Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life

Today I had the joy of fixing an Epson Stylus C46 UX printer.

It had the following error: “Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life. See your printer documentation.”

After a little searching I discovered that most people were saying that “It is simply not worth repairing”, however, I took that as a challange, and decided that if I was going to throw it away anyway I might as well try to fix it first.

Before long I located a page on’s forum, which had plenty of details about similar issues.

This is the process I used after reading details on that page:

  1. Unplug the power and USB cables from the printer.
  2. Prepare your work area by putting scrap paper down. Have some spare, just incase. You may also require tissue paper. It is also recommended you use protective gloves as the ink will stain your skin for quite some time.
  3. Unscrew the screw at the back of the printer.
  4. There are two or three tabs at the back and two at the front. Gently push them in, and then using a bit of force pry apart the cover.
  5. At the back of the unit you need to locate some white pads, or sponge type things, initially they will seem fine, but they will infact be full of ink. You need to grab a pair of pliers and pull them out one by one, there should be four, put them on your scrap paper.
  6. Take the scrap paper with the pads on to your sink, turn on the hot tap and hold each one under the tap using the pliers until the water runs clear. If you have protective gloves on it may be worth squeezing the water out also.
  7. It is recommended that once you have done this, you let them dry.
  8. Now return the pads back into the printer.
  9. Put the printer back together, (mind out for the paper alignment, and give it some force), not forgetting the screw at the back.
  10. Plug in the USB and power cable and turned it ON. (Yes the lights will still flash)
  11. Download and install the SSC Service Utility for Epson Stylus Printers.
  12. Select your printer and model number (There is no Stylus C42 UX, so select Stylus C4x), then close the window.
  13. If it asks if you replaced with the pads; say “YES”. Then close the window.
  14. You will see a SSC Service Utilitiy icon (it looks like a printer) in the system tray (next to your click), and LEFT click.
  15. A menu will appear, from here you can click on “Protection counter” (its a red cross), then “reset protection counter”.
  16. Turn the printer power OFF, wait 10 seconds and then turn it back ON.


Additional troubleshooting…

If you have problems with paper feed, take it apart again, check everything is in place correctly, push things together tightly, and put it together again.

If you have trouble with print quality, open the lid, clean any ink residue, use the SSC Service Utilitiy to clean the heads.

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  1. Aviel Segal said,

    April 11, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

    Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life ….

    You just saved me a few bucks !!!!!!
    This simply works !
    Thank you.
    I hope my site,, especially DAW Optimization page , will do some good for you too..

  2. Richard said,

    April 19, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

    Does the printer detect the over saturated pads?, If so How?
    or does it calculate it from printer use? If the latter, can one get a useful extension of life simply by running the Service Utility program?

  3. hm2k said,

    April 20, 2007 @ 8:13 am

    Good question.

    From my understanding the printer has an internal counter, which starts at 0.

    Each time you print (or such) it adds to the counter.

    The printer (and software) has a hardcoded limit which when the counter has reached a certain amount it prevents you from using the printer.

    At this point you must do two things, firstly clean the pads, and secondly reset the counter, as per instructions above.

  4. Peter Munro said,

    April 20, 2007 @ 10:20 am

    Since the manufacturer probably errs on the side of caution, or my cynicism makes me thing the sponge fill is a red herring, why not try going from the second step and resetting the counter to 0.

  5. Zita Bielby said,

    April 20, 2007 @ 9:05 pm

    Hi, with regard to printer sponges, I have a Canon Smartbase MP360S combined printer/scanner/copier which I bought in 2004 and which is now out of warrenty. It stopped working altogether and I started receiving a message on the LCD display which I found out meant the ink sponges were full and to contact the manufacturers. I rang Canon and was told the call out charge would be £89 to which I replied that I only paid £90 for the printer when it was new. I was told that on top of the call out fee, the replacement ink sponges, (of which it would need three), would cost between £6 and £7 each to replace. I said that I didn’t think in these days of trying to be environmentally friendly and recycle, that it was very responsible of the company to make repair costs so prohibitively expensive that people would be more inclined to throw away a perfectly good printer/scanner/copier and buy a new one. The person I was speaking to just said that this was what the company had to charge. I asked for the part numbers for the sponges with a view to buying them and getting someone locally to repair the machine. Howver, I’ve not been able to find any websites that have these ink sponges for me to buy, I’ve tried contacting Canon via e-mail to ask about buying the replacement ink sponges from them as I can’t find them on their website but as yet, a week later have not had a reply from them.

  6. hm2k said,

    April 23, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

    Peter, if you do that, the container that has the sponges in will overflow and you will end up with ink everywhere.

    Zita, just open up the printer, take out the current sponges, clean them up, and put them back in.

