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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 19556
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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Colorsmart C6180. magenta not printing. have run all

Customer Question

Colorsmart C6180. magenta not printing. have run all possible solutions, i.e. cleaning, alignment, diagnostics, uninstalling and reinstalling software. still not printing magenta and distorting color photos
JA: How long has this been going on?
Customer: two weeks and have put in new ink and still not resolution of problem
JA: What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: every possible one. even call support yesterday and they want money and for me to mail them printer.
JA: What's the exact make and model of your printer, and can you guesstimate how old it is?
Customer: About 10 years old. HP Colorsmart C6180. It has always done a beautiful job with my photos until recently.
JA: The printer expert can solve this for you. Anything else you want him to know before I connect you two?
Customer: sorry, it is HP Photosmart. Will there be a charge for this?
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Printer Technician about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 3 months ago.

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.

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head (or the logic board that controls it). It is not related to the computer or to software.

While the initial cleaning steps were appropriate, a single cleaning is usually not sufficient. You can try going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function repeatedly, up to 5 times total, testing after each.

If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning as a next step.

I have to caution you up front though that the manual cleaning process is messy and time consuming. It also has a low chance of success, if you see no improvement at all from the automated cleaning. It is most likely a hardware failure (bad head) which the cleaning can’t fix, as printheads are a wear item and do fail with time/use.

Realistically, it’s probably time for a new printer. As this is a 2006 model printer, it is well past its 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising. This printer has served its designed maximum lifespan more than 3 times over and has greatly exceeded any value that could be reasonably expected of it.

While it can be fixed, it is not worthwhile to do so. You would have to, at a minimum, replace the printhead, which costs about $85; if the logic board is bad you’re looking at $200-250. For $80-100 you can replace the entire machine with a brand new model, with current technology and a fresh warranty, which makes more sense than buying the new part for an older printer.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, if you wish. Let me know how the built in cleaning function works, and I’ll guide you through the manual steps next, or I can recommend replacement options if you prefer.

Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,


Expert:  Nathan replied 3 months ago.

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