asked Jan 16, 2002 at 6:21pm
Epson Epson Artisan 50

Epson Stylus 740

I've been refilling the tanks every other time, alternating with OEM Epson cartridges.

Black was nearly completely clogged, colors about 50\%. Removed cover, cartridges, and large "diaper" from below. Used large hypo and silicone rubber tubing from model shop to force "Epson Inkjet Cleaning Solution" (other manufacturer's) through until all jets ran clear. Installed new OEM Epson cartridges, ran several cleaning cycles, Printed full page CMYK bars.

Color is now 100\%, but black never prints more than a few passes before failing completely. Print is clear, not smudged or dripping. I'm now putting my money where my mouth is and trying YOUR Epson cleaning solution.

How do you remove the printhead assembly if soaking is called for? I see the heavy metal bar across the bottom of the tank compartment, held in place by self tapping screw on the right side. THEN what?

EPSON speed and quality is great, but HP gives you a new printhead with every cartridge. But then again, I've got a stack of HP 520's, 650's, 660's, etc, all NFG.

The newest Epsons like the 777 have the memory chip cartridges, another complication and $30 to buy a resetter. What do you , in your heart of hearts, suggest for home use?


The 777's suck. I'd recommend sticking with the 740 for as long as you can get it to work. The 777's (and some of the other new ones) are very cheap, have half a sheet feeder, and are generally very low quality. The 740 is a very reliable printer (although some would argue that point!).

If you want to remove the printhead for soaking, remove the screw to the right of the metal bar, then the spring to the left side of the carriage (that holds the cartridges). Grab the center tab area at the back of the printhead and wiggle it till the printhead comes free and moves upward. As you do that, carefully unsnap the cable holder, then unplug the cables. BE SURE THE PRINTER IS UNPLUGGED, not just turned off.

Keep in mind that removing the printhead will probably throw the alignment out of kilter, so you may possibly not get as accurate a print once you've done so.

As for HP, they give you a new head with each cartridge, but they don't come over to your place and align their heads. Epsons have a built-in head that's aligned at the factory. No matter how many cartridges you go through, the head will remain aligned. HP can't make that claim.

by unknown on Jan 17, 2002 at 11:14pm Add comment
I had a problem which Epson Technical Support has informed me that I must take it to a certified Epson Repair, which for me is about 2 hours away.

When I start up my printer all three lights; paper, black ink and color ink, on the left side blink along with the power button. I walked through the two diagnostic processes that Epson Tech Support suggested and to no solution. Tech Support then recommended I take it to be serviced. Anyone else have a similar problem and did you solve it without taking it to be repaired?
by unknown on Jul 23, 2002 at 9:52am Add comment

The error you are getting is the maintenance error which means the waste ink pads need replaced. It's possible for you to just reset the ink counter however you would soon have ink everywhere as the pads will be almost full. So you would be better off taking it to the repair centre.
by unknown on Jul 23, 2002 at 1:52pm Add comment

I'm not sure of the exact resetting procedure for the 777's, but if you do get it reset, be sure to open up the unit far enough to remove and either replace or at least thoroughly rinse out the ink pads at the bottom of the printer so you don't end up with ink everywhere as Mike indicated.
by unknown on Jul 23, 2002 at 4:00pm Add comment
My problem is the same as Carolyn's. All lights flashing. Epson said it was called a 'carriage error' & also suggested taking it for repair.
My question is, how does one 'reset the ink counter'? Also, can you remove the ink pads at the bottom of the printer by just opening up the printer as you do to change a cartridge?
I was lucky enough to find a wonderful replacemement 740 on Ebay so I would be willing to take the risk and try it myself on the old 740.
by Val on Sep 6, 2002 at 8:09pm Add comment

Easy enough to do on the 740. You'll have to remove the four screws that hold on the upper housing. Two are in the back, and the other two up front. The two up front are visible when you open the top. Be sure, too, to move the blue lever on the right side to the upright position before removing the upper housing. (Be sure to put it back in the forward (toward you) position after replacing the upper housing or you'll get some funky printouts!)