  7. Myke said,

    April 25, 2007 @ 9:04 am

    HM2K, Got here from a PCPro article which mentioned this problem also existed with Canon printers. I bought two MP500 combo units, one for my dad and one for myself. I don’t use mine very much, but I know my dad uses his more often. Is there an SSC utility aimed at Canon printers, so that I can clean the sponges for him as and when necessary? Or is it the case, as with Zita above, that you only have to clean the sponges and the printer detects what appears to it to be new clean sponges and resets itself to carry on as normal?

  8. hm2k said,

    April 25, 2007 @ 1:59 pm

    When this happens, you need to clean the sponges. It won’t detect the new/clean sponges, its impossible. You will still need to reset the counter.

    Apparently you can reset the counter by resetting the printer, consult the manual for the steps.

    Or try here:

  9. Viv Evans said,

    May 24, 2007 @ 11:16 am

    Thankyou SO much for this info – you are a life saver!

    I’ve got a research project to hand in tomorrow & when I attempted to start printing it out this morning, I got the message about parts needing replacing (grrr!) Followed your instructions & it worked (& I’m a woman ha ha ha!)

    Thanks again!


  10. george said,

    May 31, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

    hi there. been reading your useful help pages, i am not a computer buff when i go to the site to down load the ssc service utility i get a message saying that it is blocked can u help. george

  11. Jo said,

    June 2, 2007 @ 4:25 am

    wicked advice. And to think I threw out a mulit function printer last year cause it was too expensive to fix . Same problem just happened with my new printer and fixed now thanks to you.
    Kind Rigards,

  12. Ronnie said,

    June 4, 2007 @ 10:01 pm

    hm2k – Thanks for your help. If it hadn’t been for you I would have spent at least £80 that I can’t really afford to spend on a new printer. It’s thanks to people like you that people like me can afford to spend time learning what the big companies don’t want us to learn. Thanks again!

  13. Peter W said,

    June 7, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

    My question, Has my Photo R220 Epson printer gone beyond any help?
    I had just finished printing a C.D as it did O.K no problem . Then I wanted a back and front printing
    I pressed the start to print button and it made a loud gear grinding noise, I then swithed the printer off
    at the power plug, switched the R220 back on and it had the two red lights flashing and requested
    that I removed the paper that was jammed in the printer. there was no paper in the printer at that time
    Do I Have To Take My R220 To The Recycle Tip?
    Many Thanks Peter W

  14. Ron Cobb said,

    June 15, 2007 @ 4:12 pm

    In reply to Peter W , I had a similar problem with my Epson Stylus Photo R220 so I took it apart and found that the paper drive roller had popped out of it’s socket at one end.I thought it had snapped off but it just had to be bent to shorten it so it would pop back into its socket again.What caused it was putting too many sheets of paper into the back feed compartment.Because of the amount of sheets,about five was fed in and this action forced the drive roller out of ist socket.I hope this is of some help.

    Ron C

  15. Chris said,

    June 27, 2007 @ 8:57 pm


    Like Peter Munro, I couldn’t be bothered to clean the sponges, so I’m expecting to see overflow ink everywhere. When that happens, I’ll break out the scrap paper and rubber gloves. That SSC program is a great utility, though!


  16. mr.bapu said,

    June 29, 2007 @ 8:54 am

    when i ON epson stylus photo r310 all lights blinking please give me a solution

  17. John said,

    July 15, 2007 @ 7:07 pm

    thanks for that.
    on looking at the sponges on my epsom photo 900 they looked ok until i realised there was more than one and the bottom ones were saturated.
    when they have dried and if i have any probs with the counter i will be back asking for help.

    cheers, john.

  18. John said,

    July 15, 2007 @ 10:44 pm

    hi, me again,

    no probs, reset counter
    everything back to normal.

    many thanks, john

  19. Oliver Broad said,

    August 1, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

    Hi there,
    Tried this myself but without success – apparently because I’m on a mac…
    anyone come across (or invented) an apple version of SSC software?
    I’d REALLY appreciate it.
    Many Thanks

  20. Liam Davey said,

    August 10, 2007 @ 4:22 pm

    Thank you very much for your detailed report on changing ink pads and tha excellent program SSC SERVICE UTILITY.
    I was just about to throw my printer C44UX in the bin and buy another !
    Stumbled across your web page and WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Everything works again thanks to your advice, cheers :0)

  21. malc said,

    August 20, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

    hi 2 things downloaded the ssc program but cannot get it to work (my printer is c44ux)

    secondly any ideas what is causing my canon bjc80 to make grindiong noise when trying to set up ??/

  22. malc said,

    August 21, 2007 @ 9:47 am

    hi again

    thanks u lot this thicko has done it and it is working fine; i was trying to reset wrong thingy until i actually clicked on icon in tray and found the different reseter for the ‘end of life’.

    now all i need do is sort out my bjc80/70

    and then try to unblock the black inkjets on the epson 640 colour

  23. malc said,

    August 21, 2007 @ 9:49 am

    to oliver

    being a lateral thinking thicko type

    can you not take your printer and conect it to a friends who is running windows ???

    that way the software will work :)

  24. Murad Ali said,

    September 12, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

    My Printer is Epson Stylus Photo R230 Series. the Messege is given that “Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life. See your printer documentation.” And the printer is not Ready and the two red lights are blinking Please Give me The Solution of this Problem or Send me a Software to Solve the Problems Thanks

  25. Mile from Macedonia said,

    September 19, 2007 @ 10:22 am

    Thanks for this. It works!

