HP’s dreaded “Ink System Failure”
The mechanical side of inkjet printing is relatively simple compared to laser printing. This makes it all the more irritating when an obnoxious error message pops up in HP’s “smart” inkjets.
There have been numerous cases of an “ink System Failure” message popping up on HP inkjets. To give an extent of the problem, typing in “HP” and “Ink System Failure” throws up 340,000 results in Google. There appears to be no clear solution. Based on what I have gathered on HP support websites and forums,
It is a problem with the printhead, therefore try cleaning the printhead.
Its an issue that can be resolved by simply resetting the printer.
It can be resolved by replacing the printhead. However ordering a replacement printhead is mission impossible on the HP website.
Its an issue related to the use of non-genuine or depleted cartridges, and can be fixed by installing new HP cartridges.
It is because of cartridges having their air vents blocked.
It can be fixed be replacing the CMOS battery within the printer, that keeps track of print history (Good luck with that).
It can be fixed by doing a nozzle check by accessing a secret support menu.
All these solutions are conflicting, and HP Support appears to be all the more clueless. And HP rarely if ever releases firmware updates.
What makes this error all the more obnoxious is that there is no way past it. For example, you may expect an “Ink System Failure” message to only impact printing, and not the scanning function in All-in-Ones. But that is not the case here. The entire device gets bricked once this message appears.
There is a tendency for this message to appear after the first year of purchase. Built in obsolescence?
I have noticed that this page is getting the highest traffic on this website. I do feel sorry for all of you stuck with bricked printers. In my case, I did not succeed in fixing the error. Instead of wasting money on experimenting with new cartridges, I ended up trashing the printer and I bought a Japanese one instead. Sadly, American electronics are now becoming synonymous with American cars. They work but……
There are several Japanese printer manufacturers. They are Canon, Fujitsu, Minolta, Epson and Sharp (Samsung is Korean). Epson has a reputation for excellent machinery, but they are very nasty about enforcing usage of their proprietary cartridges.
If you are brave enough, do consider a Continuous Ink System.