Ink System Failure Error on HP Printers – The Lost Documentation

by Raphael Nikolai on December 26, 2008 and Revised on May 17, 2012

in TroubleShooting

Ok, so your printer stopped working and gave out an the error message, “Ink system has failed unable to copy receive faxes or print refer to printer documentation.” Most of the time, this issue also comes with a “0x******”  error message. But what documentation was Hp referring to? How do you fix this issue? The truth is, there is no documentation, and that is why you are here. But do not worry you are in the right place, we have a fix for you.

I wrote this article 4 years ago, and has helped thousands of users who are experiencing the ink system failure error on their HP Photosmart/Officejet printers. Now, I have revised it with  the information about “ink system failure” I collected through the years. Basing from our records, Ink system failures occurs when a printer is not used for a long period. The print-head nozzles may be clogged with dried ink. Your printer detects this, and throws out an error to prevent further damage to the printer. There are several ways to fix this, depending on the type of printer you have.

Affected HP Printers and Ink System failure Error Messages:

We gathered a list of HP printers and Ink System Failure error codes through out the years and have listed them below. Feel free the browse through the list and see if you have your printer or error message listed.

HP Officejet PrintersHP Photosmart PrintersError Codes
  • HP Officejet 6500 Wireless E709a
  • HP Officejet Pro 8500 Plus
  • HP Photosmart C7280
  • HP Photosmart 3210
  • HP Photosmart 3310
  • HP Photosmart B109n
  • HP Photosmart B110
  • HP Photosmart B209
  • HP Photosmart B210
  • HP Photosmart B210e
  • HP Photosmart Premium Fax C309a
  • HP Photosmart Premium Fax C309g
  • HP Photosmart Premium Fax C309n
  • HP Photosmart C3210
  • HP Photosmart C3310
  • HP Photosmart C4100
  • HP Photosmart C5180
  • HP Photosmart C5183
  • HP Photosmart C5380
  • HP Photosmart C6150
  • HP Photosmart C6180
  • HP Photosmart C6188
  • HP Photosmart C6280
  • HP Photosmart C6288
  • HP Photosmart C6380
  • HP Photosmart C7160
  • HP Photosmart C7180
  • HP Photosmart C7268
  • HP Photosmart C7360
  • HP Photosmart C8180
  • HP Photosmart C8250
  • HP Photosmart D5460
  • HP Photosmart d7160
  • HP Photosmart D7460
  • HP Photosmart D7650
0xc18a0001 0xc18a206 0x610000f6 0x19a0022
0xc18a0101 0xc05d2281 0xc18a010a 0xc19a0007
0xc18a0106 0xc190020 0×8000405 0xc18a0507
0xc18a0306 0xc05d2381 0x19a0020 0xc19a0013
0xc18a0206 0xc18a007 0×80070057 0xc18a101
0xc19a0003 0xc10a0201 0xc18a106 0xc190035
0xc05d1281 0xc18a0105 0xc0000005 0xc18a201
0xc05d0281 0xc13a0201 0xc18a001 0xc19a0000
0x07674dd6 0xc18a0107 0x18a0206 0xc18a208
0xc18a0401 0x18a0306 0x05d1281 0x18a0106
0xc18a0201 0xc16a0036 0xc05d0082 0xc190007
0xc18a0301 0xc18a0207 0x19a0007 0x18a0107
0xc18a0505 0x18a0301 0x000021a 0x19a0035
0xc000021a 0x18a0001 0xc18a0307 0xc18a0007
0xc18a0000 0xc18001 0xc05d0381 0xc19a0002
0x05d0281 0xc18a030a 0xc18a0501 0x04464dd6
0xc18a0506 0xc180001 0x00729c98 0xc19a0005
0x19a0013 0xc18a0406 0xc18a0s06 0xc18a0005
0xc18a506 0xc180401 0xc05d1381 0xc18a0006

Warranty Check

Ink System Failure Error Message Displayed on a Photosmart ScreenLet’s first talk about the warranty of your printer. Most printers that suffers from the “ink system failure error” is already out of Out-of-Warranty but it is still possible that your printer is still covered by an extended warranty. You might want to check this first. If your printer is still in-warranty, please do not do any self troubleshooting. Contact HP technical support to have them troubleshoot the problem for you.


First thing you need to do is some basics. Follow the instructions below and perform the basic troubleshooting steps provided.

  • Disconnect the Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable from the back of the product, but leave the product turned on.
  • Open the cover of the product and remove the print cartridges.
  • Close the cover and wait for the Insert Ink Cartridges message to display.
  • Disconnect the power cord from the back of the product and the wall socket, then wait for one minute.
  • Reconnect the power cord. If the product does not turn on, press the Power button.
  • Open the cover and reinsert the print cartridges.
  • Close the cover. If prompted, print a calibration page.
  • Print a Self Test to verify product is functional.
  • Reconnect the USB cable, and try to print from the computer.

Still Unresolved? Access the Secret Menus and Reset Combos

If the issue is not resolved with the basic troubleshooting, then you may proceed with hard-resetting the printer through HP’s secret menus. Note that this secret menus are available for specific printers only. If you do not see your printer listed below, i recommend resetting your HP printer through this link.

Hot Water Printhead Soak

If resetting the printer did not work, proceed to the “How Water Print-head Soak” Method. Note that this process is applicable to Hp printers with removable printheads only. Please see example printer list below.

HP Printers with Removable Print-heads

This list is incomplete. Please check your printheads if you are able to remove them.

  • HP Officejet 6000 Printer Series – E609
  • HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format Printer Series – E809
  • HP Officejet 6500 All-in-One series – E709
  • HP Photosmart B8500 Printer series
  • HP Photosmart D5400 Printer series
  • HP Photosmart D7500 Printer series
  • HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One  Series C309a
  • HP Photosmart C6300 All-in-One series
  • HP Photosmart C6100 All-in-One series
If you take a look at the comments below, you will find users have fixed their issues through the print-head soak method. If you can take out the print-heads from your printer, then it is recommend that process is performed.


  1. Prepare a pan of very hot non-boiling water.
  2. Remove the printheads and soak them for 5 minutes. Do not soak for more thank 5 minutes.
  3. take out the printheads from the water and let it dry.
  4. Install the printheads and perform the printhead cleaning process. This can be done using your printer driver.
If you have reached this point of the troubleshooting and all the previous troubleshooting steps did not work, then I will set your expectation right now. Your printer may have hardware issues with it. You have the option to just buy a new printer. If you choose to do so, then I have prepared a list of good printer replacements at amazon for you. But if you wish to do some fixing yourself, then let’s proceed.

Open-up Your HP Printer

HP CMOS Battery

This process requires you to open your printer. Here’s a video that you can refer to when opening your device and accessing the logic board of your printer. The printer used on the video is a PhotoSmart C6180.

HP Printer CMOS Battery Reset

There is a CMOS battery inside your printer that keeps track on your printer’s history. Ink replacements, resets, etc… Clear the Ink system failure error message by resetting the data stored on your printer. You can do this by removing the CMOS battery and then putting it back in after 30 minutes.

Busted HP Capacitors

Look for busted capacitors on your HP printer’s logic board. We have received reports that older printers has some defective capacitors installed that tends to breaks over time. This step is recommended. In fact, I recommend that you replace all the capacitors, highlighted on the picture above.

  • John

    FIxed!! Thanks to you!

  • Marj

    the battery is the circular thing on the left… tried removing it and placing it back in and it worked! thanks to the author! you saved me some $.

  • Anonymous

    How do you get to the Battery from the bottom?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the CMOS battery comment. I know you said you don’t know where the location of the battery is…I’ve looked at it and can’t find it anywhere. I have taken it apart–is that what I have to do with a screwdriver? Any clue as to the location of it? Would it be internal or external. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • frank

      you need to take that circut board lose the one on the end with the card reader it is on the back side of it I took the battery out without disconecting the complete circut board not sure what the outcome will be at this point but you really need to be carefull taking it a part

  • Nikolai

    the “CMOS Battery SOlution” unfortunately yielded very low success results.. Only 2 out of 11 has success with it. I do not recommend it anymore…

    What I could suggest, if the resetting the printer does not resolve the issue, is to call HP and have your printer upgraded (available for out of warranty products only)…. It is a refurbished printer but you can actually save with it up to $100 dollar savings. Plus it has a normal warranty with it of 1 year! You also have the option for extended warranty up to 2 years at very low prices as low as 20 dollars.

