asked Nov 8, 2008 at 10:32pm
Hp HP DesignJet 30

HP C6280 All in one Ink System Failure

Error number 0xc18a0301

Our HP C6280 recently put itself into "toddler tantrum" mode and refused to do anything. another forum has instructions for the C6180, which are almost identical, so I knew I could get help from the HP chat support.

After convincing them not to send me to a phone-a-friend rep and just copy and paste the directions out of their egain knowledge base, I was able follow them like anyone who has ever microwaved popcorn and not become his own grandpa. (Futurama fans will know)

Anyway, hopefully this will help a few folks out.

HPRepDude : Follow the below steps on the front panel of the All-in-One printer:
HPRepDude : A. - Press and Hold the “Print Photos” & “Red Eye Removal” buttons. Release both buttons. Display should say “Enter Special Key Combo”
B. - Press and release in sequence “Red Eye Removal”, “Print Photos”, “Red Eye Removal”

HPRepDude : Let me know the result.
Customer : display says "enter special key combo"
HPRepDude : Press and release in sequence “Red Eye Removal”, “Print Photos”, “Red Eye Removal”

Customer : support COxxFN0723BR
HPRepDude : May I know the exact message that you got?
Customer : uiaux
HPRepDude : Okay.
HPRepDude : Please perform the below steps:
HPRepDude : 2. Press and release the right arrow button until the display says “System Configuration Menu”. (on C8100 use Touch Screen)
3. Press and release the “OK” button.
4. Display should say “Hardware failure status”. If not there already, Arrow Key over to “Hardware failure status

HPRepDude : 5. Press and release the “OK” button
HPRepDude : 6. Display should say “Hardware failure status: Clear. Press OK to clear”.
7. Press and release the “OK” Button. Message changes to “Hardware failure status Cleared. Press Cancel to continue”.
8. Press and release the “CANCEL” button as many times as necessary, so that, either the “Welcome to Photosmart Express” screen appears, or, the “Ink System Failure” screen appears. PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO PRINT AT THIS STAGE.
9. Using the Power Button, turn the unit OFF and unplug the power cable from back of the printer and wall outlet.

HPRepDude : Make sure that you perform steps from 2-9 and let me know the result.
Customer : Ok. It all went like the steps said and it is now powered down and unplugged.
HPRepDude : 10. Wait 30 seconds for the power to get discharged and then plug the power cable into the wall outlet first and then into the back of the printer
11. Turn the unit on. The printer may display message “USE POWER BUTTON TO SHUTDOWN THE PRINTER” followed by “PRESS OK TO CONTINUE”. Press OK.
12. If the printer has already initialized, then go to the next step. If not, the printer will start the “ONE TIME INK INITIALIZATION PROCESS”. Allow this process to complete and do not interrupt. Once the initialization process is complete, the printer will print out a Diagnostic Page.
13. To verify printer functionality print a SELF TEST PAGE.
HPRepDude : Please perform all the above steps from 10 to 13 .
HPRepDude : Let me know the result.
Thank you so much, thought the problem was my neighbour using all the ink, then boght new cardtridges and it still wouldn't work, coming up with same message. followed these instructions and hey presto it's working again without costing me any money! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much
by Anonymous on Oct 7, 2009 at 1:24pm Add comment
by Anonymous on Feb 18, 2009 at 6:50am Add comment
by Anonymous on Feb 18, 2009 at 6:52am Add comment
Please DO NOT USE the steps mentioned above for your issues, unless you are sure that these steps needs to be performed on the printer. These steps, if used for other issues may ruin your printer completely, making it non-functional permanently. These steps provided above are for SPECIFIC issue should not be tried without HP professional help. Please contact HP if you need assistance on these issues.
by unknown on Feb 26, 2009 at 3:56am Add comment
I found this thread and saw your "warning" to not use the instructions if I am having a different error. My error code is #0xc18a0401. I need to get this printer fixed and trying to do it by phone with one of your people has been impossible. I'm completely frustrated with waiting at home during a certain time frame for your tech to call me... and then they don't. Can you send send me (or post) the step by step instructions for my particular error code?

