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HP Photosmart C4280 All-in-One Printer support

'Incompatible Cartridge' or 'Print cartridge is missing, incorrectly installed, or not intended for your device' Message Displays on the Computer

  • PrintPrint

Issue

When you try to print, the error message 'Incompatible Cartridge' or 'Print cartridge is missing, incorrectly installed, or not intended for your device' appears on the computer screen.
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: Make sure the cartridge is compatible with your product

Which cartridges you use depends on your country or region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer 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.
If the cartridge is not compatible, skip to Solution five: Replace the cartridge .
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Remove, and then reinstall the cartridges

Follow these steps to remove, and then reinstall the cartridges.
  1. Turn the product on.
  2. Make sure to have letter or A4 unused, plain, white paper loaded in the input tray.
  3. Open the cartridge door.
    NOTE:Make sure that the carriage holding the cartridge moves to the right. If it does not move to the right, turn the product off. If it is a new product, make sure all the packaging material is removed. Close the cartridge door and then turn the product on again. The carriage should move to the right.
    Figure 1: Opening the cartridge door
    CAUTION:The product must be turned on before the cartridge door is opened. If the product is off when the cartridge door is opened for access to the cartridges, the product will not release the cartridges. The product can be damaged if the cartridges are not docked safely before removal.
  4. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then lightly press down on an cartridge to release it. The error message should indicate the problem cartridge by displaying an icon that represents it.
    • The tri-color cartridge is in the slot on the left.
    • The black or photo cartridge is in the slot on the right.
    Figure 2: Pressing down on an cartridge to release it
    1 - Cartridge slot for the tri-color cartridge
    2 - Cartridge slot for the black and photo cartridges
  5. Pull the cartridge toward you out of its slot.
  6. Make sure that the protective tape has been removed from the cartridge If the tape has not been removed, remove it now.
    Figure 3: Removing the tape
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or reattach the tape.
  7. Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top.
  8. Reinsert the cartridge into its slot by gently pushing the upper part of the cartridge forward until it clicks into the socket.
    CAUTION:When installing the cartridge, do not rest your hand on top of the product for leverage. This might cause the carriage to lift out of position.
    Figure 4: Incorrectly grasping the top of the product for leverage
    Figure 5: Pushing the cartridge in firmly
    • When installing the tri-color cartridge, slide it into the left slot.
    • When installing a black, photo, or gray photo cartridge, slide it into the right slot.
    Figure 6: Tri-color cartridge in the left cartridge slot and black cartridge in the right cartridge slot
  9. Close the cartridge door.
If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Clean the contacts

Follow these steps to clean the contacts.
  1. Gather the following items to clean the cartridges and carriage:
    • Clean cotton swabs, lint-free cloth, or any soft material that will not come apart or leave fibers (coffee filters work well).
    • Clean, distilled, filtered, or bottled water. Tap water might contain contaminants that could damage the cartridge.
      CAUTION:Do not use platen cleaners or alcohol to clean the cartridge contacts. These can damage the cartridge or the product.
    • Sheets of paper or paper towel to rest the cartridges on during cleaning.
  2. Open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the product.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then unplug the power cord from the rear of the product.
  4. Lightly press down on the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you out of the slot.
    NOTE: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 unit for more than 30 minutes because the ink can dry and clog the nozzles.
  5. Inspect the cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.
  6. Dip a clean swab or lint-free cloth into the distilled water. Squeeze it to remove any excess water. The swab should be only slightly damp.
  7. Hold the cartridge by its sides, and then clean the copper cartridge contacts.
    CAUTION:Do not clean the ink nozzles.
    Figure 7: Clean the cartridge contacts
    Illustration of cleaning the cartridge contacts.
    1 - Copper-colored contacts
    2 - Ink nozzles
  8. Allow the cartridge to dry for 10 minutes, or use a new swab to dry it.
  9. Insert the cartridge back into the correct slot. Push the cartridge forward until it clicks into place.
    Figure 8: Insert cartridge
    Illustration of inserting the cartridge into the slot.
    • When installing the tri-color cartridge, insert it in the slot on the left.
    • When installing the black cartridge, insert it in the slot on the right.
  10. Repeat steps 4 through 10 for the other cartridge, if necessary.
  11. Close the cartridge door.
  12. Plug the power cord into the rear of the product.
  13. Try to print again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Reset the product

