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.
There are a few issues going on here.
Regarding the blank/blue pages, these symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head.The absorber message is a separate but equally severe issue.
Regarding the head, the initial cleaning you did was appropriate, and failing that you’ll need to do a manual cleaning. The cleaning operation is problematic because you'll have to keep running it, and doing so exacerbates the absorber issue.
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. Considering that this is a 2006 model that was built for a 3 year service life, this type of failure isn't surprising to see.
Regarding the absorber message, unfortunately, there is no quick or easy fix here. This message indicates a hardware problem, specifically that that the internal "ink absorber system" is full. The ink absorber is a series of pads/tanks, which catch drips from the printhead when parked, and is also used for maintenance tasks like cleaning and purging.
Eventually this absorber fills up, and the printer shuts down operations, as continuing to operate it can result in ink overflowing the system, damaging your desk, flooring, etc
While it is sometimes possible to temporarily reset the counter, this is dangerous as the system will likely overflow. Cleaning/emptying/replacing the system is a difficult and messy process as well, best left to a qualified service technician. This service is generally not practical though - it's going to run you £150-250 for repairs, which just isn't worth it for an older printer. Again, this is a 7 year old model, that was built for a service life of 3 years. If you have reached the point that the absorber has filled, then other wear items like the printhead, feed rollers, etc are also going to be at the end of their lives and need service/replacement soon. A new head is going to run you 85-100 just for the part.
Given the costs and complexity of fixing this issue, you'd be better off replacing the printer. You can get a brand new and better machine, with current technology and a fresh warranty, for about £80, which makes more sense than investing in the older machine.
I can recommend replacement options for you if you'd like, or if you'd prefer to try having it serviced or working on it yourself, I can advise further on those options. Replacement would be your best bet though, economically speaking, when faced with servicing both the absorber and head.
Hello Nathan, sorry for delayed reply to thank you for your most comprehensive and informative diagnosis of my printer problem, but was called away to deal with an elderly neighbour. I agree fully that it is time to change the printer and only wish that I had not just spent out on four new Canon ink cartridges!
I would welcome your recommendation for a replacement that is fairly economical on inks and a good general purpose printer also capable of producing occasional colour prints of reasonable quality up to A4 size.