Question about Canon i9900 InkJet Photo Printer

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Canon i9900 prints no color after installing a new print head

I started having problems with my i9900 when the magenta stopped printing. I tried everything to fix it like running the deep cleaning procedures several times, but nothing changed. I recently bought a new print head, only to have it print very lightly all the colors except cyan, yellow and magenta. When I try to print a photo, all I get is the black part of the picture. The company who I bought the print head from says it is not the new print head at fault, but the "Purger" or something like that and that it needs to be taken it to a service tech. Is that the only way I can fix this or can I do it myself somehow?

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Yes, it should be done by a tech, authorized or not, its the experience that matters. A purge unit can run a lot less than the print head, around $30-40.

The whole thing really needs to be cleaned and primed and this is where the experience matters. As you have something in the neighborhood of at least $400 invested in this printer already and probably more than that, you have to carefully weigh two things. Will this likely be a money pit of a printer? Answer: very well could be, frankly. Second: would a different printer give me more satisfaction? Yes, an Espon RX Stylus Photo series would. We don't see many users with problems on the Epson RX Stylus Photo series that's a design flaw. We DO see Canons all day all the time.

So, do you want to walk away from an expensive lesson and get a better machine or not? Only you can answer this. I think I would charge $125 to work on your printer plus parts so in the long run you'll be way over the $500 price point to have a working printer, probably much more than that. You can find an Epson RX Multi Function printer around the internet for very competitive prices. An Epson RX 680 Stylus Photo runs around $200.

If this answers your question please don't rate it Helpful. Thanks, help is what we do. If this answers your questions. I'm happy to have fixed your question.

Feel free to ask any other questions you may have. You can use the comment box below.


Posted on Nov 20, 2008


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2 Answers

Black and white prints are not black

Sorry, steve, that you are experiencing this problem.

According to's website regarding the i9900 InkJet Photo Printer:

Why color ink may be used when printing in black and white Even when printing in black and white, color ink is used for the following reasons:
  1. Automatic cleaning of the print head.

    To prevent the print head nozzles from clogging, the print head is automatically cleaned periodically. At that time, a small amount of each color ink is consumed.

    Therefore, although printing in black and white is performed, color ink is also consumed.

  2. Color inks may be used to create black.

    When printing in grayscale or on photo paper or when duplex printing, although printing appears in black and white, the color black may be created using the three (cyan, magenta, and yellow) color inks. Printers without a pigment black tank / cartridge will print black / grayscale will create a composite black using color ink even on plain paper.

    Therefore, although printing in black and white is performed, color ink may be consumed.
  3. In order to keep the heavy black ink from smearing on the page or in the printer, color ink is used when duplex printing to help create black text.

I might suggest taking out the color ink cartridges leaving only black there, but some printers don't take kindly to this. So, you may have to further experiment with magenta, cyan, and yellow to make it at least seem b&w to your best eye's judgment.

Good luck on this.

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That issue usually indicates a bad printhead. I had to fix a lot of i9900 printers, and after cleaning the printhead there still was no change. Other models do that too when the printhead starts going out. This is an expensive printhead, but easy to replace, as you know. Link below to some options:

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at

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I have 3 Canons i9900 and the clogging of red and photo magenta is common, mainly photomagenta. I take the print head out and place it on a paper towel. I mix a solution of 50/0 distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. I use a syringe and put enough solution around each print head to cover it and let it soak for about 1 hr. I will keep adding solution to keep the head covered. You will notice color leaking out on the paper towel. After an hour I actually push the solution through each head until no color comes out the bottom. I took a piece of tubing and heated it to shrink the end and then cut it off straight. It fits snugly on top of the print head. I then attached it to a syringe and fill the syringe with my solution. Then I push the tubing on top of the head and gently push solution through the head until it comes out clear. I do all the heads. when I am done I use canned air to gently dry everything, especially the contact plate off. when I put the new head in I usually try to put OEM cartridges in the first time, I have been told they flow better. This works for me. It is a pain but I refill my ink and I save $1000's a year in ink.

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you have a blocked print head on the printer. you can try this removed the print head place it small amount of metho this could removed the blockage not always. i deak fix is to replaced the printer head .

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