Monday, August 18, 2014

How to Fix the SC899 Error on a Ricoh MP Series Copier

On older Ricoh copiers (as well as copiers and printers of other brands) if you had a corrupted print job that got stuck and held everything up, it would probably cause the device to lock up or freeze.  However, on newer models, a bad print job can cause an SC899 error code.  You can clear this error by turning the copier off and back on, but often it will come right back when the computer sending the print job tries to send it again.

There are many theories on what exactly causes the problem resulting in the SC899 error code.  In some cases it's caused by a TrueType font, while other times it may result from a very large print job.  Some people have reported the error only occurring when printing from a specific version of the Adobe Reader browser plug-in, or from specific versions of Internet Explorer.

Whatever the reason, you can fix the SC899 error code caused by a bad print job very easily, if you know what you're doing.  The first thing you'll have to do is find the computer that's trying to send the bad print job.  In a large office environment, this part may not be so easy.  One way to help track down the print job is to press the Printer button on the copier to bring up the printer screen.  The red box displaying the SC899 code will take up much of the screen, but above this box you can usually see the file name of the print job, or at least part of it.  That file name (or web address, for web pages being printed) can help you locate the user trying to print it.

Another way to locate the computer sending the stuck print job is to open up the print queue on anyone's computer.  In Windows, double click on the Ricoh printer in the Control Panel.  Next to one of the print jobs listed in the queue, you should see an error message.  That print job is the one causing the SC899 error, and the name of the computer where the job is being sent from will be listed on the same line as the file name.

Once you've found the computer that the print job is coming from, you'll need to cancel the print job.  How you'll do this depends on what type of operating system the computer is running.  In current versions of Windows, go to Devices & Printers from the Start menu (or Printers and Faxes in Windows XP) and double click on the Ricoh printer (or right click on it and select Open).  You should see a list of all files currently in the print queue.  Right click on the one that's causing the problems (it should be the top one, that says "Error" next to it) and select Cancel.

In rare cases, the print job won't cancel.  If that happens, you can either restart the print spooler (in Windows, you can find it in the Services window) or reboot the computer that was sending the print job.  If you don't have administrator rights on the computer, you probably won't be allowed to restart the print spooler, so your best option will be to reboot the computer.

As soon as the print job is canceled, go over to the copier and turn it off and back on.  When it comes back on and warms up, you should be able to print your other print jobs normally.

Ricoh has come out with several firmware updates attempting to fix the various reasons for the SC899 error, and they do tend to help.  The next time you talk to your Ricoh service technician, ask him to update your printer's firmware.  It's also a good idea to update the applications you use, especially if the SC899 error only happens when printing from specific programs.

(Originally published on, February 2014)

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