    Basically it would be like buying a refurbished printer that is cheaper, and if you add a 2 year extended warranty on it, your investment will be protected for 2 years + 1 year normal warranty = 3years. Any hardware failures such as this one HP will prioritize your replacement and sent it on the next business day which is standard for extended warranties, unlike normal warranties which usually takes 12 days to arrive.

    • tellyho

      Tried the battery removal, the hard reset, the soft reset. Nothing worked for me. Battery removal is not for the faint of heart. Watch out for the clip holding the battery in – mine broke.

  • Anonymous

    thanks so much, this worked for my mom. i am so mad at hp, how do they sleep at night pullin this s***. this is outright theivery in my opinion. i have used hp printers since the 80′s but not any more, no more new ones for us.

  • Happy Treo!

    This is total scam on HP’s part. The printer is set to fail at a certain point, so HP can “conveniently,” offer people a referbished printer. Wouldn’t be surprised if it my printer that I get back once they reset it! How obvious is it when dozens of people have problems with ink errors or new cartritges that the printer reads as being empty. Won’t print in color. HP, you got this thing wired!

  • Anonymous

    It works for my case.
    This is what i have done.
    1. press LEFT and RIGHT buttons at the same time
    2.Enter code 123
    Press Right button to Print Tests Menu -> OK
    3. Nozzle Test -> OK
    Then reset the printer:
    1. Power OFF
    2. Press OK and Cancel then power on
    that's all! Good luck

    • Ribeiro

      I have the same problem. My printer is the model 3210.
      I tried the steps you say but does not solve. I can do more?

    • Gary

      It worked !! Thank you sooo much !!
      You instruction are a little abbreviated, but my 7250 is not working again thanks to your help !!

  • Anonymous

    The following partially worked for me:
    - press LEFT and RIGHT buttons at the same time
    - Enter code 123
    - Press Right button until System Config Menu. – Press OK
    - Hardware Failure Status. Press OK
    - Press OK to Clear.
    - Cancel
    - Press Right button to Ink Initialization Status -> Press OK (change to Set)
    - Cancel
    - Cancel
    - Ink initialisation now starts

    Also try the nozzle check as described in an earlier post.

    The error does keep coming back after powering off, but in the meantime I can print.

    • Jason

      How would you enter 123 without a keypad? I have the c5180 all-in-one model. I don’t have a number pad on mine?

      • mike

        Try the following press ok and help at the same time and unplug the printer keep the buttons pressed and connect the printer back this shoud reset the printer

    • constrictor

      I used “*” hold then “#” on my c7280. The left and right to go through the menu of the reset was the one that i have not tried. I did the reset hardware and ink status and it worked. Thanks everyone for the info. I almost hit my printer with a hammer.

    • anonymous

      I have the C6150 I pushed the * & # key IT WORKED!!! THANKS!!

    • http://?? Julie

      Sorry but I do not get what left and right buttom you talk about.. Is that for the HP Photosmart 3210- .One?

      An answer would be highly appreciated as I need to print.

      Eroor 0xc18a016


    • Vincenzo

      I have: Err. 0xc18a0001 in HP Photosmart 5180
      Come posso fare a toglierlo ?
      Vincenzo Burnelli

  • Jimmy

    “Hardware Failure Status. Press OK”

    it worked! thanks…

  • Anonymous

    Ultimate Solutions given.
    Thanks For everything.


  • Jason

    I have a c5180 hp all in one printer. It said the cyan and the black were empty. So I went out and bought all brand new cartridges. Put them in and it still says the cyan and black are empty? What would be wrong with the printer? Micro pump? Print head? Is there a magical trick to make it work again, lol? Any help ould be greatly appreciated. I really don’t want to take it in to get fixed, would cost big bucks I think.

    • Nikolai

      Hello Jason! First thing you need to do is clean the cartridge contacts (the copper part) also the contacts inside the printer. If it does not resolve the problem, go ahead and reset the printer

      • Jason

        The “reset the printer” link does not refer to reset my printer. I have the c5180 All-In-One Model.

        Also, I tried cleaning all the contacts. I also cleaned the cartridge contacts.

        Do you have reset link for the c5180 model? Thanks.

        • Andrew

          Hi Jason, Have a look for master reset on

          • Diana

            Thank you Andrew sooooooooooo muchfor the site where I found my help. I was about to throw this printer out and buy a new one but not *HP* until I ran across someone from the link you provided to fix my error… 0xc18a0001 ink system failure… and it worked… I was skeptical because I had tried alot of these to no avail… but I finally found one and I do believe that if any one is having the same or similar error.. all that needs done is a RESET>>>>>>>>>>>>>.. thank you so much

          • Diana

            Thank you Andrew sooooooooooo muchfor the site where I found my help. I was about to throw this printer out and buy a new one but not *HP* until I ran across someone from the link you provided to fix my error… 0xc18a0001 ink system failure… and it worked… I was skeptical because I had tried alot of these to no avail… but I finally found one and I do believe that if any one is having the same or similar error.. all that needs done is a RESET>>>>>>>>>>>>>.. thank you so much

      • trisha

        how do you clean the copper heads?

        • Nikolai

          Use a clean cloth. Make sure there is no ink on the copper contacts. Also clean contacts inside the printer.

  • Gwyn Hopkins

    Excellent – the link to the fixta sorted me out. I didn’t need to take out the battery just go through the engineers menu option on the printer to clear the fault. One wonders how much a shop would have charged for doing exactly that!

    • Nikolai

      Yes, Sagarjd’s solution has turned out to very effective in resolving this issue for certain HP printers… Thank you for your comment by the way..



  • Medea

    I had a trouble: error system 0xc05d0381. I tried to reset the machine but it showed different messages, I localized the CMOS battery and retired for 30 minutes and problem solved. My printer is Photosmart C7280, and the CMOS battery is at the right side of the printer, under a green plaque.
    Thank you so mauch for your help.

  • Mo

    My HP printer is not an all in one but I continue to get the 0xc18a0101 error after all the troubleshooting I’ve done. I’m to the point of trash or try to find the battery to remove and reset. any suggestions for a photosmart printer? It is smarter than I am just now.

    • Nikolai

      May I knwo what is the model of your printer?

    • Rick Gamel

      Try Natong’s instructions on this page – it just worked for me.

  • Natong

    My printer is C7280 and error code is 0xc18a0505.

    1. press * and # to enter a secret support menu.

    2. Enter code 123

    3. Press Right button until “System Config Menu”. Press OK.

    4. Hardware Failure Status. Press OK

    5. Press OK to Clear.

    6. Cancel

    7. Press Right button to Ink Initialization Status. Press OK

    8. Cancel and Cancel to the secret support main menu.

    9. Press Right button until “Print Tests Menu”. Press OK.

    10. Nozzle Test. Press OK

    11. Wait until the print test is finish.

    12. Press Cancel and Candel until the error 0×00000000 appear and then power off.

    13. Power On again. The error disappear.

    • Rick Gamel

      NATONG: You are a lifesaver! My one & 1/2 yr old C7280 all in one flashed the “ink system failure – Error: 0xc18a0101″, and stopped working. HP somewhere in India told me to trash it – it could not be fixed and pressured me to buy a refurbished model from them – for more than I bought this one for, new, at Office Depot! What a scam! Luckily I found your set of instructions and in 5 minutes – I restored it to normal function. I don’t know if the fix is permanent or not, but at least I don’t have to send it to the trash just yet. I am distrustful of HP now, and I believe they would not offer me the simple assistance that you did – simply out of greed and a need to sell more products. I hope others with the same problems I had – read your instructions and have success in restoring their printers.

    • Robert

      you are the man !!!!! it worked for my c6180 thank you !!

    • Efraín

      Gracias, la solución funcionó para mi C6180, por fin puedo volver a imprimir!