  26. Moon Patrol said,

    September 19, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

    Thank you very much!!!! you r a super starrr

  27. Annie C said,

    October 5, 2007 @ 9:52 am

    I don’t know whether you are even reading these comments any more, but incase you are, I am most impressed with your instructions, and with myself for getting it right. As everyone says, you have saved us mega-bucks. Can’t think what Epson hope to achieve by causing all this stress when it can all be solved so simply at home.

    Thanks again for your help.

  28. hm2k said,

    October 8, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

    I do read the comments, thanks, glad this has helped you.

  29. Mark P said,

    October 10, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

    I was beginning to get frustrated with trying to get to the bottom of the problem of `parts inside your printer etc etc’, and then by doing a general web search, I was fortunate enough to find your information, which has proved to be very useful. I am now up and running again.

  30. MJD said,

    October 24, 2007 @ 9:35 am

    Thanks for the tip, it works!
    You do need the gloves though. Although the pads look clean at first, there not!

  31. Bill said,

    November 15, 2007 @ 7:56 am

    Hi, I have an epson stylus r340, the above procedure worked but I have to keep repeating it over and over again turning printer on and off to make it work. Anything else I overlooked.



  32. Tam said,

    November 16, 2007 @ 1:36 am

    I have an Epson c46 Ive taken the pads out & clean them, but cant find a c46 in the ssc program anyone got any ideas? they’d be very much appreciated.


  33. keith said,

    November 17, 2007 @ 9:22 am

    Hi I have a Epson RX425 with the same problem, I looked at the pads at the back and cleaned them but the error lights still come on any ideas ?


  34. Max said,

    December 17, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

    Hi, Many thanks.

    I started to print and that error came up.

    I found using a large pen / highlighter useful for squeezing the ink out of the pads instead of a pair of pliers, but I did have to put the gloves on.

    The pads are drying out now so hopefully tomorrow I’ll get it working again.

    Many thanks, Max.

  35. Max said,

    December 18, 2007 @ 8:05 pm

    Hi, The pads dried out and the resetter worked + I’m printing again, Excellent page.

    Many thanks. Max with a Epson Stylus C46

  36. Nicola said,

    December 23, 2007 @ 6:22 pm

    I did the cleaning of the pads, and followed all the instructions, however when putting it all back together and plugging it back in, the lights are still flashing. When I click “Show Current Value” it says “Some Error Occured” Can this be solved? Urgently need my printer!

  37. Keith Williams said,

    January 27, 2008 @ 9:09 pm

    Hi, Thanks for the info

    I did what you said and i could not believe how easy it was to do and to think my local computer dealer wanted £30.00 to do this for me

  38. Peter Smith said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

    Hiya, Interesting thread and plenty of info but can I add a quick question please….

    We’ve recently changed the cartridge on our C46 (Cartridge is not an Epson one but a compatible from Tesco). It takes the cradle over to the right hand side of the printer then it sits there sounding like its grinding the gears (the yellow track seems to continue to rotate slowly) and the only way to reset is to take off the power. he red light flashes but no messages re expired etc

    Just above the cradle there also appears to be a rocker type “switch “which when pressed stops this grinding but when you try the power again it does the same thing ??

    Any ideas or is this related to the “pad full”/Expired parts issue or is somthing broke???

  39. Rachel Collins said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 2:55 pm


    Followed all the instructions to the letter, apart from wearing gloves, big mistake!

    Have it all back together and have used the SSC Service Utility and now receiving an error message “Printer off or some other problem!”. My printer an Epson C46an isn’t off but both green and red lights are flashing (new ink was put in just before it gave up the ghost).

    Any help would be appreciated but thanks in the meantime.


  40. Eastleigh said,

    February 12, 2008 @ 8:33 pm

    My printer has a mind of it,s own , but perhaps I can sort it now.

  41. Richard Lambley said,

    February 22, 2008 @ 11:14 pm


    Just like to say I have an Epson stylus C46 with this fault and was considering scrapping it until I found your page. Followed instructions and it now works like new again. Thanks a lot you saved me a lot of heartache.

