January 10, 2008

Epson Stylus CX4200 Requires All Colors to be Replaced?

Editor's note: This is a very popular issue, and blog post. I've updated it to read more easily. Please comment below on why you're searching this topic. Thanks

I think I might have discovered why I was given a "free" Epson StylusCX4200 when buying a laptop. This article applies to more than just the CX4200.

Let me give you the bottom line:

1) As designed, you have to buy ALL colors when replacing cartridges, even if you've only been printing in black.

2) There are work-around options described below....

Probably like you, I tried to print a black document, and the ink-out light remained on, even tho I changed the black ink. Then I discovered this question posed to Epson:

Will the Epson printer still work if one of the ink cartridges is empty or missing? ("no").
FAQ answer to the question.

You'll love this one too:

Q: Why is the Epson color ink cartridge out of color ink if printing has been in black only previously?

A: The Epson printer uses small amounts of ink from each ink cartridge when printing, even if printing only in black. This is done to clear the print head (avoid clogging).

Work-Around Options:

OPTION 1: You can buy cartridge "refill kits" BUT, need a little device to re-set a micro-chip in each cartridge (even if you fill the cartridge, the micro-chip will tell the printer the cartridge is empty if the chip isn't reset):

Refilling cartridges offers the greatest economy possible for the user, as long as it is done correctly.

Original cartridges from Epson printers have a small memory chip that works as a counter. As the printer uses the cartridge, it updates that small memory. When the cartridge is empty, that circuit knows there is no more ink. Simply putting more ink in the cartridge does not enable it for use, since its chip will still indicate that the cartridge is empty.

Here is a link to learn about this resetter hardware. It costs about $20. Check to be sure it works for your particular type of epson. I cannot vouch for it, but if you plan to re-fill your cartridges, this might be the way to go.

OPTION 2: From a commet (Thanks!). Try SSC utility... free download, but is limited to PCs (not macs). It allows you to fool the epson into thinking the ink levels never go down. Wait until the ink really starts fading and then replace the cartridge with this sweet little program. It also allows resets for ink pad problems when the printer decides to stop printing all together because the cleaning pad page count has reached the predetermined number.

Good Luck, and again, please offer any advice you think helpful as a comment!

36 comments:

Ashok said...

I have the same printer, came free with the laptop. because of this dirty trick,by stopping the printer a;together, epson is forcing us to buy the catridges we don't need.

I have bought a chip resetter for and will do the refill. If it does not work, I will trash the printer rather tha That will teach a lesson to epson.

Anonymous said...

The good news is that people like you guys can help real human beings, not the animals that tricked the consumer with a false and misleading product. Thanks for clearing this mystery up. Is there no honor left in the world????

Ryan and Sandi said...

I've got the exact same problem with my Epson Stylus Photo RX620. Found this blog using Google and typing: epson how print black color ink gone.

Thanks for quickly confirming for me that I really do hate this printer. CRAZY stuff.

--Ryan

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info! I wanted to try an Epson printer and then ended up getting this crap for free. Now all I can do with it is soak it in gasoline and set it on fire. Then I'll go buy a printer that works properly and avoid every Epson product. I'll try to warn as many people as possible that Epson sucks!

Anonymous said...

Not only do you have to replace the color ink cartridges to print a black and white document, but these ink cartridges are incredibly expensive. It is about $40 to replace the 3 color cartridges. I just bought an HP laserjet for $100 and the replacement ink for it will be about $50 on Amazon. I think this will be a much better use of my ink money than this "free" epson printer.

Anonymous said...