    • Kathryn

      This worked for me, I have had this before but could not find my notes on it.That was like 2 years ago. I believe I got this error by unplugging the power without first shutting it down. It is on the same surge protector as the computer, oops. Just wanted to thank you, although I could not find the candle on the computer (#12) haha and I never seen the oxooooooo appear also (#12) But all that matters is it worked. I hate to think that HP would sabotage the products just so they can sell you a refurbished one, and they do the same with the one you send them. As someone else stated I’ve had HP printers for many years but their service really sucks. I need to find a printer that prints quality photos without the price. Thanks again.

    • Kathryn

      Me again my printer is a Hp Photosmart C7280 all in one and the error code was 0xc18a0206, just for your records, this worked for me as I explained earlier. Thanks again

    • Bo

      This work like a CHAMP for me and would have hated to throw it away! Thank you so MUCH!

      1. press * and # to enter a secret support menu.

      2. Enter code 123

      3. Press Right button until “System Config Menu”. Press OK.

      4. Hardware Failure Status. Press OK

      5. Press OK to Clear.

      6. Cancel

      7. Press Right button to Ink Initialization Status. Press OK

      8. Cancel and Cancel to the secret support main menu.

      9. Press Right button until “Print Tests Menu”. Press OK.

      10. Nozzle Test. Press OK

      11. Wait until the print test is finish.

      12. Press Cancel and Candel until the error 0×00000000 appear and then power off.

      13. Power On again. The error disappear.

    • Mitt

      Natong & Brent,
      you guys are brilliant. After spending many hours on the phone with HP, your simple steps got rid of the Ink System Failure error. THANKS

    • Jody

      You ARE my new idol! I tried all sorts of things and this actually got it to work.

    • http://google pravin badgujar

      hallo sir my printer having problem ink system failure an erroor message is oxc19a0002 as shown on display i.e. hp photosmart c7288 all-in-one series

    • Deb D

      OMG! didn’t do steps exactly same – i guess because different model – but basically your instructions got me through! Thanks so much. Just printed 2 things! yay! thanks so much Natong!

    • Deborah

      Hello all Had a error code Oxc18a0106 did this and it’s working Fine. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. You don’t know how much I appreciate this.

    • Steve Welby-Jenkins

      Awesome – I was about to take my Photosmart C7180 to the repair shop after spending £67 on a full set of inks when I found your entry.
      Totally worked – couldn’t get the 0-00000 at the end as the start up screen was running ..but with no error 5 secs later :) but it totally worked!!
      It has also stopped sounding like a derailed train ha ha 10/10 you are a printer GOD !! ;D

    • Bigreddigga

      The error message went away. Thank you. It still doesn’t print anything and it appears that the black ink is leaking.

    • SAP

      Thanks,your instructions helped fix my HP C2780 0xc18a010 error.

  • Natong


    My printer is C7280 and error code is 0xc18a0505.

    1. press * and # to enter a secret support menu.

    2. Enter code 123

    3. Press Right button until “System Config Menu”. Press OK.

    4. Hardware Failure Status. Press OK

    5. Press OK to Clear.

    6. Cancel several times until the error 0×00000000 appear and then power off at lease 30 seconds.

    7. Power On again. The error disappear.

    • Nikolai

      You welcome! Natong

      • Suj

        Hi My printer is the HP photosmart 3310 allinone. I’m getting the error message ” ink catridge problem – The following ink catridge missing”

        Kindly help.

        • Nikolai

          Are u using genuine HP ink cartridges?

          If yes, then follow these HP documents:

          Ink Cartridge Missing Solution Document

          If not,

          then replace inks with geuine HP..



          • Suj

            Hi Nik

            I got the refilled ink catridges. Will it work if I get the geniune ones?



          • Nikolai

            Honestly Suj, there’s no guarantee as refilled ink cartridges sometimes damage the printer.. If you have old genuine cartridges try those first and check if they get detected. If they do, then buying genuine cartridges should fix it!

            By the way, where is your location? so that I can provide you the nearest service center just in case you have a hardware problem in the printer.

          • Suj

            Thanx again Nik

            I live in Colliers Wood. If there is a service center near by then I’ll take it there.



          • Nikolai

            You can contact HP for support here. Ask for the nearest service center. About those refilled inks, just keep it to yourself do not inform HP techs, they would most probably deny you support.

        • sammy

          1) Hold ok,cancel,black & color buttons opon power on to reset.
          if that dont work try photo tray & instant share buttons

          Use pin on the two tubs in print head. (Follow the holes on the ink cartridge)

          • Ingo

            Hi Sammy,
            for my photosmart 3310 (with error 0xc18) was this the solution for a real reset:

            1) Hold ok,cancel,black & color buttons opon power on to reset.

            There were no hardwareproblem!!!!!! The printer works like a new one.

            Much thanks and regards from


            Weyhe, Germany

    • Robert Cavanaugh

      Yes, this works, although probably with small changes. My HP C7180 gave me the 0xc18a0007 ink system error. * & # got me to the secret menu, and I did as the poster suggested with “system config menu” and “ink nozzle” menu. Except I was never able to get the 0×0000000 screen. Instead it told me none of the cartridges were the right ones (They were all genuine HP ink cartridges, all more than 50% full!) I happened to have a new package of color ink cartridges, so I put those in, and tried to print a test report. It wouldn’t do it, so I hit “cancel.” Then it froze. So I unplugged it, waited, plugged it back in, and now it works fine. The only issue is that it gives me the wrong date (months ago) for installing the new cartridges. It took me three hours+ to fix. I suggest you don’t give up, put in new cartridges, and keep playing with it. Clearly there is nothing mechanically wrong with the printer. It’s just its internal software that is screwed up. (By the way, HP support has never gotten back to me–except with e-mails saying they WILL get back to me. But they never did.) If this is such a common problem, why doesn’t HP post the fix on their own Web site? Or, better yet, figure out what causes the problem (obviously something to do with the ink cartridges) and fix it?

    • jingles

      Thank you! Our C7180 was displaying Ink System failure 0xc18a0201. This solution fixed the problem.

  • Peter Szakalos

    Hello Nikolai!

    A comment on your comment above :”refilled ink cartridges sometimes damage the printer”. OK, it is not impossible that it really might happen but my experience with more than twenty dreadful “Inc failure problems” during the years (with different number-codes) says me that it is only a HYPOCONDRIC problem created by HP (Never a physical (hardware) problem but only in the mind (CMOS-memmory). I have sucessfully solved all of them although I use refilled inc cartridges!.
    When the recommedations above with reset, battery etc didnt work anymore I tried a really drastic method since I had already decided to throw away the piece of HP-shit anyway.

    I found out that the CMOS-memmory sometimes “remembered” the error code even when the CMOS-battery was removed, probably due to some capacitors.
    I took out the circuit card with the CMOS-memmory and battery (HP 3310), removed the battery and tried to discharge all capacitors by applying soaking wet paper directly on the card. This might be enough but it has happen that I had to do it even more thoroughly with a piece of copper wire with free and fine copper threads at both ends like two small copper brushes which I randomly “painted” the circuit and especially in the slit around the sheltered CMOS-memmory.

    I really cant recommend my drastic methods since it really might damage your printer for real, but instead of throwing it away….

    • Nikolai


      Your methods may just be the solution for unresolved ink system failures on HP printers. Thank you for sharing it.


    • Albert

      Hi Peter,
      I read that you succeed to remove the CMOS battery of the “HP All In One 3310″.
      Can you help me to do that please.

      I spent 2 days for looking a solution for my ink system failure 0xc18a0206.
      Unfortunatly not succeding…

      My last chance is to reset the memory by removing this CMOS battery.

      Please help me tell me how at

      Thanks a lot

  • http://google santi prakash das

    how to reset Hp photosmart c 7200 ink system failure

    • Nikolai

      I believe what you are looking for is within this page. Thank you.

    • http://- taher

      I think the solution is shown itself in this page mr prakash!!
      Just apply it asap n cheers or do call me i vil help you
      my numbers 9892409318.

  • Edgar

    Hi I a problem in the HP C7280 has a problem with the ink system has fail ed unable to copy receive faxes or print refer to printer documentation error 0x18a0306 turn power off then on again please help me thank you

  • http://- jowunger

    Try this if you want to see what service personal at HP doing when you give them your printer to fix:

    Press Left right / or / *# on HP3110
    Press 123
    Press 7664

    Have fun!