I would be so appreciative!
- unknown
I am SO HAPPY to have found this site & the instructions to fix my HP Photosmart C6280 All-in-One Ink Failure error. You have saved me a service call to my computer repair guy, not to mention at least $300+ for a new printer, which I thought I may have to get. The instructions WORKED....thank you, thank you, thank you a thousand times!!!!

Happy Day!
by Elayne on Mar 13, 2009 at 1:04pm Add comment
Although my printer showed a slightly different error code to the one listed (0xc19a0027) I used the steps as explained and found all to match. Only thing I found though is that after "canceling" my way out of the service menu this printer didn't go into Ink Init Process, not once.

I kept getting the same error after start up for more than a few times as it just kept coming back. I just kept doing the same. And after maybe 10-12 attempts it finally booted right up with no errors. I have printed a few pages already and all seems to work as it should. Thanks for the tip, it has saved this printer from going to the landfill.

For the time being anyways. Ciao!!
by unknown on Apr 14, 2009 at 10:10pm Add comment
Thank you, this worked perfectly, I was ready to throw the printer out the window. Very helpful and I even printed (first time in 5 days) the instructions out.
by unknown on Apr 24, 2009 at 6:44pm Add comment
My HP C6180 Keeps switching on and off,then an ink failure message appears!!!
It is as if the power cable or the power was coming on and off.
I have followed the instruction to un/install and install again.
It is a mess!!!
by elsalucia on Jun 18, 2009 at 8:37am Add comment
The procedure as outlined by jbloe worked! I'd just replaced the yellow ink cartridge when the printer decided to go on strike.
Whew!! Our C6280 is up and running again.
Thank you so much!
by Wobbly on Oct 7, 2009 at 8:22pm Add comment
wow, i followed all the directions and it worked ! yayyy i was about to spend 200 to buy a new printer ! thanks so much for this information !!
by unknown on Oct 8, 2009 at 12:48pm Add comment
Great! I also followed the direction posted by jbloe and it worked perfectly! Thanks so much. I was about to go buy a new printer.
by unknown on Feb 1, 2010 at 12:52am Add comment
Worked perfectly on a customer's HP C6280. Thanks so much for posting this!!
by unknown on Feb 2, 2010 at 3:54pm Add comment
"HELP...HELP...HELP...Please?" I have been without a printer for a couple weeks now! I have finally found this forum on line, and I can only hope that you can walk me through fixing this problem!
'INK SYSTEM FAILURE" (HAS FAILED AND CAN NO LONGER PRINT) Now, do you know the reason for this, and can it be fixed? Allow me to thank you for your quick response to this problem.
by unknown on May 26, 2010 at 7:49pm Add comment
Before you ask for help, I have to ask if you tried to help yourself or didn't bother reading the advice contained in this thread?
by moe on May 26, 2010 at 10:44pm Add comment
HP C6280 Ink System Failure with error code 0xc1000000
Anyone ever see this before?
by unknown on May 28, 2010 at 8:08am Add comment
Use this procedure by jbloe!!! I was ready to take back my new ink cartridges to Office Max.... I had never received Ink System Failure error code before...Man...was I real worried! Some of the posts here made me a little skeptical to try it...but, I had no other choice...and thought.."what the heck!"... The whole thing took about 3-5 minutes for me to perform...everything was just as outlined by jbloe....word for word....step for step.... My self-test on the printer just came out perfect! No colors streaking, missing or anything like that. I have only been without my printer for 24 hours and I was in a panic as I use it everyday. I won't let the ink run out (all the way)...or get very low like that again. I think that's how it got the air. Thanks so much jbloe for your handy fix and your expertise! Kudos to you!
by Anonymous on May 29, 2010 at 10:29am Add comment
OMG... It works !!!....It works !!!
by unknown on Jun 14, 2010 at 5:40pm Add comment
Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting these instructions. They worked!!!! I was about to take my printer and throw it out into the yard and go buy a new printer even though this one was only a year old.
by unknown on Jun 16, 2010 at 6:23pm Add comment
I followed the instructions and it worked perfectly. It saved me from buying a new printer. Thanks for the infomation.
by unknown on Jun 19, 2010 at 6:13am Add comment
I appreciate your encouragement, but I have exhausted every resource I know for resolving this wireless loss issue. Can you give me guidance as to where else I might go to get a solution: Here's my original post:

