Canon i9900 1403 Print Head error and Canon Pro9000 settings

Well, my Canon i9900 (which has been working for over ten years?!) has finally had a real problem. It is a 1403 Print Head issue. As says, it is probably the print head which is clogged after all those years of use. The main point is that this happens if you don’t print for a long time and ink clogs the print head. Amazing that it hasn’t happened more often as I don’t print very much at all:

Canon i9900 blinks 5 times – replace cartridge – I have two i9900’s and a number of print heads. I can fix most problems with them, but have never been able to overcome the 1 green followed by 5 yellow error code. I’ve had that twice and had to replace the printhead the first time, and I’m working on the second now. I love my Canon printers, have had them for years, and will use them until they are unusable. And I refill all my own cartridges for them. I go through 15 to 20 a week at work and home combined.

If it helps, the problem has to be in the print head, because I have a print head that shows the same error code in both printers, and either printer will work fine with another print head.

I wrote a guide on ebay a few years ago on how to clean canon print heads. It’s a little dated now, as I have refined my techniques a bit, but I’ve reprinted it here if anyone is interested:

Cleaning a Clogged Print Head

This guide is written specifically for the Canon PIXMA iP & MP, BCJ-8200, i9***, S9*** Series printers which use the BCI and CLI type cartridges. It should work with any similar carriage type print head that forms an assembly of the individual cartridges and snaps out. The type printer that has all the color inks in one cartridge is probably completely different. I’ve never used one. If you’re at the point of getting a new one anyway, try it.

Over the past few years I’ve used this procedure on a dozen print heads of five different Canon printers using the BCI-6 or the CLI-8 cartridge and I’ve been able to clear the clogged ink jets almost every time . The carriages have a printed circuit board on them that you need to be careful not to damage.


First, remove the ink cartridges from the carriage and seal the orifice where the ink is released on each. You are sealing them from drying out, not leaking, so you can just place a strip of cellophane tape over the hole and sit them tape side up, so that the ink won’t run out. (Or simply wrap them all in a damp cloth… one that you plan to discard. The ink will leach out onto anything that it touches.)

Second, raise the mechanism that holds the print head and ink cartridges in place and remove the print head from the printer. Run hot water over the print head until it runs clear. This may take a few minutes, because you have to rinse all the colors out, not just the one (usually black) that is not printing. If you don’t rinse them all well, you will have a rainbow of colored water getting all over everything. Place the print head in hot water and let it soak for half an hour or so. Then, concentrating on the clogged passage or passages, try to force the hot water into the opening that the ink flows into. You can do this by holding it under the faucet and using water pressure if you don’t have any other way. I used a large plastic syringe that came with my ink cartridge refill kit. Without the needle attached, it’s tip is about the same size as the opening in the print head, and I got a lot of pressure on it by holding it tight and pushing hard on the syringe, forcing the water through. If you get more color out, you know that you are doing good. Keep it up until there’s no color. Then let the print head drain for a few minutes and dry it off, but don’t let it dry out… blow as much water as possible from the ink passages or your first prints will be watery… I used canned compressed air that’s sold at computer stores and it worked pretty well. A compressor at 10-20 psi works better.

After they are reasonably dry, replace the ink cartridges and print. It may take a page or two to get the ink flowing. If it works, print something using a lot of black ink (or the color that was clogged) to run some ink through it. The ink itself flowing through the ink jet seems to help dissolve and dissipate any remaining dried ink particles and help keep the path free of clogs. Print something every day for a few days, and try not to go over a week or two without printing something. I have most of my clogged print head problems when I go extended times between printing. I have a Xerox laser printer for black and white printing, so I sometimes go too long between prints with the Canon, and when I do print from it, I use less black ink than any other. It has always been my black ink passage that clogs.

It’s really not as hard as it may sound. Each time you clean your print head, it gets a little easier and you get a little faster… I can do a basic cleaning in about 10 minutes if I skip the soak process, and it usually works just as well.

If the above basic cleaning does not work you may have to get more serious about it.

The next guy figured out how to just reset the whole printer so it thinks it is new and out of the box

I too had this same problem after pulling the print head and giving it a good cleaning to unclog some of the nozzles.

I did a little digging and combined two solutions that fixed my problem:

1) I pulled the print head and powered off the printer.

2) I then went through the process of resetting the code for waste tank cleaning.The reset code also sets your printer to new out of the box:

A) With the printer powered off, hold down the resume button and press the power button.

B) While holding down the power button, release the resume button and press the resume button twice in succession. Now release the power button. The indicator will blink in green and remain lit in green.

C) Press resume 4 times (Green) for Waste ink counter reset.

D) press the power button. The printer will switch itself off after performing the function. . Canon i9900 blinks 5 times – replace cartridge –

In the mean time, time to fire up a Pro9000 and print until I figure this out. Fortunately, Ilford has a printer profile for the printer. I used my own printer profile but this is faster to get to “good enough” the installation is to put it into a magic directory. On Mountain Lion (or OS X after 10.5), it is /Library/ColorSync/Profiles

Then you have to run a decoder ring on the name of the ICC to figure out how to set Adobe, so this profile we have:


Here is what this means:

  • IGSGP9. This is the name of the actual media, in the case Ilford Galerie Smooth Glossy Pearl version 9?
  • CANP9000. This is the printer or CANon Pro 9000
  • PPPG. These are the parameters to use with Photoshop

In the Photoshop CS, you always set

  • Color Management to Let Photoshop Detemrine Colors in Options/Color Handling
  • Option/Printer Profile choose the huge name above
  • Choos Relative Colormetric
  • Now decode the PPPG to mean set the media type to Photo Paper Plus Glossy

Finally the last thing is an “n” which means that in the printer driver set it to Color corretion: None