  • Antonella

    Solution for Photosmart C7280 all-in-one, error 0xc18a0106.

    I used the solution by Nathong:
    1. press * and # to enter a secret support menu.
    2. Enter code 123
    3. Press Right button until “System Config Menu”. Press OK.
    4. Hardware Failure Status. Press OK
    5. Press OK to Clear.
    6. Cancel several times until the error 0×00000000 appear and then power off at lease 30 seconds.
    7. Power On again. The error disappear.

    IT WORKED!!!!

    I called HP support, the first time a guy from India told me that It was an hardware error “inside the port”, and the only solution was to upgrade to a better printer.
    I was mad, the printer is only 2 years old and I had a lot of HP ink in stock (all the new printers uses different cartridges).

    I called again HP support few days later (in the night) and another guy from India told me that my printer was out of warranty; but paying $34.99 for a one-call-plan-support (or $65.99 for a 1-year-plan-support) he could fix the problem transferring me to the technicians and that the problem was an hardware one but it could be fixed by the phone. He was REALLY SURE about it. It did not propose me any upgraded printer.

    Suspicious, I hanged up and started a long night reading as much forum as possible. I tryed all the switch on/off, remove cartridges, untill at 1 am I went throu Nathong procedure.
    IT WORKS!!!!!

    - try HP support (if you are in warranty, it is ok);
    - if you are out of warranty, try to figure out if it is a fixable problem or not;
    - read the forums and good luck…

    BTW I suspect the procedure I did was able to reset the CMOS without removing it!

    Thank you again.

    • Pat

      great tip. worked on my HP C7280 for error 0xc18a0306. THANKS!


    It works for my C6180 Thank you guys….

    • Jerry Rogerson

      Thank you for mentioning that the ink-system-failure repair procedure worked for your HP C6180. If I had not seen your entry, I would have thrown my printer in the trash. The procedure worked perfectly for me as well.

  • duck

    I used NATONG method. The error disapper at lease ~ 10 pages and then come again and again every ~10 – 12 pages printed.

  • NaTong

    Fix Paper Mismatch Error

    1. Press * and # at the same time, and then release both keys.
    2. The display reads “Enter Special Key Combo”. Press 329.
    3. The display window should read “Service: R0622M” with a revision number. Press the right arrow button once.
    4. The display should read “System Configuration”. Press Enter or OK.
    5. You will be prompted to enter serial number. Do not enter any information.
    6. Press the right arrow button until “media sense calibration” appears in the display.
    7. Load Paper into the unit and then press Enter or OK.
    8. Media Sense Calibration process will take place.

  • NaTong

    Play game

    1. Press * and # at the same time, and then release both keys.
    2. The display should read “Enter Special Key Combo”. Press 7664.

  • Maxfly

    I have a C7180 Photosmart and tried the solution given by Natong. Now I get an error message telling me that the original cartridges that were supplied with the product must be installed. I don’t have these cartridges so where do I go now? Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Granta

    Farkn HP wankers Time and money!!! well they have both.. I have a wanker (Hp) photosmart 3110 All in one.. After spending $160.00 on new ink cartridges, whats wrong with the ones allready in there thats write they have expired!!!! and still full. Strange how you can buy a new printer for under $200.00 just dump ya old one!! I could go on an on!!!!
    Any way THANK YOU SAMMY Hold ok cancel black color button and at the same time turn off the printer, has reset the printer and is working like new.
    Ps to every body eles thank you I tryed them all,

    Regards Granta

  • Dave

    Man I messed up. I accidentally reset my ink levels in the secret support menu. Now it says I have the wrong cartridges. Is there a solution to this problem?

  • Dave

    NaTong, I have accidentally reset my ink levels in the secret menu. It tells me that I new have the wrong cartridges in my printer. How can I fix this problem? HP C6180

  • Relieved

    I used the Natong solution for my printer C6180 for the error “ink delivery system failure.” I was just about ready to give up and buy a new printer. This may be a temporary fix, but I appreciate not having to spend extra $ during the holidays.

    The solution was posted on August 2nd. But I pasted it below for easy access.

    Thanks Natong.

    1. press * and # to enter a secret support menu.

    2. Enter code 123

    3. Press Right button until “System Config Menu”. Press OK.

    4. Hardware Failure Status. Press OK

    5. Press OK to Clear.

    6. Cancel

    7. Press Right button to Ink Initialization Status. Press OK

    8. Cancel and Cancel to the secret support main menu.

    9. Press Right button until “Print Tests Menu”. Press OK.

    10. Nozzle Test. Press OK

    11. Wait until the print test is finish.

    12. Press Cancel and Candel until the error 0×00000000 appear and then power off. (***note, this step did not happen for me*** the printer just worked like normal)

    13. Power On again. The error disappear.

    • OzzieMike

      SLIGHTLY more than JUST a Software FIX
      I tried this great site and another Link for my C6180 problem – INK SYSTEM FAILURE (Other Link was

      I know the fix works for most problems – and I tried it several times – but my C6180 was really noisy – and the error persisted.

      I’m not a techi – but saw the very 1st posting here – so I started looking inside and then found the problem. I lifted up the COVER TOP – and while looked past the Cartridges – through the oblong aperture to the LEFT side – noticed there should be 2 white nylon gears (Together). BUT the smaller 1 was missing – just an empty shaft?
      Only realized what was wrong because I have 2 C6180′s (Both out of Warranty).

      The 2nd part was a little more tricky!!
      (NB – ONLY try this if your machine is out of warranty – you turn off all power – and are prepared to be adventurous, careful, but FIRM)

      After picking up the machine and shaking it in all directions – I eventually heard the missing Gear – BUT ONLY found it by removing the LEFT side cover (Not too difficult)
      I then replaced the cog – it just clipped back onto the shaft – and after a restart the GEAR was intitially used constantly while the INK CHECK was being done – NOW all works perfectly!!

  • Dave

    This fixed the error code “Wrong Cartridges”.

    Performing a semi-full reset of the All-in-One

    Use the On button to turn on the product.
    Remove the power cord from the product.
    Press and hold the # and 6 buttons.
    While holding the buttons down, connect the power cord to the product.
    Continue to hold the buttons down until the color graphics display becomes blank, then release the buttons.
    Use the On button to turn on the product. The reset information appears on the color graphics display.

  • TIm

    Just threw our 7360, exactly one year old, in the trash due to the ink system failure. It’s a real shame HP feels it must put this kind of junk on the market to support huge bonuses for its management. Someone said thievery… I agree. Will never purchase another HP product.

    • Peter

      i have a HP c8180 with Ink system failuer after I changed a third cartridge. No support, no help just through it away as they have your cash and they wonder why piracy and 3rd party products are used??????? They are the PIRATES!!!!!!

      • Nikolai

        I have plublished on a different page how to Fix your HP PhotoSmart C8180 ink system failure message.

        Let me know..

        • kim

          PERFECT! Worked on the first try! Thanks so much. I have been searching for a few days now on how to fix this. This is the only thing posted that has worked!

        • Jeanette St George

          First of all, thank you for even giving me hope that I may be able to fix this problem! I think I tried what you said to do and it acted like it was printing my document but page keeps being blank. Any thoughts?

          • Nikolai

            Hi Jeanette, You may be out of ink. please check the ink levels.

            the printer’s print mechanism seems to be working.

            I know the inks are expensive, so you really need to make sure that it’s an ink issue before buying.

            Try to print in black only ( you can only do this from your computer and selecting greyscale printing or from your printer by doing a black copy, but i recommend printing from your computer.)… if it prints, then i am almost certain that you are out of colored inks.



  • DaveC

    Have HP 3210 all-in-one. Getting the “ink system failure” error message. Followed Nik’s procedure, but there is no “System Configuration” menu option. No ink system reset option. This procedure seems to work for other models.

    I tried the OK / Cancel / Color / Black & power off procedure. When I turn it back on I see “OOB NVR reset” (or similar) message which means it reset the error memory. But error remains.

    I guess I really do have a hardware failure.

    Ideas? Suggestions?