  42. Arlene Brisart-Gordon said,

    February 29, 2008 @ 1:59 am


    A friend turned me onto your site, and I now have a problem I need some help with , which hopefully someone can tell me
    how to handle. I purchased a refurbished (at the factory) Epson
    Stylus CX1500 about a year ago, which a few months ago stop-ped feeding the paper. I am wondering if the procedure ment-ioned above, that indicates how to clear a paper jam, followed by the SCS Service Utility download, will probably work? I am positive I don’t a paper jam, but another posting stated his bar had slipped out of place, which I am thinking may be the culprit here. Any help would be quite welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

    Arlene M. Brisart-Gordon

  43. DAVID WOODLAND said,

    March 1, 2008 @ 12:23 pm

    Tried it and it works. Was about to buy a new printer, no need now. Thanks for the link.

  44. Didy said,

    March 8, 2008 @ 9:39 pm


    I followed all the instructions: cleaned and dried the pads, put them back, downloaded the software, reset the counters but still no joy. Lights still flashing. Have now tried turning the printer on and off, resetting again (and saying yes to replacing the pads) but still nothing. This has worked for so many here – why not me???

    Please help!

  45. may said,

    March 14, 2008 @ 4:08 am

    Thanks for the instructions…It help me fixed my’re great!.

  46. Betty said,

    March 15, 2008 @ 5:23 pm

    Wow! Worked like a charm! My 12 year old son thinks his Dad is a genius because he was able to fix the printer in time for him to complete his school project!

    Thanks a million!

  47. Rick said,

    March 17, 2008 @ 1:03 am

    I initially rang EPSON re this problem and the mongrels said it couldn’t be fixed by yourself, and that I would have to take my C41UX to a service centre and pay 40 bucks. I feel like calling them back and referring them to this thread. Even the bloke at the service centre said it couldn’t be done by yourself! A minute after hanging up I googled my problem and found the solution – awesome!!!

  48. Pakdoz said,

    March 31, 2008 @ 11:47 pm

    Wow, amazing solution! I have the same problem with my Epson R230. Now everything working just fine! Thanks.

  49. Hannes said,

    April 7, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

    eeeeeej i got a epson C66……………………..and it worked
    greeeeeeets thx Hans (dutch)

  50. kerry said,

    April 13, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

    i have been taking my epsom c46 to a repair centre and being charged £15 each time to solve this problem, i can`t believe this really works. thank you so much, i just had to thank you . kerry

  51. Paul Millard said,

    April 16, 2008 @ 8:23 pm


    After initially reading the post due to my Stylus C46 from exhibiting the same problem, I cleaned the sponges as instructed, but as a note of advice, I soaked the sponges in Windolene for about ten minutes before rinsing the sponges under hot water. This brought them up sparkling white. As far as I know, the Windolene liquid helps to break down the ink and allow it to flow cleanly from the sponges. So you may probably want to use this method next time your printer stops functioning.

    Thanks for the help, saved me time and cash.

  52. joe said,

    May 16, 2008 @ 10:29 pm

    i couldnt get the cover/back off of the 220, the resetting software didnt say anything about sponges, Epson tech support are useless idioats and i am never buying another Epson product again. You have to be pretty stupid to have that error message and expect people to just ante up.

  53. JOHN HARRIS said,

    May 22, 2008 @ 2:09 pm

    Hello folks,
    Can someone help?
    I have used SCC Service Utility on my Epson C46 printer and everything appeared to have gone O.K. –
    The printer prints THE check pattern and protection is reset and it does everything in SCC Howeever, when I try to print a document – Nothing happens!
    I have a second C46 and when I plug that in – by just unplugging one and plugging in the other, everything works fine immediately !!
    Putting back the resetted C46 and again nothing!
    What have I missed?
    Any Email would be appreciated.

  54. Sue said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 8:52 am


    I came across this link when Googling the problem I was having with my CX3650 Epsom printer saying ” Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life” and wowee, super, wicked brilliant your advice and solutions have worked!

    It was so simple to do and took approx 5 mins to solve and I haven’t even cleaned the pads yet either! I just clicked on the icon that asked if the pads had been replaced and clicked on YES and it worked perfectly. I will get them cleaned asap but had to finish some urgent printing work first and as I just haven’t got the time to do it straight away I will see to that in the next day or 2.

    One bit of advice though when you download the SSC installer check the model number icon is showing the right printer model. Mine correctly showed it was the Epsom CX3600 SERIES but the model no CX3650 was incorrect and so even though it said the protection counter had successfully reset it hadn’t and my printer still would not work and the lights were all still flashing etc. Anyway after several attempts I realised the model no did not match my printer and realised you had to select the correct model number yourself. Anyway, as my CX3650 was not listed I clicked on the unsupported model icon and that did the trick. Check the list to see if your model is there first and if not click on the unsupported model icon and see if that works.

    Fantastic advice and it has saved me the cost of a new printer and meant I have not wasted my money on the bulk boy inkjet cartridges I recently purchased either.


  55. henk said,

    June 21, 2008 @ 7:28 pm

    This worked very well for my epson c42ux. You saved me a lot of money.

  56. Goran said,

    June 25, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

    Thanks for the tip!

