I have a Canon MX870 printer which I have connected to a Windows Vista laptop via a USB connection. Whether I print or copy, the result is the same: blank pages.

The result is the same when I use a different (also Vista) computer. Scan works fine (to computer).

Printer cartridges are correctly in place (red light showing for each) and all protective orange plastic bits and tape removed: the foam part of the cartridge (underneath) is exposed and the L-shaped air hole (top) is open.

Just to be clear: it gives every impression of printing (paper goes through, it sounds like the printer heads are moving, prints only on command) but the output is blank pages.

Note: this is a brand new printer.

Update: inside the print head cradle (which you insert as part of the set up process), I can now see wet ink on the cartridge side but no wet ink on the side which touches the paper. So it looks like harrymc is correct: there is simply a hardware problem. I think I now have to take it back to the shop - if / when I know more, I will post it here.

  • Appears to be bad print heads. I'd exchange the printer. – bwDraco Mar 6 '16 at 0:42

First step is to ensure that you have well installed the latest driver for the printer, downloaded from the Canon Support website.

Secondly, right-click the printer's entry in the Printers applet, and select Properties. Go to the Maintenance tab and execute all the tests and maintenance functions, starting with Nozzle Check.

If this doesn't resolve your problem, the printer has a hardware problem. As it is new, use its warranty and demand repairs. If you have any problems with the shop you bought it from, contact Canon Support via their website.

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  • I'm inclinde to believe you about the "hardware problem". Nothing is solving this. It is like I haven't removed a piece of packing tape between the printer head and the paper. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Apr 3 '11 at 17:49
  • For an all-new printer you might possibly be able to ask for an exchange. – harrymc Apr 3 '11 at 18:30
  • accepted your answer because of your third paragraph. It was indeed a hardware problem. I got a new printer and it is now working perfectly. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Apr 5 '11 at 18:38

This is from the Canon website:

If print results are blurred or colors are not printed correctly, the print head nozzles are probably clogged. Follow the procedure below to print the nozzle check pattern, check the print head nozzle condition, then clean the Print Head.

If printed ruled lines are misaligned or print results are otherwise unsatisfactory, aligning the Print Head may improve print quality.


Do not rinse or wipe the Print Head and ink tanks. This can cause trouble with the Print Head and ink tanks.


Before performing maintenance

  • Make sure that the orange protective tape does not remain on the ink tank.

  • Open the Scanning Unit (Cover) and make sure that all lamps on the ink tanks are lit red.

  • Increasing the print quality in the printer driver settings may improve the print result.

When the Print Results Are Blurred or Uneven:

Step 1

See Printing the Nozzle Check Pattern.

See Examining the Nozzle Check Pattern.

After cleaning the Print Head, print and examine the nozzle check pattern.

If there are missing lines or horizontal white streaks in the pattern:

Step 2

See Cleaning the Print Head.

If the problem is not resolved after cleaning the Print Head twice:

Step 3

See Cleaning the Print Head Deeply.


When you have performed the procedure until step 3 and the problem has not been resolved, turn off the power and clean the Print Head deeply again after 24 hours. Do not disconnect the power plug when turning off the power.

If the problem is still not resolved, the Print Head may be damaged. Contact the service center.

I suggest you work through this step by step and see if it helps resolve your problem.

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The functions from the Canon drivers will probably not help you. Try cleaning the printing head with alcohol or distilled water.

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Try to print the printers build-in test page (see manual). This eliminates all PC & cable problems. If you still get white paper only, your printer has a hardware problem.

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My Canon MX882 would print test pages ok but everything else came out blank even though it sounded like it was printing. I tried everything I could think of and read on the net but nothing worked until I did the manual print head alignment. It now prints fine. This is something that should be done on a new printer or when any of the ink cartridges are replaced. Hope this is helpful. Fred

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