  • mac

    i got same problem on my hp 8250 i got refillable cartidages 02

    error code is 0xc18a0401 pls sendme som tips to thx

  • Linda C. Taylor

    It’s like a miracle that somehow I found you at a time when I was just about to order online another hp photosmart printer. I had the ink system failure message on a C7280. You saved me, I can’t afford another printer. Of course, the tech indians pulled the alledged return old, get $5 on new. So because of you, my C7280f works now. A printer like this can’t malfunction after 2yrs. I’m a professional magician and with you I did real MAGIC!!

    • Nikolai

      That’s Good to Hear! Do not hesitate to ask help, if you need assistance next time. Good luck!

      • sjdobay

        HP c8180 ink system error 0xc05d0381 tried every thing-also getting carriage jam and it moves freely-nothing blocking it

  • Tom

    I had the same error message. I tried everything, a lot of the solutions worked but only for a short while before getting the message again! I did the battery removal procedure and that worked only for a short while. This message was driving me nuts. It would have been easier to just buy a new one but that thought only mad me mad. I finally realized that I would receive the error message after my phone rang. I figured out that the problem is with the phone/fax portion of the printer.
    If you go through the steps above to clear the message and then unplug your phone line, the message will stop. Unfortunately you will need to plug in the phone line to use the fax feature (just remember to unplug it once the fax is finished). I am working on seeing how to replace the phone fax card in the printer so that it works again without having to unplug it each time. This should be a easy and cheap way for HP to resolve a lot of customers issue with this problem.
    I hope this helps everyone!

  • Sarah

    thank you so much for helping me fix my C7280. damn hp and their scamming!!

  • judy

    i just recieved an error 0xc19a0002 for my HP photosmart 8250! I have also just added yellow cartridge!! i have tried the off reset button … disconecting the cords taking out ink cartridges but NOTHING cannot do the hold okay & help button as i do NOT have a help button….. HELP PLEASE just used it 2 days ago! ONLY use genuine HP ink!


    Having a problem with an all in one HP C6180. Black will not print either from a computer generated document or C6180 copy function. All other colors will print. No error messages on display. Replaced the non HP black cartridge with HP cartridge which did not resolve the problem. Tried the partial reset ( # plus 6 and removing power) which did not work. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • JOCO

    Hi i have the same problem with HP officejet J4580. I have refiled the cartridge but now i can not use them. It allways displays error. Does anybody know how to reset 901 black and tricolor cartridge.


  • http://na Brent

    Here is my experience with HP in solving my problem. Mathias was fantastic. I think one of the most important things was making sure to disconnect from the power bar as well as from the printer. Anyhow…below is the full chat I had with her which solved my ink error issue.

    Brent Hall : Ink system failure code 0xc18a0001. I have tried everything possible including turning off the power and unplugging both the power cords and USB. I have purchased new HP ink cartridges for the whole system.[An agent will be with you shortly.][You are now chatting with Mathias .]
    Brent Hall : Good morning!
    Mathias : Welcome to HP Total Care Chat Support for All-In-One Products. My name is Mathias. Please give me a minute while I review your problem description details.
    Brent Hall : Ok
    Mathias : Good Morning Brent, how are you?
    Brent Hall : Fine thanks…and you?
    Mathias : As I was reviewing your details, I came to know that you are using HP Photosmart C6180 All-In-One printer, operating system as Win 7 and Email address as Am I right?
    Brent Hall : Correct.
    Mathias : I am doing wonderful today, thank you for asking.
    Mathias : Thank you so much for the confirmation.
    Mathias : Brent, I would like to say that this issue(Ink System Failure) can only be resolvbed over the phone by our Supervisor, because troubleshooting steps can only be performed once in a life time of the printer. That’s why we don’t recommend the troubleshooting steps on the Chat.
    Mathias : Please provide me your phone number along with alternate number so that our Supervisor could call you within 1-2 hours & resolve your issue over the phone.
    Brent Hall : OK…604-463-7733 and my cell phone is 604-339-8084.
    Mathias : Please provide me the serial number of the printer.
    Mathias : Thank you so much for the phone number.
    Mathias : Brent, I would like to say that it would take 24-48 hours to call back.
    Brent Hall : Can’t find it…too many numbers on the bottom. I think I’m registered with HP though…can you look up my info? Otherwise…please advise what the pre-fix is on the number I am looking for?
    Mathias : I have got the serial number, your product is already registered here. Serial number is MY71MJ61F1.
    Mathias : Brent, I would like to say that it would take 24-48 hours to call back.
    Brent Hall : Ok…but it’s causing me a lot of grief here. I need it to operate my business. The earlier the better. And thank you for the assistance.
    Mathias : Brent, If you want, I can provide you the steps to resolve the issue in this chat but I would like to say that troubleshooting steps can only be performed once in a life time of the printer.
    Mathias : Steps are not very tough to perform.
    Brent Hall : Ok.
    Mathias : Do you want the steps on this chat?[The following message could not be delivered. Try to send it again.]
    Brent Hall : Sure.
    Mathias : Alright!!
    Mathias : Brent, Please let me know after evry steps.
    Brent Hall : ok
    Mathias : Let’s start….
    Brent Hall : ok…just to advise…the usb is currently disconnected from the printer, and the error is not on the screen…however if i try to print something it will reappear.
    Mathias : No problem.
    Mathias : Let’s start the steps…
    Mathias : A. – Press and hold the “*” key.
    B. – Press the “#” key and release both keys.
    Display should say “Enter Special Key Combo”
    C. – Press and release in sequence the “1”, “2” and “3” buttons.Display should say “Support” and display the FW rev (something like R0631R)
    Brent Hall : done…and r0631m has appeared
    Mathias : Press and release the right arrow button until the display says “System Configuration Menu”. Press and release the “OK” button.
    Brent Hall : it says hardware failure status
    Mathias : Display should say “Hardware failure status”. If not there already, Arrow Key over to “Hardware failure status”,
    Press and release the “OK” button.
    Brent Hall : it says “clear” press ok to clear
    Mathias : Display should say “Hardware failure status: Clear. Press OK to clear”.
    Press and release the “OK” Button. Message changes to “Hardware failure status Cleared. Press Cancel to continue”.
    Mathias : 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.
    Brent Hall : printer preparation occuring do not interupt is happening
    Mathias : Alright!!
    Brent Hall : now i have the welcom screen
    Mathias : Using the Power Button, turn the unit OFF and unplug the power cable from back of the printer and wall outlet.
    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
    Mathias : Turn the unit on. The printer may display message “Use power button to shutdown the printer” followed by “Press OK to Continue”. Press OK.
    Brent Hall : just went straight to the welcome screen
    Mathias : 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.
    Brent Hall : its not doing anything…just sitting at the welcome screen
    Mathias : No problem.
    Mathias : Now let’s print the self test page from the printer to check the functionality of the printer.
    Mathias : Press Setup menu on the All-in-One then scroll using the arrow key and select Print Report then select Self Test Report.

    Brent Hall : hey…its printing something…you are amazing.
    Mathias : You are Genius!! we have done it.
    Mathias : Thank you so much.
    Brent Hall : looks fantastic.
    Mathias : Awesome!!
    Brent Hall : Any idea what might have caused this?
    Mathias : Great news.
    Mathias : Brent, I would like to say the there is motor inside the printer which is responsible for the ink delivery, if the motor is jammed or blocked, we face the issue of ink system failure. Generally we face the issue when the printer is too old.
    Brent Hall : hmmm…that doesn’t sound good. In other words I am likely to face this issue again soon?
    Mathias : No, you will not face the same issue again. Please clean the copper dots of the cartridge and printer whenever you change the cartridge.
    Brent Hall : Oh…ok…do you know what I should use to clean those?
    Mathias : Yes, Please Clean the Cartridges along with copper contacts with lint free cloth & distilled water.
    Brent Hall : Ok…well thank you very much for your help. I am impressed by the help you have provided. HP has made a repeat customer by your actions today.
    Mathias : Thank you so much for the appreciation, It will really help me to perform better.
    Brent Hall : Have a great day…goodbye!
    Mathias : Brent, Is there anything else where I can go ahead and help you to get a smile on your face?
    Mathias : Thank you so much and same to you.
    Brent Hall : No…it’s all good…have a good one.

