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An 'Incorrect Cartridge,' or 'Incompatible Cartridge' Message Displays for HP Photosmart C4100 All-in-One Printer Series

  • PrintPrint

Issue

After installing a print cartridge, or after a period of successful printing, the printer does not print.
Figure 1: Example of a cartridge error
Image: Example of a cartridge error.
One of the following messages might appear on your printer control panel:
  • Color or Right Print Cartridge is not compatible
  • Incorrect Print Cartridge(s)
  • Incompatible Cartridge
  • Print Cartridge Problem
  • Incorrectly Installed Cartridge(s)
  • Black or Color Cartridge(s) Failed
  • Color or Right Print Cartridge is not intended for use in this printer

Solution

Complete the following steps in the order presented until you resolve the issue.
NOTE:In the steps below, the 'problem' cartridge is identified by the error message. Either one or both of the cartridges could be causing the issue.

Step one: Remove and inspect the cartridge

The print cartridge may not have full electrical contact with the printer. Removing and reinstalling the cartridge may help. To remove and inspect the cartridge, follow these steps:
NOTE:HP cannot guarantee the quality of remanufactured or refilled cartridges.
  1. Make sure that the printer is on. Press the Power button if it is not lit.
  2. Open the printer cover, and then wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Press down gently on the top of the cartridge to release it.
    Figure 2: Remove the tri-color cartridge
    Image: Remove the tri-color cartridge.
  4. Slide the cartridge out and inspect it.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
    Figure 3: Electrical contacts and nozzles
    Image: Electrical contacts and nozzles.
    1 - Copper electrical contacts
    2 - Nozzles
    Check the electrical contacts for debris.
    Make sure all the clear protective tape has been removed from the nozzle and electrical contact area.
    Figure 4: Remove the clear protective tape
    Image: Remove the clear protective tape.
  5. Reinstall the cartridge in the printer and try again to print.
If after you have completed these steps you are still unable to resolve the issue, go to the next step.

Step two: Make sure that the cartridge is compatible

Which cartridges you use might depend on your country/region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
NOTE:For the United States only, go to the HP Home & Home Office Store .
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
  1. If the cartridge is compatible, reinstall it in the printer.
    • Place cartridges marked with a triangle in the left carriage slot.
    • Place cartridges marked with a square or pentagon in the right carriage slot.
    Figure 5: Correctly installed cartridges
    Image: Correctly installed cartridges.
    Figure 6: Direction to insert the cartridges
    Image: Direction to insert the cartridges.
  2. After verifying that your cartridge is compatible, reinstall the cartridge in the printer and try again to print.
If after you have completed these steps you are still unable to resolve the issue, go to the next step.

Step three: Clean the cartridge contacts

To clean the electrical contacts on the print cartridge and in the carriage in the printer, follow these steps:
  1. Open the printer lid and wait until the carriage stops moving, and then unplug the power cord.
  2. Remove the cartridge and place it on a piece of paper with the nozzle plate facing up.
    NOTE:If you are removing a tri-color, photo, or gray photo print cartridge, try to clean the contacts quickly enough that the cartridge is not outside of the printer for more than 30 minutes. The ink can dry and clog the nozzles if the cartridge is outside of the printer for too long.
  3. Dip a clean cotton swab in distilled water, and then squeeze it to remove most of the moisture.
  4. Clean the print cartridge contacts. Do not touch the nozzles.
    Figure 7: Cartridge electrical contacts
    Image: Cartridge electrical contacts.
  5. Clean the contacts inside the carriage, inside the printer.
    Figure 8: Carriage contacts
    Image:  Carriage contacts.
  6. Either let the cartridge sit for ten minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.
  7. Reinstall the cartridge, plug in the power cord, close the printer cover, and then try again to print.

Step four: Reset the printer

To reset the printer, follow these steps:
  1. Disconnect the Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable from the back of the printer, but leave the printer turned on.
  2. Open the cover of the printer and remove the print cartridges.
  3. Close the cover and wait for the Insert Ink Cartridges message.
  4. Disconnect the power cord from the back of the printer and wait for one minute.
  5. Reconnect the power cord. If the printer does not automatically turn on, press the Power button.
  6. Open the cover and reinsert the print cartridges.
  7. Close the cover. If prompted, print a calibration page.
  8. Reconnect the USB cable, and try again to print.
If after you have completed these steps you are still unable to resolve the issue, go to the next step.

Step five: Replace the cartridge

If after you have completed these steps you are still unable to resolve the issue, replace the cartridge. If you do not have a replacement print cartridge, skip to the next step.
Which cartridges you use might depend on your country/region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
NOTE:For the United States only, go to the HP Home & Home Office Store .
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.

Step six: Print in backup mode

If you do not have a replacement print cartridge, you can still print in ink backup mode until the issue is resolved. Remove the problem cartridge and print with the remaining cartridge.
  • If you remove the tri-color cartridge, the printouts will be in grayscale.
  • If you remove the black or photo cartridge, the printer will print more slowly and the colors in the printouts may differ.

Step seven: Service the printer

If after you have completed these steps you are still unable to resolve the issue, service the printer.
These steps apply to all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.
If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, service the product.
Determine if your product is in warranty or out of warranty. If you need help determining your product’s warranty status, go to HP’s Warranty Check Tool .
  • If your product is in warranty, contact HP.
  • If your product is out of warranty, fees might apply for contacting HP.

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