Follow these steps to reset the product.
  1. If the product is not turned on, press the Power button ( ) to turn on the product.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  3. Unplug the other end of the power cord from the rear of the product.
  4. Wait for 20 seconds, and then plug the power cord into the wall outlet.
  5. Plug the other end of the power cord into the rear of the product.
  6. Press the power button ( ) to turn on the product, and then wait for the product to initialize.
  7. Try to print again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Replace the old cartridge, and then align the new cartridge

Follow these steps to replace the old cartridge, and then align the new cartridge.

Step one: Replace the old cartridge

Follow these steps to replace the old cartridge.
  1. If the product is not turned on, press the Power button ( ) to turn on the product.
  2. Load plain white, US or A4 size paper in the input tray.
  3. Open the cartridge door.
    CAUTION:The product must be turned on before the cartridge door is opened. If the product is off when the cartridge door is opened for access to the cartridges, the product will not release the cartridges. The product can be damaged if the cartridges are not docked safely before removal.
    Figure 9: Opening the cartridge door
    Illustration of opening the cartridge door.
    NOTE:Make sure the carriage moves to the right. If the cartridge does not move to the right, turn the product off, and then turn it on again.
  4. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then lightly press down on a cartridge to release it.
    Figure 10: Press down on an cartridge to release it
    Illustration of pressing on the cartridge to release it.
    1 - Cartridge slot for the tri-color ink cartridge
    2 - Cartridge slot for the black ink and photo cartridges
    • When replacing the tri-color cartridge, remove the cartridge from the slot on the left.
    • When replacing the black or photo cartridge, remove the cartridge from the slot on the right.
  5. Pull the cartridge toward you out of its slot.
    NOTE:If removing the black ink cartridge in order to install the photo ink cartridge, store the black ink cartridge in the ink cartridge protector or an airtight plastic container.
  6. Remove the new cartridge from its package, and make sure that you touch only the black plastic.
  7. Gently remove the plastic tape by using the pink pull tab.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper contacts or reattach the tape.
    Figure 11: Remove the tape and do not touch the copper contacts
    Illustration of removing the tape and caution against touching the copper contacts.
  8. Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then gently push the upper part of the cartridge forward int the cartridge slot until it clicks into the socket.
    CAUTION:Do not rest your hand on top of the product for leverage. This might cause the carriage to lift out of position.
    Figure 12: Incorrectly grasping the top of the product for leverage
    Illustration cautioning against grasping the top of the produt for leverage.
    Figure 13: Push the cartridge in firmly
    Illustration of pushing the cartridge into the slot.
    • When installing the tri-color ink cartridge, slide it into the left slot.
    • When installing a black, photo, or gray photo ink cartridge, slide it into the right slot.
  9. Close the cartridge door.

Step two: Align the new cartridge

Follow these steps to align the new cartridge.
When a new cartridge is installed, the product aligns the cartridge. Align the cartridges at any other time by using the software installed with the product. Aligning the cartridges ensures high-quality output.
NOTE:If a cartridge is removed and reinserted, the product will not prompt for an alignment. The product memory retains the alignment values for that cartridge.
Follow these steps to align newly installed cartridges.
  1. When prompted, make sure that plain, white letter or A4 paper is loaded in the input tray, and then press the button next to OK . The alignment page prints.
  2. Lift the lid. Place the top of the alignment page face-down on the front, right corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure 14: Placing the alignment page
  3. Close the lid.
  4. Press the button next to OK .
    When the On button stops flashing, the alignment is complete and the page can be removed.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Service the product

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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