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DrKlahn
DrKlahn, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 2013
Experience:  BSci: Electrical Engr., Industrial Engr, and Computer Sci.
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Kodak Printer 2150 message that printhead loose or missing.

Resolved Question:

Kodak Printer 2150 message that printhead loose or missing. I've removed both printhead and cartridges and reinstalled. Yes, the printhead was loose but since reinstalling, it is now locked in. Error message continues and I'm still not able to print....what am I missing?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  DrKlahn replied 1 year ago.

DrKlahn :

Notice / disclosure: JustAnswer is a Q&A service not associated with any equipment or software manufacturer. The "9 second" ad does not mean questions are answered in 9 seconds - it means about 400 questions are answered per hour.

DrKlahn :

Thanks for using JustAnswer, the internet's independent site for Q&A consulting. I'm "DrKlahn," and I'd like to help you with this question.

DrKlahn :

Please send me a short message when you're online and ready to begin.

Customer:

Ok, now online

DrKlahn :

Good morning (local tiem 03:54 AM), and welcome to JustAnswer. I'm Bruce, a/k/a "DrKlahn."

DrKlahn :

The system indicates that you're a first time user of our site, so do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have about how things work.

DrKlahn :

Before starting, I would like to confirm that you know that JustAnswer is a for-pay Q&A service, and not the official company support site for Kodak's printer division?

Customer:

So should I go directly to Kodak or is this something you can help with

DrKlahn :

Given the utterly unreliable history of Kodak's printheads, I suspect that neither Kodak nor I will be able to solve the problem. However, I'll be glad to help you troubleshoot this issue, and if it develops that the printhead is indeed failed, I can offer you some advice and alternatives.

DrKlahn :

Or, I can send your question to Billing for a refund of your deposit.

DrKlahn :

How would you like to proceed?

Customer:

I'll continue on; understanding that you may not be able to solve the problem but would be interested in possible alternatives

DrKlahn :

Splendid. I see that you have already reset the printhead and cartridges.

DrKlahn :

When you removed the printhead, was the surface with the many small gold and copper contacts perfectly clean?

DrKlahn :

(You are probably going to see notifications that I am entering and leaving this session. I am opening up some windows on another screen to search for alternative solutions.)

Customer:

no, I wiped off what appeared to be black ink that leaked

DrKlahn :

OK. Black ink is largely carbon black in a carrier solution. Carbon being a reasonably good conductor, any leak of black ink can cause problems when it gets onto the electrical contacts of the printhead.

DrKlahn :

Is the printer at hand so that you can work on it?

Customer:

yes, i'm next to it

DrKlahn :

OK. Set the printer up as though you were going to change out an ink cartridge. When it moves the printhead carriage to the ink replacement position, unplug it at the wall. This is a safety precaution so that it can not do an unexpected retract while your fingers are in the printhead carrier.

DrKlahn :

Do you have any isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol on hand, and some Q-tips, cotton swabs or cotton balls?

Customer:

will check....will return in a second

Customer:

ok, got the rubbing alcohol and swabs

DrKlahn :

Good. Now remove the ink cartridges from the printhead carriage one at a time. Check the bottom of the black ink cartridge in particular as you remove it and look for any evidence of leakage. Set the cartridges aside somewhere that if they leak, it will not make a mess.

DrKlahn :

Let me know when you're ready to proceed, and whether the black cartridge appeared clean.

Customer:

cartridge is clean

DrKlahn :

OK. There has been a leak somewhere but we do not know where yet.

DrKlahn :

Extract the printhead. Moisten a cotton swab with alcohol and gently clean the contact surface on the printhead. Several swabs may be required depending on the amount of ink present. When the contact surface is clean, blot the surface dry with another cotton swab and set the printhead aside to dry.

DrKlahn :

Let me know when you're ready to continue.

Customer:

ok, i`m cleaning it....standby

Customer:

ok done

DrKlahn :

For the next step you'll need a bright light to look inside the printhead carriage. Check the surface of the printhead carriage which mates to the contact surface of the printhead. This surface has many small contact points. The contact point surface should be perfectly clean.

DrKlahn :

Let me know what you discover.

Customer:

ok, standby

Customer:

the contact points looks nice and clean

DrKlahn :

OK. Replace the printhead, replace the ink cartridges, close the printer up, and then plug it back in. Ideally, when the printer turns on, it should clear the printhead fault.

DrKlahn :

Let me know what you discover.

Customer:

ok...standby

Customer:

I'm sad, no success............would this mean purchasing a new printhead

DrKlahn :

Here we come to a multi-way fork in the road as to how to proceed.

Customer:

i don't understand why the error message states that the printhead is loose or missing.

DrKlahn :

Kodak printheads have been unreliable from the get-go and the usual solution is to install a new printhead. However, I have never been comfortable with recommending that since the printhead will run $30, it is not a guaranteed solution (the problem may be in the printer), and there's no telling how long a replacement printhead will last. I say "replacement" rather than "new" because some of the replacements are remanufactured and not new.

