HP printer not printing self test diagnostic; many errors

By Debbie23
Mar 13, 2013
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  1. What is the usual diagnosis or outcome when an HP C6280 AIO won't print a correct Self Test Diagnostic from control panel? It printed it one (won't print another because of multiple errors); was missing ALL data from boxes & sections of 2 pg. report - except color print test boxes (looked fine). Just printed report sections headers & data boxes.

    Gone through usual printer reset steps: power reset; clearing hardware error codes via "secret menu," then unplugging & waiting 60 sec.
    That clears 1 (or more) errors, but they re-appear. The errors just rotate; clear 1, another pops.

    Carriage or paper jam (neither true); carriage moves easily by hand - isn't "jammed" when reports it. Hitting OK starts carriage moving again.
    No paper or bits. Took lid & top cover off. No paper bits that are visible - front, back, inside paper tray area, w/o dismantling entire unit.

    Ink system failure: printed perfect text, lines & color boxes on the partial self test, after that error appeared & was cleared - several times;

    Pump Motor Stalled: DON'T think ink motor is stalled or not working. Printed perfect lines, headings & color boxes on the one self test (lacking data). With top cover off, can see all pump gears, belt turning normally in warm up. Pump sounds normal during printer prep.

    Paper pick up rollers NOT turning - that's true (except for ONE self test w/o the data). They turn easily by hand; not dirty - just don't engage.

    Is it just fried? With so many errors - most seem false AND unable to print accurate self test diagnostic, not sure this is just a "reset" issue.

    Had a power outage - but it was on surge protector / UPS w/ voltage control - ALONG w/ modem, router, VOIP ATA, PC, monitor. None were damaged.

    Tried plugging printer into wall outlet - no change. DC voltage of printer adapter checks OK w/ meter.

    IS it a POSSIBILITY, though AC adapter voltage is OK, it's not delivering correct 1560 mA? Not sure how to check DC mA of AC adapter - any advice there?

    It cost $130 after tax - 4 yrs ago (at steep discount). Light use. If it's toast, not sure I'd buy an HP (not just because of this - more for HP's apparent declining? reputation). For avg home use - All In One types, wondering which brand now has best satisfaction, reliability AND least trouble using generic ink? Maybe they're all junk now? As in now, 4 yrs of light use may be avg life?

    DON'T want one w/ colors combined in 1 or 2 cartridges.
  2. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Seems toast to me. You've been pretty thorough. :(
  3. Debbie23

    Debbie23 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    You'd think so, but... apparently it's not. Not yet, anyway.
    Only bits of advice I found were applicable. Most, if not all, I already knew. Most doesn't go far enough! IF... your problem is clogged / partly clogged print head, tubes, etc., you must be PERSISTENT & patient.

    The printer's down to one (new) error - shows out of paper when still has ~ 10 sheets. Maybe I can get that to clear up.

    Print quality seems very good - sharp, no streaks. (knock on wood) I kept clearing error codes by accessing "secret" menu: http://www.out-of-warranty.com/ink-system-failure-error-0xc18a-hp/ , each time error(s) popped, then unplugged power cable from unit w/o 1st turning it off & doing steps - mostly waiting. The link has info on accessing / clearing different HP models' error "cache"? / menu; also, power resetting.

    You can find docs on HP's support site on power reset (or just resetting) specific models. Most newer ones seem to have same steps.

    What NO ONE tells you is, if you have problems w/ partially clogged heads (or partly clogged something) it may take doing the clearing codes + power resetting + printing... until get another error, then do it all again, & again & again... until the codes go away & print quality improves (if it does).

    In fact, I've read MANY non HP help articles (& was given direct advice), "try 'this'... - & if doesn't work, get it serviced or buy another. I'd read long ago about users continuing to do head cleaning prints, printing docs - many times, until finally got back to normal. That's what it took.

    If you have more $ than time, or if printer isn't that good anyway, this persistence may not be for you. This was a good printer that had worked well w/ excellent print quality; would cost quite a bit to buy something equivalent - so worth jacking around with.

    ALSO cleaned the thin, tough plastic "timing strip" that's threaded through the print carriage - just above metal guide rail. Wiped it w/ SMALL piece of soft, lint free cloth & distilled water & wiped dry.

    Not sure - but read that the strip tells the carriage where it is (near both ends of rail??). Said if it's dirty, smudged - can cause carriage to go too far, OR doesn't recognize it's already at the end. Mine seemed to be doing that, because once carriage reached R end, carriage motor kept turning - still moving the belt, causing heck of a brief squeal as toothed belt slipped on the carriage. Dunno.

    But "carriage jam" errors & squeal went away. One could get to it w/o taking unit's lid & "inside cover" off, like I did. But you need fairly small hands to get to ends of that strip w/ unit still together. Or devise some means to reach in - needle nose pliers or surgical clamp? w/ cloth wrapped around jaws??

    Apparently most of the errors were caused by print head (possibly tubes?) being partly clogged. Most would NEVER be associated w/ partly clogged print head.
    Not many posts or articles talk about the "timing" strip. Mine was not particularly dirty, so I assume it doesn't take much to screw things up.
    I don't know what all cleaning my timing strip fixed besides squealing & ? maybe ? carriage and paper jam errors, but it was significant.

    It's hard to get your hand to the strip's end & still see (working by feel, at that point), but as others said, it's important to clean it ALL the way to both ends, because marks on the ends tell the carriage (& motor) where the carriage is. You won't be able to see it very well, if unit is completely assembled, so just going over it well is only choice.

    If you take the lid off one like the C6280, either:
    1) take the scanner case apart, to remove the ribbon cables (I DON'T KNOW THAT I'D SUGGEST THIS, WITHOUT RESEARCHING IF IT COULD MESS UP COMPONENTS' POSITIONS). The 2 scanner ribbon cables appear soldered to the pcb.

    2)Better: PAY ATTENTION. Have someone HOLD the scanner / lid assembly - upright, resting the back edge on either: something substantial, that's almost the same height as top of printer (stack of books); or rest scanner on back of printer.
    DO NOT allow the 2 flimsy, delicate, ribbon cables, connecting scanner to pcb to get pulled, stretched. They may tear or be damaged - easily. They're paper thin.

    DON'T try to pull the connectors off the pcb. They're soldered on. If you damage the cables, you WON'T find replacements from HP or electronics stores; at least not at sane prices.

    3) have several books to pile up to right height, to support the lid, if you lay it back. There's NOT much slack in the cables - AT ALL. If the lid / scanner slips, the cables may be damaged.
    St1ckM4n likes this.

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