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Russell H.
Russell H., Technician
Category: Digital Cameras
Satisfied Customers: 12053
Experience:  Working with digital cameras & questions for nearly 8 years.
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I let the magenta ink run dry on my MG5550, I have installed

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I let the magenta ink run dry on my MG5550, I have installed a new cartridge, but it wont print magenta

Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

When a cartridge is let to dry out, sometimes ink on the printhead for that color of ink, dries out also.

This can mean the printhead needs replacing, sometimes.

But, a cleaning procedure may get it working again, if done as follows:

In outline:

1. Clean the (magenta) printhead. (This is an operation in your printer's Maintenance functions, to be found in your printer's driver in the Maintenance tab, or in your printer's software functions. It may not be specific to the color (magenta), in which case, just choose Clean Printhead(s).)

2. Wait 1/2 hour to several hours or overnight, leaving the printer On but unused (no print jobs, etc.)

This allows waste ink to soak into the printhead and hopefully dissolve dried ink etc.

3. Clean the printhead a second time.

4. Wait again (as in step 2 above) for 1/2 hr. to several hrs., printer On but unused.

5. Clean the printhead a third time.

Then test whether magenta ink is showing up at all in prints at this point. If it is, even faintly, then repeating this procedure will (eventually, at the cost of a certain amount of ink wasted in the process) clear up the clogged printhead.

After that fails, if it does fail, what you need to do is to decide whether replacing the printhead (which will cost something considerable, more than you would think usually) is better, given the printer's age, or whether it would be more preferable for you to replace the printer altogether with a new one (and hopefully recycle the old printer, always a good idea.)

So try the triple-cleaning-with-wait-times that I recommended, and get back to me if it doesn't work for you (so I can advise you further...)... or if it does help (- I always like to hear that something I recommended has worked!)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** try what you suggest, but as I was printing when the cartridge ran out and I immediately changed the cartridge, I would not have thought the ink in the printhead would have had time to dry out, but we shall see. I fail to see how I can rate you until I find out if what you suggest works!

Well... if the drying wasn't prolonged, that changes the factors.

Try just one printhead cleaning, let it soak in with the printer On but unused, for about an hour. Then run a test print or full-color copy, and see if magenta is restored.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK Russell, I'll try what you suggest, but you haven't answered my query re rating

It's OK to not rate my work yet, until we see how it turns out.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, I'll let you know what happens, and rate you then, bye for now


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello again Russell, I followed your instructions and have given it the full monty, 3 'deep cleans' leaving it standing and on in between, but to no avail. Have done several nozzle check patterns, but no magenta. Any further suggestions, or have I damaged the print head?

I don't know, but ... the printhead may be damaged or dried-up, yes. It's unfortunate, but when it gets to resisting the triple-cleaning-with-pauses approach (and that seldom happens, it has a high success rate), then there's not much more to conclude.

Try re-seating the printhead (taking it out briefly, then putting it back in, without touching any contacts on it, nor the inky underside of it), with the power Off and unplugged... and then power it On and see if magenta gets electrically restored (owing to corrosion/dirt/dust on printhead contacts perhaps?)... it might work.

Russell H. and 2 other Digital Cameras Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for that, but while I was waiting for your reply I found and fixed the problem. I examined the cartridge with a magnifying glass and found that a little bit of glue was blocking the airway, I have cleared that with a pin and now I have my magenta working. Unfortunately I only had the one spare cartridge, otherwise I would have tried another and found the problem was with the cartridge not the printer! Thanks for trying anyway. Regards, Alan

On some cartridges, if you don't 'vent' them properly, it's true, the cartridge won't work well. Air has to get into them to replace the ink squirted out. Very observant and capable of you to spot that!

Good to work with you on this case.

Thank you for consulting

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