asked Jun 23, 2004 at 2:51am
Epson Epson Stylus Color 880

epson 880 printer

Can you help? My Epson 880 printer was working fine, but then came up with a general error, with all lights flashing. I cannot get this fault to clear, having tried different methods.
I hope someone else has found the solution to my problem, and can help me.
by unknown on Mar 18, 2007 at 7:58pm Add comment
Margaret: A Service Error where all LED's/Lights are blinking at the same time, is normally a Maintenance Request Error. The maintenance request error is actually a Waste Ink Ink Pad Error and normally your remedy is to replace the Waste Ink Pad/Pads with a new one/ones and then reset the Internal Waste Ink Pad Counter. If you just reset the counter and don't replace the pads, then your printers old pads will eventually overflow and normally start leaking ink out the bottom of your printer. Some people actually wash the ink out of the old pads, by holding them under running cold water, then dry them out and simply reinstall them back into their printer. The choice on what to actually do, is yours to make. I would at least recommend getting that Waste Ink Counter reset procedure and performing it first, to make sure your printer will then work...THIS ADDITIONAL INFO POSTED BY "WES" MIGHT HELP: Wes 12/07/2003 13:57:30 To see what's involved in servicing the waste ink pads try this [or] Tim H 12/10/2003 2:46:24 Subject: Epson Reset Program Download Location. after a long search for a reset program for waste ink, without paying, i found it. goto: ...please check that your printer is compatible goto: . this program has other features as well...HERE'S SOME INFORMATION POSTED FROM OTHER PEOPLE, THAT MAY HELP YOU TRY TO LOCATE A SERVICE MANUAL OR A RESET PROCEDURE, IF YOU NEED ONE: "Master 10/05/2002 03:22:56 Re: Epson stylus adjustment programs. You can find any service manual or service adjustment program for EPSON inkjet printers at ". [OR] "Eva 2/14/2003 23:31:11 Re: Epson Color Stylus Error Codes. See http://www.2MANUALS.COM - they have all service manuals and service programs. Due to them I fixed the same error on me C20! They are friendly!" ... Heres a link you can try for Waste Ink Pad Servicing on a C20-C60, that may be of some help: " http// "...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on Jun 23, 2004 at 10:53am Add comment
Turn the printer on while holding down both the ink and paper buttons. When the paper light flashes release both buttons, then press and hold down the ink button for 10 seconds. This allegedly resets the printer to "new" condition.
by catman on Oct 2, 2005 at 3:46am Add comment
Catman, your fix for blinking Epson 880 lights worked wonderfully for me. Saved buying a new (or a used 880) printer. Thanks!!! - Anonymous
Hello catman. I have the All-Lights-Flashing problem. Followed your instruction, but did not solve the problem. Any other ideas?
Am I doomed? Wally - wallypenny
Thanks catman for the advice on resetting printer.
I thought I was going to be needing a new printer. I love my 880!..

Thanks again your post really helped!! - FULLJAM
It worked like a charm.....and I was just on my way to buy another!!! Thanks catman! - Anonymous
Thanks for the worked. I was bidding on used epson 880 on ebay and now
I don't have to yet.

Thanks for sharing the tip.

Cory - Fear No Trout
Worked like a charm.

Too bad I didn't stop to look for answer
before throwing 2 of these away in the last 2 months.