In the last 10 years i've been through so many rip off printers i'm about to go back to the impact printer! Have an Epson CX4200 first stylus thought might save on ink cause the ad said since the carts. were individ. they could be replaced that way.
HAH! Like everyone else it's no better than the cheapo's i was buying each time the ink ran out cause the replacement ink cost 30.00 more than the machine.
There was a class action against Epson that i got in on but the settlement in no way replaced my cost of the machine OR the many refills i went thru before litigation.
I wish i were rich i'd start a class action against ALL these coporate pigs feeding from our hard earned bank accounts....
Well gotta get busy buying 3 color cartridges so i can print out this B&W document with one of the 4 black cartridges i stocked up on so i could always at least print in B&W...HAH!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Total rip off. I'm in a foreign country and brought this printer with me thinking it'd be nice to have a printer/scanner around (it came free with my laptop), but I can't replace the ink unless someone from the states sends it to me. I brought extra black ink, but it won't allow me to replace just that cartridge. Such a waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

WOW. Look at all the people experiencing the exact same Epson printer cartridge problem. I just wasted the last two hours of my life, plus a trip to Target and another twenty bucks on a stupid blue cartridge.

I'm a college student! I'm poor! I only need black and white!

Thanks for listening

Anonymous said...

I also have the same problem with Epson Stylus Photo 810. I just replaced the black ink, but the printer still won't work. What a waste of money. I am glad I stumbled upon this site. I am not spending more money on this piece of *%$#^

Katie said...

I bought my Epson Stylus CX5000 over a year ago - I wish I at least got this thing for free like other postings. I am glad to see that I am not the only one having this problem. I also just went out to the store, spent $20 on a black cartridge but the Cyan cartridge is out. So I guess I won't be printing anything. This is just outrageous. I will never buy another Epson product. And I will be writing their customer service department.
Thanks for the helpful postings!

barakaphotos said...

It isn't just Epson. HP printers that are "cheap" eat ink like crazy, and the cartridges cost half the price of a new printer. On some models, the printer is so cheap that it actually pays to buy a new printer every time - just to get the ink cartridges! I used Walgreen's refilling service, but then my printer went on the fritz. After repeated emails with HP, in which I carefully followed their instructions, they just stopped answering. The point is, don't assume that Epson's the only bad guy in the printer business. And, if you truly only print in black, better to put the money into a black laser jet. They are more expensive initially but the large cartridges can be purchased from 3rd party, refilled, etc., at reasonable cost. If you want to do color printing, buy a refillable or continuous ink system for your Epson.

I found this page by typing "epson won't print BW when one ink cartridge is empty" in Google.

snakechaser said...

I am having the same problem. Of course I just bought the combo pack of 2 black cartridges for $33, now find that I have to go buy the color. I have had this problem before and actually decided on my own that replacing the color cartridges might do the trick. That was a couple of months ago and I haven't printed in color since. Now they're out again. Imagine that! Epson, you suck!

eklypse said...

Re: "why you're searching this topic"

Because I, like all these others, have had the same problem. I suspected this might be the problem after I replaced my black cartridge and hoped someone had found a hack to make the printer work anyway. I'm just glad I found this page before hitting my head against the wall too much. I only wish I had found it before I invested in two new black cartridges when I should have been investing in a new printer.

xsapp said...

It is really very nice article.I was searching on internet from long time.
Thanks for posting such a nice article.
cheap printer ink

Chris Davis said...

"Hi, my name is Chris. I'm a sucker-punched Epson Stylus CX4200 recipient."
"Hi, Chris."

GDAEman said...

Thanks for all of your comments. Just tonight my girlfriend asked about the flashing light... ugh!

andrea said...

Horrible! Horrible! What a disaster! This is such a disgrace! The store is now officially closed and I've been trying to print my homework notes forever! Finally got my black ink and now I find out why it's not working. BECAUSE they need all the other colours! I never knew I would come to hate this printer so much now. I just need a black and white document. Nothing fancy, just black and white! Oh, the anger! So to use black ink I have to pay about 100 and more dollars. What a silly thing. I want to throw it out of my balcony! It was free anyway right?

craftershill said...

Hate to say this, but I feel a bit better knowing I'm not alone.
Thank

Mathan said...

