Canon Pixima iP1600 Error 5100

My wife was trying to print something the other night, and she was complaining that the printer was broken. I figured out what the problem was for me, so I’m posting this in case others have the same sort of problem (the answers I found on the web weren’t all that readable, and I spent a good ten minutes reading bits and pieces of answers to piece them all together).

So, I trudged down to the office to check it out, and sure enough, it wasn’t printing.

It was giving me an odd error that I wasn’t used to… and said something to the effect of:

Error 5100: Please turn the power off on this unit and turn it back on, and if you still have problems consult the User Manual.

So, I turned it off, and then back on again, and tried to print. Same error.

So, off to Google I went (we got this printer three years ago, and I couldn’t begin to tell you where the user manual is).

I searched Google for canon pixima 1600 error 5100

And I read this results page, which looked helpful:

FixYourPrinter.com: Canon i550 Service Error 5100

And another results page that took me to a Yahoo! Answers page, which was only midly helpful.

Long story short, something was likely wrong with the printer carriage bar… or something was jammed that was causing the print head to not advance all the way across the bar like it should.

I totally believed that, knowing that I have a 3 year old that is most-likely playing with the printer from time to time when we aren’t looking.

So, I opened up the front cover, and sure enough, the print cartridges weren’t seated well, and one of them was hitting the underside of the cover about three-quarters of the way across.

So, I re-seated all of them, and then turned the printer off and on again, and did a nozzle-check print test. It printed fine. So, back to the computer to resume the print job, and viola… no more printer error.

On those other results pages, they mention things like “cleaning the carriage bar” or “checking for stuff jammed in the printer” so, if reseating your printer cartridges doesn’t work, keep looking for things that would cause the printing head carriage (the thing the print cartridges sit in) to not function properly.

Good luck.

1 Response to “Canon Pixima iP1600 Error 5100”


  • Had the same error appear on a canon pixma mx860. It was due to the fact that when you open the cover to replace ink tanks the cartridge box rises and someone had not cut back the plug used when refilling my cartridges and was hitting on the upper shroud… cut back using knife problem solved.

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