Canon Error 5100 – How to fix

There is really nothing quite as annoying as asking your expensive Canon MP printing device to print an important document and seeing Canon error 5100 pop up instead of the neatly printed paperwork you need. Understanding the reason for the error 5100 and what steps you should take to resolve the issue can have you back on track with your newly printed page-fast.

Error message: The LED light blinks twice (2xs) and displays: “Error 5100 An error occurred in the carriage encoder signal”.

Let’s march down the troubleshooting path and look at probable solutions and how to reset Canon error code 5100. The first thing that you should do with a printer error of any type is try to reset the Canon MP printer. Occasionally an error code is a matter of a crossed signal between the Canon ink jet printer and the computer. Rebooting the Canon pixma printer might fix the problem with no more fuss.

1) Clear debris from carriage head to eliminate canon error 5100
Open the Canon printer and look closely for any debris such as small pieces of paper or dirt lodged inside. If such debris is found, remove it, plug Canon pixma back in and see if error code has cleared. 

2) Lubricate the purge cap
If the Canon printer has excess dirt or dust you can use a damp lint free paper towel to gently clean the Canon printer. Once device is cleaned plug it back in and see if error 5100 has cleared. If cleaning and clearing the device does not work then you may need to lubricate the purge cap.The purge cap is the sliding mechanism that the printer head parks into when it is not in use. To lubricate it you will need to remove the right panel from the devise. Once the panel is removed rub a little white grease along the sliders while taking care not to get any grease on the small wipers or the black caps. Once this is done, replace the panel, plug devise back in and see if the error 5100 has cleared.

3) Paper Jammed
Odds are greatest a rogue piece of paper has nested itself in like a rat in a haystack. The solution is to remove all ink cartridges and hit it with canned air, or any other filtered air blower.

4) Set the ink cartridges properly
Less likely, and yet still possible is your ink cartridges need to be re-seated. If you follow the step above, after cleaning you’ll be re-seated the cartridges anyway.

5) Clean the Timing film
The timing film is a thin piece of plastic which runs across the width of the devise below the drive belt. It has fine vertical lines running along it and if it becomes dirty then your printer will display an error 5100 message. To clean use a damp lint free paper towel and gently wipe it off. Once strip has been cleaned, plug the devise back in and see if the error message has cleared.
6. Corrupt printer driver results in Canon Error Code 5100
If you have gone through all this and still you have no joy, chase down the latest, greatest print driver and reinstall. Printer driver corruption while low on the odds list, can be quite vexing.

How to reset Canon Error 5100

  • Turn off the printer
  • Unplug the printer power cable
  • Press and hold the power button, and restore the power (a strip with a switch makes this simpler*). Depending on your firmware, you may have to also press and hold the resume button, simultaneously. You may get a one buzz sound.
  • While continuing to press the power button press the resume button twice, in short bursts.
  • Release the power button.
  • Again, depending on the firmware, you may have to press the resume button three more times, and then the power button once. If you got a single buzz before, you should get one again, indicating you have exited programming the firmware. The printer will then switch off.

Plan B to reset Canon 5100 on Canon machines
There is a plan B however, it is at your own risk. Some clever Russian engineers have coded up Canon printer Resetters that can be downloaded. The software can create test patterns, cleaning, EEPROM dumps. Clearing waste counters and much more. And in these days of malware, I think more than twice about downloading free software from sources I don’t completely trust.
If all of the above steps do not clear your printer of the error 5100 error then it is possible the logic board assembly or carriage motor has gone bad. If this is the case then you will need to either send the unit in for repairs or replace the machine.