Has anyone addressed the problem of completely losing the wireless capability after this hard reset? Printer now prints with ethernet cord, but not wirelessly. I am glued to my home office for printing now, where I use to click on "print" on my laptop from the kitchen and my printer would print in my office. I have contacted Bob Rankin, Leo Leport, HP. No one knows. Please respond with solution. Thank you! Don't want to buy another printer just to get wireless.
Here's my original post:

After this hard reset, I WANT MY WIRELESS CAPABILITY BACK! That is precisely the reason that I bought this HP C6180. The hard reset method does get rid of the Ink Failure and Improper Shutdown Error Messages, but I completely lose wireless capability. As soon as I re-initiate my wireless connection, my printer reverts to a Improper Shutdown message. I have not been able to find any solution offered online after hours of research. Does anyone know how to get wireless capability back on this printer?
by WineFlirt on Jul 2, 2010 at 9:43am Add comment
This worked for me. Thanks a lot!!
It makes me wonder if HP doesn't have this programed into there printer software. Most people would have gone out and purchased another printer. This information is invaluable. Thanks again.
by bfpayne on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:11pm Add comment
Don't listen to the HP warning crap above. I used this for a different error code above and it has fixed the problem - so pleased and thanks for posting this info.

Need more good people like you on the net.
by unknown on Dec 3, 2010 at 12:12am Add comment
I recieve this message on my C6280: Improper shutdown to avoid damage, use the On button to shut down. Do Not use a power strip or wall switch to shut down. when I hit okay to continue, it prints a ink level page out and still says this error. Only time it does anything is if you hit okay, but I have printed 75 of these ink level things and still doesnt work. Please help.
by unknown on Jan 5, 2011 at 6:12am Add comment
worked perfectly, thank you soo much for your help! I was worried at first thinking I'd have to buy a new printer, but it appears now everything is fixed (knock on wood)! thanks a lot
by unknown on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:41pm Add comment
Thanks for that info. Saved me a lot of frustration.
by unknown on Jan 22, 2011 at 2:45pm Add comment
My HP C 6289 id having similar issues but error code is COxxFN0721BR
and the suggested correction works until the multiole camcel command and then the 3rd cancel returns me to the flashing light ink error scenario.
by unknown on Feb 24, 2011 at 5:48am Add comment
My HP C 6289 id having similar issues but error code is COxxFN0721BR
and the suggested correction works until the multiole camcel command and then the 3rd cancel returns me to the flashing light ink error scenario.
by unknown on Feb 24, 2011 at 6:11am Add comment
My C6280 Ink system failure error code was 0xc18a0206. These instructions worked with first attempt. Thanks for this post.
by unknown on Feb 24, 2011 at 4:41pm Add comment
I'm getting this message "Improper shutdown to avoid damage, use the On button to shut down. Do Not use a power strip or wall switch to shut down." Don't know what to do? PLEASE help...
by unknown on Feb 27, 2011 at 9:15pm Add comment
My color ink cartridges are low/empty; however, my black ink level appears fine, yet my printer won't let me print in black. Is there a way to use just the black?
by unknown on Jun 20, 2011 at 4:01pm Add comment
I have gone through these steps very carefully several times but when it comes to
7. Press and release the �OK� Button. Message changes to �Hardware failure status Cleared. Press Cancel to continue�.

When I Press cancel I just get the message
If I press OK again I get the old message
HARD WARE FAILURE STATUS Clear, Press OK to clear then Hardware Status cleared. Press cancel to continue and I return to the message


This is so damned frustrating. I have tried calling the telephone support ad it is absolutely useless. They make you pay to give your serial number to 8 different people! Then nobody helps you anyway.
I am thinking of just chucking this printer out and never getting another HP product again.

