The PIXMA iP4200 is an inkjet printer released by Canon in 2006. Just as with other inkjets, the iP4200's print heads can become clogged. If you leave your printer idle for several months you are increasing the likelihood of a print head clog. Canon, understanding the potential for this problem to arise, built a special cleaning process into the PIXMA iP4200 that can unclog the print heads.
Click "Start" from the Windows desktop and click "Devices and Printers." Right click your PIXMA iP4200 and select "Printing Preferences" from the pop-up menu.
Click the "Maintenance" tab and click "Nozzle Check." Make sure a page is loaded into your printer's auto sheet feeder. Click "Print Check Pattern."
Take a look at the printer page and verify the integrity of the pattern. If all is well you should see a black grid at the top of the page following by rectangles for each colour of ink. If any of the coloured bars is blank or very faded, you've got a clog.
Click "Cleaning" from the "Maintenance" tab of your Printing Preferences window.
Wait while the print head cleaning process runs. A nozzle check screen appears when the cleaning is complete.
Load a sheet of paper into your printer's auto sheet feeder and click "Print Check Pattern" from the open Nozzle Check window. Verify the output to ensure the clog has been removed. If the print head cleaning helped, but did not completely fix the issue, run it again. If there is no difference in output after a second attempt, however, run a deep cleaning.
Select "Deep Cleaning" from the "Maintenance" tab under "Printing Preferences."
Wait while the printer performs a deep nozzle cleaning. A nozzle check window appears when the cleaning is complete.
Load a sheet of paper into your PIXMA's auto sheet feeder and click "Print Check Pattern" from the open Nozzle Check window. Verify the output to ensure that the cleaning removed the clog. If the output has not changed, shut down the printer for 24 hours, then repeat the deep cleaning process.
If your clog is not resolved after following these instructions, you may need to replace the cartridge or the print head. To save ink and avoid this problem, print a document in colour at least once a month to keep your print heads moist. Also, never remove an ink cartridge unless you plan to replace it immediately.
Print head cleaning -- especially the deeper version -- uses a lot of ink, so only take this step if you have no other choice.