  • EagleForce

    HI, the buttons (LEFT and RIGHT) also are on a Photosmart 2575, and pressing them also results in “Enter service combo”, however, this printer doesnt have the 1, 2 and 3 buttons, any ideas what keys would replace the 1,2 and 3 on this model?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Bart1452

    All I did was hit the power button and the error message went away. It was replaced by the message warning not to turn it off by removing the power plug or turning off the power strip. Then I went on to continue printing after replacing an empty ink cartridge.

    • Bart1452

      I meant to say I turned it off and turned it back on again with the power button.

  • Thaddeus

    Regarding many models of HP inkjet printers:

    The FirmwareEnable_Release.exe is the only thing that fixed my trouble: Ink system error 0xc18a0001. As of 6-20-10 you can also download it from
    It is a very small executable file. Unplug all of the USB devices except your HP printer. Run this executable file. Wait 30 seconds. You’ll get a “complete” notice. Turn the printer off. Unplug the printer power. Plug it back in & turn it on. It will go through a few minutes of gyrations & noises, then all is well.

  • Jody

    You are my NEW idol! Many thanks:-)

  • anne

    thanks to all you genius professionals!!! though it took me several hours, finally one of the reset-solutions worked! i’m happy again – not with the printer c7280, but that i’m back to the printing possibility.

  • anne

    thanks to all you genius professionals!!!
    though it took me several hours, at least one of the reset-solutions worked. i’m happy to be back to printign possibility.

  • Nancy

    You guys Rock! It is back to normal, thanks to you, not HP!

  • pete wilson

    the battery for the hp c7180 is located under the right side light grey panel which is accessable by lifting the scanner lid and undoing the screw at the front of the scanner plate then unscrew the screw at the front by the on/off switch then carefully take the on /off plastic panel off then take the light grey side panel off then undo all screws on the board panel and pull the front out about an inch and looking from the front behind this panel you will see the battery and using a then screw driver take the battery out relacing just work backwards and all should go back ok hope this will help pete

    • pete wilson

      the battery for the hp c1780 is located under the light grey side panel looking from the front.This is accessable by lifting the top of the printer as if you are changing the ink cartridges then undo the screw at the front on the top of the plastic over the ink also undo the screw at the front on the on/off plastic cover then gentle remove both panels you may find it easier to also remove the back plastic that holds the panel that comes off to get to any paper jam .That done then undo all screws on the computer board at the side and gently pull away from the printer at the front about an inch watching out for all the cables attached.The battery is just behind this board looking from the front and can be removed using a small screw driver and just follow these steps backwards to replace everything hopping this is of help to someone thanks pete

  • tammy dearing

    I have the hpphotosmart c7250 all in one , the error message ink system failure error 0xc18a0001, I have tried the online instructions from hp that did not work. I do have refilled inks, the printer lists the yellow as full but it is empty and he cyan is full but the printer shows it as empty, I have also tried the *# then 123, I get a menu i try print test menu, it brings up a nozzle test when i hit ok it just goes back to the print test menu any help would be great, I havent rear much on the hpc7250

    thanks Tammy








    today i disarm hp 8250 i cleaned ducts etc etc none works i think problem is a little cilidric bomb conclusion ho are waste of money avoid hp printers i buy today 2 epson t50 im only need find good reset cartidages and ink without pigments

  • Edward

    thanks so much, I am big time low tech and I fixed my printer with your directions. I cannot thank you enough.

  • Monkeypop

    Thank you, saved me from buying a new printer. Followed the reset procedure for my C5180 and it is now up and running again. I was just about to chunk it!

  • shawn

    ok well after over a year of frustration my c6180 almost ended up at the local first started with the error code and i did the reset several milion times,worked for awhile but then went into a on/off cycleing mode.the printer would try to load at start up but then just turn off and restart.come to find out there is a known defect with some caps on the mother board.i purchased the caps and replaced then and back in business again.was very easy and only cost me $5,just need a soldering gun and small wire snips.take you board out and look for the bulged caps.i have fixed many printers for people for a small fee.

  • shawn

    ok i fixed mine after a year of not working.tried the reset several times but ended up just goin into a on and off cycle.come to find out there is some bad capacitors in the motherboard.i bought the caps and fixed now im back in business.just remove mother board and look for bulged caps,there is a known issue with these teapo caps.i have fixed several c6180 and c6150 for a small fee.

  • Heather

    This is a similar problem: Ink System Failure code Oxc19a0023 on a HP Photosmart C6380 All-in-One. Any suggestions??

  • Heather

    This is a similar problem: Ink System Failure code Oxc19a0023 on a HP Photosmart C6380 All-in-One. Any suggestions?? With the price of their toner I expect better quality in their machines!!

  • Rhonda

    Please Help Me! :) I have a photosmart C5180 all in one printer. After changing ink, I see this (Ink system has failed. Unable to print. Refer to printer documentation. Error: 0xc18a0106. Turn off power then on again.) I did the Removing of the ink cart. getting message for ink cart then I turned off and unpluged from wall. turned back on insert cart and still yet the same thing. Rest to default setting as well. nothing has seemed to work yet. If anyone could help me I would be filled with joy! thanks

    • RJ

      ***************I have the C5180 and I got the same error message. After swearing and throwing things around…(needed to print something for an emergency) I googled my error and came across this page! WOW! I had to do the re-set thing twice (first time it didnt reset the error), but after the 2nd time it worked and I could print! THANK YOU SO MUCH !! ****************

  • micheljonas

    erreur 0xc18a0106 whith hp 3200 printer help mee

  • Pingback: hp photosmart 3210xi all-in-one printer error

  • Lydia

    I have an 18 month old Photosmart C309a printer with the Ink System Failure message 0xc19a0036. Went through the HP recommendations for unplugging, plugging, cleaning, etc. and nothing worked. Tried several of the steps here and I thought they were going to work (*#, 123, etc.) and that appeared to be working, as I got to the Start Here profile for easy product setup. However, it keeps saying that my printhead is missing, and I should lift lid and install. I have removed it and reinstall several times and now am getting the 0xc19a0024 message about Ink System Failure. Any further suggestions? Thanks!

  • a nonym ous

    CMOS reset worked for HP C6180. Pain in the rear to get to circuit board located on bottom right hand side – photo card inputs are the edge of board. Lost most of the plastic clips during disassembly and have a Frankenstein-looking printer – but it works and it doesn’t think I need to give it cartridges that aren’t expired! Expired ink – too funny, HP!!

    • Nikolai

      it good to hear that you fixed your printer. Most Printer that encounter this issue are likely serviced or replaced.

  • Thaddeus

    Several different errors on many HP models may benefit from running the HPFirmwareEnableRelease.exe utility that HP no longer provides on their web site. It used to be on but the link is dead now. If you would like this utility, I will e-mail it to you. It is a very small executable file.(56kb) I put it in a ZIP container so e-mail services won’t block it. UnZip (extract) the exe file using WinZip, 7Zip, WinRar, or even the built in unzipping function of Windows. Unplug all of the USB devices except your HP printer. Run this executable file. Wait 30 seconds. You’ll get a “complete” notice. Turn the printer off. Unplug the printer power. Plug it back in & turn it on. It will go through a few minutes of gyrations & noises, then all is well, maybe.
    Email your request for this little utility to me at thaddeusmbATyahooDOTcom

  • Stanley O. N

    I have ink system has failed on my Hp Photosmart C6183 all-in-one . Unable to copy, receive faxes,or print. Refer to printer document. Error 0xc18a0106. I have tried this

    1. press * and # to enter a secret support menu.

    2. Enter code 123

    3. Press Right button until “System Config Menu”. Press OK.

    but unable to see the “System Configuration Menu”. How can I resolve this problem?

  • mIKE

    after swapping out one cartridge that was expired, I got error 0xc19a003 on my C6280, tried powering off a couple of times but error was consistent, until I followed you instructions exactly and removed all the cartridges and

    • mIKE

      IT WORKED!!!!

  • David

    Where is the cmos battery in c7280? I couldnt find it.

  • Beth

    I did all the reset steps several times with no fix. Then I went through the process and before turning it off I took out all the ink cartridges. When I turned it back on I put the cartridges back in and immediately went to the tools menu and did “clean printhead” and “align printer”. It worked…at least for now!