PLEASE, PLEASE can somebody help me. I can't believe I spent four hours on this, It's my birthday today, but I have to print something urgently.

by divento on Jul 5, 2011 at 6:02am Add comment
So far so good. THANK YOU so much for the info on how to repair this error and saving my printer from a trip out of the window!!!
by unknown on Jul 7, 2011 at 11:46am Add comment
Thanks! This has worked for me several times. Such a simple solution saved me lots of money. Why can't everything be this simple?
by Tea4u on Jul 8, 2011 at 11:03am Add comment
I thought I was up a dead end, but finally, after following your instructions above, it worked almost as you said. The onloy thing that I had to do, as did one of the writers above, was to turn it off and on with the button about 8-10 times. Finally it said "preinter preparing. Do not interrupt". From there it went to Photosmart Express, and right now, it is printing fine. Hope it continues. Thanks very much.
by randalcoon on Jul 8, 2011 at 11:47am Add comment

The suggestions posted by "jbloe" back on 11/08/08 worked fine. The only problem is, I have to go through this about once a week. And usually, I have to go through the steps 3 to 4 times before it starts printing Black.

There is definetly some sort of issue with this printer. I have only used original HP cartridges, so there certainly is no compatibility issue.

As everyone else has mentioned, the problem is only with the "Black" ink.

Does anyone have any other ideas (other than throwing it away) ???
It almost appears as though the ink is "drying-up" and the whole system needs to "purge" again (as when it was new).

It really makes me wonder about buying any HP products again !!!
by mark.kirby on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:24pm Add comment
This helped me.
by unknown on Jul 18, 2011 at 3:59pm Add comment
I followed the above and it worked. I now have another problem. It keeps saying the black ink is empty. I didnt think it was but put another one in and it stills says the same and also says cannot print due to this. Any help would be great. Thank you.
by unknown on Aug 2, 2011 at 8:08am Add comment
I saw some information on this in another post ...

I believe you go through the same process of accessing the "System Configuration Menu" and then look for an option that "clears" or "resets" ink usage.

Hope this helps !!!
by mark.kirby on Aug 4, 2011 at 5:46am Add comment
I have a HP Photosmart C6280 All in one and it worked to fix my printer... This was nice because I almost gave up on it.
by irish4u_61 on Aug 17, 2011 at 6:39pm Add comment
Thank you. I only had to do this 10 times. But I had to remove all the ink then turn it off, let is set a few minutes, turned it back on. Replaced all the ink. Then went through the steps above, but I am up and working again. Thanks
by unknown on Sep 9, 2011 at 5:13pm Add comment
I hope everything remains working for you! Unfortunately, I had to go through these steps about 10 times as well; removing the ink cartridges, turning it off, waiting, turning it on, loading the ink cartridges, etc, etc, etc. And it worked! The only problem is, it only worked for about 1 week. So I went through all the steps again. And guess what? It only worked for about 1 week again. I personally don’t have 3 hours a week to put into printer maintenance. Furthermore, I’m using more ink (except for Black of coarse) and paper in calibrating the blasted printer than I am on the number of documents that actually get printed. If it wasn’t for the fact that I have about $200 - $250 worth of ink, I would toss the piece of junk! Does anyone have any other ideas ??? - mark.kirby
Please see my posting --- my 6180 had bad capacitors on the logic board. I'll bet you do too.

by kahman on Sep 13, 2011 at 10:59am Add comment
I tried all the steps outlined by "jbloe" in his conversation with the HP representative and in the final step where "Initialization" was supposed to start and the diagnostic page print nothing happened except the same message appeared "Ink System Has Failed, Unable to print. Error 0xc19a0025. Turn power off, then on again."
Does anyone have further suggestions?? My printer is the five color HP Photosmart C6280 All-In-One printer, scanner, copier.
I really hate to give it up as the newest ones are only three color printers
by unknown on Oct 6, 2011 at 5:05pm Add comment
This worked perfectly for me. The other website fixes were no help. Thanks so very much! I am up and running.
by unknown on Oct 16, 2011 at 11:09am Add comment
It Works!!!! thanks XD
by unknown on Nov 28, 2011 at 11:11am Add comment
Thank you so much! It was looking pretty grim on a Monday morning.
by unknown on Dec 5, 2011 at 7:52am Add comment
I am glad that these suggestions have worked for everyone else.

