Friday, November 23, 2018

HP C6280 All in one Ink System Failure & other travails

Almost two years ago our HP C6280 “All In One” inkjet printer suddenly decided to toss up a mysterious error code and refused to print.

Swapping out ink cartridges did nothing.

Turning it off and on did nothing.

I was running a two-prong approach to resolution; dig deep in the Googles and research a replacement unit.

Finally I stumbled on this tip.

HP C6280 All in one Ink System Failure – FixYourOwnPrinter

Following the steps of combo-button pushes documented on that page resulted in a restored-to-operation HP C6280.  Since performing those steps I’ve not had that particular error problem come up since!

Here’s a slightly cleaned up version of those steps. YMMV try at your own risk.

Follow the below steps on the front panel of the All-in-One printer: (Note: you may want to read the comments on that page above as well.)

A. Press and Hold the “Print Photos” & “Red Eye Removal” buttons. Release both buttons. Display should say “Enter Special Key Combo”

B. - Press and release in sequence “Red Eye Removal”, “Print Photos”, “Red Eye Removal”
(display says "enter special key combo")

1. Press and release in sequence “Red Eye Removal”, “Print Photos”, “Red Eye Removal”
(display may show a message like “support COxxFN0723BR”

2. Press and release the right arrow button until the display says “System Configuration Menu.

3. Press and release the “OK” button.

4. Display should say “Hardware failure status”. If not there already, Arrow Key over to “Hardware failure status.

5. Press and release the “OK” button.

6. Display should say “Hardware failure status: Clear. Press OK to clear”.

7. Press and release the “OK” Button. Message changes to “Hardware failure status Cleared. Press Cancel to continue”.

8. Press and release the “CANCEL” button as many times as necessary, so that, either the “Welcome to Photosmart Express” screen appears, or, the “Ink System Failure” screen appears. PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO PRINT AT THIS STAGE.

9. Using the Power Button, turn the unit OFF and unplug the power cable from back of the printer and wall outlet.

10. Wait 30 seconds for the power to get discharged and then plug the power cable into the wall outlet first and then into the back of the printer.

11. Turn the unit on. The printer may display message “USE POWER BUTTON TO SHUTDOWN THE PRINTER” followed by “PRESS OK TO CONTINUE”. Press OK.

12. If the printer has already initialized, then go to the next step. If not, the printer will start the “ONE TIME INK INITIALIZATION PROCESS”. Allow this process to complete and do not interrupt. Once the initialization process is complete, the printer will print out a Diagnostic Page.

13. To verify printer functionality print a SELF TEST PAGE.

FYI: The TinyApps bloggist also posted some tips with working with other HP Officejet hardware: Resetting an HP OfficeJet 5740

Then about six months ago the C6280 started experiencing paper-tray feed issues.  I tried a number of things and sometimes could get the paper to barely feed but usually not. I checked/cleaned the rollers, looked for jammed bits of paper, did everything but a full tear-down.

I gave up for a while and started researching new printers again, and put a note on it to not try printing as it wasn’t feeding.

Lavie came in one day while I was away and needed to print. She worked on it as well but also gave up.

Finally one Saturday I really, really needed to print something and didn’t want to run out to find somewhere to print from or pick up a new printer so I made a final attempt at troubleshooting.

When I lifted it up off the small side-table it sat on I noticed a small bit of plastic beneath. Hmmm. Hadn’t seen that before.

It was 1/2 of a geared wheel that seemed to be made out of a black nylon plastic. That couldn’t be good.

With the aid of a flashlight, I inspected the gear mechanisms and drive shafts. After a patient review I eventually found a drive shaft with a matching 1/2 gear piece that engages other gears.  It seems that this drive shaft powers the paper pick-up rollers from the paper-tray. Somehow it had broken in two and this was keeping the paper from picking up.

With nothing else to loose, I use a combo of super-glue gel, long needle-nose pliers, and a ton of patience to re-glue the two gear halves back together while aligned and engaged carefully with the drive gear wheel above it.

I let it set for several days to make sure the glue cured properly and then with fingers-crossed, loaded the paper tray back up and sent an print job through.

It fed and printed just fine…and has held fine many printing jobs later after all these months.

It was a miracle that that 1/2 piece of small broken wheel didn’t get lost or drop into the carpet with all of our earlier troubleshooting.

So if you still have an old HP C6280 here’s proof you can keep it limping along after all this time.


Claus V.

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