Thursday, February 02, 2017

My Printer Lives!

Okay, my 8-year-old iP 1500 printer's waste ink absorber finally filled up and shut down my computer. For some time it would say it is full but give me the option of ignoring the warning, which I did. Finally it told me to take the printer to get serviced. What? This ancient printer? Hello Google.

I found this guy's tutorial on dismantling the printer fantastic.

My hands were covered in ink by the end of it (it would have been nice to have been warned to wear rubber gloves), but I got the ink pads out after dismantling the printer. And I managed to do it without an unnecessary step of removing the rear lid as instructed. After watching the video I didn't see what value that added so did not risk breaking at least one thing.

I'm just going to say an access panel at the rear or on the bottom to reach the pads would have been really nice.

I ran warm water over the pads until they didn't bleed ink down my sink drain like a printer murder scene that it started out as. Man, that was a lot of waste ink. For the price you have to pay I had been living in a fool's paradise to think every drop was carefully used. Nope.

I let the pads dry overnight after squeezing them out. In the morning I put the still damp pads in the oven and put it on warm. The guy in the video said a day and a half out in the sun would work. This is January in Michigan. But in 3 hours the small pad was dry and in 4 hours the large pad was dry. So less than a day. I suppose I could have started with the oven for a faster drying but it didn't occur to me at the time.

Cocky as Hell, I reassembled the printer from memory. I had a leftover screw. Sigh.

I watched the video again and saw what I had missed. Looking in I could see that one ink tube was covering up the hole I'd missed, so I'd have to disassemble the printer again to gently move the fragile tubes back where they are supposed to be. This involved removing a screw that was extremely difficult to put back in the first time and also involved pulling out a spring that I'd put back in place with some difficulty.

I pulled the panel back apart, knocking one metal hook-like thingy loose. But I got the tubes moved and the screw put back in there.

I managed to get the metal thingy set back in place. And I got the spring back in place. Whew!

But then the difficult screw fell into the interior of the printer. Shaking the printer upside down did not even get the screw to rattle, let alone drop to the table.


So I skipped that step after trying to move the part the screw would have held in place and seeing it seemed to stay in place just fine.

I put the rest of the printer back together and had no leftover screws. None on my table, at least.

Having already found the special driver needed to reset the waste ink absorber counter, I downloaded and installed the Windows 7 version even after I found that a Windows 10 version (that I upgraded my computer to from Windows 8) did not exist. But the Canon site helpfully said it should work.

It did not work even though it installed just fine. To be fair the video and the part 2 for resetting were made in 2009. So no blame to the author.

But I used the temporary fix that involves pressing different buttons and chanting while plugging in the power cord. Okay, no chanting.

The first thing I noticed is that my power and error light did not work. I guess shaking the printer upside down repeatedly is not ideal.

It occurred to me that I could take off just the top part again and examine that part. Maybe something just needs to be pressed into place--Good God what was I thinking? Let it go!

And it print! Really badly, but it printed. Yet by the 8th page of a test document it looked just fine!

Again, I'm going to assume that shaking the printer upside down with printer cartridges still in place was not ideal. I had considered removing them but thought that's too much trouble. Perhaps not. But no harm, no foul.

The problem is that the video guy said that the temporary fix would only work until you turned the printer off.

But I turned the printer off. And when I turned it back on, I could still print!

I did it again and it still worked!

And the next day, it was still working after a night off! I call this a success.

That was fun. I'm not a tech guy, but as a child I always liked building stuff and would often use old electric motors to build new stuff with cardboard, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, and tape and glue. And I've done minor stuff on various stuff at home that while no big deal to those who really know their stuff still gave me some satisfaction that I'm not helpless to open up a computer and do something useful. So this is a minor morale booster kind of thing.

I honestly half expected this to be an exercise in futility. I assumed I'd break something in the process. I really thought I was doomed when I had to disassemble the printer again to find the missing screw hole. But it worked out.

And after all that, if I'd been stymied at the software part because I'd updated my Windows 8 computer to Windows 10 I'd have been really annoyed.

Anyway, use the videos. But you could skip removing the paper guide on the top. Remove your ink cartridges, too. Use gloves when you get to the ink sponges. You can use your oven on warm to dry the cleaned out sponges (I checked them every hour to avoid chance of flame, although on warm I don't really think that's a problem), and the small one dries first. If you have a screw driver with a magnetized head it will help to avoid losing screws into the interior. I actually thought of using some clay to stick the screw to the screwdriver until I could guide the screw into the hole but worried about loose clay. Perhaps it would have been a good idea. Or maybe not, since the printer works despite leaving a part in the patient. And the software to reset the ink counter apparently isn't needed if you use the "temporary" button method. Also, check the power light before putting the cover back on to make sure it is seated properly.

Or you could just eat the loss of the new ink cartridges and buy a new printer.

I've been thinking for some months of getting a new printer but since I still had two spare very expensive ink cartridges, my soul quivered at the thought of throwing those ink cartridges out, too.

Now if I use up the ink I have, I'll at least feel a little better if I get a new printer. I have an eye on one model that I can keep on my list until the price drops.

Now I can do my taxes. Yes, I use paper and I will continue to do so until they pry my pen and paper from my dead cold hands.

UPDATE: If you can't get the software to reset the waste ink absorber counter to work (and my failure may be from my limitations on figuring that out), keep those temporary reset instructions near your printer.

It seems as if the temporary fix works as long as your computer is left on. I am going only on one data point, but my printer stopped working after a momentary power loss that shut off my computer. The temporary reset worked again and the printer has worked as long as the computer has remained on. The printer can be turned off without screwing up the temporary fix.

So the printer still works weeks after the partial fix. So still a win!