I have not been as fortunate. So as a last resort, I did a complete breakdown of the entire ink system; flushing the pump and lines, cleaning the print heads, etc. Finally, this seemed to resolve the issue. However, it only lasted for about a month and now I am back to where I started ... no black ink.

If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know. For now, I'm just going to wait for one of the "other" printer manufacturers to offer one of those "trade-in" specials and off-load this piece of junk !!!
by mark.kirby on Dec 5, 2011 at 12:03pm Add comment
Thanks to all for the information. My 6380 started this "temper tantrum behavior" on Saturday but I finally got it turned off (by holding the off key for an inordinately long time. Then yesterday the same problem arose with my sister's 6380 and she couldn't even get it off without unplugging it. So, since this procedure works on 6180 and 6280, I'm hoping that it will also work on 6380. At someplace during all of my fix attempts, I'd get a dark screen (blue, I think) with between 6 & 8 numbers below it except they were never there long enough to even read them all, let alone remember or copy them.
by PennyL on Dec 12, 2011 at 2:09pm Add comment
by mark.kirby on Dec 12, 2011 at 2:45pm Add comment
thanks so much my printer is fixed you are a star!
by unknown on Jan 11, 2012 at 9:06pm Add comment
I just replaced all the colors with new fresh one in my HP printer, still when I want to print, it says I need to replace the black and cyan color othervise it will not print, what is wrong ?
by unknown on Feb 8, 2012 at 2:54pm Add comment
by unknown on Apr 30, 2012 at 1:04pm Add comment
Thank You, the soulution worked beautifully!
by unknown on Nov 13, 2012 at 4:40am Add comment
"Ink System Failure" code 0xc18a0306. I let the black ink run dry before replacing it, I thought the print head had lost it's prime and was about to take it apart when I came acroos this site.

jbloe's instructions worked as advertised. Thanks a Ton! Have a Very Merry Christmas!
by softball910 on Nov 29, 2012 at 7:57am Add comment
I had the same error message with a slightly different alphanumeric code, but this solution proved invaluable in solving my problem. I nearly bought a new printer today but discovered HP no longer makes ANY printers using 02 ink since the "ink technology has vastly improved". The timing seems ironic.
Moral of the story: don't wait so long to replace the toner cartridges, even if the warning comes with 25\% of the toner still remaining.
by unknown on Dec 18, 2012 at 11:16pm Add comment
Son (jbloe), you are my hero. I felt like throwing my C6280 out a 10-story window. The code 0xc18a0301 must have been one of dozens (if not hundreds) error codes I've got over the past few months. You are my hero. This tread started in 2008, and now in 2013, it's still valid and going strong.
by unknown on Apr 6, 2013 at 10:28pm Add comment
Thanks so much for sharing your info. I am not technically/mechanically gifted whatsoever, and didn't have the money to buy a new printer. I really needed to print some important stuff and was stuck. Really bummed until I came across this site. I agree with above thread. It is July 2013, and this suggestion still works! Great gift to us! THANKS!
by unknown on Jul 15, 2013 at 5:20pm Add comment
Thanks so much for the info jbloe!! I had this happen after the electricity blinked off and back on again and was afraid I had lost my printer. Did all of the steps and it works fine!! Am bookmarking this page for future reference.
by unknown on Jul 17, 2013 at 11:25am Add comment
Thanks a lot for the info jbloe!! I had this error code today and thanks to your info I can print the papers that I had to print for the kids for tomorrow. Did all of the steps and it works fine!!
by unknown on Sep 8, 2013 at 1:10pm Add comment
I just took printer out of storage after a long time. The Exclamation point keeps flashing and the view screen only lights up. I downloaded everything directly from hp site and it has fresh ink. How can I fix?
by unknown on Jan 25, 2014 at 4:35pm Add comment
hi , it `s not working ...
help me please,
My printer is HP Photosmart C6280 all-in-one
Ink system Failure , Error: 0xc19a0027
help me please,
by unknown on Jul 21, 2014 at 7:08pm Add comment
I NEED HELP!!!! I haven't used my printer for years now. I decided to open it and tried to print it out, it won't work so I turned it off but then when I turn on again it says " Ink system has failed. Unable to print. Refer to printer documentation. ERROR: 0xc18a0206." What does this thing means? Does it mean that my printer is completely broken for not using it for years???
by ohladywonderer on Sep 2, 2014 at 12:24am Add comment
have tried this but still not working it appears to be the light magenta and magenta that do not print has anybody any suggestions every thing else works fine.
by bailey1647 on Oct 30, 2014 at 1:42am Add comment
Was very highly skeptical of the instructions at the beginning of this thread.


