Death of a Printer

9 05 2011

(… and it wasn’t pretty!)

It started with a simple “5200 ERROR” – nothing I couldn’t handle. Just unplug the printer, wait a few minutes, plug it back in and power up while holding the reset button. But when new errors started showing up once or twice a week, I feared the worst…

Eventually, the message “WASTE INK ABSORBER FULL” showed up, and I knew it was time to get professional help, so I perused the “FIXYOUROWNPRINTER” website. If you own an older printer (or one that is worth less than a service call!), you need to check out this site. Non-techie types of people post questions about their printer problems, and wonderful technical folks respond, providing help and advice on how to fix their issue.

So… I learned how to clean out the waste ink absorbers. And I learned how to set the ABS-M and ABS-P LEVELS to zero (I have no idea what that is, but it helped…!). I cleaned the cartridge contacts, the underside foam buffer pad, and weird little plastic combs that collected huge amounts of ink. And I got very, very, dirty…

Not My Best Look...

But it seemed to work – my printer was printing, and all was well. And then the black ink  gave out, so I changed the cartridge. Nothing new about this – done it many many times. Except now the printer says “INK CARTRIDGE JAM” – so I go thru all the steps to clear errors, and the red alarm light goes off, and the error goes away.

Until the next day. Now the error is “”PUT IN CARTRIDGE,”  so I do what all the expert advice says to do – I remove the entire cartridge, turn the printer off/on, replace the cartridge, and reset. It doesn’t help. I unplug the printer. I get into maintenance mode in the menu, and reset all the user controls. PUT IN CARTRIDGE. PUT IN CARTRIDGE. PUT IN CARTRIDGE…. the friggin cartridge is in – I swear! I disconnect everything, and unplug it, and leave it for 2 days. I try again. I get the same message, so I shut it down, open it up, and re-clean all contacts. I try again… PUT IN CARTRIDGE. PUT IN CARTRIDGE. PUT IN CARTRIDGE….

I Killed the Printer!

I confess… I went a little crazy. I pulled up the platen and ripped the ribbon cables right out of it. I tore the plastic front plate off with my hands, and I pried off plastic bits with a screwdriver. Then I dropped it on the floor. Several times.

Sometimes, the frustration is just not worth the effort. And tomorrow, I get a new printer….