How To Reset Ink Level On Canon Pixma MP140/MP150 August 31st, 2010
It would seem that manufacturers are not happy any more simply selling you a product; instead they engineer in ways to try and retain your business and force you into buying their own brand consumables and/or replacement parts. In fairness, this makes for good business practice but for the cost conscious consumer, it’s not exactly good news. It wasn’t so long ago that I wrote a blog post regarding Lenovo and batteries. The Lenovo software will constantly remind you that you do not have a genuine battery if you replace yours with an aftermarket model and at the most inappropriate moment, redirect you to one of their sales sites in the hope that you will buy another genuine one. In fact, they’ll even give you a warning that your laptop may spontaneously combust if you continue to use an aftermarket one; the fact they are made by the same manufacturer in the same factory has nothing to do with it of course, they simply want your money at their inflated prices. It’s not just the once though, the pop ups and reminders happen time and time again.
We have an aging Canon MP140 Pixma inkjet printer. In fairness it didn’t cost a lot and it doesn’t get much use but its ideal as a second printer for printing off draft copies of documents; of course it also acts as a scanner and photocopier which are useful features. It was originally bought for printing photographs and actually for the cost, the results are quite impressive. The problem comes when it’s time to replace the consumables, its astonishing the difference in price between a full set of genuine Canon ink cartridges and a set of cheap (refilled) aftermarket equivalents from the likes of ASDA or Tesco. Of course this is all part of the master plan over at Canon (and in fairness, all the other printer manufacturers too; yes, I am referring to you Dell/Lexmark), you’re sold a relatively complex piece of kit that actually performs really well at a rock bottom price; the catch? Well the consumables are going to cost you more than the printer itself.
The printer will of course run perfectly well with non-genuine cartridges, however the printing software (both on your machine installed as part of the driver package and on the hardware controls on the printer itself) will refuse to acknowledge the presence of the new cartridges and will constantly remind you as with the Lenovo software above, that you are not using genuine Canon consumables. In this case, every time you print you are told that your ink has run out which clearly is not the case. It’s more frustrating than anything else, of course had I installed genuine Canon cartridges the ink level monitor would have automatically reset but now, no matter how many times I reinstall the cartridges or reset the printer; it simply keeps telling me I am out of ink even though they are new cartridges. The same would be true if I had taken a set of empty genuine Canon cartridges to the likes of Cartridge World to be refilled; the printer is clever enough to recognise the exact cartridges and will remember that it has run out of ink.
Well I am sorry Canon; I will not be buying your cartridges because I know a way around this problem. It’s actually quite simple all you need to do is perform a factory reset as would take place if you sent your printer back for service to fool the printer, then the levels reset and it is happy to use much cheaper, after-market consumables.
Just do the following:
- Disconnect the power supply to the printer by removing the power lead from the back
- Press and hold the Power Button whilst plugging the power lead back in, then whilst continuing to hold the button down press the Reset Button (the one with the red triangle inside the circle) twice
- Release the Power Button and after around 10 seconds the display will show ‘0’
- Press the + Button to change the value from ‘0’ to ‘1’
- Press the Colour Button; you’ll notice that both the A4 Plain Paper and A4 Photo Paper LEDs will now be on
- Make sure that there is some paper in the paper feeder
- Press the Power Button twice; the printer will now print some random information which you can discard
- Now open the printer cover (not the scanner cover) and remove the cartridges. With the printer still open, remove the power lead from the back of the printer once again
- Close the printer cover
- Replace the power lead and press the Power Button to turn the printer back on
- Now replace the cartridges and the ink level monitor will be reset
It’s about time that manufacturers acknowledged that owing to their inflated prices buying genuine consumables are simply too prohibitive for a lot of people. If they were to lower the cost (and let us be frank, does it really cost them that much to produce?) then I would not have an issue with them engineering in ways to try and manipulate you into buying their own consumables. But if they insist on keeping their prices so high, stop the nagging; we aren’t fooled and we aren’t going to buy from you anyhow. Remember a happy customer is a customer for life and above all else, the customer is always right!
I hope you find this useful.