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'Cartridge Problem,' 'Cartridge Failed,' or 'Incompatible Cartridge' Message Displays on the Computer and the Cartridge Status Lights Blink

  • PrintPrint

Issue

After installing a cartridge or during normal use, the product does not print. The status lights blink and an error message might display on the computer:
  • Cartridge problem
  • Cartridge failed
  • Incompatible cartridge
NOTE:HP cannot guarantee the quality of non-HP cartridges
These errors, including Incompatible cartridge can occur with the correct HP cartridges under certain circumstances. The cartridge might need to be reinstalled, the electrical contacts could be dirty, the cartridges might need to be aligned, or there could be a failure of the cartridge or printer.

Solution

Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
NOTE:If you installed two new cartridges, perform the steps on both cartridges.
Before you begin, make sure that the newly installed cartridges are compatible with your product.
Click this link, HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Click this link, HP SureSupply .
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country or region location is correct.

Solution one: Remove, inspect, and reinstall the cartridges

The cartridge might not have full electrical contact with the product. Removing and reinstalling the cartridge might help.
NOTE:HP cannot guarantee the quality of remanufactured or refilled cartridges.
Follow these steps to remove, inspect, and reinstall the cartridges.
  1. Make sure that the product is on. If necessary, press the Power button ( ) to turn on the product.
    CAUTION:If the product is not on, it will not release the cartridges. You might damage the product if the cartridges are not docked safely when you try to remove them.
  2. Open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the center of the product.
    Figure 1: Open the cartridge door
    Image: Open the cartridge door.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then lightly press down on a cartridge to release it.
    Figure 2: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
    1 - The tri-color cartridge is on the left side of the carriage
    2 - The black cartridge is on the right side of the carriage
  4. Pull the cartridge toward you out of its slot, and then inspect it.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
    Figure 3: Cartridge
    Image: Cartridge with electrical contacts and nozzles.
    1 - Copper-colored electrical contacts (do not touch)
    2 - Nozzles (do not touch)
    Check the copper-colored electrical contacts for debris.
    Make sure that no clear protective tape remains on the contacts or nozzles.
    Figure 4: Remove the protective tape
    Image: Remove the protective tape.
    CAUTION:Do not attempt to remove the copper electrical strip.
  5. Reinstall the cartridge in the product.
    Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then insert the cartridge back into the carriage slot. Push the cartridge firmly into the slot until it snaps into place.
    Figure 5: Insert the cartridge into the carriage
    Image: Insert the cartridge into the carriage.
    • The tri-color cartridge installs in the left carriage slot.
    • The black cartridge installs in the right carriage slot.
  6. Close the cartridge door.
    Figure 6: Close the cartridge door
    Image: Close the cartridge door.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Clean the contacts

Follow these steps to clean the contacts.
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • Distilled water (tap water might contain contaminants that can damage the cartridge)
    • Cotton swabs, coffee filters, or other soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the electrical contacts
    • A clean sheet of paper
  2. Open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the center of the product.
    Figure 7: Open the cartridge door
    Imge: Open the cartridge door.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then disconnect the power cord from the back of the product.
  4. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you out of the slot.
    CAUTION:Do not remove both cartridges at the same time. Remove and clean each cartridge one at a time. Do not leave a cartridge outside the product for more than 30 minutes.
    Figure 8: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
    1 - The tri-color cartridge is on the left side of the carriage
    2 - The black cartridge is on the right side of the carriage
  5. Inspect the cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.
  6. Dip a clean swab or lint-free material into distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.
  7. Hold the cartridge by its sides, and then clean only the copper-colored contacts.
    CAUTION:Do not touch or clean the ink nozzles. Doing so can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure 9: Clean the cartridge contacts
    Image: Clean the cartridge contacts.
    1 - Copper-colored contacts
    2 - Ink nozzles (do not touch or clean)
  8. Clean the contacts in the print carriage, located inside the printer.
    Figure 10: Print carriage contacts
  9. Allow the contacts to dry for at least 10 minutes.
  10. Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then insert the cartridge back into the carriage slot. Push the cartridge firmly into the slot until it snaps into place.
    Figure 11: Insert the cartridge into the carriage
    Image: Insert the cartridge into the carriage.
    • The tri-color cartridge installs in the left carriage slot.
    • The black cartridge installs in the right carriage slot.
  11. Repeat if necessary for the other cartridge.
  12. Close the cartridge door.
    Figure 12: Close the cartridge door
    Image: Close the cartridge door.
  13. Reconnect the power cord to the back of the product.
  14. Press the Power button ( ) to turn on the product.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Repeat the cleaning and reinstalling steps

If you completed all the steps and the issue persists, repeat the solutions to Remove, inspect, and reinstall the cartridges and Clean the cartridge contacts .
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Replace the cartridge

Replace the problem cartridge with a new, compatible HP cartridge.
Important: To check if your ink supplies can be replaced under warranty, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country, and look for ‘ink supplies warranty’.
NOTE:For the Photosmart 4600, if a replacement cartridge is not available, use ink backup mode. Remove the problem cartridge, and then print with the remaining cartridge.
  • If the tri-color cartridge is removed, printouts appear in grayscale.
  • If the black or photo cartridge is removed, the product prints slowly and the colors in the printouts might not appear as expected.
NOTE:The Photosmart C4700 does not have an ink backup mode.
The following video demonstrates how to replace a cartridge.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube .
  1. Make sure that the product is on. If necessary, press the Power button ( ) to turn on the product.
    CAUTION:If the product is not on, it will not release the cartridges. You might damage the product if the cartridges are not docked safely when you try to remove them.
  2. Open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the center of the product.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then lightly press down on a cartridge to release it.
    Figure 13: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
    1 - The tri-color cartridge is on the left side of the carriage
    2 - The black cartridge is on the right side of the carriage
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging and, being careful to touch only the black plastic, gently remove the protective tape by using the pink pull tab.
    Figure 14: Remove the protective tape
    Image: Remove the protective tape.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or ink nozzles.
  5. Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then insert the new cartridge into the empty carriage slot.
  6. Push the cartridge firmly into the slot until it snaps into place.
  7. Close the cartridge door.
    Figure 15: Close the cartridge door
    Image: Close the cartridge door.
  8. Press OK to confirm the installation of genuine HP cartridges, when prompted.
  9. Load plain white paper in the paper tray.
  10. Follow the instructions on the control panel display to print the alignment page.
    Figure 16: Alignment page prints
    Image: Alignment page prints.
  11. Lift the product lid.
  12. Load the alignment page face down in the front right corner of the glass.
    Figure 17: Load the alignment page
    Image: Load the alignment page.
  13. Close the lid, and then press OK to complete the alignment.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Service the All-in-One

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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