asked May 16, 2005 at 4:20am
Epson Epson Stylus Photo 900

Epson Stylus Photo 900 Paper & Ink Lights Flashing

The Paper & Ink Lights flash together. I am told this indicates an obstruction to the carriage. I have not found any obstruction. The carriage moves very freely by hand with power off. Can anyone help.

More help needed! I have attempted to download the service manual for this machine using the link provided by . However I have not been able to find it on the Epson site. Anybody able to give me step by step instructions on this.
omger...Just to let you know: Service manuals are not actually available from Epson Company, or off their web-site. You would have to go on-line and try to buy and download or purchase the actual "Epson Stylus Photo 900" service manual from a distributor, because that manual is not actually available from the home page. The "Epson Stylus Color 900" service manual is available to download for free off the home page, at . If you actually have the stylus color 900 model, rather than the stylus photo 900 model, then you can use that free manual...That light pattern normally indicates a FATAL ERROR service condition, on most epson printers. There is no actual reset procedure for a fatal error service condition, because either there is an actual hardware/part failure, or a related area is requiring some servicing to be performed, to be able to correct that fatal error. You may need to try and locate a Service Manual on-line, that you could download for in-depth troubleshooting, disassembly and servicing, if you want to try and locate your possible problem. There are approximatly 10 different things that can cause a FATAL ERROR and most of them involve HARDWARE PROBLEMS [bad/defective/failing electrical parts] in the "carriage assembly" or "paper feed assembly". You would normally know if you have been having any paper feed problems [jams, misfeeds, crooked feeding copies, etc]. You would also normally know if your printer was having any unusual or strange GRINDING NOISES or RATCHETING NOISES, that may indicate a DIRTY or DRY CARRIAGE ASSEMBLY. Although you said that carriage assy moves freely by hand, there may not actually be an obstruction, assy may simply be dirty and or dry and that can cause that fatal error condition. If your not sure about possible carriage problems, or just to eliminate that area, you might want to clean and lubricate that assembly. You need to eliminate possible problems and the carriage assembly is one of the biggest and most common problem areas, that cause that fatal error condition. Try wiping off all around the round metal carriage bar or shaft [that the print cartridge holder assembly moves back-n-forth on], with a lint free cloth. Also clean the outside of the metal bushings with q-tips, that the carriage bar passes thru, on both sides of the print cartridge holder assembly. You can also use alcohol on the cloth, if there is a lot of build-up on the carriage shaft/bar. Then lube the metal bar on both sides of the holder assembly, slightly with a precision oiler, not a spray lubrication. A drop or two of a Teflon based lubrication or Tri-Flo lube is best on the older models of most printers. Manually slide the holder assembly back and forth to spread out the lubrication and wipe of any excess lube or blackish build-up that appears on the bar. After the carriage assembly is cleaned & lubed and if that corrects your fatal error service condition, then you should perform the "Printhead Alignment Procedure" thru the PRINTER PROPERTIES UTILITY thats loaded onto your computer system. That alignment can be thrown off because of a dirty and or dry carriage assembly. Sometimes people will simply do a re-alignment without cleaning & lubing that assembly. That simply does a quick fix that usually does not last long. Once that assembly is cleaned & lubed, the actual alignment is then usually off, from those previously done re-alignments and or the sticking & binding caused from when that assembly was dirty and or dry...You can check out this link, supplied by WES, to see different lubrications: and also this link provided by WES, , to see some general information on "Carriage Guide Shaft Maintenance"...Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on May 17, 2005 at 11:30am Add comment
omger: Just in case cleaning and lubing that carriage assy does not actually help, then the second most common fatal error problem is a dirty "Encoder Strip/Sensor Strip". You're "Epson Stylus Photo 900" [photo model only, not on stylus color 900 model] has a plastic encoder strip/sensor strip that runs thru a sensor mounted on the back of the Print Cartridge Holder Assembly. That strip is located beside and slighty behind the carriage bar/shaft and runs from the left side to the right side of the printer. This strip appears to be almost see threw, but has tiny encoder dots on the strip, that give the instructions to the Printhead Assembly/Print Cartridge Holder Assembly, during a printing job. Sometimes ink splatter will get on that strip, causing the sensor to mis-read the actual encoder dots, causing positioning problems. To eliminate that possibility, you might want to CAREFULLY and VERY GENTLY, clean that sensor strip. You should only use Distilled Water [less chemicals and minerals in distilled water] to clean this strip with. Other fluids and chemicals [such as: alcohol/acetone/ink removers/etc] may actually damage the plastic strip or even wipe off the tiny encoded dots/marks. Then it will of course not work or simply not give the correct information anymore. You can use damp Q-Tips, but I prefer wet strips of flat coffee filters, folded into an approx two inch length. Once the folded strip is fairly wet [just not dripping], I lay it on the top of the sensor strip and then carefully fold it over the top of the sensor strip and down both the front side and the rear side of the sensor strip. Position one finger on one side of the folded wet strip and your thumb over the other side [the sensor strip will now be covered by the folded wet coffee filter strip]. Use your other hand and firmly hold the sensor strip between your thumb and finger, at as near to one end of the sensor strip as you can. Now slide the wet coffee filter strip slowly and gently along the sensor strip to clean it. You may have to change the wet coffee strip if it gets real dirty. Ink spray/spots/dots that may have collected on the sensor strip, will then be cleaned off by the wet coffee filter strips. Its possible that the build-up of ink on the sensor strip, can actually cause the sensor to read the information wrong. The sensor is trying to actually read that ink spray/spots/dots and gets real confused. This can cause strange problems to happen and sometimes can even cause a Service Error Light/Led to come on...WARNING: Be sure that you are holding one end of the sensor strip firmly, so it does not move back and forth while cleaning it with the other hand. If it moves to much it can actually un-hook from its little attachment point/hook and is almost impossible to rehook/reinstall without removing the Top Cover Assembly. If you pull to hard on the sensor strip, it can actually be damaged and break off its attachment point/hook. NO STRIP = NO WORKING PRINTER. SO ALWAYS GO SLOW AND BE VERY CAREFULL WHEN CLEANING, OR EVEN NEAR THAT SENSOR STRIP...Again, Good Luck! Denny Conway
by Denny Conway on May 17, 2005 at 11:44am Add comment