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I recently had a client that had a problem with his Canon IPF9000. It's a wide-format printer that is used in high-end printing. The quality of its prints is pretty outstanding.

Well, my client had bought clone cartridges from a Chinese supplier (the ones from Canon are really expensive), one of which had a misaligned interface. But instead of checking what the problem was when he could not fully slot the cartridge, he tried to force it, causing the intake needle (there are two for each cartridge, don't know what they are called, but I'm calling them intake and cartridge-fill needles) to get pushed into the the base. This meant that any cartridges that he installed now would not be dispensing ink (but would still have air pumped in).

Fortunately he called me in after only trying to "fix" it for 2 or 3 days; but only because the printer was showing that any cartridge he tried installing was low (why is it that it feels like you're confronting children when talking to some users. Me: Why's the ink low? Him: I don't know...can you fix it?).

I was able to do a physical check and found the needle and what happened to it (bragging: within a minute, and I do not do printers). I pulled apart the assembly around the needle, pulled it out and had it fixed. There didn't seem to be any spillage in the assembly but I didn't disassembly the whole thing more than what was necessary to pull the needle. Then I put the assembly back together again. Fun stuff -- next time I need to do something like that it should take me less time.

Anyway, now that it's fixed, and although the ink tanks are full (including a Canon one), they are both reporting low-ink (all other cartridges are fine). While I'll be trying a full reset of the printer on Monday, I need to know a few things to do if that doesn't work.

1) First, could there have been any damage from the needle dropping about a centimeter? If there was a hole in the line I can see air coming in. Would the printer know to detect that?

2) Is there any product that can reset the cartridges themselves? I've tried google but that's been an exercise in frustration.

Thanks to anyone that can answer either of those questions.

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wow, great question, well asked, you have my upvote. But I suspect you'll have to go to a much more specialized forum than ours, something more specific to that type of printer or even that model, to get an answer. – Jeff Atwood Jan 17 '10 at 9:43
Thank you for the response and the upvotes. I've talked to the client and he says that although the cartridges are reporting empty he's printing fine. I'll be keeping an eye on the situation (and sending him a reminder to physically check cartridge level) but so long as everything works I doubt I'll have to intervene again. Will just check with him at the end of the week. – scrib Jan 19 '10 at 22:19
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The best bet here would be to call Canon technical support, or some shop specialized in printer repair.

I seriously doubt this is something that can be fixed in software, as the root of it all was a (user-induced) hardware problem.

share|improve this answer
Agreed, but...while I haven't called Canon tech support, I did find in the manual that you can turn off the ink-level warnings on a given cartridge. Of course this means that the operator has no clue as to how much actual ink is left, but it does mean that he can continue to print. Which is what my client did. As for talking to Canon technical support: if it hadn't been that the printer is passed the warranty and my client was using off-market cartridges, I'd have been dealing with them within minutes of talking to him. – scrib Jan 25 '10 at 16:09

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