ONe thing is certain - I won't be buying any more epson printers - Anonymous
I just registered my new account to thanks Catman, the tip just worked fine with my Epson 880 Stylus...THANK YOU very much!!!! - Claudio Hideki
This works - thank you!! After hours of trying to download drivers, re-install software etc. I must remember to google a question in the futute - it always work. - Anonymous
thank you! you just saved my printer! - Anonymous
Thanks so much...four years later your post is still helping people. I love my 880! - unknown
Well Wally,it worked for me, try same proceedure but instead of holding ink button for 10 seconds, hold the ink button down until (hopefully) the lights stop flashing. Obvious that should happen in a reasonably short time if it's going to happen at all, less than a minute I would think. Other than that I'm afraid I'm at a loss, so you might be up the creek I guess. Good luck, I think the 880 is bloody good printer, although rather slow compared to modern ones. also I use Inkcycle ink which gives good results at a fraction of Epson's price. I get 6 Black and 6 Colour for about £24, I think one Epson colour is about £17 ! (I don't work for Inkcycle, honest!).
by catman on Dec 19, 2005 at 8:46am Add comment
same problem and took your advice and it worked, brill thanks.
mike - Anonymous
Hi Catman,
You have just made an "old man" a happy man! Thank you so much for your helpful and successful suggestions.
I had to follow the suggestion of holding the ink button until the paper lightlight went out.
Great! again thank you so much for you help.
Best regards
Wally (not the same Wally as you helped out previously) - Anonymous
5 years later your post is still helping people - thank you. - unknown
Hi again catman, The "All-Lights-Flashing" is fixed.
I followed your latest and got it on the third try. The timing must be critical as you mentioned. There are lots of folks with this problem and they need this solution because it is simple and avoids the download approach which I was never able to do.
Thanks for your help. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays !
by wallypenny on Dec 19, 2005 at 9:45am Add comment
Well done Wally, glad you fixed it ! As you say there are probably loads of people out there with U/S Epsons who could get them going again. Happy printing ! John the catman. - Anonymous
Hello Catman. Re: "all lights flashing"
Just to congratulate you that simple "reset" you suggested worked on the Epson 880, which I bought in Canada 2004. Thank you for your great idea.
by Hsa on Jan 3, 2006 at 2:15pm Add comment
I had the "all lights flashing" syndrome and just found this site after Googling.
Thank you, Catman. I was getting desperate enough to start pricing a new machine.
by juniper26 on Jan 9, 2006 at 11:07am Add comment
Was hoping someone might have the manual or just the schematics page on this unit.. Realy not ready to by new printer.. and if i did would still like to fix this one. ribon is damaged at conection... Damn cat...

Thanx, Douglas
[email protected]
by unknown on Jan 10, 2006 at 5:19pm Add comment
Which Ribbon?
Dazz UK
by hpwizard on Jan 10, 2006 at 5:34pm Add comment
Just tried catman's trick and it worked for me as well, cheers mate.
by unknown on Feb 8, 2006 at 3:56am Add comment
I read the posts about the lights flashing on my printer. The problem started suddenly after I replaced a color ink cartridge.

I tried the links to, but it turns out to be a site for Lexus cars! Anyone else having that problem? Are there any more up to date links.

Catman's suggestions did not work for me. (Tried 4 times)

What I learned from all the posts is that my 4 lights flashing problem is likely a "FATAL ERROR" this the end of my precious 880 printer, which has worked SOOOO well for me up to yesterday?

I am a little cautious about trying to reset the Waste Ink Counter, but really can't afford to buy a new printer at this time. I am not a printer technician, but I am willing to try to give my precious printer a new lease on life. Any suggestions from any one?
by Charisma on Feb 11, 2006 at 1:51pm Add comment
Another very, very, very happy guy. I too, thought I lost my 880 due to blinking lights. It happened when I tried to clear a jammed paper situation. Tried Catman's suggestion, bang, it was gone. I must say to those that try this solution, you have to do it just right or it doesn't work. Again, thanks soooo much to Catman!! Lamoine
by unknown on Mar 4, 2006 at 10:26am Add comment
Charisma, The new page is at
by Anonymous on Mar 4, 2006 at 3:57pm Add comment
With your help the flashing lights have now gone and printer OK once again. Thank you so much Catman!

by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2006 at 9:48am Add comment
What sets off the Waste Pad Removal Error?
I suspect it counts the number of cartridges used - right around 200 cartridges the first time I got the all lights blinking. I have used the SSE reset program, I got thru these forums a few years ago, three times now to get my 880 back to working.

by unknown on Mar 19, 2006 at 12:39am Add comment
Anyone got any ideas?

I have an Epson 800 (awesome printer) but it as just come up with an error message.

All the lights are on, the ink light and the power light are both on all the time and the paper light it flashing!

Any help/advise would be much appreciated!

by unknown on Apr 14, 2006 at 11:08am Add comment
Just tried this re-set and it worked second try. Thanks so much. I had printed off some photos, had to change the cartridges, carried on printing ok. Changed the paper setting and then flash, flash. All seems ok now. Many, many thanks.
by unknown on Apr 18, 2006 at 3:14pm Add comment
Thanks to Catman, I had 2 printers 880 all flashing..fixed it in no time..Anyone knows where to buy new sponges, and how to replace them easy??
Thanks again ...Robert..
by unknown on Jul 6, 2006 at 4:57am Add comment
Many thanks for your tip the flasing lights are now gone and hopefully I cna get back to printing.
by burgman on Aug 23, 2006 at 2:21pm Add comment
hi... I would like know about that epson stylus 880 my error is the light flashing and who could send me one e mail with more details about this? I stay too thank's .. catman I would like talk with u could you send one e mail to me !??? about this....ok honeys
I'll wait for you................................