Once the upper housing is removed, look for a screw on the right side (toward the front). It'll hold on the black bottom piece. Look on the left side of the printer for a metal bar. It's got a 90 degree turn in it. Slide that out from the black tab (that's part of the bottom piece) and the bottom, black piece of the printer should drop out. That holds the ink pads.

by unknown on Sep 6, 2002 at 10:51pm Add comment
Greg, thank you for taking the time with your technical expertise! I did as you said and the pads were not completely saturated - there were a few 'clear' areas - perhaps because we never used it much for color but mostly for b&w.
I thoroughtly rinsed out the pads (what a chore!) and got at least 75 percent of the ink out but upon plugging it in I had the same problem with the flashing lights!
It did not have any cartridges in it when I plugged it in again (just to test) and the pads were still a little bit damp.
I dunno' if that had anything to do with it - what would you advise now?
Shall I again try the 'fix' that Epson tech support sent me??
Much thanks again for your help!
by Val on Sep 7, 2002 at 8:53pm Add comment

First, put cartridges in and then turn it on and see what it does. If it still flashes all lights, try resetting:

Let's see if this is the right procedure for doing the factory reset...or perhaps if this is different, let me know what Epson told you to do.

With the printer off, hold down all buttons except the power button, then turn it on (while still holding down all the other buttons, of course!).

Keep the buttons down until the paper out light flashes, then let off the buttons and then immediately press the paperfeed button for about five seconds. Let go of the buttons and turn unit off.

Give that a try, or let me know what Epson says. It's been a while since I tried that reset procedure on a 740.

Oh, and I'd recommend leaving those pads out overnight or somehow drying them out so they don't start to grow!

by unknown on Sep 7, 2002 at 11:58pm Add comment
Hi Greg,
Printer pads drying on the clothesline as we speak!
Here is what Epson originally said, which I did but didn't work:

"All the lights on or flashing indicate a carriage error condition. See
if it can be recovered with memory reset.


By performing this ROM Reset, it may reset the ink monitoring system of
some printers. The status monitor will show full ink levels instead of
the actual level of ink remaining in the ink cartridges. You will
eventually run out of ink and your printer will not be able to give you
an advance warning until you replace the ink cartridges again.


Please do the following steps to resolve your issue:

1. Turn the printer off using the power button on the panel of the
2. Disconnect the interface cable at the back of the printer.
3. Hold down the 'LOAD/EJECT' and 'CLEANING' buttons simultaneously.
4. Turn the printer on and wait 5 seconds, then release.
5. Immediately press the 'LOAD/EJECT' button and release.
6. All of the lights should come on and the printer should initialize.
7. Turn the printer off and reconnect the interface cable.
8. Turn the printer on and try to print a document."

It does sound pretty much what you said to do.
I will try it again after printer pads dry.
Someone else on this board with a somewhat similar problem said he fixed it by replacing a 3V battery on the printer motherboard.

Do you know anything about this and how one would access the motherboard?

Sorry to be asking so many questions - I really do appreciate your help!!
by Val on Sep 8, 2002 at 3:48pm Add comment

Yep, that sounds like the right procedure. Hmmm...you might go ahead and take out the battery from the motherboard. Be sure the printer is unplugged so it'll lose its settings when you do remove the battery. It's like a PC motherboard; those settings are good as long as the battery is in, or the power is on, or both. Remove both and it forgets how much ink has passed through the system.

There are three counters: one keeps track of how much black ink is left in the cartridge, the second keeps track of how much color ink is left in the cartridge, and the third keeps a running total of how much ink has passed through the printer during cleaning cycles so it knows when to go into 'overload' and blink all the lights, which means it's time for a factory reset (and those pads are to be replaced). Otherwise, the ink would eventually overflow after it saturates the pads and you'd have a puddle on your desk.

The IS one problem with removing the battery: the printhead voltage value will be lost, and if you don't have the software to replace it, you take a chance on not getting a properly aligned printout again. (The only cure for that is to go back to the shop and have them do it.)