  • linuxnpl

    HP Deskjet 1050 3 in 1 printer got problem.problem was simply no accepting refilled cartridge.I looked in google many hours and tried to fix it but it was disappointing.

    1)Then,I took out cartridge,wiped connecter with wet cotton cloth very gently as well as wiped head then rest all part.It seemed very clean.

    2)I putback cartridge into printer,pressed power button more than 15 times very fast,then pressed all 4 buttons for 15 seconds,then pressed just cancel button more than 15 times very very fast.

    3)Then,I gave order of clean cartridge more than 5 times.

    4)Then,printed my own documents,was printed very nice,several prints no problem.It is printing now.

    5)even,computer says Ink low but printer shows both cartridge indicater fine,no allert!!!

    6)I don’t know that how it is working but working very very work relieved my headache.

    7)Try yourself and let me know!!!

  • http://facebook paul

    i think hp are a bunch of crap

  • necromonger

    HP Photosmart 8250 Battery Removal
    I hope this site (with pics) help you find the battery:

  • Sue

    Got a 5 year old 3310 all-in-one. Changed the black ink cartridge and then got the ink failure message. Found your site and tried everything and the only thing that worked was to hold the OK, cancel, black and colour buttons down all at the same time and whilst doing that to turn it off. Then switched it back on got a OB message so pressed OK button and followed prompts for language country etc and then it did a maintainence device check for abotu 5 minutes – lots of noise and hey presto printing!! Thanks guys for all the info. wonder how long it will work for but sounds like we are lucky to have got 5 years without this problem.

    • Jim_Ferraro

      You are a genius! Who would have thought of that combination (OK, cancel, black & color while turning off)???  BUT it worked.

    • Jo

      OMG! You are a life saver.  I have tried about a million different solutions to this and was just about to give up.  This was so easy.  It worked just like you said.  My printer is also six years old.  This is the first and only problem I have ever had with it.  Thanks so much.  I’ll cross my fingers that it keeps working for a while.

    • Benoit Le Bourhis

      Thank you! Cancel+OK+BLACK+COLOR saved my wallet! While doing that it started printing an “Extented Self Test Diagnostic”. Found that pressing OK+cancel gives that report. Interresting to see I don’t have any more write stripes in Lt-Cyan and Lt-Magenta. ;-)

  • abbas

    hey frnds.. i m using HP PHOTOSMART C7288 ALL IN ONE PRINTER. In tht yellow color is nt functioning. i wnt new head fr my printer.. is thr anyone hve plz tell me.. immidltly…
    call me on 8080648964.
    mail id –

  • Cheryl

    I have a HP Photosmart C7280 all-in-one and I keep getting an ink system failure with error code Oxc19a0035. I tried unplugging the USB and power cord. It didn’t work. Does anyone have any other ideas or is it time for a new printer?
    Thanks for any help out there.

  • nadya

    love ya!!!
    Thanks a lot!!!

  • Monika


    I have Photosmart C8180 out of warranty. After 3 months without using it started to show that error INK SYSTEM FAILURE error 0xc19a0002. I tried a lot of things, but I saw here that MASTER RESET. Problem is that my printer has LCD display and Buttons

    Can anyone know how to make Master reset on my printer or how to remove CMOS battery?

    Thank you very much in advance


  • sherwin

    hi!!! i have a b110a hp series… this message appear to my screen “ink system failure” please help… thanks

  • Kenny

    I have a HP Photosmart D7160 and get ink system failure with error code 0xc18a0206 after replacing ink cartridges. Any remedy to the problem?

  • Helen

    0xc18a0001 on Photosmart 3210

    Power off

    Hold down OK Cancel Black and Colour as you Power ON

    Then have the patience to wait while printer resets itself and does a maintenance check.

    Many thanks to you all for giving me the clues :- 0

    Happy New Year

    • jim

      thanks to this solution i am running again. only problem was trying to power on without third hand,lol

  • Ari


    This helped me and the printer started to work again.


    HP C5180 All-in-One Printer


    1. Unplug the power cable from printer while the printer is powered on.
    2. Press and hold OK and HELP buttons while plugging in the power cord. Wait for the screen to go black or blank before releasing the keys.
    3. Just turn on the printer and configure your printer new

    • Irvin Bishop Jr.

      OK, I am a guy with a beautiful wife so I never would :-) BUT I COULD KISS YOU!!! I have an HP C5180 and your suggestion worked like a charm. I actually purchased 2 C5180s at the same time so I have one upstairs and one downstairs and neither worked. Now you have saved me a gazillion dollars. I was going to purchase a new printer as they are cheap, but before you do that, check out the price of replacement cartridges. OMG!!!!! Anyway, thanks and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  • Rebecca

    Awesome! Followed the steps for Master Reset (unplugged printer, pressed help and ok buttons simultaneously, plugged back in, acknowledged improper shut-down then ran self test diagnostic page and it printed!). I’ve had the printer for 4+ years and actually had good experience with it, but I’m glad to have bought some more time. Thanks!

  • Jim C

    HP C6380 All in One is 2 years old and out of warranty. Carefully cleaned print carriage as recommended by HP. No luck. Contacted HP to purchase new print carriage. Not made and told cheaper to buy new printer. Many re-starts as recommended.. no lock. Finding this website… I soaked the print carriage in hot water. Lots of ink washed out. Rinsed and dabbed dry. Reloaded with ink cartridges. Got same ink system error msg, i.e., 0xc19a0023 and Oxc19a0024. Shut down and restarted one more time and the printer went thru a 5 minute process of checks, printing and aligning heads etc.. Yeah! it’s working again. What a three-day fiasco and discovery that HP will do nothing. So, my advice.. Soak the carriage and clean it out if you’re out of warranty. Thank you very much!!!!

    • Paul

      My C6380 just packed up too. Out of warranty…. about 3 years old. Error code 0xc19a0036. Have tried pretty much everything on the web (incl HP site) but to no avail.
      Final try is to clean the printhead in hot water.
      P***sed off that HP don’t have a replacement printhead…but not surprised given how much they rip off the consumer.
      I see printheads are avaialable thru ebay USA at about $35 + postage. Anyone any idea if this will be compatible with an Australian bought machine? Unfortunately the supplier couldn’t advise.
      My printhead was pretty filthy so it’s a fair bet that’s the problem. Caked on ink. If it doesn’t work then a $35 one thru ebay is worth a try.
      Can’t remember what it cost new. Something stupid like over $300!

  • Deb

    I have an HP Photosmart D7460. It is a printer only. I have an ink system failure Oxc18a0306. I have no numeric buttons, no arrow buttons no help or OK buttons but I do definitely need help getting this thing up and running again.

  • Pamela

    Thank you so much. Nothing was working, then we soaked the printhead and success!!!!

  • Kristina

    What about an HP Photosmart C5140 with no numeric keypad?

  • Brad

    RE: hp officejet 6500 E709a

    Had the ” Failure to print” error message

    The hot water bath worked perfect for me, back in business. THANK YOU!

  • Martina

    HP Photosmart C5380 All-in-One ima gre6ka 0xc19a0020

  • Brian

    The information people post here is incredibly useful and has helped me except for one problem.

    I have a C7280 which has an expired cartridge which prevented printing with the black cartridge only until I followed advice about putting it into factory mode which overrides the expiry date and allows printing but the wireless won’t connect no matter what I try, the wireless diagnostics failed at “No Filtering” but I don’t have MAC address filtering enabled and it states that Signal Strength is “Very Low” which I know isn’t because the printer is 4 feet (just over 1 meter) from my printer. If I reset the printer back to consumer mode, the expired cartridge no printing problem returns but the printer’s wireless does connect and scanning, fax, etc., except printing, works. Is there a reason that the wireless isn’t working properly in factory mode? Is there a remedy for this problem with wireless connectivity while the printer is in that mode?

    • Nikolai

      Hi Brian,

      Just a suggestion, If the printer is located near the printer. You could just try connecting it directly to the router with an ether net cable?

      If it’s not possible, try changing the channel of your router to Channel 6. You can do this by accessing your router’s Embedded web server. Let me know.



      • Brian

        Hi Nikolai,

        Thanks for your reply.