Customer:

okay....so, buy a new printer, and not a kodak :)

DrKlahn :

The usual failure mode in a Kodak printhead is exactly what you are seeing - the printer reports that the printhead is incorrect or missing. So it is probably a printhead problem. However, if you replace it and the problem is in the printer, you're down $30 and still have a non-working printer.

DrKlahn :

Aha, you are about three steps ahead of me already. I'll prune the normal commentary I would make at this point then to something more brief, and we can then explore the possibilities.

DrKlahn :

A replacement printhead will run $30 on ebay.

DrKlahn :

A replacement 2150 will run $100, and there is no telling how full the internal waste ink tanks are.

Customer:

My preference would be to purchase a new printer (not a Kodak)any recommendations for a reliable printer?

DrKlahn :

Yes, I would recommend a different printer as a replacement. Given that a new printer can be had for $60 to $70, delivered, the prospect of putting a $30 printhead into the 2150 is something of a gamble.

DrKlahn :

One moment and I'll bring in my commentary on what to buy and what to avoid in a new printer, and we can then see what the Canon and Epson discount stores have in stock today.

DrKlahn :

The following are opinions I've formed over the past twenty years while dealing with inkjet printers from various manufacturers. These comments apply to consumer-grade and office-grade printers.

When shopping for an inkjet, keep in mind that the manufacturer's designed, expected and intended lifetime is 3 to 5 years. That is when the hidden internal waste ink tanks will fill up, and it is generally not economic to empty or replace them. Therefore, do not overspend.

Avoid the following manufacturers:

Brother: Generally the low end of the business.

Kodak: Bankrupt as of 2012. Unreliable printheads. Expensive supplies. Support in the future is not clear.

Lexmark: Leaving the business. Support in the future is not clear.

In the middle: HP. HP puts much effort into making cartridges un-refillable, un-reusable, and has now added built-in expiration dates. The result is that sometimes HP's cartridges do not work in their printers. HP supplies new printers with "starter" cartridges having little ink, requiring two new $40 cartridges soon after purchase.

Better printer manufacturers:

Canon: Excellent diagnostics, with errors reported two ways. Printheads generally replaceable. Ink tanks less expensive than cartridges. Avoid the MP200 series.

Epson: Good quality. Printheads often replaceable. Very inexpensive third-party ink tanks -- Epson lost a lawsuit over this issue.

When buying a new inkjet, expect a five year lifetime. Buy based on the lifetime costs and not the initial cost. Here's an example:

HP printer: $60 printer, uses three $40 cartridges a year = $120/year. Five year cost, $660.

Canon/Epson printer: $120 printer, uses 12 ink tanks a year. Three sets of (4) generic cartridges at $12/set = $36/year. Five year cost, $300.

Anything other than the above manufacturers has thin market penetration and the quality and longevity would be only a guess. However, ink would be expensive due to a limited market.

DrKlahn :

I'll have a look at the Canon and Epson online stores while you're reading this. Let me know when you're ready to continue.

Customer:

standby, i'm writing notes

DrKlahn :

No need to take notes. I have instructions for how to save this session to a text file.

DrKlahn :

I'll supply those just before we close so that you can save the whole session.

Customer:

I'm okay spending for either a Canon or Epson; reliability is key for me. I do LOTS of printing. This was my very first experience with KODAK....I guess we're entitled to a periodic bad purchase :)

DrKlahn :

Indeed we are, and I have made my share of them over the years.

DrKlahn :

Looking over the specs for the 2150, it is a light-duty printer oriented toward the home office environment. Is that an accurate assessment of the way you're using it?

Customer:

a little more than light duty..........

DrKlahn :

OK. Is the FAX capability of the printer required in a replacement?

Customer:

ideally

Customer:

but I can live without it and use email with attachments

DrKlahn :

No problem. In that case I suggest looking at the Epson Workforce series. These are color inkjets designed for the home office and moderate business use. They incorporate print, scan and FAX capability, and most of them now also support wireless in case there are laptops, tablets or phones needing to use the printer.

DrKlahn :

Let's see what's in the Epson store today ...

DrKlahn :

I can personally recommend the Workforce 435, as I have a 345 upstairs and it has served well for two years.

DrKlahn :

The ink can be bought on ebay as generic ink and runs about $12 for a four-pack, though I use refillable cartridges instead and buy ink in bulk. A refill runs about 50 cents in that case, discounting the cost of the refillable cartridges.

DrKlahn :

The sole drawback is that the Workforce series must have a full color sheet printed at least once a week, or the printhead will dry up and must be "bled" to get it working again, which is horribly messy.

DrKlahn :

The footprint of the Workforce series is a little large as compared to a normal home printer but should not be significantly larger than the footprint of the 2150.

Customer:

Knowing that I will be away on vacation, is it okay to temporarily remove the print heads

DrKlahn :

If you remove the printhead and put it in a baggie they should be fine. This assumes that the 435 has a removable printhead; not all of the Workforce series do, and I have not read the detailed specs.

Customer:

okay, this is a good point for me to consider when making a purchase. Thank you again for all of your help. You've taught me a lot and I am grateful!

DrKlahn :

At the Canon store, you could look at the MX series, which generally has built-in FAX. They are more intended for home office use and appear to be somewhat lighter built than the Workforce series, but Canon prnters are quite good.

