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A 'Remove and Check [color / black / photo] Cartridge' Error Message Displays on the Printer Control Panel

  • PrintPrint
This document is for the HP PSC 1600 and 2350 All-in-One printers.
A Remove and Check [color / black / photo] Cartridge error message displays on the printer control panel display and the printer does not print.
There are several possible solutions to this issue. Start with "Solution one: Remove and then reinsert the cartridge." If that does not resolve the issue, continue with each solution in the order presented until the issue is resolved.

Solution one: Remove and then reinsert the cartridge

If the error message indicates that a specific cartridge is the issue, use these steps to remove and reinsert that cartridge. If the error message is not specific about one cartridge, follow these steps for each cartridge.

Step 1: Open the printer and remove the cartridge

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door and wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
    Figure 1: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press down lightly on the end of each cartridge to release it.
    • The tri-color cartridge is on the left.
    • The black or photo cartridge is on the right.
    Figure 2: Remove the tri-color cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge
  4. Slide the cartridge out.
    NOTE:Do not keep the cartridge outside the printer for more than 30 minutes. The ink can dry and clog the nozzles if the cartridge is outside the printer for too long.
  5. After removing the cartridge, unplug the power cord from the rear of the printer. Wait 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. Reconnect the power cord, and then press the Power button to turn on the printer.

Step 2: Make sure that the cartridge is compatible with the printer

HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the following solutions might not resolve your print quality issue.
To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country or region location is correct.

Step 3: Reinstall the cartridge

  1. Hold the cartridge so that the nozzles are down and the contacts face the printer. Slide the cartridge into the carriage.
    • Cartridges marked with a triangle go into the left carriage slot.
    • Cartridges marked with a square or pentagon go into the right carriage slot.
    Figure 3: Slide the cartridge into the carriage
    Image: Slide in the cartridge
  2. Push the cartridge forward until it snaps into place.
    Figure 4: Push the cartridge into place
    Image: Push in the cartridge
  3. Close the cartridge access door.
  4. Make sure that the printer is turned on and loaded with paper.
  5. Try to print a document.

Solution two: Download and install an update from HP

There is an update that prevents an error that can render the cartridges unusable. If a cartridge failure has already occurred, download and install this update now to try to resolve the issue.
NOTE:The update is not available for computers with the Vista operating system. If the computer operating system is Vista, go to "Solution three: Check and clean the cartridge" now.
The HP printer software must be installed before installing this update. If the printer software is not already installed, install it now. Follow these instructions to download and install the update.

Step 1: Download the update

  1. Make sure that the printer is turned on and connected to the computer.
  2. Click here to open the Software and driver download page in another window.
  3. Type your printer name, and then click Go.
  4. If necessary, click the printer number under Select your printer from the list below.
  5. Click Drivers, select your operating system, and then click Next.
  6. Click Update, and then select the update.

Step 2: Install the update

  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the update.
  2. If a device update error screen or another error screen displays, restart the computer and try to install the update again. The update might fail if it has already been applied.
  3. After installing the update, make sure that the printer is turned on and loaded with paper.
  4. Try to print a document.

Solution three: Check and clean the cartridge

If the error message indicates that a specific cartridge is the issue, use these steps to check and clean that cartridge. If the error message is not specific about one cartridge, use these steps to check and clean each cartridge.

Step 1: Open the printer and remove the cartridge

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door and wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
    Figure 5: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press down lightly on the end of each cartridge to release it.
    • The tri-color cartridge is on the left.
    • The black or photo cartridge is on the right.
    Figure 6: Remove the tri-color cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge
  4. Slide the cartridge out.
    NOTE:Do not keep the cartridge outside the printer for more than 30 minutes. The ink can dry and clog the nozzles if the cartridge is outside the printer for too long.
  5. After removing the cartridge, unplug the power cord from the rear of the printer. Wait 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. Reconnect the power cord.