        I previously changed the wireless router’s channel to various ones which didn’t alter the printer’s inability to connect wirelessly. I’ve opened the printer and found that, although there’s a connector available, the wireless board doesn’t have an antenna connected to it which explains why the printer has to be within 50 feet of the wireless router but it isn’t why it won’t connect when the printer is in “mfg_mode”.

        When the printer is in “mfg_mode” the Wireless Network Test Report Diagnostic Summary shows that everything passes up to “No Filtering” where it fails and states the Signal Strenth is “Very Low” and states:
        Check if MAC address filtering is being used by your wireless router.”

        There’s no MAC address filtering being used by the router’s firewall and I’ve used another router to determine if the problem is the router which it isn’t.

        I suppose I will just have to use it with Ethernet or USB while the printer is in “mfg_mode” until either I, you, or someone else, figures out what to do to overcome this problem.

  • Bradley Hyde

    I have an HP C8180 printer, had all the classic symptoms — Ink System
    Failure with an error code; warning message about “improper shut down”
    when turning it back on; and after unplugging it, refusal to reboot —
    just kept turning off and on on a 4 second cycle: could use red-eye and
    Print-photos to get another, longer, cycle with very short power on; and
    even the green screen with 1 2 3 4 5.  I tried the reset solutions to
    no avail.  Yesterday I replaced the 4 TEAPO (dark green) capacitors —
    all problems fixed!  If this were a car, HP would be forced to issue a
    recall and repair them all.  It is difficult to remove the right side
    panel but can be done without breaking off the plastic tabs on the
    bottom if you remove the screws on top and back and carefully pull the
    top edge away from the case.  The circuit board is multi-layer with
    internal planes so getting enough heat into the board to release the old
    caps was difficult — use a really hot soldering iron.  Removing the
    solder from the holes or inserting the new leads was virtually
    impossible (got 2 of them) so I just soldered the leads to the hole
    without going in.  (BE SURE TO OBSERVE POLARITY)  My replacements cost
    $2 each, a bit pricy at Shield”s Electronics store in Chattanooga —
    but much better than 20% off a new printer.  Further, I like the C8180
    with its slide scanning feature, wireless capability, and nice color
    output.  (Wish it had waterproof ink and a document feeder!)  I use it
    directly with my Windows lap top and my wife’s MAC via a Belkin wireless
    router.  I go USB from the laptop to get full use of the DVD,
    card-slots, and scanner.  Hope this helps many others who find their
    beloved C8180 dying after a year or two.  Shame on HP for using cheap
    parts and not helping customers when they fail.

    • raphaelnikolai

      Thanks for your contribution on your comment Bradley. Hopefully, this helps others. Good job on repairing your printer. :) im glad it worked out.

      • Jeremiah Cruz

        Sir can you please help me i have an HP Photosmart Plus B210e model printer, the message says that  the black ink cartridge is missing or damage, i’ve done the following methods soaking the printhead in a hot water, soft & hard reset but to no avail, so i bought a new genuine HP 564 black ink, during printer calibration it gives this error 6203C0AE on a blue screen, after many hard reset finally the printer works fine, but after almost two days, again it says that the black ink is missing or damage, that’s not all whenever the black cartridge is in place, the printer sort of reading all the cartridges as missing or damage!
        I don’t know how to fix this problem so im hoping you could help me.
        Thank u in advance.

  • Deb

    The soaking worked for me! Thank you sooo much. I have a 6380 I don’t know how much longer it will work, but I am in business now. A lot of ink came out in the water, and I left the heads overnight on a paper towel to make sure it was dry. The auto alignment failed, but I cleaned the printheads, ran a printing report and realigned the heads again and no error message. What’s funny is I use my printer all the time, but the ink must just collect and dry. Deb

  • Brad nottingham

    Good Morning, I just went to the trouble shooting page for my HP PHOTOSMART C7180 because i had sent copied a full page item of color,,, ( you know the whole page got ink so i think i was working the printer too hard LOL),,, anyway after it printed out i tried to print another page and there was a ink failure message ,,, I followed the prompts on this page and when i plugged the printer back in and turned it on an ink cartridge jam message appeared ,,, so i cancelled it out and copied a letter and BINGO it worked,,,,, this printer is like 7 years old and i like it,,, i thought i was going to have to replace it,,, but now i am looking at buying more ink,,, thank you for your insight to trouble shooting procedures,,, and remember always thank the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY for he has given all of us the opportunity to have the life we possess daily,,, I PRAISE THE LORD AND THANK HIM for you and all of HIS children on earth,,, remember thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,,,, we can bring HIS kingdom to earth as we live our life every single day,,, HALLELUYAH,,,, have a blessed day knowing you are a child of the most high,,, the creator and the healer,,,, 

    • Ramon

      God doesn’t do printer repair. Give credit where it is due.

  • Deirdre Pollack Fletcher

    Thank you!! This super secret code fix worked the first time on my 6180 Photosmart (Fix Ink System Failure on PhotoSmarts C6100, C7100, C7200 Series Printers – this solution will show you how to fix ink sytem failures on the HP Photosmart C6180, HP Photosmart C7180, HP Photosmart C7275 and HP Photosmart C7280.) Thanks again!

  • Lijeshet Anteneh

    Thank you for the “Hot Water Printhead Soak” solution. My printer was saying ink system failure and I tried several solutions including the one listed above here, but the Hot Water Printhead Soak get me the fix, Thank you very much for the help provided.

  • frans

    Thanx Rafael, youre a star.. cleaned the HP 6500 a removable printhead in some warm water as suggested and needs to add some flowing water to the cyan side , which was totally blocked. initially the printhead did not want to allighn , but after running printhead cleaning twice , it passed allighnment …great advice, you saved me money Frans

  • Mac

    It worked, thanks heaps! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the troubles will be over now. Kind Regards!

  • Dave

    I have a D7560. I cleaned the heads and a ton of old ink from around the print head. Now every time I reset the unit I get the Ink System Failure code 0xc19a0020. Before it would allow me to print after turning the unit off then back on. I did not see my unit listed above for some of the other possible reset solutions. ANy other suggestions?


  • Djmax Mv

    if you have the erro 0xc05d0281 in a hp photosmart 3110 i know how to fix it i will send you pics and what to look

  • Kevin

    Thank you for providing some information that helps others with really no hope for financial return. I have a Photosmart C5150 probably 6 years old and the 2nd procedure worked . (HP Photosmart C5180, C5140 Ink System Failure – If you have the C5180, this solution should help you fix your printer.) so you can add this model number to the list



    • DONNA

      Alignment keeps failing

  • Maree

    Thank you so much and it works now. Now I can save my money to buy another printer. Thank you and keep up the good job!!!

  • Lee

    I have the HP Photosmart C7280. I’ve tried your troubleshooting solution but still cannot get it to work. At the end, the screen still shows the Ink System Failure message. Any help is appreciated.

  • Yogesh

    Ink system failure Photosmart 3310 Error Code: 0xc05d0281 Please Help!!

  • sharon

    The “list of good printers” @ amazon above takes to general search @ amazon.
    can we have a list, please?

    • raphaelnikolai

      Hi Sharon,

      please send email and tell us what your printing needs are. We’ll help you find a suitable printer for you.


  • John

    I need help please !!! I have a 8250 and can’t clear the ink-failure error

  • libit

    I have a C6180 that started showing error 0xC18a0301. First step (troubleshooting) didn’t help, second step (secret menu) solved. I didn’t replace the ink cartridges. Thanks a lot

  • Adial J

    I have a HP C410a, I had the “incompatible ink cartridges error message on my hp c410″. I use a lot of ink for making labels and use after market cartridges. I have found when this error appears, turn your printer off, when you are turning it on hold down both the “cancel” and “ok” buttons. Continue holding both of the buttons till your machine finishes booting up. This should work for most machines that display that message.

  • Harryboy

    HP C6380 , 3 years old , with 0xc19a0023 “Ink system failure” .
    Just used your ‘ hotwater bath for the printheads solution’— it worked like magic .( used 5mm of water depth for 5 mins just to cover the printhead face end , with an occasional agitation to get the ink out , then patted with tissue and let dry for 5 mins) I had spent 4 hours on other sites ( including the HP site itself ) doing soft and hard re-sets etc etc . Saved me £60 Thanks a lot