Ok. We have all been duped but there should be some way to offset this and hit back instead of just feeling sorry for ourselves.

Mark.

Anonymous said...

damn, thanks for clearing it up. now i have to go back to the store and get the rest. late for my damn job app/interview. was suppose to print out a resume for them.

Anonymous said...

Try SSCutility google it
basically allows you to fool the epson into thinking the ink levels never go down. Wait until the ink really starts fading and then replace the cartridge with this sweet little program. It also allows resets for ink pad problems when the printer decides to stop prining all together because the cleaning pad page count has reached the predetermined number

Anonymous said...

I have the Epson Stylus CX7000F and just encountered the same problem. I only want to print black and white, and actually have only ever printed black and white which made me a little curious as to why my coloured in was out. Anyways I went and bought black only to find out I need to buy the other colours too. What a rip off. Lucky this printer was free or I'd be REALLY mad! Doubt I'd buy another for this exact reason though.

Tempest said...

I JUST GOT OFF WORK...WENT STRAIGHT TO OFFICE DEPOT TO BUY BLACK INK FOR MY EPSON CX5000. CAME HOME READY TO PRINT OFF MY RESEARCH PAPER...ONLY TO FIND OUT THROUGH THESE HELPFUL BLOGS THAT THE STUPID THING NEEDS COLOR INK TOO!! I'M SO OUTRAGE B/C DROVE IN TRAFFIC TO GET THE INK PLUS SPENT MONEY ON SOMETHING THAT CAN'T BE USED TONIGHT. IS THERE ANY ONE I CAN CONTACT? I'M SO MAD!!!

Anonymous said...

The deal is that they gave away the printer for little or nothing intending to soak up the profits on supplies. Indeed it is a bother, but beyond the bother is the BEST solution: Don't buy your replacement ink cartridges from Epson.

I've been buying mine on ebay for $10 bucks for a set of four for a few years now. They work fine and I don't reward those corporate dogs who thought that they could bilk money from me. Ha. They lose.

buddypress said...

Buy 4 PC-21C color cartridges and get the 5th one FREE. The PC-21C color ink tank replaces the Canon BCI-21C color ink tank.
HP Ink Cartridges

Karen said...

In the help instructions for SSC, you actually have to physically build something with a circuit board and sautering etc. for this utility to work. It will not work on its own (according to its own help instructions). The download page does not mention this.

Anonymous said...

Ouch!! I have been hit too. Right in the middle of printing I am told to replace magenta ic - i only need b&w apparently i only have just 2 pages to go. Is there a way to crack this code? It's a pain!

karena said...

Staples sells a small yellow resetter which is around $20. Just reset ALL your ink cartridges when you change one, and you will be fine! I found mine on the sale table, so go quickly.

Chandresh said...

a printer which employs a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye to a medium such as a plastic card, paper or canvas. The process is usually to Portable GPS lay one colour at a time using a ribbon that has colour panels. Dye-sub printers are intended primarily for high-quality colour applications, including colour photography; and are less well-suited for text

Anonymous said...

It is 3am right now and I'm desperately trying to print in BLUE when the black is out. I specifically got this printer/scanner/fax because it said it had wireless printing and scanning.
LIES! It let me scan about 40 pictures then started glitching like crazy. Now it refuses to scan at all.
This assignment is make or break for me, and thanks to the stupid horrible cheating lying money grubbing Epson printer, I now Fail this class.
Seriously, the printer I had in 1999 was better than this crap pile.
Thanks for letting me know why it does this though...

print head said...

Pretty good post.I have also a Epson Stylus CX4200 printer and just encountered the same problem. I am really thankful to you for sharing such a nice information about Epson Stylus CX4200 printer. Keep posting information like this.


Printhead911

Amelia Davis said...

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ink pad reset said...

To reset the waste ink error you will need to download a reset program. This resets the printer counters back to zero and the printer will work again as normal. You can download this reset program from our website.

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