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HP Photosmart C5180 All-in-One Printer support

'Ink System Failure' or a '0x ...' Error Message Displays on the Control Panel

  • PrintPrint
If your product has a removable printhead and uses 564, 364, 178, 862, or 920 cartridges, you have come to the right troubleshooting document.

Issue

An 'Ink System Failure' or '0x...' error message displays on the printer control panel. The exact text of these error messages varies by printer, but they are usually preceded by the word 'Error.'
The steps to resolve this issue depend on the error code that displays on the product control panel with the ‘Ink System Failure’ message. Look for the section below that addresses your particular issue, and then review the solutions in that section.
Click the plus sign () for more information.
Follow these steps to resolve the issue of 'Ink System Failure' with an accompanying error code '0xC19A0003.'

Solution one: Reset the printer

The error message might disappear after you turn off the printer and then turn it on again. After you make any adjustments to the cartridges or the printhead, reset the printer in order for the error message to clear completely. Follow these steps to reset the printer.
  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 the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Remove, clean, and reinstall the printhead

If the previous solutions did not resolve the problem, the printhead might be installed incorrectly, or there might be ink or debris on the printhead electrical contacts. Follow these steps to check and clean the printhead.

Step one: Remove the printhead

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  2. Open the cartridge access door.
  3. To remove each cartridge, press the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it and remove it from the slot.
    Figure 1: Remove the cartridge
    Remove the cartridge from the printhead
    NOTE: Do not leave the cartridges outside the product longer than 30 minutes. Doing so can result in damage to both the product and the cartridges.
  4. Lift the latch handle on the carriage until it stops.
    Figure 2: Lift the latch handle
    Lift the carriage latch handle
  5. Lift the printhead straight up to remove it.
    Figure 3: Remove the printhead
    Lift the printhead straight up to remove it

Step two: Clean the printhead

There are three areas of the printhead that need to be cleaned: the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles, the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts, and the electrical contacts. Follow these steps to clean the printhead.
Figure 4: Three areas to clean
The three areas on the printhead to clean
1 - Plastic ramp on the side of the ink nozzles
2 - The edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
3 - The electrical contacts
CAUTION:Do not touch the ink nozzles. Do not touch the electrical contacts with your finger. Use only cleaning materials to touch the electrical contact areas.
Figure 5: Do not touch the electrical contacts
Do not touch the electrical contacts
  1. Gather the following cleaning materials:
    • Several clean, lint-free cloths or papers. Coffee filters and glass-cleaning cloths work well.
    • Distilled or bottled water. Do not use tap water, because it can contain contaminants that can damage the printhead.
  2. Lightly dampen a clean, lint-free cloth.
  3. Use the damp cloth to wipe the electrical contacts from the bottom to the top. Do not go past the edge between the electrical contacts and the ink nozzles. Repeat this motion until no ink remains on the electrical contacts.
    Figure 6: Clean the electrical contacts
    Clean the electrical contacts
  4. Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe any accumulated ink and debris from the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts.
    Figure 7: Clean the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
    Clean the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
  5. Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles. Wipe away from the nozzles only.
    Figure 8: Clean the ramps
    Clean the ramps
  6. Dry the previously cleaned areas with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth before proceeding to the next step.
  7. Lightly dampen a fresh, clean, lint-free cloth with bottled or distilled water.
  8. Clean the electrical contacts inside the product by wiping them from top to bottom. Repeat this motion until no ink remains on the electrical contacts.
    Figure 9: Clean the electrical contacts inside the product
    Clean the electrical contacts inside the product
  9. Dry the area with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.

Step three: Reinstall the printhead

  1. Raise the latch handle, and then reinsert the printhead.
    Figure 10: Insert the printhead
    Reinsert the printhead
  2. Carefully lower the latch handle before reinserting the cartridges.
    NOTE:Leaving the latch handle raised can result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing issues. The latch must remain down to install the cartridges correctly.
    Figure 11: Lower the latch handle
    Lower the latch handle
  3. Using the colored shaped icons for help, slide the cartridges into their appropriate slots until they snap firmly into place in the slot.
    Figure 12: Slide the cartridge into the slot
    Slide the cartridge into its slot
    Figure 13: Snap the cartridge into place
    Snap the cartridge into place
  4. Close the cartridge access door.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Reset the product

  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 the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Replace the printhead

If the previous solutions did not resolve the issue, replace the printhead. Contact HP support to obtain a replacement printhead.
Click Contact HP on this page for more support options.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you will 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. Click this link , and then click your country-language.
  2. A Buy HP page displays. Look for the HP Parts store on this page. The location of the HP Parts store varies depending on your region. Click HP Parts store.
  3. Under Find your part(s), type one of the part numbers below in the Search by part number text box.
    • If your printer uses 4 ink cartridges, type CN643A
    • If your printer uses 5 ink cartridges, type CN642A
  4. Follow the online instructions to order the printhead assembly.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Service the product

See the steps at the end of this document to service the product.
Follow these steps to resolve the issue of 'Ink System Failure' with an accompanying '0xc19a0013' error.

Solution one: Check the cartridges

The ink system can fail if the cartridges in the printer are installed incorrectly, if the ink in the cartridge is low or out, or if the cartridges are damaged or not correctly vented. Follow these steps to check the cartridges thoroughly and resolve any issues you might find.

