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ip4200 no longer printing in colour

Discussion in 'Canon InkJet Printers' started by apprentice, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Apr 17, 2018
    apprentice

    apprentice Print Lurker

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    Forgive huge amount of detail. Just following “advice before posting” instructions from The Hat! :) Problem is no colour from my Canon PIXMA iP4200. It prints but only from PGBK and only as long as all cartridge slots are filled.

    This printer was a gift 2 years ago from someone upgrading. Came with all original Canon cartridges semi-full & operated perfectly. First problem was flashing indicating that BK8 was empty. Replaced with compatible cartridge from Staples. Over the course of the next year, infrequent colour printing degraded as the CYM cartridges emptied. Paler, streaks, etc. I needed colour so rarely that I let those cartridges empty completely. I know better now. :(

    Next stage was that printer refused to print at all if there was a single colour item, text or image, in the doc being printed. I removed colour from any docs I was printing and happily continued to print in black only. After about 4 months operating in this way, I ordered a complete set of compatible cartridges online. The new set, not Canon but cheaper compatibles, resulted in my being able to print docs that were only black and also docs that had black text + colour. However, in the latter, only the black showed up in the doc. The places where colour was supposed to be were blank.

    Seeing as how my usual use of a printer is for black text only, rarely images and infrequent use of colour text, you’d think I would be happy. But I like being able to print pages occasionally that use some colour.

    Thus began my adventure. I wrote to the company that sold me the cartridges, thinking they might have sold me the wrong type for the iP4200. They swore up and down, no. Compatible. I learned a lot about my machine in testing their assertion: cleaning & deep cleaning, checking ink supply levels, how to do nozzle checks, printing test pages and assessing same. They had me take a Qtip dipped in hot water to swab the openings of the cartridges. Of course, I made sure there were no bits of tape or anything else obstructing the passage of ink from the cartridge. On my own initiative, stupidly or not, swabbed the contact point of the heads in the printer with 70% rubbing alcohol.

    Thinking the replacement cartridges were possibly duds, today took my empty Canon cartridges, which I’d kept, for refilling locally. The guy refilling them said that they’re in mint condition. Brought them home, hoping to print out a beautiful test page with all the colours plus black. Nope. Still just a perfect grid pattern with PGBK. No evidence of colour on the test page at all.

    I’ve been looking for info online ever since. Does anyone here have advice for me? Read through some of the suggestions that may be related. Surprised that I was able to figure out how to get the print nozzle assembly out of the machine, but too nervous to do anything with it. So i put it back.

    You may have gathered that I’m not a techie by any stretch, but I’m good at following instructions. If possible, I’d like to be able to print in both colour & black. But I don’t want to spend a lot of money such as buying new heads. I live in BC Canada.
     
  2. Apr 17, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    @apprentice, the iP4200 is a great little printer, however it’s a Canon and that means the printer must have all cartridges present before it will print as you have found out to your cost.

    The bad news is the colour half of the print head has died, this print head must also have ink present inside it, whether you intend to use colour ink in your document or not.

    The fact that you’ve been running the printer with dry cartridges means the head has over heated from lack of coolant (Ink) and has burned out all the coloured circuits.

    The next bit of bad news, you can’t now buy a new print head to fix your problem because the heads have long since been discontinued and are no longer stocked worldwide (Un-available).

    So, you may continue to print in black only till it too gives up the ghost and rolls over one day, if you set your printer to use greyscale, that will allow you to include colour photos in your documents, they will only print in black of course.

    Please remember all Canon printers must have ink present during printing otherwise they too will fail, that’s the nature of the beast, sorry for all the bad news... :(
     
  3. Apr 17, 2018
    apprentice

    apprentice Print Lurker

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    Don't apologize, friend! Believe it or not, I'm glad to get the "bad news" because I now know what's actually going on and why. I can stop fussing and trying to change things that can't be changed. I'm also forewarned if I ever happen to get another Canon printer. Finally, learning all of this "to my cost" has actually been a fairly cheap lesson. As I mentioned, the printer came to me as a gift. So far, I've only bought two sets of compatible cartridges. Total: less than $100 CAD.

    Given my minimal printing needs, I may buy a simple machine that prints only in b&w at some point in the future. Or I can go back to what I did before "the gift" and print occasional docs at my public library or a local print shop when quality is an issue.

    One additional question: Is it hard to set my printer to use greyscale? I've looked and can't see a way to choose that option, using the printer utility settings. In case it's relevant, I'm on a MacBook Pro, 13 inch early 2011, processor 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 with 8 GB memory. Operating system is OS X 10.9.5.
     
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  4. Apr 17, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    @apprentice, If you mainly only use B&W then a little Mono Laser printer would be best for you, and as I don’t have print Properties for the Mac to hand right now, but I imagine this Pic be ok, and if not then I’ll dig one out for you..

    Untitled-1.jpg
     
  5. Apr 17, 2018
    Trooper

    Trooper Newbie to Printing

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    I have three Canon IP4200 printers and there is much to like about them, especially the easy refilling. I buy the printheads from Ebay and just checked and noticed that they are running around $25.00 I have read here that these have a high failure rate but I have not had that experience and always have a couple at the ready.
    Like so many things in this life, it is a roll of the dice.
     
  6. Apr 17, 2018
    apprentice

    apprentice Print Lurker

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    Thanks! That option missing in my initial print screen. Persevered and found grayscale printing via the drop down menu Copies & Pages. Yay! Now all I have to do is figure out how to make it the default. See screen shots:

    Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 9.41.14 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 9.49.39 AM.png
     
  7. Apr 17, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    Open this tab again and click on greyscale and save it, then it will become your default setting...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Apr 17, 2018
    apprentice

    apprentice Print Lurker

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    Thanks again! Doesn't seem to be that simple, or I'm just being thick. Seems to make it the default for the particular doc, but not for all printing on iP4200. Still have to make the switch to grayscale every print job. No worries though. I have a friend who's the past president of the local Mac group in town. He'll get me sorted on that aspect. And appreciate the earlier suggestion for a Mono laser printer. Cheers!
     
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