Reset Canon MP990 Ink Absorber

Reset the Canon MP990 ink absorber message

So I’ve just made my morning coffee – now to reset my Canon MP990 printer. Okay so I love my Canon printers. Excellent printers, easy to use, operate, change cartridges. Just brilliant. The only problem is when you strike the dreaded ‘ink absorber almost full’ message. You’ll get a few warnings you’ll be able to bypass and then it will come to a complete halt and you won’t be able to use the machine anymore. How annoying right?

I don’t want to take it to a service technician and pay more than the printers worth now. Do I want to buy a new printer? No I don’t, I am quite happy with this one. Still prints excellently (because I’ve only used genuine canon ink cartridges in it), which saves the print head and it still operates perfectly.


So I am googling trying to find an option to reset the counter – thankfully found one. You’ll search and search and no options will work because all the so called fixes are not complete – till I found these guys – and a massive thank you to them 🙂 The trick, you need to download the Canon service tool.

I must say, I tried this at my own peril. You never know whether it’s going to work – or you could possibly download something you don’t want. My advice, make sure you have virus software on your computer system and go for it. The worst thing? It won’t work for you – you have to take the machine to a canon service technician or simply buy another printer. Which by the way is probably the smarter option, especially if your machine is 10 or more years old, like mine. Does show the quality of canon printers though. Spend a bit of money on a decent printer, not the cheapies and it will last for years and years. Another tip – use genuine canon inks of course. The generics will shorten the life of the print head significantly. I’ve worn out a few printers using the cheap inks. Not worth it.

Again – this worked for me. I take no responsibility for yours 🙂 Do realise, the ink absorber pad does do just that. Absorb the extra ink expelled from the print head. Knowing this, I have placed my MP990 printer on a towel, on newspaper – just in case the ink overflows. Hasn’t happened yet. And my printer is still printing away without any problems.

Reset the Canon MP990

Make sure the power cable is connected, the USB cable is connected to the printer and PC/Laptop, and the MP990 printer is off.

Press and hold the ‘Resume’ button. This is the ‘stop’ button. Looks like a triange with a circle around it, orange in colour on the right hand side of the operation panel.

Whilst the resume (stop) button is held down, hold down the power button (on button). The blue light should come on. For me, the light was blue, not green as specified by others.

Keep the power button (on) held down. Release the resume (stop) button. Press the resume (stop) button twice. Some lights on the control panel will blink, for me it was an orange light – not blinking.

Your MP990 should now be in service mode. Now you need to use the Canon Service Tool software.

The Service Tool

Now this is where I download the Canon Service Tool software. This download is a ‘rar’ file type.

You will need software on your computer to open / extract this type of file. If you have WinZip you’re all set. I didn’t have that on my system so I looked for a free alternative. I used the Express Zip File Compression software.

Use this link to download if you need to, this software will open rar type files: NCH Software 

This is the link to download the Service Tool software 

This is a screen shot of the Express Zip. I have extracted the files. Now I double clicked the ‘start.exe’. This opens the KelvenBox v.1.0 software. This is a portable application that can be used without having to install it first. KelvenBox is a tool that contains: Canon Service Tool v.4718, Epson Printer Adjustment
Program, and Epson Scanner Adjustment Program.

Express Zip Screen
Kelven Screen Shot Inkjet Online

Using the Service Tool

In the Canon column, click the Canon Tool

Click Start to open Canon Service Tool v.4718

The Service Tool is now ready to use. Make sure you’ve got some plain paper in your printer as you will need to print a couple of sheets. You can load in either the rear tray or the cassette. I chose the cassette as I always have paper in it.

You want to print out the EEPROM information before resetting. Wait for the printer to finish printing.

Now you want to clear the ink counter. You will see a ‘Clear Ink Counter’ tab. Leave the setting on main and click the ‘set’ button. After the Main ink absorber
counter is reset, the ink absorber counter value is printed automatically.

Set your County of Destination

Now you want to set your country of destination. Select your Region (4): ASA (Asia), AUS (Australia), BRA (Brazil), CHN China), CND (Canada), EMB (Middle East), EUR (Europe), JPN (Japan), KOR (Korea), LTN (Latin), TWN (Taiwan ), USA (United States), and then click ‘set’. Mine was ‘AUS’ for Australia.

Check Your Reset Results

Go ahead and print the EEPROM information once again after resetting. Wait for the printer to finish printing.

Compare EEPROM information before and after reset.

If all goes well, close Service Tool.

Canon MP990 Print Out Information

Once I had used the ‘Canon Service Tool’ and got my print out I pressed the resume (stop) button four times and then the power (on) button. The printer then turns itself off. Wait for 10 seconds and then turn the printer on again. The ink absorber message should be gone. The counter has been reset.

You’ll notice when you turn your printer on again, you have to choose your language – mine was English.

Hopefully you found this guide useful. I was really lucky to find this information after much searching and found it really helpful so passing it on.

Was all thanks to these guys writing about it –

The images are mine – my fantastic photography. Do be kind people, ha ha. Happy printing!

Inkjet Online