I would think the factory reset would fix it, so it's a little weird that it hasn't.

by unknown on Sep 8, 2002 at 6:29pm Add comment
"I would think the factory reset would fix it, so it's a little weird that it hasn't"

Re: the above, I still haven't tried that <again> since I haven't put the pads back in yet - but I will and maybe that will solve the problem (?) I hope!! Will keep U posted.
While we're on the subject - I have to put cartridges back in, too -- in fact, I had taken the color one out of my old printer and put it in the new printer - but first put a little piece of tape over the holes so as not to spill ink everywhere. It seemed to work fine in the new printer...
my question is, if I put brand new cartridges into the old printer (that I am working on fixing) and then it doesn't work must I then trash them is it OK to just put a tiny piece of tape over the (what will be) punched-thru inkhole and save them to use later in my new printer?
(I have, BTW, used non-Epson cartridges for almost two years now with great success.)
by Val on Sep 8, 2002 at 7:16pm Add comment

Should be o.k. to use any cartridges in those puppies. Just make sure that if you do puncture the seals when you install them that you cover the holes with Scotch tape to seal them from drying out. The ink should be fine as long as it's not exposed to the air.

Good luck with the factory reset......

by unknown on Sep 9, 2002 at 12:31am Add comment
Hi Greg,
well, I tried the factory reset with cartridges in but no go. The only thing I did not do was put all the screws back in just in case I needed to unscrew again (for the forty-leventh time ;-)).
I didn't fool with the motherboard battery (still not sure how to find the motherboard, anyway).
Probably should be thankful I have another one that actually works!
If you have any other suggestions let me know and I do thank you for your help!
by Val on Sep 10, 2002 at 1:31pm Add comment

Hmmm...ever consider just shooting it?! ;=)
I'm not sure where to go from here unless you just want to try pulling the battery. There are two screws on the side...I'll let you find them yourself...hehe...FIRST, pull the three screws along the back of the printer. Then, try to pull the bottom (and back...it's all one piece) of metal away from the back of the printer. (Hope that made sense!) By doing that, it should allow you to figure out which screw (one on each side) needs to be removed. You'll probably want to loosen some screws on the side (toward the back of the printer) and then try to slide the metal bottom / back piece out. The screws that you need to remove will wiggle. There's one on each side, plus the three along the back (if my memory of the 740 is still with me).

Be careful when pulling that section out; there are flat cables that will very easily pop out of their slots. Shouldn't be critical, though, as I believe each only plugs into its own slot so they can't be plugged into the wrong slots accidently. Just be sure when you push it back together that all of those flat cables are flush into their slots. Be sure the printer is unplugged before you start this project. Remove the battery for a few minutes, then reinstall and fire it up to see what it'll do. Just remember that you'll lose the settings that are retained by the battery: how much ink has been used in the current cartridges, how long ago it's been since it did a print (it'll want to do a full cleaning cycle once the battery's been removed and reinstalled), and how full the pads are. Oh, and the most important one: the printhead voltage number, which you can't replace into the motherboard's memory without the right software...good luck finding that! So, having said that, it might not printer perfectly if you do remove and reinstall the battery because that number will be lost.

by unknown on Sep 19, 2002 at 1:09am Add comment
Well, I think I'll wait a bit before I attempt that....Mercury is retrograde right now and I've had to deal with enough snafus lately heh heh ;-).
But I'll try it one of these days.
I got an email from someone who had read this thread (a foreigner I believe).
Here was his advice:
""Hi, Val!
I read your message on fixyourownprinter.com.
You have the problem of waste ink counter overflow. You need adjustment
program to reset it.
Try to find it at www.otd.com.ua/soft.htm
Now, I went there and it was some Czechoslovakian or Russian site - the whole thing was in question marks -- (ie, ??????) no English except for the name of the printer you were looking up.... which apparently only cost like $4.95 for the kit or instructions or whatever they were trying to sell.
Dunno' if this was a scam site or what... but I wasn't buying what I couldn't read! ;-)
Ever hear of it??
Hey Greg, thanks again for all of the advice!
While we're on it, do you happen to know if there's a 'fixyourownFAX.com site or anything??
Got one of those here too!
by Val on Sep 19, 2002 at 9:06pm Add comment

Not having any luck with this site at the moment, but you might try going here and pasting in those URL's and see if you can get it to translate them:

As target=_blank>http://babelfish.altavista.com/

for the fax site, I'll have to do a little digging for that one. ;=)

by unknown on Sep 20, 2002 at 12:56am Add comment
A real gem of advice. One item to add - instead of messing with the ink mess, I tossed out my old pads and replaced all but the top one with sanitary pads jammed into the base. They will do the job just fine and will be replaced when they are saturated.
by Anonymous on Aug 2, 2008 at 4:49pm Add comment