How I Fixed my HP C5180 Printer

September 2013 Update: I’m so glad this has helped so many people! Over the years, a few folks have posted additional info in the comments, so I recommend checking out the great tips especially from Mike & Jim if the Hard Reset isn’t what you’re looking for.

After several weeks of no working printer, I finally sucked it up and decided it was time to fix it. The error message “Ink System Failure” had me thinking that I’d installed a faulty ink cartridge. (I have them refilled at the awesome Inkwell Xpress in downtown NE Portland, where Good Dog Bad Dog used to live.)

I went out and bought brand new ink cartridges, to rule out the ink-replacements as a problem. And still, no matter what I did, I kept getting the nasty Error: 0xc18a0001. HP’s support site instructed me to remove all the cartridges, turn off the printer and unplug it for 2 minutes. Then plug it in, power it up and voila! it would magically work. Only it didn’t. Then it instructed me to take it in for servicing.

Servicing? Apparently what they meant to say was “scour the web for tips from other people who have suffered from the same problem. We know about the issue and how to fix but we don’t have to care about you.”

The biggest obstacle was wading through the heaps and heaps of irrelevant posts, sketchy solutions and various rants and raves. But an hour or so later, I found it. The solution that worked. Sweet Jesus!

ANSWER (to most of life’s questions): hard reset

HP C5180 All-In-One Printer HARD RESET:

  1. Hold down HELP + OK button and unplug printer (could experiment with regular power-off, but I opted for brute force)
  2. Hold down HELP + OK button again as you plug the printer back in. Then power it on, if it doesn’t power on automatically. Be Safe: keep holding the buttons until the printer turns itself off. (It took mine less than a minute.)
  3. Now you can release the buttons and simply power it back on. (I held my breath, but that’s not required.)
    • I got an error message about “improper shut down” since I unplugged it w/out powering down. After I clicked “OK” the printer was just fine and didn’t mind anymore. And now I can print.