    Best regards,

  57. Michael said,

    June 27, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

    Hi hm2k i have the Epson stylus c46 the problem i am having is i can locate the tab’s at the back including the screw, but i can’t locate the 2 tabs at the front of the printer so i can undo the top part of the printer for me too get into the sponges to clean. Can you help me please.



  58. Carol said,

    August 8, 2008 @ 3:35 am

    I have an Epson Stylus r260. I tried following what your advice said but my printer doesnt have only one screw in the back. it has two on the sides and i tried unscrewing them, i dont see any more in the back but i cant figure out what else i should do to take that cover off!.. Please Help!

  59. Joey said,

    September 8, 2008 @ 4:10 am

    Thanks for this posting. Worked like a charm on my C88 – saved me time and money. I tried to figure out how to take the back covers off without destroying the printer with no success. Guess I will wait till the sponges overflow, and then throw out the printer. Epson really should be handling this sort of thing in a much more transparent manner with better instructions.


  60. Culint G said,

    September 9, 2008 @ 4:22 pm

    HI, i did this, which worked great, BUT now my black ink wont print at all (the colour is fine)- i cleaned my heads lots of times, any other ideas?????

  61. Bobfuses said,

    September 11, 2008 @ 3:56 am

    I just reset my Epson CX 6600 and it now works like a charm. Too bad I did not know about the reset utility last year when I discarded a CX 6600 for this same problem. Thanks!

  62. joe monzo said,

    October 5, 2008 @ 4:49 pm

    Thank you so very much!!!!!! One correction to your directions though-it’s a right click for the utility. No big deal…but you know how some people need every little thing spelled out?!

    Thanks again!


  63. sue said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

    What a great page, it’s a shame I didn’t find it before I lost my temper with my c42 and smashed it to bits. I did try the cleaning of pads and resetting counters but it wouldn’t have it so now my hands are black (I forgot the gloves) and I’ve got to buy another printer. Oh well life goes on.

  64. David Kes said,

    November 9, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

    Just about to have a go at the irritating message on the Epson Stylus Photo RX 425 but tried to find the model on the service utility which is supposed to be version 4.10 though it appears that only 4.40 is available.
    Before i wreck the thing I would like to know that the resetting tool/facility is available and works…anyone tell me what I am missing??
    I have really gone off Epson over this matter………
    are there other makes that cut out after x copies?

  65. Arjun said,

    November 16, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

    Hi hm2k,

    I really need some help. I’ve followed the instructions at the top and also the button-pressing ‘reset counter’ routine listed in the ‘Help’ file provided with the SSC Service Utility V.4.30, but to no avail.

    I have an ancient Epson Stylus Color 680/777, where the red and green LEDs now flash in an alternating pattern.

    I’ve cleaned the single ‘waste ink’ pad, dried it, re-inserted it, re-assembled the printer, switched it on, tried resetting the counters, from the SSC Utility in the System Tray, and tried the ‘button pressing’ resetting procedure listed in the Help file, but nothing has worked.

    When I installed the SSC Utility, the Ink Monitor tab read, at the bottom: “Error/Maintenance Request”.
    After re-assembling it, following the cleaning, it now reads “Unknown state/OK”.

    In the Configuration tab, I was originally able to select Epson Stylus Color 680 in both menus, but now the top Installed Printer menu is blank. I’ve ticked “Disable Epson Status Agent”.

    In the Resetter tab, “Available date for selected model” reads: T017 Black and T018 Color UNSUP.

    The Port options are: Auto, 0×278, 0×378 and 0×3BC. In Device Manager (Win XP: Control Panel > Printers and Other Hardware > System [left] > Hardware tab > Device Manager), the only reference to any of the options is “Ports (COM & LPT) > Printer Port (LPT1) Properties > Resources Setting: 0378 – 037F”. I chose “0×378″.

    The printer has three butons:
    1. Ink Replacement button and icon. SSC calls it “Load/Eject”, I think.
    2. Ink Out/Paper Out button with red LED. SSC calls it “Cleaning”, I think.
    3. Power button with green LED.

    Using the button-pressing routine: with both buttons pressed and held, I press the ‘power’ button and the ‘ink/paper out’ and power LEDs synchronise their flashing (the instructions seem to suggest there are three LEDs). I release all the buttons and then press and hold one of the buttons (not the power one). Nothing seems to happen, except for the printer going through its start-up routine and it still not working.

    All my reading of this forum, and the SSC instructions makes me believe the printer is still in working order, I just need to reset something.

    I really don’t know what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  66. Arjun said,

    November 17, 2008 @ 3:35 am


    I appear to have got somewhere, although I still can’t print.

    By trying each of the ports and switching the printer on and off, I was finally asked, by the SSC Utility, whether I had “Replaced waste ink pad?”; a “Yes” answer resulting in the confirmation the counter had been reset.

