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Nathan
Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 21534
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 20+ years experience printer repair
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Can anyone help me print from my iMac using a Canon Pixma MP550

Resolved Question:

Can anyone help me print from my iMac using a Canon Pixma MP550 printer? I can only print in colour and nothing black can be printed????
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 2 years ago.
Nathan :

Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. We’ll get started chatting here.

If you’d prefer support beyond the chat format, you may also reach me directly via phone or a remote support session. I’ll send an additional services offer for these options - feel free to ignore it for now, it will be available to you at any time during or after our conversation.

Nathan :

Could you please try to make a photocopy, directly from the glass on the printer, in black only (black copy) mode, and let me know what happens there? Does it go through the motions of printing, but output a blank page? What about if you repeat the same exercise, but in color mode?

Customer:

Hi

Nathan :

Hello,

Nathan :

did you see the initial questions I asked you? I need that detail to help provide an accurate answer

Customer:

Hi - just tried it and it works with the colour setting but not black

Nathan :

Okay, thank you for checking,

Nathan :

that is exactly what I needed to know.

Nathan :

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head (the black nozzles, specifically)

You can try going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function, if it doesn’t work try it a second time. If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning.

I have to caution you up front though that the manual cleaning process is messy and time consuming. It also has a low chance of success, if you see no improvement at all from the automated cleaning. It is most likely a hardware failure (bad head) which the cleaning can’t fix, as printheads are a wear item and do fail with time/use. For a 5 year old printr that was built for a maximum 3 year service life, that type of failure isn't surprising. That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, if you wish. Let me know how the built in cleaning function works, and I’ll guide you through the manual steps next, or I can recommend replacement options if you prefer.

Customer:

OK - i will do the head cleaning now. I have already done it a couple of times though so don't hold up much hope. The weird part is that the problem is exactly the same on my old HP printer which is why I was beginning to think that the problem was with the mac as opposed to the printers!

Nathan :

You likely have the exact same issue with the HP

Nathan :

this is a common problem with inkjets, regardless of brand,

Nathan :

the heads just wear out, and the black tends to go first since it is used the most

Customer:

annoying if both printers are dead. the canon in particular has hardly been used1

Customer:

just done two cleaning runs and the test page comes out perfectly

Nathan :

With black as well?

Nathan :

Don't run just a test page, but make a photocopy

Nathan :

in black only

Nathan :

the test page uses all colors to create text, so it isn't a valid test of the black nozzles (though a "nozzle check" test would be)

Customer:

the copy didn't work!

Customer:

is it worth doing the deep clean?

Nathan :

Probably not

Nathan :

but I'll be happy to guide you through it if you'd like to try

Customer:

there is a deep clean option on the printer. I have set it up so will see what happens. On the test page that comes out after the basic clean, not all of the lines show up. Am thinking that it might be game over and i should stop waiting time and just buy a new one. If this is a common problem I guess it isn't worth spending a fortune if they need replacing regularly anyway?

Nathan :

Yes it is a very common problem,

Nathan :

and does indicate nozzles are damaged, even if they can be cleaned up a bit

Nathan :

on average inkjets are good for about 3 years before they fail, regardless of brand

Nathan :

Here is a replacement option that I'd recommend, if you want to go that route.

Customer:

great thanks. just had a look at it. If i want to print wirelessly does it need to be connected directly to the router?

Nathan :

It can be via a wired ethernet connection to the router, or via a wifi connection to the router - either option will work, but it does need to be on the network one of these ways for wireless printing

Nathan :

you can also then print to it directly from a smartphone or tablet, which is very handy

Customer:

Great so if I get this, I can print directly from an iPhone or iPad then?

Nathan :

Yes, you certainly can, this is an "airprint" capable machine

Nathan :

so you can print emails, photos, etc straight to the epson from iphone/ipad

Customer:

Wonderful. Thankyou so much for your help where ever you are!

Nathan :

You are very welcome.

Nathan :

If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please do remember to rate my service prior to logging off, hopefully I have earned an “excellent”. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at http://www.justanswer.com/electronics/expert-p0llinate/

Thank you, ***** ***** a good day,

Nathan

Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 21534
Experience: Computer networking/repair. 20+ years experience printer repair
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