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'Incompatible Print Cartridge' Message Displays in Windows After Installing a Print Cartridge

  • PrintPrint


After you install a print cartridge, the power light continues to blink. The printer will not print. Incompatible Print Cartridge displays on the computer screen.
Figure 1: Power light


Work through the sections below, in order. When the power light stops blinking, the problem is resolved.
NOTE:In the procedures below, the problem cartridge is identified by the message on the computer screen.

Step one: Close printer cover

If the printer cover is open, close it.

Step two: Determine which is the problem cartridge

If the message on the computer does not identify a particular cartridge but instead says Print cartridge error , follow these steps to determine which cartridge is causing the problem.
  1. Open the cartridge access door.
  2. Remove either cartridge (not both).
  3. Close the cartridge access door.
    • If the computer message is Print Cartridge Error , then the print cartridge that remained in the printer is the problem cartridge.
    • If the computer message is not Print Cartridge Error but instead says ...Either missing, not detected, or incorrectly installed , then the cartridge you removed is the problem cartridge.
  4. To reinstall the problem cartridge, proceed to the next step.

Step three: Remove, inspect, and reseat the problem cartridge

If the problem still occurs, the electrical contact between the cartridges and the printer might be bad. Removing and reseating the cartridges might help.
  1. Open the cartridge access door and wait a moment for the cartridges to come to the center.
  2. Press down on the end of the problem cartridge to snap it out of the carriage.
    Figure 2: Removing the problem cartridge
  3. If there is tape on the cartridge, remove it. Do not remove the copper-colored strip.
    Figure 3: Removing the tape
  4. Replace the cartridge. Place it in its slot at a slight angle, and then press up and forward until the cartridge snaps into position.
    Figure 4: Replacing the cartridge
    • The black or photo cartridge goes on the right.
    • The tricolor cartridge goes on the left.

Step four: Clean the problem cartridge contacts

  1. Gather the following items to clean the cartridge and carriage:
    • Clean distilled water. Use bottled or filtered water if distilled water is not available. Tap water can contain contaminants that damage the cartridge.
    • Clean cotton swabs or any soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the cartridges (coffee filters work well).
    • Sheets of paper or a paper towel to rest the cartridge on during cleaning.
  2. Open the product cover and wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Remove the cartridge and place it on a piece of paper with the nozzle plate facing up.
    NOTE:Clean the contacts quickly so that the cartridge is not outside of the product for more than 30 minutes. If the cartridge is outside of the product for too long, the ink can dry and clog the nozzles.
  4. Unplug the product from the electrical outlet.
  5. Dip the swab or other cleaning material in the water and squeeze it to remove most of the moisture. The swab should be only slightly damp.
  6. Clean the cartridge contacts.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the ink nozzles.
    Figure 5: Cartridge contacts
    Cartridge contacts
  7. Clean the contacts in the carriage.
    Figure 6: Carriage contacts
    Carriage contacts
  8. Either let the cartridge sit for 10 minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.
  9. Reinstall the cartridge.
  10. Reconnect the product to the electrical outlet.
  11. Close the product cover.

Step five: Repeat reseating and cleaning steps

If the problem is not solved, repeat the reseating and cleaning procedures above.

Step six: Insert a new print cartridge

If the problem is not solved, insert a new print cartridge.
If you do not have a replacement print cartridge, you can still print in ink backup mode. Remove the problem cartridge and print with the remaining cartridge.
  • If you remove the tri-color cartridge, your 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 product

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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