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Author Topic: Any suggestions for Epson 9900 D17A error. Works fine in service mode...  (Read 928 times)
stuartr
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« on: February 27, 2013, 04:41:03 PM »
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I was wondering if anyone could help regarding an Epson 9900 D17A error. Apparently this is firmware or main board related. I talked to Epson, and they suggested I unplug it, put it into a new power source and reboot. Amazingly, that worked. But now the error is back. They suggested a service call. That's all well and good, but I live in a country with no technicians that know the printer. The weird thing in the mix is that the printer seems to work just fine in service mode, and after the error it did work fine the next time it was turned out. Seeing as a main board replacement is a fairly serious matter, I was wondering if anyone out there might have any advice on this one.
Needless to say, it is out of warranty, and were I in the states I would not have any trouble just forking over the money to Epson to fix it. But here I have a feeling the local Epson dealer (which does not really deal in these printers) would have to fly in a tech from the UK and so on. That's a bit more than I care to spend on this issue!
Of course, I have a client to print for tomorrow, so this is also a time sensitive issue. I can hopefully print this one job from service mode, but that is not something I want to make a habit of! It does not look like the main board replacement is that difficult physically, but I do not have servprog.exe or even a windows computer. I could borrow one, but again, not so keen on doing this myself unless it is straightforward. Has anyone dealt with this issue, or something similar? Any bright ideas? Eric? Would love your input if you are listening....
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yannb
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 02:44:23 PM »
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Hello,

A friend told me: "This is a debug error that occurs at product development. In principle, it does not occur for mass-produced products; however, it might occur due to unexpected causes such as external noises." The same friend suggest the following remedies.

1. Restart the printer. If the error does not occur, observe the printer for recurrence.
2. Re-install the firmware.
3. Replace the Main Board Assy.

Since you've already done '1.', maybe you can go to 2?

Regards,
Yann
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stuartr
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 06:11:14 PM »
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Hi Yann,
Thank you very much for the reply! I am sorry I did not respond sooner...I was not notified of the comment. I did not realize I needed to check a box!

So far the error has not come back for a few days, and things have been working normally. I just hope that it will hold out until the next firmware update, and then by upgrading, hopefully it will fix it.
I had the service tech come, but since nothing was then happening, he just copied the system settings in case we need to do a reinstallation of the main board. He did not reinstall the firmware for whatever reason...he basically said that if it is not broken now, best not to try to fix it! I tend to agree, but he can always do it if he needs to come back.

Weird to hear that it might be from external noises, however. Did I understand that right? Can external noises affect the printer in some way? I listen to music at times, but rarely particularly loud...I am also in an industrial building that occasionally has some loud compressor noises and so on, but nothing THAT loud...
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judyfholmes
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 01:51:55 AM »
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The tips by yannb are good. Printers are devices that need constant use for their well being in the long run. I had one printer once but if kept idle for 2 day it won't print anymore or print shabby pages. Always keep the drivers updated and the case clean. It surely works. Printers are bound to give errors no matter how much you maintain it.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 06:46:31 AM »
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A few more thoughts.

You can work fine in service mode, I often leave my 9900 in SM when I am printing both matte and photo ink jobs as I can make the switch without a cleaning.  The main difference is you can't set the paper type and run Nozzle checks from the printer.   The reason you are able to come up in service mode without the error is that many of the higher error checking,diagnostic tools that run automatically are turned off and this error may be related to something on the board looking for stable power.  Not sure what the error reads, but if it relates to power, then I would strongly suggest there is nothing wrong with the main board, especially if you can run fine in Service mode.

As to the error, it really sounds like you have a non-stable power supply.  I say this mainly since moving the printer to a different source seemed to fix the problem.  You would need an electrician to check, but all of these printers are looking for a certain level of power and if your mains drop below that even momentarily, you might get this error.  I have read other reports of errors like this when people are trying to run a 7900 when they are on a generator.  Generators vary by nature and build and don't always deliver a constant even power.  You may want to consider purchase of a UPS, one that will monitor the power and switch over when you have a drop.  Drop just means, not enough to shut down but enough to give the printer an error. 

It would be interesting to ask what Epson told you the error code meant, if it applies to power delivery, I would look at a more stable electric delivery to the printer. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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stuartr
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 10:12:57 AM »
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Thanks Paul,
That seems very sensible, and it also makes sense to me, as it would explain why everything seems perfect when the error is not present. I have been printing for about a week now without any errors. In the process, I changed out the power cable, USB cord and put in better surge suppressors. I also had been using a power plug adapter, as the cord I had was a US cord, going into a European outlet. But it worked fine for two years before that...perhaps it was just oxidation or wear and tear on the adapter. Either way, a UPS might be a good option as well. I will look into seeing what they cost here. Unfortunately, a lot of that sort of stuff winds up being economically impractical here, with the high shipping fees, import taxes and so on.

I asked Epson about the error, but they did not give me any specifics...just that it was firmware or main board. Not sure if the service representative had the exact information, as even in the service manual it does not specify exactly what the error is...
Best,
Stuart
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Larry Heath
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 09:17:51 AM »
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Get a good UPS and turn the printer on and off as little as humanly possible! That is my A Number One, take it to the bank tip, for keeping Epson printers happy and healthy. I live in the lighting capital of the world, Florida, so it’s absolutely imperative!

Just like most computers or other sensitive electronics, on and off all the time isn’t a good thing in and of itself, much less getting hit with spikes and sags and constant short dropouts, at least in my book, Epson printers seem to be the same. 

Now a “Good UPS” means a commercial level UPS, in APC speak this means a "Smart UPS" or better, they switch faster and have much cleaner power output, i.e. true sign wave as opposed to square or stepper wave power output of the cheaper consumer grade units. At my day job, we have a large number of computers and other VERY sensitive electronic equipment that have been on essentially 24/7 for ten years with no “electronic type” failures, all of them are commercial/enterprise grade UPS backed of course.

Back in the beginning, i.e. my early Pro 4000 days, I constantly had all manner of error codes and even outright lockups, I burned up a main board or two and I was on a first name basis with the Epson service people in my area.  Once I wised up and started using UPS power and leaving the units on 24/7, all of this nonsense just went away. Case in point I just picked up a new, to me, Epson 9880 printer. Brought it home and set it up and it promptly started handing out error codes. It is a very low use unit and I paid so little for the thing I though oh sh1t I may have bought someone else’s problem child printer. But as soon as I set it up with a good UPS problem solved. Haven’t had an error code from it in the six months since, it’s been happy as a clam.

Your mileage of course could very, but a “good” UPS in front of any Epson wide format ink jet printer is absolutely the very first thing that should be done to keep it healthy and happy, in my mind anyway.


Later Larry
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stuartr
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 08:52:33 AM »
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Ok, thanks Larry, I will look into it. I had hoped that was not really the problem here. We don't have any thunderstorms here, and the power is all very consistent geothermal or hydroelectric...produced at way more capacity than the population needs...they went on a power plant building boom in order to cater to aluminum smelting, but there are only a few smelters in the country and we have more power generation capacity than is necessary. I have not had a brownout since living here. All that said, you are right that sensitive components deserve protection, and just because we rarely or ever lose power does not mean that something else might not be going on in the power supply.
Best,
Stuart
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