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Ink Cartridge Problem: 'Incompatible Ink Cartridge' or 'Indicated Ink Cartridge Must Be Replaced' Message Displays on the Control Panel for HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 6520 e-All-in-One and HP Photosmart 6520 e-All-in-One Printer Series

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This document is for the HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 6520 e-All-in-One and HP Photosmart 6520 e-All-in-One Printer Series.
After you install a cartridge, an 'Incompatible Ink Cartridge(s)' or a 'The indicated Ink Cartridge(s) must be replaced' error message displays on the printer control panel. An icon displays on the control panel that indicates which cartridge is causing the error.
NOTE:If your printer shipped with SETUP cartridges, you must install them during initial printer setup or an error occurs.

Solution one: Use genuine HP ink cartridges

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.
Important: Before you begin, make sure that the cartridges are compatible with your printer.
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/region location is correct.
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
  • If the cartridges are compatible, continue with the steps in this document.
  • If the cartridges are not compatible, continue to the step to replace the cartridge .
Important: You must follow these solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue.

Solution two: Make sure that the cartridges are inserted correctly

The control panel might display an error message if the ink cartridges are not inserted correctly. Make sure that the cartridges are inserted correctly.
  1. If the printer is off, press the Power button () to turn on the printer.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the access area.
    Figure 1: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Check the color icons on the cartridges and the carriage. Make sure that the color icon on each cartridge label matches the color icon on the carriage slot.
    Figure 2: Match the color icons
    Image: Match the color icons.
  4. Run your finger along the top of the cartridges to check for any unseated cartridges in the carriage. Press down on any cartridge that is higher than the others to firmly snap the cartridge into its slot.
    Figure 3: Snap the cartridge into its slot
    Image: Snap the cartridge into its slot
  5. If the cartridge does not snap into place, or does not seat properly, remove the cartridge from the carriage. Gently bend the tab away from the cartridge, and then reinsert the cartridge into the carriage.
    CAUTION:Be careful not to bend the tab out more than 1.27 cm (0.5 in). Moving the tab too far might damage the cartridge or cause the tab to break off.
    Figure 4: An example of gently bending the tab away from the ink cartridge.
    Image: Gently bend the tab away from the ink cartridge
    1 - Gently bend the tab away from the ink cartridge
    2 - Do not bend the tab more than 1.27 cm (0.5 in)
  6. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 5: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.

Solution three: Remove, reseat, and reinsert the cartridges

Remove, reseat and reinsert the ink cartridge or ink cartridges to examine the cartridges identified in the error message on the control panel.
  1. If the printer is off, press the Power button () to turn on the printer. Wait until the printer is idle and silent before continuing.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the access area.
    Figure 6: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Press the tab on the front of the cartridge in to release it, and then pull up on the cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Figure 7: Remove the cartridge from the slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from the slot
  4. If an orange pull tab is still attached, remove it.
    Figure 8: Orange pull tab
    Image: Orange pull tab
    CAUTION:Make sure that you remove the orange pull-tab and plastic wrap completely before you twist the orange cap in the next step. Otherwise, ink might leak from the cartridge. When you remove the plastic wrap, the paper label on the top of the cartridge tears slightly, which is necessary to properly vent the cartridge.
  5. With the nozzle and contacts facing down, slide the cartridge into its slot. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks into place.
    Figure 9: Reinsert the cartridge
    Image: Reinsert the cartridge
  6. Repeat the previous steps to inspect any other cartridges indicated on the control panel.
  7. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 10: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Clean the cartridge contacts

Follow these steps to clean the contacts on the cartridge and in the cartridge slot.
CAUTION:Clean the cartridges one at a time. Do not leave a cartridge outside the printer for more than 30 minutes.
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • Clean, lint-free swabs that will not come apart or leave fibers
    • A sheet of paper to place the cartridges on
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the printer.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the access area.
    Figure 11: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  4. Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.
    WARNING:You must disconnect the power cord before reaching inside the printer to avoid risk of injuries or electric shock.
  5. Press the tab on the front of the cartridge in to release it, and then pull up on the cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Figure 12: Remove the cartridge from the slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from the slot
  6. Hold the cartridge by its sides, and then find the electrical contacts on the bottom of the cartridge. The electrical contacts are four small rectangles of copper-colored metal.
    Figure 13: Cartridge contacts
    Image: Cartridge contacts
    1 - Cartridge contacts
  7. Inspect the contacts for ink and debris buildup.
  8. Wipe the contacts with a swab until no debris remains on them.
    CAUTION:Be careful to wipe only the contacts. Do not smear any ink or debris elsewhere on the cartridge.
  9. Turn the cartridge on its side, and then place it onto the sheet of paper.
  10. Locate the electrical contacts in the cartridge slot. The contacts are four copper-colored pins.
    Figure 14: Location of the cartridge slot contacts
    Image: Location of the cartridge slot contacts
  11. Wipe the contacts with a swab until no debris remains on them.
  12. With the contacts facing down, slide the cartridge into its slot. Press down on the cartridge until it is firmly seated.
    Figure 15: Reinsert the cartridge
    Image: Reinsert the cartridge
  13. Repeat these steps to clean and reinsert any of the other cartridges.
  14. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 16: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.
  15. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.
  16. Press the Power button () to turn on the printer if it does not turn on automatically.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Restart the All-in-One

  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.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Remove and reinsert the cartridges again

Repeat the steps that you performed earlier in this document to remove and reinsert the cartridges identified on the control panel.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution seven: Clean the cartridge contacts again

Cleaning the cartridge contacts again can help resolve the issue. Repeat the steps that you performed earlier in this document to clean the contacts of the cartridges identified on the control panel.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution eight: Replace the cartridge

Follow these steps to replace the cartridge indicated on the printer control panel.

Video of replacing the cartridges

The following video demonstrates how to replace a cartridge.
NOTE:This video shows the HP Photosmart 6520 e-All-in-One printer, but the steps are the same for your printer.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube .

Step 1: Check the ink cartridge warranty status

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 2: Replace the problem ink cartridge

Replace the problem ink cartridge.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already turned on. Wait until the printer is idle and silent before continuing.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the access area.
    Figure 17: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press the tab on the front of the cartridge inward to release it, and then pull up on the cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Figure 18: Remove the cartridge from the slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from the slot
  4. Pull the orange tab to remove the new cartridge from the plastic wrap.
    Figure 19: Remove the new cartridge from the plastic wrap
    Image: Remove the new cartridge from the plastic wrap
    CAUTION:Make sure that you remove the orange pull-tab and plastic wrap completely before you twist the orange cap in the next step. Otherwise, ink might leak from the cartridge. When you remove the plastic wrap, the paper label on the top of the cartridge tears slightly, which is necessary to properly vent the cartridge.
  5. Twist the orange cap counter clockwise until it snaps off the new cartridge.
    Figure 20: Remove the orange cap from the new cartridge
    Image: Remove the orange cap from the new cartridge
  6. With the nozzle and contacts facing down, slide the cartridge into its slot. Press down on the cartridge until it is firmly seated.
    Figure 21: Insert the cartridge
    Image: Insert the cartridge
  7. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 22: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution nine: Service the All-in-One

Contacting HP for service in 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 to obtain service.
  • If your product is out of warranty, Contact HP to find an authorized service provider or to setup service (fees might apply).

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