DrKlahn :

I think you'll be happy with either a Canon or an Epson no matter which one you choose.

DrKlahn :

It's my pleasure to help, and you're very welcome.

DrKlahn :

I also have instructions for how to save this session to a text file for later reference offline. If that would be useful, please let me know.

DrKlahn :

Is there anything I've overlooked, or anything that you would like discussed in more detail, or possibly some other question I might be able to help with? Don't hesitate to ask - my time is yours for as long as you need it.

Customer:

yes, I'd like to save these notes......need to take it along with me while shopping for a printer. Again, thank you so very much for the time you've spent to educate me on printers!!

DrKlahn :

Surely. One moment while I bring in those instructions.

DrKlahn :

Saving Text from a JustAnswer Session

DrKlahn :

The quickest way to "copy" this session is to Bookmark (Firefox) or Favorite (Internet Explorer) this web page in your browser. You can then return to this page later at any time. While this is not a printable copy, it is quick and easy.

DrKlahn :

These instructions apply to any Windows PC and to most Mac systems. Leave this session open in the browser. On a PC, start Microsoft Word - or if you don't have Word, go to the Accessories menu and start Notepad or Wordpad. This will be your text editor. Then return to this browser session.

DrKlahn :

Click on the scroll bar at the right of the session window, hold the left mouse button down, and pull the slider all the way up to the top. Release the mouse button.

DrKlahn :

If you would like a permanent copy on your own system, continue with the instructions below. If the instructions appear too difficult, please ask me to transcribe the session for download.

DrKlahn :

Move the mouse pointer to the beginning of the text. Press and hold the left mouse button, then scroll all the way down to the bottom of the window. The scroll bar drags itself down automatically when the mouse touches the bottom of the window. As text is selected for copying, it changes color.

DrKlahn :

When the scroll bar reaches bottom, release the left mouse button. Then press (Windows: CTRL and C / Mac: Apple-key and C) simultaneously. There will be no obvious effect.

DrKlahn :

Now go to the text editor main window, click anywhere within it, and then press (Windows: CTRL and V / Mac: Apple-key and V) simultaneously. The text will paste into the text editor window.

DrKlahn :

I'll be glad to hold while you do this and confirm that you have a good copy. Please let me know when that is complete. If you are unable to copy using these instructions, let me know -- I'll transcribe the session and make it available for download.

Customer:

2 AM



I'll be glad to hold while you do this and confirm that you have a good copy. Please let me know when that is complete. If you are unable to copy using these instructions, let me know -- I'll transcribe the session and make it available for download.




Rich Text Area







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Customer:

oops, I've messed it up. can you download

DrKlahn :

Surely. I have got the transcript ready for download. One moment ...

DrKlahn :

Side note: Before purchasing a printer, check the benefits flyers for your credit cards. Some card issuers will double the warranty on a purchase up to one additional year when an item is bought with their card.

DrKlahn :

You can download the transcript at this link:

DrKlahn :

Would you like me to hold while you downloa that and confirm that you have a good copy?

Customer:

okay, got it and thank you.

DrKlahn :

It's been my pleasure to help you with this problem. Is there any other computer or printer related issue I might be able to help with today? If not, and you're ready to close this question, let me know and i'll bring in the closing information so that I don't delay you unnecessarily.

Customer:

yes, we can close, how do I ensure you will get the credit

DrKlahn :

When you click the "Accept" button or one of the upper 3 faces on the Rating panel, the question will be closed and I'll receive credit for an answer.

DrKlahn :

Here's the closing info ...

DrKlahn :

If anything in this answer is unclear, or if you would like something explained in more detail, do not hesitate to ask.

DrKlahn :

If this answer is unsatisfactory for any reason, do not rate or accept it. A bad rating does not refund your deposit. If you want a refund, ask me - I'll help you get one immediately.

DrKlahn :

If this answer is satisfactory, please close this question using the Rating panel / Accept button. This will credit me for an answer. Thank you for using JustAnswer; it's been my pleasure to serve you today. We'll hope to see you again in the future; between now and then, I wish you a pleasant day and a quick solution to this problem.

DrKlahn :

I'll hold online in case there is a last-minute issue or a problem closing the question. If you encounter a problem during closing, let me know so I can help.

DrKlahn :

Closing a question does not mean support has ended. You can return to this session later and post comments or ask related questions, until the session eventually expires and is archived.

DrKlahn :

The Rating panel is now unlocked and you can close when you're ready to do so.

Customer:

okay and I will recommend all by friends to you!

DrKlahn, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 2013
Experience: BSci: Electrical Engr., Industrial Engr, and Computer Sci.
DrKlahn and 11 other Printers Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  DrKlahn replied 1 year ago.
It was my pleasure to help you with the printer problem yesterday.

If you run into any follow-up issues, or would like an opinion on a printer you're considering, don't hesitate to return to the original question session and ask. There is no charge for followups related to the original question.

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DrKlahn
DrKlahn
Principal Systems Engineer
743 Satisfied Customers
BSci: Electrical Engr., Industrial Engr, and Computer Sci.