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Hi there, sorry to hear you're having trouble with the printer,
the message you are getting indicates that a critical part of the printer, the waste ink absorption system (a series of tanks/pads), is at the end of its life.
When this happens, the printer will not allow you to continue printing, as doing so will ultimately cause the absorber system to overflow, meaning your will have a messy puddle of ink all over your desk, inside the printer, etc
In the short term, you may get by for awhile by disconnecting the printer connections (both power and usb) and letting it sit without power for a few hours, in an effort to reset the error,
however, it will come back up again, and the only long term solution is to physically dismantle the printer, remove the old pads, clean out the system, and replace the pads with new ones. This is a rather messy and intensive job which most consumers are not up to, meaning you'd typically take it in to a shop for repairs,
however, the cost of such repairs (because of the labor involved in taking everything apart and putting it back together) is not usually practical. You can expect to spend upwards of $200 to get it fixed, while you can buy a brand new printer (with updated features, a fresh warranty, etc) for under $100
Sounds like I should buy a new printer. This one only cost $99 so it's not worth it to spend lots of money. I have also had it for 7 years.
With that in mind, and considering the age of the printer (circa 2006), replacement makes the most sense, as other components are nearing the end of their useful life as well (printhead, rollers, etc). These printers typically have a functional lifespan of about 3-5 years, and yours is pushing 7, so replacement really makes the most sense.
Yes, you are exactly right, it is simply not worth investing in an old printer like this, you would be better off buying new.
I'll be happy to recommend some replacement options, if you'd like.
Thanks for your input. I will head to Staples this weekend.
You're very welcome.