My printer is dead!

My HP Photosmart had run out of ink, so after spending £20 on new cartridges I was disappointed to find out that adding the new ink cartridges killed my printer. Leaving me with a repair bill which is a lot more than the printer cost to buy!

Last year I bought the HP PhotoSmart B110a in the main so I could print direct from my iPad using AirPrint.

I was impressed with, what was a very cheap printer, both in terms of print quality and scan quality. I particualrly liked how I could scan from my iPad as well as print. My older Canon multifunction required me to install drivers and software, the HP PhotoSmart had an embedded web server in it so all the functionality was available through a browser.

The printer was running out of ink, so I placed an order with Amazon for some new cartridges, cheaper than going to Staples. I did order proper HP cartridges too. Before they arrived I know some members of the family tried to print, but apart from an incomplete print out I wasn’t too worried.

The new cartridges arrived and I went through the process of installing them into the printer, something I had done a few times before.

After installing them I shut the lid and expected to be able to print… but no there was an error message on the screen of the printer.

Ink System Failure
 Please turn printer Off and then On

Well I did that… no change.

I searched the web, and after a little difficulty found this HP page. Went through all the processes with no luck, still getting the error message. The printer hasn’t responded to any of my attempts to fix the problem. The printer is reporting that the printhead is “damaged”. I am not sure how installing new ink cartridges would have caused the printhead to fail…

I actually can’t remember when I bought the printer, didn’t blog about it, like I should have, and as a result I have a feeling that it is out of warranty. The HP site says it is… but that is based on when the retailer bought the printer, not me!

The “solution” appears to be to replace the printhead. Now having done some searching, it will cost about £40 to replace the printhead. My dilemma is that a replacement HP PhotoSmart printer (the 5510) is £70 and I have no guarantee that a replacement printhead will actually be a solution.

I have a horrible feeling that if did spend £40 on the printhead and it didn’t work, I would have wasted a fair bit of cash and would still need to buy a replacement printer!

The scanner part still works so it’s a bit of a quandary on how to move forward. I can still print using my old Canon printer (but not from the iPad), hmmm, not sure what to do.

Printing from Parallels

Now printing documents from Parallels should be a simple affair. The Windows VM should just print and go…

Parallels installs the following printer…

Which then should be delivered to the printer attached to the Mac, which in my case is a Canon MP600r.

The print job does read the Canon print queue… However the Mac decides to HOLD the print job and when you try and RESUME it, I get the following error.

The error says:

pstopdffilter/pstocupsraster failed with err number -31000

Now at this time I have no idea how to resolve this, except to either print direct from the VM to the Canon (as the Canon is wireless and on the network) or to use one of my printer sharing tricks.

Would be nice to know what’s causing the problem though and initial searches through Google don’t seem to resolve it.

Adding the printer…

I had been putting off adding my Canon MP600R to my new iMac, as the process on my 10.5 iMac was not simple.

Well things have improved with 10.6 as it was very simple and much easier than with previous versions of OS X.

The key though was to have some patience as it can take a bit of time for the printer to appear in the printer list.

Once though it “appears” then it is quite easy to add the printer like any other USB, network or Bonjour printer.

Once added though, run Software Update to get the most up to date drivers from Apple.

Next job to be able to scan from the printer.

Printing from your iPhone

So the iPhone has a really nice camera…

Okay so the iPhone has a camera! It doesn’t take bad photographs and ascamera phones go it ain’t bad!

Now with the Nokia N95 which does have a very nice camera, 5MP compared to the iPhone’s 3MP, and a Carl Zeiss lense, it is relatively simple to print images from the phone without needing to dump the photographs first onto a computer. I have printed the images via Bluetooth and USB.

With the iPhone it has been a little more challenging.

I first saw hope with the HP iPrint Photo (iTunes link) however your HP printer needs to be connected to a wifi network. Alas my A618 Photo Printer which is excellent for printing photographs, is not wifi capable; it does memory cards, USB and Bluetooth, but not wifi.

I then heard about the Canon Easy-Photo Print for iPhone (iTunes link) and as the owner of the wifi capable MP600r I thought ah ha a way of printing from my iPhone.


Alas the application only works with the Pixma MP990, MP640 and MP560. As a result it couldn’t find my printer.


Of course I am not going to change my printer so I can print from my iPhone.