And you people what problem you have in your printer.. !?? lololololol
by unknown on Oct 30, 2006 at 4:56am Add comment
my 880 will print out continuous garbled stuff. have tried going
through notepad, etc. no good. checked it in utilities and it said the connection is bad. removed cables, cleaned them off and reattached to computer and printer. worked once, but only for a page or two. would not print entire file.. (3 pages)
what now?
by unknown on Nov 5, 2006 at 3:24pm Add comment
Thank you, thank you Catman!!!! I happen to be quite attached to my epson 880. All the lights were flashing and when I called tech support I was told it would be more expensive to have it fixed than to buy a new one. They directed me to a special website where I could get a new printer with a rebate. Something told me to hold off. The next morning I googled, 'lights flashing on epson 880 printer' and guess what came up in the #1 spot?! I fixed my printer in about 10 seconds flat, thanks to you!!!!

Thank you so much!!!!
by Reiki3 on Feb 23, 2007 at 2:46pm Add comment
I cleaned the waste pad and reset the printer. I put in new cartridges. Now the printer works except for one thing... it won't print. No ink deposts on the paper. Any suggestions???
by unknown on Mar 12, 2007 at 7:24pm Add comment
try doing a few head cleaning checks then a nozzle check to see if any ink comes out .
by bethg on Mar 13, 2007 at 11:31am Add comment
No ink on the paper?
Have you removed the stickers from the new cartridges which allow air in so that the ink can flow out?
by unknown on Mar 13, 2007 at 12:49pm Add comment
Full respect, IT WORKS!
I was having the same problem on my UK model 880 Colour. I followed these instructions:

HOWEVER this only appeared to work for me after I re-plugged in the serial cable, II could not get the re-set to work with the printer unplugged of connected only by a USB cable.
Whether the cable was factor or it was just a matter of finger timing I don't know, but my advice is; if you have a serial cable, plug it in, it worked for me.

Nice to have my printer back. Thank you, great tip.
by unknown on Sep 18, 2007 at 2:13pm Add comment
Full respect, IT WORKS!
I was having the same problem (four lights flashing) on my UK model Epson Stylus 880 Colour. I followed these instructions:

(Turn the printer on while holding down both the ink and paper buttons. When the paper light flashes release both buttons, then press and hold down the ink button for 10 seconds.)

HOWEVER this only appeared to work for me after I re-plugged in the serial cable, II could not get the re-set to work with the printer unplugged of connected only by a USB cable.
Whether the cable was factor or it was just a matter of finger timing I don't know, but my advice is; if you have a serial cable, plug it in, it worked for me.

Nice to have my printer back. Thank you, great tip.
by unknown on Sep 18, 2007 at 2:17pm Add comment
Thanks Catman
Worked for me as well. (UK epson)
Actually took it to Epson express repair shop I found on Epson website & they put it on some kind of diagnostic machine & said fatal error! we can sell you a new better one. This one might cost more to repair
by Anonymous on Oct 7, 2007 at 8:41am Add comment
I still have not been able to get the new ink to work. the printer works, there are new cartridges, no tape on the cartridges, I have tried the head cleaning several times. No help. Anyone else have an ideea?
by unknown on Oct 7, 2007 at 10:41am Add comment
In all liklihood the tube under the cap assembly has come off or the cap is not sealing under the printhead. The other common problem would be a failed pump.
Hope this helps.
by unknown on Oct 8, 2007 at 10:00am Add comment
Hey~Thanks so, so, so, so, so much, catman and others. I also had flashing lights and was told by a tech that the counter needed to be reset. It also happened after I changed an ink cartridge. What worked for me was holding down the button until the lights stopped flashing. Now I have to change the ink pads. I will keep reading these posts so I can figure that out, too. Thank you all for your help. I am big on conserving, so to wash the pads and replace them is right up my alley. Again, thank you all. Rhonda
by Rhonda H. Valdez on Nov 28, 2007 at 5:30pm Add comment
Hey everyone. Found a site for free download of Epson SC880 printer. Here it is:

Only problem is for Macs. I don't know how to open it. My tech friend said to google unzip (or zip) and .rar (winrar) for Mac with Intel processor, which is my computer, or whatever Mac OS you are running. Windows people, do whatever it is you do. File comes in 8 parts.

