Fixed HP C7280 Ink System Failure

posted Jul 21, 2015, 12:00 PM by Niels Jensen   [ updated Jan 30, 2018, 11:54 AM ]
After investing almost 200 USD in new ink-cartridges for our several years old HP C7280 about six month ago it started up with ink system failure. The failure code was c18a0106, but that turned out not to be really important. We were just about to take the printer to the dump, when we decided to give fixing the problem another try. I simple google HP C7280 ink system failure. And we found a solution at  the site fixyourownprinter at . Here are the details of the procedure we used to get our old C7280 working again:
  • Press and hold the ‘*’ key on the keypad on the printer panel, then press the ‘#’ key and release them both
  • Press ‘123’ on the keypad to enter to enter maintenance mode.
  • Press the right arrow (beside the OK button) until System Config menu appear.
  • Press OK to clear any hardware error condition - in my case the ink system failure condition.
  • Power the printer off by removing the power cord, and then insert the power cord again.
When the printer started up again the following step were executed:
  • Select the language for the printer menu (English).
  • Select the location, country, of the printer (Denmark).
Then printer alignment started and a printer alignment pages was printed. This takes several minutes and then you are asked to discard the printed page, and connect the printer to your computer. I connected the USB cable to my Lenovo E520, and started hp-setup, which immediately found the HP C7280. I configured it. Under openSUSE this requires root access, but not a restart of the computer. I asked for a testpage to be printed, and the printing started momentarily. 
Before using this procedure we had tried other approaches to ink-system-failure for HP printers found on the internet. None of these other procedures worked, such as pressing a combinations of keys on the keypad while powering on the printer - this was supposed to factory reset the printer. I have attached the scanned output from the printer after entering maintenance mode etc. at detailed above.
Would it be nice if printer manufactures were more open about how their printers can be maintained?

Just a short update. After several days of using the scanner function with XSane on our openSUSE 13.2 desktop, some printer of pictures on photopaper and color printing of labels on an A4-sheet we are very happy that we got the C7280 working again. We still have some small issue with setting the photo paper type etc. But very pleased that one evenings work resulted in a working piece of hardware.


Close to the end of 2017 this printer finally died after more than 15 years of good service. During it's last month the unit was mainly used for scanning with maybe a couple for pages printed each week. After a shutdown in the beginning of December the printer stopped starting up correctly. It continued to complain about paper jam, but there were none. So it got recycled.
Niels Jensen,
Jul 22, 2015, 10:06 AM
Niels Jensen,
Jul 22, 2015, 10:06 AM