    After switching off the printer for a few secs, the flashing has stopped, but, still, nothing will print, although the program seems to reset whatever counter I choose.

    Could the problem be that the colour cartridge is “UNSUP” – unsupported? If I’ve reset the ‘waste ink’ counter, why does it matter that the colour cartridge isn’t supported? I use a resetter similar to this (Jet-tec Inkjet Cartridge Chip Resetter:, anyway, to reset after I’ve refilled the ink, so it shouldn’t matter.

    Can anyone suggest anything?

  67. David Kes said,

    November 19, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

    I spent a lot of time with the Epson RX 425 which was a good machine but I could find no absolute resetting download so, I decided it was no longer worth the effort and have bought myself a new printer….epson BX300F from Staples at less than 50 but having the same guts as more expensive ones.
    Its working well and I can get the original inks from Asda for 21 which is a couple of pounds more than I can get replacement ones for on line.
    I hate the throw away mentality but in the end, life goes on and I was spending too much time grieving my old one…………..anyone want it??

  68. liam said,

    November 27, 2008 @ 4:19 pm

    hi iv got a epson stylus photo 900 iv cleaned the sponges out and let them dry and followed everything on the steps you said 2do, but the red lights still are flashing please could you help me? thanks.

  69. Raheem said,

    December 20, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

    It works, thanks for your help.

  70. Nanjo said,

    January 14, 2009 @ 12:17 am

    Thanks very much, hm2k , save me few bucks, printer is CX3650,
    got the same error msg : “Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life. See your printer documentation.
    I didn’t clean or replce the ink pad, just do reset the protection counter

  71. jomilyn said,

    January 15, 2009 @ 10:46 am

    ..hey!i cant do it..still our printer does not can i repair this…????
    help please!

  72. Gary Mehalick said,

    January 19, 2009 @ 2:10 am

    It worked! My Epson C42UX printer is back! Thank you so much for the advice and keeping one more piece of equipment is use.

    The company recommended I toss the printer and buy another. What a waste!!!

    I am grateful for the advice.

    Gary Mehalick

  73. hugh gardner said,

    January 21, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

    Great information. My photo R300 is now fixed no thanks to Epson!!! Many thanx

  74. Josef said,

    January 26, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

    Hi. Anyone ever try to change ink pads on an Epson 4600? The service center says they are at bottom, not back, and require as much work as the high end models to totally disassemble the printer, and quite messy. Not worth it at $160.00.

    My letter to Epson:
    Dear Epson,

    Please allow me to express my dismay at the Epson Stylus 4600. After 3 years, I received the message that it’s service life has ended and learned the ink pads need to be replace. The maintenance job at the centers you suggest costs $80-160—at the high end, that’s almost double the cost of the original low-end printer. It involves the same amount of labor as the high end printers.

    In fact the center itself commented on the poor design of the Epson 4600 requiring total disassembly that customers could have done ourselves had Epson built in an ink pad drawer into the design. To abandon a perfectly good working printer because the counter has disabled the printer due to possible full ink pads is very poor carbon footprint responsibility at a time when green ecology is most needed.

    Allow me to express my disappointment with Epson and its printers by no longer purchasing Epson products.

    Best regards,

  75. David said,

    January 29, 2009 @ 12:50 am

    The SSC utility is excellent but only delays the inevitable – sooner or later the waste inkpad will overflow regardless of resetting the software. Has anyone ever successfully replaced or cleaned the waste inkpad in a CX3650? Can you tell me how to get at it?

  76. Shimon said,

    February 12, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

    I have a C43SX with the blinking green/red lights. I followed your instructions, opened the printer, and cleaned the pads. No, I didn’t bother with gloves, but soap and water took off most of the black and the rest will be off in a day or too ;-)
    Then I ran the SSC utility, but like “Rachel” in the comments above, I get “Printer off, or some other problem”.
    I have turned the thing off and on a million times, and it still refuses to reset the counter.
    Did I get all this ink on my hands for naught? :-)

    I hope you have some idea what I should try next!

  77. Reuel said,

    March 19, 2009 @ 6:48 am


    This is a quick comment to thank you for these brilliant instructions. You have saved me buying a new printer, and all it took was an hour of work, and it was well worth it.

    Is this something that is common to all printers, because the amount of ink that came out of mine (mine is 5 years old) was staggering. It took a good five minutes before the water was clear. If this is something only related to Epson printers, then I certainly will be going with HP or Canon.

    Once again, many thanks,

  78. richW said,

    March 30, 2009 @ 10:30 am

    Hi, does anyone know if this will work for an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 printer?

