Hi there! My name is***** am a computer professional with over 15 years of experience with both Mac and Windows computers, phones, tablets, and printers. Here's what Canon has to say about that particular error.
Canon MB5020 Printer
Printer error has occurred.
Turn off the machine, and unplug the power cord of the machine from the power supply.
Plug the machine back in and turn the machine back on.
If the problem is not resolved, contact the service center.
If you unplug the power cord, all the faxes stored in the machine's memory are deleted.
Since you have already done that, the only thing left for you to do is to either replace the printer or take it in to a Canon certified service center.
There is most likely a problem with the printer itself, rather than the software. If you turn your computer off and the printer too, and then turn them both back on, do you still get the message BEFORE you try to print anything? If so, it is definitely a hardware issue and will require repair. If you don't get the message until AFTER you try to print there is a possibility that uninstalling the current printer software/driver and installing the latest version from the Canon website will help. Please let me know at exactly what point you see the message. Thank you!
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I'm sorry but that it the only help that I can provide unless the error occurs ONLY after trying to print. Please answer the questions that I asked so I can be absolutely sure that it is a hardware issue:
If you turn your computer off and the printer too, and then turn them both back on, do you still get the message BEFORE you try to print anything? If so, it is definitely a hardware issue and will require repair. If you don't get the message until AFTER you try to print there is a possibility that uninstalling the current printer software/driver and installing the latest version from the Canon website will help. Please let me know at exactly what point you see the message.
Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.
Sorry to hear you’re having trouble, Tom, and for any delay in getting you an appropriate answer.
I can give you some more specifics and details on this, but the outcome will likely be the same.
Unfortunately, there is no quick or easy fix here. This message indicates a hardware problem, specifically that that the internal "ink absorber system" has failed (purge cam sensor error). The ink absorber is a series of pads/tanks, which catch drips from the printhead when parked, and is also used for maintenance tasks like cleaning and purging.
Eventually this absorber fills up, and the printer shuts down operations, as continuing to operate it can result in ink overflowing the system, damaging your desk, flooring, etc
While it is sometimes possible to temporarily reset the counter, this is dangerous as the system will likely overflow. Cleaning/emptying/replacing the system is a difficult and messy process as well, best left to a qualified service technician. This service is generally not practical though - it's going to run you $150-250 for repairs, which just isn't worth it for an older printer. This is a 2.5 year old model, that was built for a maximum service life of 3 years, so its failure is right on schedule with canon design. If you have reached the point that the absorber system has failed, then other wear items like the printhead, feed rollers, etc are also going to be at the end of their lives and need service/replacement soon.
Given the costs and complexity of fixing this issue, you'd be better off replacing the printer. You can get a brand new and better machine, with current technology and a fresh warranty, for about $80, which makes more sense than investing more in this one.
I can recommend replacement options for you if you'd like, or if you'd prefer to try having it serviced or working on it yourself, I can advise further on those options. Replacement would be your best bet though, economically speaking.
Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,
Well in this particular case, it actually can't be reset by you.
IF the issue is only due to the ink level, and if the system will allow it to be bypassed temporarily, it would give you the option on screen. That would be more of an early warning and prompt you to press OK to proceed. It would usually let you do this for a few weeks if permissible, then go into complete lockdown until repaired.
The bigger issue in your case is that the message is not just in relation to being full, but to an actual hardware fault with the purge cam sensor, this is a rotating part, that has either jammed or stopped moving, and would need to be repaired before anything else is possible.
You can open it up and pull the carriage over to see if there is anything stuck/jammed under or beside it, but beyond that further repairs are necessary to repair that cam motor/sensor assembly, and at the same time you'd want to have the absorber cleaned and reset, as they all work together.