate to the printers and scanners section of control panel the printer is seen, but if you navigate to scanner it's an 'empty box'.

The scanner was working fine and just quit. The GF went to some YouTube video that recommended she download "Windows Fax and Scan" (more on that in a second) which she did by following the link on the video notes, installed this Windows Scan program and the scanner magically showed up and worked for several days. It stopped and, as above, will not be detected or work to the PC both by the network (wireless) connection or by the USB plug.

I just helped them to uninstall the "new" scan program. We verified that the stock load of Fax and Scan is still within the Windows tools and will open. I had them delete the Brother software and printer drivers, go to Brother and re-download and install them. As before the printer functions work fine but the PC does not detect the scanner. The scanner does not detect the PC.
Something of note that I found strange was that during the driver install it did not ask to install Control Center 4 which is a program my Brother all in one utilizes in order to be able to have more functionality directly from the PC.

Apparently this machine is full of all kinds of things "she doesn't want to lose" and doesn't want me to reformat, which may or may not fix the issue anyway. I suspect some rouge driver issue from the YouTube link or the possibility that the printer may have a hardware issue and aside from a clean install as an attempt there is nothing more I know to try or do for it. Wanted to check with you smart folks for an idea.


Update to add that it is not the printer at fault. I walked them through connecting it to a laptop that I recently did a fresh install on for them and it is a fully operational battlesta...wait, printer.

I am trying to talk them through "reset this PC"
The PC is an Optiplex 7xx series loaded with Windows 10.
So, the age is from like 2011/2013 somewhere (I have an 780 from that aera)

Apparently this machine is full of all kinds of things "she doesn't want to lose" and doesn't want me to reformat
Well, so she have a good backup as well?

Ok, this last ping may seem OT at first glance, but trust me - you can go on a really bummer on that one. Many years back I was about to help an aunt of me having computer issues. Out of sheer bad luck, the computer (I cannot recall excactly what component that acually died as it is like 20 years ago now) went physical broken just when I was trying to help. And of course, after that it was bad mood, and I was blamed for this incident. The only good thing is that there was nothing of value on that computer (kids used it for gaming and stuff).

The point here is: By helping other with very messy setups, may unfortunately bring you in a situation where you're held personally responsible for data loss in the most unfortunate case. From your wording in the post, I assume no backup exists. Fix that before any attempt to repair, period.

The repair part I believe is more easier. This is what I would do in this situation (assuming backup are taken care of):

You need to figure if this is a hardware or software issue. If you manage to flash a usb thumb drive with Linux Mint, (My Optiplex 780 runs Linux Mint 20.3 Cinnamon just fine and I assume this machine also will) and boot into live desktop.
Then there is an included application called Simple Scan - it should work with most scanners.

If that work (several attempts in a row) you can assume the scanner and hardware is intact and being a software issue.

However - if it does not work, you must figure if that program is indeed supposed to work with that specific scanner in order to being able to tell what the issue might be.


^ Yes, understood about the backup. I suggested to her to get an external drive and put all her stuff on it. I have repaired a couple of old computers for her. She likes the old stuff specifically in that with her business (house rental) I think she gets them all free.

With that said we already have an understanding about personal data (and have it with any person whose stuff I work on) is that I don't guarantee that I can save anything. I typically don't even offer, such as above. The last one I did for her was so full of virus and old at the same time that I was astounded it ran at all. Even the storage drive she backed up to at that point was FULL of sketchy stuff. I suggested to her to get a good AV program then and pretty sure what is continuing to go on is likely a mix of installed free trials, multiple clients running and no telling type situation.

The printer is working fine verified on another machine. I suggested that IF she was inclined for me to look at it for her that she would need to purchase a storage drive and move everything. Bring it to me ready to wipe and fresh install, and I also linked her to several SSD both in store and online to bring with. It's on a HDD which is likely original and I simply am not going to deal with that. I got more important things to waste my time on that wait for a platter any longer. Not to be 'elitist' about it but OS has no place on a hard drive any more, period.