  79. Dno said,

    April 14, 2009 @ 2:46 am

    I have an epson stylus r220, this actually works, and what I did was just take the sponges out of mine altogether. There’s a little panel on the back of the printer, if you remove it and look down in there there is a tiny clear plastic tube which is where the waste ink flows out of into the sponges. I drilled a hole in the back panel, ran the tube through the hole and into a sealed baby bottle with a hole drilled in it as well, now all my waste ink just flows into the bottle and whenever it gets full I just dump it in the sink (with water running, the ink stains like no tomorrow) whenever the internal counter gets full, I just reset with SSC utility and this saves me from dismantling the entire printer every time the waste ink counter hits max, and having to clean those messy sponges. This is a very easy solution to the problem and makes life a lot easier, especially for those of us who print an abundance of pictures. hope this helps!

  80. sco said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 1:35 am

    I have a C45 and did as you suggested and everything worked great!! Thanks for this info!

  81. Leonard said,

    May 4, 2009 @ 1:46 am

    My printer is Epson Stylus Photo R340. I’ve got the message: Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life. Try to do what you recommended but it doesn’t work. The message has changed to: Service required. See your manual 1 for details. I know for sure that the printer itself in good state. I don’t know how to reset counter chip. Possibly the reason in it…. Please, help. Thanks a lot in advance.

  82. bob said,

    May 4, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

    I’ve reset the counters on my R220, now working, but woul;d like to clean the pads, anyone ever done it? Otherwise will just add a external tank

  83. Tosh said,

    May 19, 2009 @ 12:01 am

    Epson Photo R300 with service error message fixed after your advice. Printer back to normal, many thanks.

  84. subeesh r said,

    June 13, 2009 @ 11:01 am

    thanks! I followed your instructions and works fine for my Epson Stylus C45 printer….

  85. journey said,

    June 29, 2009 @ 11:54 am

    I dont know how to repair it

  86. journey said,

    June 29, 2009 @ 11:58 am

    please help me !

  87. Bradley said,

    July 9, 2009 @ 8:33 pm

    Great information, thank you!
    I tried getting waste ink pads from Epson for my C88, but guess what; they don’t sell them, not even to repair shops.
    I use a continuous ink supply system on my little printer and it has cut my ink costs way down, and people always rave about the picture quality I get, even when using bargain brand photo paper. And now that I can print for cheep, I print gobs of stuff. Thus I have run into this END OF PRODUCT LIFE warning several times.
    I have also found a waste ink tank system that gets rid of the pad all together. Search for Epson Ink Pad Waste Kit. The part plus shipping was under $20. However you will still have to use that service utility to reset the printer every year or so, but you won’t have to take the printer apart and soak your pads in cleaning fluid any more.

  88. the.commander said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 2:53 am

    hi m8.. thank you very much this has got me printer working again. nice 1 hail hail 100 %

  89. ivhie said,

    July 23, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

    i got epson c90 p[rinter and have a same problem..”Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life. See your printer documentation.” how can i fix it?pls tell me ….thanks

  90. Sergy said,

    August 14, 2009 @ 1:54 am

    Hi, I have an Epson Stylus Photo R290 with this problem. But it seems the software doesn’t support this printer. I tried but it did not work. Any ideas?????

  91. Thomas Irvine said,

    September 2, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

    Hi, I replaced my cartridges with compatible ones, since then I am getting coloured stripes when I print a document with image and text. I dont get it when I print off text (black) alone. Can anyone please help me to get rid of the coloured stripes. I have tried nozzle and head cleaning, but still getting coloured stripes all through my page. I have also tried resetting counter. It is an Epson C86 (photo edition)

  92. Linda Jenkins said,

    October 3, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

    Thanks for this page I could not work out how to take the back off my CX6600 but have managed to reset counter . Have you any other help for getting the back off this model please. so I can actually do the sponges. Thanks

  93. Lex Power said,

    October 19, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

    Thanks a lot for your advise.

  94. Ernan Sanga said,

    November 9, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

    Thanks a lot man, it works, actually I go from step 1 then skipped to step 7, trying my luck to save time draining the pads. And amazingly it works.

  95. Terry said,

    November 26, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

    The Russian download centre says ink pad counter reset by software isn’t supported for Epson C66 models – was Hannes right or wrong ? Is it worth looking further into this route or cut my losses and buy new printer ( never Epson again!).

  96. Terry said,

    November 27, 2009 @ 5:35 am

    Has anyone an answer for me about whether the SSC Service Utilty can help with Epson C66 printers suffering from the Inkpad
    Counter problem – they say this model can’t be reset by software ?
    Don’t want to go to a lot of trouble undoing it and washing the pads if the software can’t reset it afterwards!
    Hannes (July 7 2008) seemed to think it did ?

  97. Paul said,

    December 1, 2009 @ 10:58 am

    Hi. I cleaned the felt sponges as you said, then reset the counter but it still says parts inside etc.

    Any suggestions. When resetting the counter it does ask have you changed sponges and i answrer yes.

    Many thanks.