by Rhonda H. Valdez on Dec 11, 2007 at 1:29pm Add comment
Google winRAR there is a program called wrar380.exe that you can download for free and use for 40 days, if you want to keep it working after 40 days it will cost you $29. - Anonymous are the coolest to share how to fix my printer. I save some
CA$H on buying another one eBay. Thanks!

by Fear No Trout on Dec 20, 2007 at 9:50am Add comment
Hi, the reset procedure worked for on the 3rd attempt. Thanks so much. For those who cannot get ink onto the paper try this:


Hold down paper button 3 secs, head moves to 'Replace ink'.
SWITCH OFF POWER AT WALL SOCKET. If you do not, you will damage the head.
Remove ink cartridges.
With hypodermic syringe WITHOUT A NEELE, squirt water down the ink nozzles. The syringe will make an almost water tight seal over the nozzles. The water will spray throught the ink channels and down into the absorbent reservoir below.
Replace the ink cartridges.
Switch on the power.
When the printer has settled, hold down the paper button for 3 secs. The head moves to the 'Replace ink' position. Open and close both lids to simulate a chartridge change and press the paper button.
The printer charges the print head.
When it has finished, switch the printer off with it's own switch, hold down the paper button and switch on.
The printer prints a test pattern.
by Horologist on Apr 6, 2008 at 12:38pm Add comment
Catman you da man!!
add me to the list of happy people

I also had the "all lights flashing" problem. I tried your fix and it worked perfectly!

Thank you for your great idea.
by HM on Apr 9, 2008 at 12:27am Add comment
Printer works good. However some paragraphs almost seem to be in italics or in a font involving random attitude misalignment. Letters are slanted. I have done a cleaning but the problem persists. Any suggestions?
by Hal Kelly on Apr 18, 2008 at 9:02pm Add comment
Go to printing utilities and clean heads and alignment.

- Anonymous
The light came on to replace the color cartridge. I did and the light stays on and the printer will not print or do any of the maintainence procedures. I replaced the ink cartridge a second time and the same thing happened. I have also tried the flashing light cure and that made no difference.
by unknown on May 4, 2008 at 4:05pm Add comment
Does anyone know where to obtain the procedure for removing and reinstaling the ink pad of the Epson color Stylus 880 printer?
by unknown on Aug 25, 2008 at 10:41pm Add comment
I need this information also. Please let me know. - SueLynn
This site saved me. Thanks catman, whoever you are! My 880 was down for a week as I tried the fix on it's skeleton. It worked but then the machine went bad again.
I finally forced a paper thru it and out popped a broken plastic tab still stuck in it's works; something eluding me.
Then it reset.
I have to replace a color cartridge that began leaking but all seems well.
Words to the wisened: Catmans reset advice is spot on. I found that with my 880 that eleven seconds go by (count 11 flashes) before all the lights blink a few times in response to the reset.
I also soaked up the excess ink on the sponge with paper towels, and washed it with clean water as well, soaking that up, too.
But if reset doesn't work, check for something messing up the works - in my case the errant tab.
As Churchill said: Never give up!
by unknown on Sep 19, 2008 at 6:22am Add comment
To Catman

My 880 suddenly developed flashing lights. Tried your first suggestion of holding down both buttons at start and the 10s on ink button, no good. Tried second suggestion holding both buttond to start and release paper button but keep holding ink button while the printer went through the motions and guess what. It WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks a lot.

PS Another little problem. Thw paper does not always load first time and happens also when printing several pages, all requiring the paper button to be pressed, any ideas????????????????
by unknown on Nov 17, 2008 at 10:06am Add comment
Gracias it works reset complited
by unknown on Dec 23, 2008 at 5:52am Add comment
Thanks Catman...I was about ready to buy a new printer, but your fix worked great. Now I can keep this great printer which I have used heavily for many years
by unknown on Dec 29, 2008 at 4:15am Add comment
I had the same problem as everyone else but this fix didn't work the way it is explained. So I tried another way. Press both paper and ink button, whilst switching on, but this time press the ink button (left side button) but not the paper and suddenly the lights flashed and we were away, with no problems.
My 880 is about 10 years old and like everyone else has said is a trusty machine.
by unknown on Dec 30, 2008 at 7:34am Add comment
Thanks Marklefty. I tried all of the other suggestions but they did not work for my 880. I then tried yours and it is now OK. Pressed both paper and ink button, whilst switching on, let them both go, then just pressed the ink button (left side button) but not the paper button. Held the ink button down until the printer started to kick itself into life. Now working fine. Thanks again. - Anonymous
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Catman's advice didn't work for me either... But your's did! Saved me from a fate worse than - well, you know- My first 880 lasted about 10 years also- I am on my third (which I purchased at a garage sale about 4 years ago! Enjoy your weekend! - Anonymous
Thanks Very Much,

