How to Troubleshoot a Print Head Not Installed on a Canon MP470

By Bonnie Conrad

The Canon Pixma MP470 color inkjet printer is designed to sense problems early and report them to the operator. This system can make troubleshooting a lot easier and reduce downtime. If you see an error message that says the print head is not installed, look closely at the print cartridges, the print cartridge carrier and the interior of the printer. Since a number of things can cause this error message, a step-by-step approach to troubleshooting is warranted.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Small vacuum cleaner

Step 1

Turn the MP470 on and open the top cover. Wait for the cartridge carrier to stop moving, then lift the first cartridge out of the printer. Tilt the cartridge forward, then carefully lift it out of the printer.

Step 2

Examine the electrical contacts on the bottom of the cartridge. Look for any tape that might be covering those contacts. New print cartridges ship with this tape to protect the cartridge and prevent leaks. If you fail to remove this tape, the printer cannot sense the cartridge and it might return a "print head not installed" error.

Step 3

Remove the rest of the cartridges from the printer. Check them for tape and other obstructions. Also check the cartridges for leaking ink, and clean them if necessary. Discard and replace any cartridges found to be leaking.

Step 4

Clean the ink cartridge carriers thoroughly, using a soft cloth or a small vacuum cleaner designed for cleaning computer components. Paper dust and ink residue can accumulate in the carrier and cause communication issues with the printer.

Step 5

Place the ink cartridges back in the printer and close the top cover. Power cycle the printer if the error message does not go away immediately.