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A 'Missing or Failed Printhead' Error Message Displays on the Printer after Installing a New Printhead

  • PrintPrint
This document is for the HP Officejet Pro 251dw, 276dw, and 8600 printers.
After installing a new printhead, a 'Missing or Failed Printhead ' error message displays on the printer control panel and the printer will not print. An unlatched or improperly seated printhead can cause this error.
Example message on the printer control panel
Missing or failed printhead
The printhead appears to be missing, not detected, or incorrectly installed.
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.

Solution one: Reset the printer

Follow these steps to reset the printing mechanism.
  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.

Solution two: Reseat the printhead

Follow these steps to reseat the printhead.
NOTE:You do not need to remove the printhead from the carriage.

Step 1: Unseat the printhead

  1. Slip your fingers into the slot on the left side of the printer, and then pull forward to open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the left side of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
    Figure 1: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
    1 - Slot on the left side of the printer
  2. Unplug the power cord from the rear of the printer. Unplugging the printer prevents the carriage from moving.
    WARNING:You must disconnect the power cord before reaching inside the printer to avoid risk of injuries or electric shock.
  3. Lift the carriage latch.
    Figure 2: Lift the carriage latch
    Image: Lift the carriage latch.
  4. Grasp the sides of the printhead, and then slightly lift the printhead without fully removing it from the carriage.
    Figure 3: Slightly lift the printhead
    Image: Slightly lift the printhead.

Step 2: Reseat the printhead, and then lower the carriage latch

  1. Reinsert the printhead into the carriage to reseat it. As you guide the printhead into the carriage, it settles into the carriage as it seats.
    Figure 4: Reseat the printhead
    Image: Reseat the printhead.
  2. Gently rock the printhead to the left and right to make sure that the printhead fully seats in the carriage.
  3. Lower the carriage latch.
    Figure 5: Lower the carriage latch
    Image: Lower the carriage latch.
  4. Make sure that the carriage latch is down .
    Figure 6: Carriage latch positions
    Image: Carriage latch positions.
    1 - Carriage latch is up
    2 - Carriage latch is down
  5. Close the cartridge access door.
  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.
  8. Wait until the warm-up period finishes and your printer is idle and silent before you proceed.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , see the next step.

Step 3: Reseat the printhead up to three times

Sometimes error messages persist after inserting the printhead. To clear any error messages, reseat the printhead by repeating all steps in this solution up to three times.
Example error messages on the printer control panel
Problem with Ink System

Missing or failed printhead

Ink System Failure

Printer Failure

Carriage Jam

Solution three: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all of the troubleshooting steps and are still experiencing a problem, replace the printhead.
CAUTION:Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before removing 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 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.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you receive a kit with a new printhead assembly, instructions, and a full set of cartridges. You must install the SETUP cartridges that comes with the new printhead, or a cartridge error might occur.
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 CR322A in the Search by part number text box.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to order the printhead assembly.

Solution four: 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.

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