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'Printhead Problem' or 'Printhead Appears to be Missing or Damaged' Message Displays on the Printer Control Panel

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This document applies to printhead malfunction in the HP Officejet 6500 All-in-One and 6500A e-All-in-One printers. Click here for a list of links to related cartridge and ink topics .
The message Printhead Problem or Printhead Appears to be Missing or Damaged displays on the printer control panel, and the printer does not print.

Solution

Follow these steps in the order presented until you resolve the issue.

Step one: Remove, clean, and then reinstall the printhead

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Remove all the cartridges and place them on a piece of paper with the ink opening pointing up.
    NOTE:Do not leave the cartridge outside of the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the cartridges.
    Figure 1: Remove the cartridges
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
  4. Lift the latch handle on the print carriage until it stops.
    Figure 2: Lift the latch handle
    Image: Lift the latch.
  5. Lift up to remove the printhead.
    Figure 3: Remove the printhead
    Image: Remove the printhead.
  6. Clean the printhead.
    There are three areas of the printhead to clean: the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles, the edge between the nozzles, and the electrical contacts.
    Figure 4: Three areas to clean
    Image: Clean the three areas of the printhead to clean: the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles, the edge between the nozzles, and the electrical contacts
    1 - Plastic ramps on the sides of the nozzles
    2 - Edge between nozzles and contacts
    3 - Electrical contacts
    CAUTION:Do not touch the nozzles. Do not touch the electrical contact areas with your fingers. Touch the electrical contact areas only with cleaning materials.
    To clean the printhead, follow these steps:
    Gather cleaning materials:
    Clean, lint-free cloth or paper (Coffee filters and eye-glass cleaning cloth work well.)
    Distilled or bottled water
    Lightly dampen a clean, lint-free cloth, and then wipe the electrical contact area from the bottom to the top. Do not clean beyond the edge between the nozzles and the electrical contacts. Clean until no new ink shows on the cloth.
    Figure 5: Clean the printhead contacts
    Image: Clean the printhead contacts.
    Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe any accumulated ink and debris from the edge between the nozzles and the contacts.
    Figure 6: Clean the edge of the printhead
    Image: Clean the edge of the printhead.
    Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe the plastic ramps on both sides of the nozzles. Wipe away from the nozzles.
    Figure 7: Clean the printhead ramps
    Image: Clean the printhead ramps.
    Wipe the previously cleaned areas dry with a dry lint-free cloth before you proceed to the next step.
  7. Clean the electrical contacts inside the printer:
    1. Lightly dampen a clean, lint-free cloth with bottled or distilled water.
    2. To clean the electrical contacts in the printer, wipe with the cloth from top to bottom. Use as many fresh, clean cloths as necessary. Clean until no ink shows on the cloth.
      Figure 8: Clean contacts inside the printer
      Image: Clean contacts inside the printer.
    3. Wipe the area dry with a dry lint-free cloth before you proceed to the next step.
  8. Make sure that the latch handle is up, and then install the printhead.
    Figure 9: Install the printhead
    Image: Install the printhead.
  9. Carefully lower the latch handle.
    CAUTION:Make sure that you lower the latch handle before you install the cartridges. If the latch handle remains raised, incorrectly seated cartridges and printer problems can occur.
    Figure 10: Lower the latch handle
    Image: Lower the latch handle
  10. Use the colored shaped icons for a guide, and then slide each cartridge into its empty slot until it snaps securely into place.
    Figure 11: Reinsert the cartridges
  11. Close the cartridge access door.

Step two: Reset the printer

Follow these steps to reset the printer.
  1. If the printer is turned off, press the Power button to turn on the printer. Wait until the printer is idle and silent before continuing.
  2. With the printer turned on , disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.
  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  4. Wait at least 60 seconds.
  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
    NOTE:HP recommends connecting the printer power cord directly to the wall outlet.
  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.
  7. If the printer does not turn on by itself, press the Power button to turn it on.
    NOTE:The printer might go through a warm-up period. The printer lights might flash, and the carriage might move.
  8. Wait until the warm-up period finishes and your printer is idle and silent before you proceed.
NOTE:Ink system failures can cause a carriage stall when the printer resets. If the ink system failure requires that you return the printer for service, there is no need to resolve the carriage stall issue.

Step three: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all the previous steps and the issue persists, replace the printhead.
CAUTION:Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before you remove the cartridges. HP recommends that you do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the cartridges.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you receive a new printhead assembly, cleaning materials, and a full set of new cartridges.
If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, you can purchase a new one online.
  1. Go to the HP Parts Store website (in English).
  2. Under Find your part(s) , type CN643A in the Search by part number text box.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to order the printhead assembly.

Step four: Service the printer

Follow these steps to service the printer.
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.

Related links

Does your printer have general print quality issues?
Fixing Ink Streaks, Faded Prints, and Other Common Print Quality Problems
Does your printer have issues with the black ink?
Printer Does Not Print Black Ink or Color Ink, or Prints Blank Pages

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