It worked on my HP C6280 printer.

by unknown on Nov 18, 2014 at 9:29am Add comment
I replaced my ink cartridges and it is still giving me a message that I need to replace my ink, when all are full.
by unknown on Feb 2, 2015 at 8:01pm Add comment
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!! You are a money and life saver.
by unknown on Aug 5, 2015 at 10:38am Add comment

I went through everything HP had to offer and nothing worked. Why didn't they tell me this???

Thank you SO MUCH for your post!

by kmo on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:57pm Add comment

Okay - It's now late 2015, and I still have an HP C6280 printer. After going through a just before school and we're out-of-ink panic an my report is due today! panic with my daughter, I stocked up big time on ink for this printer. Then it went into this same mode, and I thought my printer was dead, and I had just wasted more than $100 on ink! (I opened up and threw away all of the cardboard boxes to save storage space, so couldn't return them. This post saved me! Thank you!!!

by amartin576 on Nov 26, 2015 at 10:20am Add comment

Actually just signed up to say thank you, thank you, thank you. You saved me a days work :)

by gericon on Jan 6, 2016 at 6:02am Add comment

Thank you! This worked for me.

by Savikam on Feb 1, 2016 at 5:10pm Add comment

Woo Hoo! My printer is fixed thanks to these instructions. I found several other possible fixes for the dreaded 'Ink System Failure' message, but these instructions are the only ones that worked. Thankfully I didn't waste a bunch of money just buying new ink. By the way, my printer is an HP Photosmart D7460 and the error code was 0xc18a0206. Very grateful these steps were posted!

by myprinterisfixed on Jun 17, 2016 at 4:49pm Add comment

Wonderful. Fixed my printer by myself. Able to save money. Thank you so much.

by Betty on Sep 14, 2016 at 2:25pm Add comment

You are a miracle worker! Thank you SO MUCH for posting this! I love this printer and don't want to get rid of it. You made it possible for me to keep using this printer. THANK YOU!!!!

by mominOhio on Dec 9, 2016 at 7:03pm Add comment

I did this:

HPRepDude : A. - Press and Hold the "Print Photos" & "Red Eye Removal" buttons. Release both buttons. Display should say "Enter Special Key Combo"

This will not work for me for some reason but it has worked in the past:

B. - Press and release in sequence "Red Eye Removal", "Print Photos", "Red Eye Removal"

by guiyak1 on Dec 20, 2016 at 10:25am Add comment

I went through all the steps and I do not get an error message at the end. The colors on the test page print color except the light magenta and magenta which are blank. b

by [email protected] on May 22, 2017 at 10:51am Add comment

Thank you this worked fine on my old printer which I thought had finally died, but once again resurrected for the recycle bin!

by JoeTx on Jun 11, 2017 at 10:16am Add comment

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I love this printer and was afraid it was toast.

by MJoB on Oct 25, 2018 at 12:03pm Add comment