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Freddy M.
Freddy M., Technician
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 18409
Experience:  Years of experience
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I have a Canon Pixma ix6550 which has been working perfectly

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I have a Canon Pixma ix6550 which has been working perfectly for over a year. I recently moved house and, at the same time, changed to Windows 10. Before setting up the printer in its new location, I updated the printer drivers to Windows 10 from the Canon web site. However, after setting up, I keep getting Error Code 5100 when I try to print. If I switch the machine off and then switch it on again (as recommended by Canon) the orange light comes on after about a minute. I have checked for obstructions in the machine (none), I have cleaned the transparent strip as recommended by Canon (slightly dirty) and I have re-seated all the print heads (all lights red). I have run a diagnostic test which reports everything at being OK but when I try to print a Test Page I get the error code and the orange light comes on.
Hello my name is***** do not rate until we are finished. I look forward to assisting and am very sorry to hear that you are having this problem. I want to warn you that it is possible you will need to replace a part in order to fix this. There are a few different things that can cause this and a couple different parts so we would need to troubleshoot to find out for sure. Is it the same number every time?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes - 5100

Turn the machine off and unplug it.
Then by hand move the print head (cradle) by hand.
It should move freely, if it does not it is damaged.

Move it back and forth across the bar 3 or 4 times.
Then leave it in the middle of the bar.

Plug the machine back in and turn it on.
Give it a minute or two to detect the print head in the middle and recalibrate it.

If this did not work, please come back and let me know what happened when you tried it by clicking on reply to expert so we can continue.
If it did work, please don’t forget to leave a positive rating - it is greatly appreciated.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I did as you suggested. The print head moved easily across the bar. When I switched the machine back on, it made a noise for a minute or two (re-calibrating I guess) then the blue light stopped blinking. I was just about to try printing when the machine, of its own accord, started making noises again and then the orange flashing light came on and the error code 5100 appeared. I went through the whole procedure a second time and exactly the same thing happened.

Look behind the carriage you should see a white or clear strip. Please clean that as best you can with a lint free cloth and then repeat the steps.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I cleaned the clear strip with a lint free cloth and then repeated the steps as you suggested. The only difference this time is that when I switched the printer on again, it re-calibrated and then the blue light stopped flashing but this time the printer did not make any further noise of its own accord and switch to the orange flashing light. The orange flashing light only occurred after I pressed the Print button followed by the error code 5100.

I repeated the whole process but the same thing happened.

Darn that is not a good sign. How old is your machine? If over a year old did you get an extended warranty?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The printer is over a year old and I do not have an extended warranty.

Error 5100 on your machine is an encoder error. That strip you cleaned is the encoder strip and is part of the carriage assembly. Sometimes it can get jammed or dirty and cause this error. Both tend to cause some annoying noises after that when the error is still there it normally means it needs to be replaced. In order to replace it however the entire carriage assembly needs to be replaced. This can be expensive so you would want to call around for a price first, some people do decide to replace the machine instead. You can not bypass this error and even if you could the machine would not work properly due to that strip working as the machines timing. If you have any questions at all reply and let me know. If not please don’t forget to leave a positive rating for my help - it is greatly appreciated. Please note you are rating me only not this site or your Canon.
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