It worked for me but the wife could not wait,
so bought a new printer in the meantime.
by unknown on Apr 19, 2009 at 11:44am Add comment
Thank you so much for your helpful advice. This is one of the best printers ever made, and I have 3 of them, now all working because of your help. Does anyone know how to change the ink pads, and where you buy new ones?
by unknown on Jun 30, 2009 at 4:12pm Add comment
Everyone's already said it - but thanks catman! You saved our printer too....
by Anonymous on Jul 14, 2009 at 10:41am Add comment
Another THANK YOU going out to catman, from all those years ago!! my 880 just came up with the flashing lights, after god knows how many years of service - it could be the ink tray full thing, but your suggested 're-set' worked a treat. we'll just wait to see if ink eventually comes flooding out of the botom!! if it does, ill just put a large tray of some sort under the whole printer!!
been using liquid inks, filling with a syringe for years and have had fantastic results and no trouble. thanks again for your tip!! good old google too!!
by andylandy on Aug 31, 2009 at 5:31am Add comment
Fix still working-how long will this amazing printer continue to work?
by Anonymous on Oct 3, 2009 at 4:19am Add comment
Catman many many thanks!

We saved our beloved 880 from the grave, thanks to you.

Merry Christmas and a printfull 2010!!!
by Anonymous on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:31am Add comment
Thanks alot got mine working too!
by NevadaNeal on Feb 28, 2010 at 5:22pm Add comment
My epson 880 suffered a paper jam. After I pulled the paper out all I get now are the on/off light flashing and the paper button flashing with the 2 lights on the ink button on steady. I have tried to reset with all the combinations mentioned previously but without success - can any one offer any advice to get my 10 year old 880 going again?
by unknown on Jul 9, 2010 at 2:22am Add comment
you can have a check on your printer cartridges, you try to replace some new printer cartridges to it or you can get Remanufactured Epson Inkjet Cartridges at cheap prices so that you do not have to invest too much.
by merryjohnson on Jul 9, 2010 at 4:10am Add comment
Printing color only. Where there should be black text the page is blank. Did the head cleaning and not difference..any suggestions? Thnx
by unknown on Nov 25, 2010 at 7:12pm Add comment
I changed the color cartridge for my printer and the color light stays on and it will not print at all. I can't even print a test page. HELP
by unknown on Feb 7, 2011 at 3:28pm Add comment
What a star you are Catman. 6 years since you first put the solution on this website and you are still helping people. I bow to your knowledge as it solved my problem. You also saved me a lot of money as I don't have to buy a new printer. Times are tough now.
by gardenut on Mar 3, 2011 at 9:54am Add comment
Make that 7 years. You rock.

And this little printer, although it is now my back-up, rocks as well.
by unknown on Jan 21, 2012 at 4:01pm Add comment
Brilliant, Catman, and there was I, just thinking I might have to bite the bullet and say goodbye to my printer, which has served me so well for all these years. Your simple instruction worked first time, so a big thank you.
by unknown on May 21, 2012 at 3:58am Add comment
Catman. YOU are my hero:)
by unknown on Dec 6, 2013 at 7:59pm Add comment
Hello everyone and Merry Christmas,

Yes I am a loyal Epson Stylus 880 colour printer owner and bought it brand new. It cost me an arm and a leg and so do the printer ink cartridges.

Anyway, my black ink went dead after replacing a black ink cartridge and cleaning the printhead had no joy. After googling several sites I realised that the ink nozzles were dried up, so decided to doitmyself. I used distilled white vinegar and to clean it (must say epson a reasonable job for taking out the print head). After re-installing had the darn flashing lights syndrome. I came across this wonderful forum and it worked just as it said on the tin. The article I am referring is dated 10/2/05 3:46 AM. But as the next person mentions, timing is crucial to get the printer reset. The printer works a treat. Thanks to everyone and for you feedback it is really worth my effort.

All the best for 2014.
by jayram57 on Dec 23, 2013 at 4:13am Add comment