Step 2: Make sure that the protective tape has been removed from the cartridge

Make sure that the protective tape has been removed. Use the pink pull-tab to remove the protective tape from the cartridge.
Figure 7: Remove the protective tape
Image: Remove the protective tape
1 - Pull-tab

Step 3: Clean the cartridge

  1. Gather the following items to clean the contacts on the cartridge and in the carriage.
    • Clean distilled water. Use bottled or filtered water if distilled water is not available. Tap water might contain contaminants that could 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 paper towel to rest the cartridges on during cleaning.
  2. Place the cartridge on a piece of paper with the nozzle plate facing up.
  3. Dip a swab in the clean water, and then squeeze it to remove most of the moisture. The swab should be only slightly damp.
  4. Clean the cartridge contacts. Do not touch the nozzles.
    Figure 8: Clean the electrical contacts
    1 - Electrical contacts
    2 - Nozzles
    Image: Clean the electrical contacts
  5. Clean the contacts in the carriage inside the printer. The carriage contacts are copper and are located in the carriage so that they align with the cartridge contacts when the cartridge is installed.
  6. Wipe the cleaned area with a dry swab to remove any moisture.

Step 4: Reinstall the cartridge

  1. Hold the cartridge so that the nozzles are down and the contacts face the printer. Slide the cartridge into the carriage.
    • Cartridges marked with a triangle go into the left carriage slot.
    • Cartridges marked with a square or pentagon go into the right carriage slot.
    Figure 9: Slide the cartridge into the carriage
    Image: Slide in the cartridge
  2. Push the cartridge forward until it snaps into place.
    Figure 10: Push the cartridge into place
    Image: Push in the cartridge
  3. Close the cartridge access door.
  4. Make sure that the printer is turned on and loaded with paper.
  5. Try to print a document.
If the issue persists, see the next solution.

Solution four: Replace the cartridge

If the error message indicates that a specific cartridge is the issue, use these steps to replace the old cartridge with a new one. If the error message is not specific about one cartridge, use these steps to replace each cartridge with a new one.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.

Step 1: Open the printer and remove the old cartridge

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door and wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
    Figure 11: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press down lightly on the end of each cartridge to release it.
    • The tri-color cartridge is on the left.
    • The black or photo cartridge is on the right.
    Figure 12: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge
  4. Slide the cartridge out.

Step 2: Make sure that the protective tape has been removed from the new cartridge

Remove the protective tape from the new cartridge. Use the pink pull-tab to remove the protective tape.
CAUTION:Do not attempt to remove the copper strip.
Figure 13: Remove the protective tape
Image: Remove the protective tape
1 - Pull-tab
CAUTION:After the tape is removed, do not touch the copper contacts or the ink nozzles.
Figure 14: Contacts and nozzles
Image: Contact and nozzles
1 - Contacts
2 - Nozzles

Step 3: Install the new cartridge

  1. Hold the cartridge so that the nozzles are down and the contacts face the printer. Slide the cartridge into the carriage.
    • Cartridges marked with a triangle go into the left carriage slot.
    • Cartridges marked with a square or pentagon go into the right carriage slot.
    Figure 15: Slide the cartridge into the carriage
    Image: Slide in the cartridge
  2. Push the cartridge forward until it snaps into place.
    Figure 16: Push the cartridge into place
    Image: Push in the cartridge
  3. Close the cartridge access door.
  4. Make sure that the printer is turned on and loaded with paper.
  5. Try to print a document.

Solution five: Check the carriage

Use the following steps to make sure the carriage can move freely.
  1. With the printer turned on, open the cartridge access door. The carriage might try to move into the access area. Allow it to move to that position.
  2. Without turning off the printer, disconnect the power cord from the back of the printer to reset the print mechanism and allow the moving of parts by hand.
    WARNING:The following steps require you to move parts by hand. There is a risk of electrical shock if the power cord in not unplugged.
  3. Disconnect the power cord from the wall outlet.
  4. Look in through the cartridge access door or the output paper tray to make sure the cartridges are secure in the carriage and have not come loose.
  5. Check for any obstructions under or around the carriage that are preventing it from moving.
  6. Make sure the carriage can move freely across the width of the printer by firmly pushing the carriage to the left, and then to the right.
  7. Clear any obstructions. You might have to reach through the output paper tray to access the carriage.
  8. Close the cartridge access door, and then reconnect the power cord to the back of the printer and wall outlet.
  9. Press the power button to turn on the printer, make sure that there is paper loaded in the printer, and then try to print a document.

Solution six: Reset the printer

A printer reset can reinitiate the alignment.
  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  2. With the product turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  4. Wait at least 15 seconds.
  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  7. If the product does not turn on by itself, press the Power button () to turn it on.

Solution seven: 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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