What is the Dell “Low Ink” warning and why it is false

12. October 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Dell ink

In general, Dell printers are exceptional machines. Many models share one very annoying quirk though: They make low-ink warnings appear on the monitor, even when the ink is nowhere near being empty. If you have a Dell printer and have been warned about having low ink, you may have discovered this issue on your own. Upon attempting to replace the ink, you may have discovered that there was still plenty of it left. In some cases, this warning may appear only a week or so after replacing the ink. In either case, it's quite aggravating. Luckily, there's a way around the issue, and it's outlined below.

Incorrect Ink Levels

There is no clear explanation for why Dell printers sometimes incorrectly warn about low ink levels. The problem isn't universal among Dell printers; some models never have this issue. For those that do, these warnings seem to appear almost at random. Sometimes, the ink is less than half full, but that doesn't mean that it needs to be replaced. There is speculation out there that these warnings are used as a ploy to make customers buy more ink when they don't really need to, but there is no conclusive evidence that this is the case.

Steps for Correcting the Problem

You don't have to be a computer whiz to correct this vexing problem. You don't even have to open up your Dell printer or anything. Please note that this problem can happen with Dell-brand ink and with compatible ink cartridges as well. The steps for correcting the issue are the same whether you're using OEM ink or compatible ink.

  1. Click on the Start menu at the lower-left corner of your screen. You will either see an option for Control Panel, or you will immediately see a Printers and Faxes option. Either click on the Control Panel and then click on Printers and Faxes, or click immediately on the Printers and Faxes options. In other words, you need to get over to the Printers and Faxes section.
  2. A list of the available printers and faxes should be displayed. Locate the Dell printer icon and click on it. If you don't see the icon, the machine may not be on. Make sure that it's plugged in and turned on, and it should appear on the list.
  3. A new window will appear. Click on File, which should be in the upper-left corner of the new window.
  4. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on Printing Preferences.
  5. You will be presented with a window that has several tabs and clickable options. Click on Advanced Options then click on More Options.
  6. At this point, you will have two options: You can either choose to display minimized print status alerts in the Windows task bar, or you can choose not to display print status alerts at all. By clicking the second option, you will no longer be prompted to replace low ink on your Dell printer.
  7. From there, simply click on Exit. You will be asked if these settings are correct. Click Yes and exit out of the menu.

The new settings should go into effect immediately. Keep in mind that this also means that you will no longer be alerted when other issues occur. Fortunately, most Dell printers have intuitive designs, so you should be able to tell when a paper jam or other problem arises.

As far as determining when ink is truly low on your Dell printer, the easiest way to do so is by keeping an eye on print quality. If it begins to look faded or uneven, it's time to replace the ink.

List of common Dell printer error codes

9. November 2009 20:02 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (2)

Dell printers are made to share several common features. Most current printers contain a flat panel display to show printer status as well as indicating possible problems. All Dell printers share a feature that helps to decipher what is causing various problems, to better assist in fixing them.

All Dell printers, like the Dell 1110 toner printer, are created to display error codes, either on the display or on a computer screen. However, the error codes are usually issues which can be quickly resolved with a little knowledge of the causes. Most current printers have software installed that allows maintenance and checking error codes, simply by clicking an icon. Below are several common errors as well as tips on how to remedy each error.

Replace Toner - Dell printers will display an error stating to “replace toner,” in addition to various numbers that signify the color of the ink or Dell toner needing replacing and the general error state of the printer. This error can be cleared by replacing the cartridge that the printer is referring to in the error code.

Paper Jam Tray 1 and Tray 2 error codes - The paper jam error is caused by paper that is physically jammed within the printers various parts. Clearing this code is accomplished by physically opening the printer’s doors and gently removing any paper that is stuck.

Print Head Error - Dell printers will usually trigger a print head error when there is a problem with blockage. This error is not applicable to laser toner printer. Ink is the biggest cause of blockage on the printer’s head, which will trigger this error. A printer’s head needs to stay clean in order for the ink to pass through efficiently, and for more accurate text and images when printing. By going into the printing utilities software on your computer, you can check to see what is causing the print error. Most printers allow head-cleaning by clicking an option within the utility. If the print head isn’t blocked, there is a possibility it will need replacing.

Printing Text in Red - Print heads that aren’t thoroughly cleaned may cause red text to be printed. Removing the cartridge and cleaning the heads may help solve this problem and return the normal colors when printing.

Error code 016-370 - This error message shows on the Dell LCD panel and requires the powering down the printer in order to clear it. After waiting for ten seconds with the printer off, turn it back on and the code should be cleared. If that method isn’t effective the NVRAM may need to be reset on the printer.

Error code 004-332 - This code usually indicates an error condition that requires restarting the printer. Additionally, this code could be cause by toner cartridges that haven’t been positioned correctly in the printer. Removing the toner cartridges and reinserting them will often clear this error code automatically.

Error code: 009-360 - The 009-360 error is an indication that a toner cartridge CRUM communication failure has been detected by the printer. This can be remedied by first powering down the printer and waiting ten seconds before powering it on. Next, power on the printer and see if the message has been cleared.  If the error is still present, replace the toner cartridge.

If your error is not listed above, an excellent resource to find any error code for all Dell printers is the Dell printer support site.  The Dell printer support site provides drivers, manuals and detailed instructions on how to resolve a variety of issues.

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