  98. Dan said,

    December 15, 2009 @ 11:27 am

    Hi i am having the same problem with the epson c48, saying” Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life” i ahve had this problem before and sorted it no problem by doing the above with the ssc utility, but on this perticular printer anyting i try and do weahter it be reset the counters or or clear count overflow, the same message keeps coming up saying error, pritner off or some other problem! i ahve done the basics turning the printer on and off changeing the usb ports, even changed the usb cable and still getting the same message.

    Anybody any ideas?

    Thanks Dan

  99. Diane Savage said,

    January 18, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

    Re “Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life” Have looked at my printer Epson Stylus RX640 but cannot find where to take the back off. Anyone help me?

  100. Martin said,

    January 24, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

    Those using a continual ink supply need not worry about cleaning the sponges as they should have a small overflow bottle taking care of this, it should be at the right hand side at the back of the printer.

    Also, once you have installed the program you need to RIGHT click your mouse to get up the menu and from there it is a breeze.

    Sitting on a Sunday evening with documents that MUST be written and to get a stupid command from the printer is a pain to say the least, what would we do without muppets like the ones that wrote this little life saver of a program, wonderful, many thanks to whom ever it is.

  101. Robert said,

    February 3, 2010 @ 1:10 pm


    Thanks for the info, Did what you said and got my C46 working again. Only one issue though as I had just bought two new cartridges and after a few head cleans said that my black was down to 12%. as I had just spent £20 on the cartridge I was a bit miffed. Any one know why??

  102. N Henderson said,

    February 14, 2010 @ 12:49 am

    I also received the perplexing message that service was required, see your manual or contact Epson for service. The RX 500 printer suddenly wouldn’t print. The manual has no information relating to this issue. I contacted Epson, who sent me the addresses of several authorized Epson repair places. The dignostic cost was to be $75, and the minimal repair cost was going to be $150. I decided to see what I could do by consulting the internet.

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, you good intelligent people who write programs to get us out of fixes and generously make it available to others! I downloaded the SSC Service Utility program, followed the directions, and it totally solved the problem. I was able to remove a visible ink pad which was to the far right of where the ink cartridges slide. I cleaned it out and put it back in place. It would seem that with the right foam material, I could make my own replacement pad if needed, but the old one seemed to do fine once it was clean. I suspect there are other ink pads that I just wasn’t able to get to, so may pay the $10 to obtain online the service manual , available at

  103. lily said,

    February 14, 2010 @ 9:55 am

    because of this easy to understand printer repair instruction i saved 4000 php to 5000 php for a new home printer. i am about to throw my epson stylus c45 when i came across this friendly tutorial. now my printer is up and running again! thank you.

  104. Nubietech said,

    February 24, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

    I Have done this already twice and i have this site for reference once again ! thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!thank you!

  105. Bryan said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

    Just found your site and instructions for cleaning pads and running utility for resetting print counter. Looked for info specific to setup like ours, but cannot find. Can you tell me if this works for Stylus 1400 that is also fitted with QuickConnectII bulk ink bags? Thanks – Bryan

  106. Bryan said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    Forgot to mention, lights on my Stylus 1400 are both flashing, but not simultaneously. They flash alternately, which I have not found anything about. I’m only assuming the sponges are full or print counter needs reset. Can anyone confirm what alternate lights flashing means for sure?
    Thanks – Bryan

  107. Mario said,

    March 4, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

    Thanks to this site, I was able to fix Epson Stylus C48 printer which was showing the error: “Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life. See your printer documentation.”
    I opened the printer and changed the pads. My wife had some similar material so I cut 4 pads to size and fit them in.
    I also downloaded the “SSC Service Utility for Epson Stylus Printers.” utility and followed instructions given and presto!
    Now I have a squeaky clean printer, with new pads, which is producing better printouts than ever before.
    Many thanks for the time of putting this on-line…It has saved me a lot of money and the printer now has many more years of life ahead of it.

    many thanks,


  108. Clifford P. said,

    March 4, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    Why hasn’t a single user on this site spoken to Epson about the problem at hand? I spoke with a tech and said it would be a shame to add the printer to a landfill simply due to the ink pads needing replacement. He sent me to a link on the Epson website which provided a utility to reset the counter with which worked like a charm. The file is named EpsonIPRUtility_A10.exe and may be downloaded from their website from this link:

    I have not performed any maintenance on the ink pads and the printer is working just fine. i have been using a CISS ink system for a few years with this printer and it has been a huge money saver. The CISS ink system and replacement bottles of 400 ml ink of each color X 6 cost me $125.00 and will last several years saving the equivalent of about 20 sets of ink cartridges which would cost about $1,500.00! The ink is every bit the equivalent to the Epson in color and all other aspects. I actually feel that the Red reproduction is better then the Espon ink without even profiling the new ink to the paper being used.

  109. hm2k said,

    March 5, 2010 @ 1:33 pm


    Thanks for the information.

    When I contact Epson in the past, they weren’t very helpful.

    The page you mention has only existed since 2008, this article was written in 2007.

    You really should maintain your ink pads otherwise ink will overflow all over your desk.

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