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Printer Woes

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Just talk

I have an HP Photosmart Model C5180 inkjet printer that won't print blacks.

I purchased this printer 3 years ago. Given the quality of current manufacturing (just had a major dishwasher meltdown too), I suppose I should be satisfied with getting 3 years of use out of the thing.

Going on the 'Net for research on this issue with my HP printer shows that this is an ongoing problem with multiple models of HP inkjet printers, and HP (the company) has been aware of this for some time. There are about 7 screen fulls of postings and discussions regarding this issue.

Advice from fellow sufferers of the HP inkjet printer "black ink printing malaise" includes such things as "burping the printer" (unplugging and turning the printer upside down and slapping its underside), sticking a paper clip in the printer's black ink feed tubes, running the "self clean" process multiple times, burping the black ink cartridge, dismantling the printer and cleaning all the parts--and there are more suggestions, but you get the idea.

I've tried all these voodoo tricks except dismantling the printer, and it still won't print black. All the other colors print fine.

People have spent countless hours and dollars on new ink cartridges trying to solve this problem. HP isn't much help.

Curse you HP (both the company and my printer). Maybe its time for a class-action lawsuit.

Then there's my Brother HL-4070CDW color laser printer. I'm getting big magenta blotches when I print purples and blues. Probably just the third-party (non-Brother) magenta toner cartridge I purchased and put in it recently--I'll have to buy another and see if that's the fix.

Anyone want to advise me on what inkjet printer to buy as a replacement? Criteria are:
1. Does a good job of printing photos and as a home/office business printer.
2. Has auto duplex printing capability.
3. Has copier and scanning capabilities too.
4. Is compatible with Linux, of course.
5. Will last more than 3 years.
6. Isn't made by HP.

Well, this post would have been much more scathing had it not been for this wonderful warming winter sun streaming through the window as I type. Curse you sun Smile.

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well, I tend to lean towards epsons myself. I've had real good luck with those in Linux over the years. I don't really have any specific model numbers because my actual experience is a couple of years old.

But if I was in the market for a new printer, I'd look around and see what was current, then google that model number and linux to see what other folks said about it.

I've always read of lots of problems with HP and Lexmark printers. Epson tends to be a bit more Linux friendly.

re: printer woes

Yes, I appreciate the input. I've been looking hard at both Epson and Canon inkjets, and trying to do proper diligence before purchasing a replacement.

Being retired (1.5 years now) and on a more or less fixed income, I can't afford to replace printers every 3 years. (Keeping up with the consumables cost is bad enough.)

And I don't have the zest any more for tearing this kind of gear apart in an effort to fix it myself. (When I was teaching high school computer science with the commensurate limited equipment repair/replacement budget, I got pretty good at maintaining and repairing computer hardware.)

Finally, purchasing short-lived throwaway computer gear is not great for the environment.

cheap inkjets != refrigerators

3 years for a $100ish inkjet printer seems above par.

Just pick up another cheap HP and be happy for the year or two of trouble free work it will provide. Inkjet technology moves along so fast (better, faster, cheaper), why would you want to continue to use something 3+ years old anyways?

I just setup a $125 HP Photosmart 6350 (5 ink colors) for a friend and it works great (and it's wifi).

As to Brother Color Lasers - there's all types of horror stories on the net about non-oem color toner cartridges causing splotches - so go back to Brother toner and it will probably be ok.


I have a Canon MP640 multifunction and I am happy with it. The drivers are 32bit only and you have to get the installer from Canon Europe or Asia. I have used the printer with Ubuntu and Debian and it prints and scans over my home network. I force installed the 32bit drivers on 64 bit Ubuntu and it worked, with Debian 64 bit it just refused to see the printer. With 32 bit it worked fine on both Ubuntu and Debian. There are RPM versions of the drivers as well, but again 32bit only.

One function I love is using it to photocopy DVD labels. Just put a disk upside down anywhere on the scanner with a blank disk in the printer and press copy and
it creates a duplicate. You can also print a label to a piece of paper (anywhere on the page) and then photocopy it to the disk, it works just as well. Makes printing disk labels with Linux a no-brainer.

Just another option to think about.

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