9880 Cartridge Errors

Help! I am in the 9th circle of hell with my 9880. I am trying to decide if my print head is going, or just needs a good cleaning…but in the middle of this issue, all of a sudden I can’t print anything. I get the replace cartridge error, but it doesn’t tell me which one. On the status monitor, it says to replace ALL of them. I have reset all the chips, I have replaced the chip in the VM, which I originally thought was the issue. When I turn on the printer, it readies itself for printing just fine. After the print preview is approved, it comes up with the replace cartridge warning. Has anyone dealt with this before (and have an amazing solution?)

I am so sorry for the late reply. Trying to swim to the top of my emails here . . .

My thinking here is that you have an old ink bay that is slightly miss-aligned. A common procedure for this printer (by the epson tech) used to be either aligning the ink bay or replacing it entirely when this happened.

The solution is to very very gently place a small wedge of cardboard underneath each cartridge right where it goes into the in bay. This will simply hold them in place so that when you raise and lower the ink lever they will not wiggle out and lose contact with the chip sensor.

Try this, let me know,

Thanks Walker - I will give this a try and let you know!

Ok - how thick should the cardboard be? I used a thinner piece - like cracker box thickness under each cartridge and I am still getting the same issue. I don’t want to do any damage by going thicker without checking with you first! And does it make a difference if the printer is on or off?

The card board should fit under the cart snuggly (not too hard but not just going in their and providing zero wedging.)


Hmmmm - ok. So I did that and it didn’t make a difference. Is there anything else you can recommend? I love my printer!

One questions. Can you turn this printer on and then run a cleaning without error? If so, this may be an issue with your printer driver. If you are sending Photoblack data when it is in Matte black mode or vis-versa this can crop up . . .


No - it says it can’t complete a cleaning and do I want to replace the ink cartridge. I never switch from pk to mk as it is so cost inefficient.

But if it goes from “ready” and then to “can’t complete please replace cartridge” this means that somewhere in there the chips are too low and not being reset to full. This indicates to me that something is actually up with the chip resetter. Most likely the chip resetter (if it is not a USB corded one, but one with batteries) needs new batteries.


It is a USB resetter. It doesn’t tell me which cartridge it is. I did reset them all, and even changed the chip on the one that I thought might be trouble (from an old OEM cart and then reset it).

I think (can’t remember sorry, it’s been a long time since using this printer) that you can go to the epson driver, click on the supply levels or epson utility icon and see the reported levels there.

What I think may be happening is a prong on the resetter is bent . . .

one way or another a chip is not resetting back to full.


In the Epson Utility, it just shows me grey bars with no levels. And on the printer display, they are all white, but the don’t show the line across indicating one (or more ) are empty. The resetter looks good, but could the bend be subtle? What would you recommend to do next, Walker? Is it worth ordering a new resetter?

And as a crazy second question - am I able to reset chips from OEM carts? Or do I need to order ones from you? I did replace my VM with an OEM one, but maybe that was a mistake? It was after this all started - just on Saturday.

You can reset chips from OEM carts and in fact when I used this printer for a decade before working here I would use the Epson chips in the IJM carts.

My thinking though is that if the OEM chips were completely empty they may have not reset. Generally these need to be reset at the 10% or more level.

A replacement chip resetter may be in the offing here, regardless.