Step one: Replace empty or low cartridges

The error prevents you from checking ink levels using the HP software. However, this error can be caused by a low or empty cartridge. If the Ink Alert message displayed before the error occurred, replacing the cartridge might resolve the issue.
Which cartridges you use might depend on your country/region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
NOTE:For the United States only, go to the HP Home & Home Office Store .
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.

Step two: Make sure the cartridges are installed correctly

  1. Turn on the product.
  2. Lift the cartridge access door to open it.
  3. To remove the cartridge, press the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then remove it from the slot.
    Figure 14: Remove the cartridge
    Remove the cartridge from the printhead
    NOTE: Do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. Doing so can result in damage to both the printer and the cartridges.
  4. Examine the vent area, which is located on top of the cartridge, next to the HP logo.
    Figure 15: Vent area
    Vent area
  5. If an orange tab is attached to any cartridge, remove it.
    Figure 16: Orange tab
    Remove the orange tab.
  6. If any of the cartridges have clogged vents, use a pin to clean the vents.
    Figure 17: Correctly vented
    Correctly vented cartridge
    Figure 18: Vent clogged with adhesive
    Clogged vent
  7. Using the colored shaped icons for help, slide each cartridge into the correct empty slot, and then press down until the cartridge snaps firmly into place in the slot.
    Figure 19: Slide the cartridge into its slot
    Slide the cartridge into its slot
    Figure 20: Snap the cartridge into place
    Snap the cartridge into place
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
  9. Check the product control panel display.
    • If the error message has disappeared, try printing to check the print quality. If the print quality is acceptable, the issue is resolved and there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
      If the print quality is not acceptable, continue to the next step to use the automatic printhead cleaning utility.
    • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution in this document.

Step three: Use the automatic printhead cleaning utility

Use an automatic cleaning utility to clean the printheads.
Click the plus sign () next to your operating system for more information.
Printhead cleaning options vary among products. Choose an applicable option for your product.
If your printer has a control panel display, follow these steps to clean the printhead. Steps might vary depending on your product.
  1. On the product control panel, press the Setup icon ().
  2. Press Tools, and then press Clean Printhead.
NOTE:If you do not see a Setup icon (), or you do not have these menu choices, go to HP Customer Care . Enter your product name, and then click Next. You might have to choose your product from a list of similar models. On the product support page, click Manuals. Click User Guide, and then look for instructions to clean the printhead.
  1. Turn on the product, and then connect it to the computer.
  2. Open HP Solution Center.
      Click Start (), click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
      Click the Windows icon (), click Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
      Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
    NOTE:You can also open the HP software from your computer desktop; double-click the icon for your HP product ().
  3. In HP Solution Center, click Settings.
  4. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The Printer Toolbox opens.
  5. Click Clean the Printhead, and then follow the on-screen instructions. The product prints a test page when the printhead cleaning completes.
  • If the print quality is acceptable on the test page then there is no need to continue to troubleshoot.
  • If the print quality is not acceptable, repeat the automatic printhead cleaning procedure again. If the print quality is still not acceptable, continue to the next solution.
If your printer has a control panel display, follow these steps to clean the printhead. Steps might vary depending on your product.
  1. On the product control panel, press the Setup icon ().
  2. Press Tools, and then press Clean Printhead.
NOTE:If you do not see a Setup icon (), or you do not have these menu choices, go to HP Customer Care . Enter your product name, and then click Next. You might have to choose your product from a list of similar models. On the product support page, click Manuals. Click User Guide, and then look for instructions to clean the printhead.
Follow these steps to run a utility to clean the printhead.
  1. Make sure the printer is on and connected, and unused, plain paper is loaded.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. Click Print & Fax (10.5 or 10.6) or Print & Scan (10.7).
  4. Select the printer in the list on the left side of the dialog box.
  5. Click Options and Supplies.
  6. Click the Utility tab at the top of the window, and then click Open Printer Utility.
  7. The HP Utility opens. Click Clean Printheads (features and options might vary depending on the printer model). A test sheet prints when the process is done.
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the cleaning process are normal.
  8. Examine the test sheet for print quality. Consider repeating the cleaning if there is improvement. Sometimes several cleanings are required.
  9. Recycle or discard the test sheet.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Reset the product

  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 the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Remove, clean, and reinstall the printhead

If the previous solutions did not resolve the problem, the printhead might be installed incorrectly, or there might be ink or debris on the printhead electrical contacts. Follow these steps to check and clean the printhead.

Step one: Remove the printhead

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  2. Open the cartridge access door.
  3. To remove each cartridge, press the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it and remove it from the slot.
    Figure 21: Remove the cartridge
    Remove the cartridge from the printhead
    NOTE: Do not leave the cartridges outside the product longer than 30 minutes. Doing so can result in damage to both the product and the cartridges.
  4. Lift the latch handle on the carriage until it stops.
    Figure 22: Lift the latch handle
    Lift the carriage latch handle
  5. Lift the printhead straight up to remove it.
    Figure 23: Remove the printhead
    Lift the printhead straight up to remove it

Step two: Clean the printhead

There are three areas of the printhead that need to be cleaned: the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles, the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts, and the electrical contacts. Follow these steps to clean the printhead.
Figure 24: Three areas to clean
The three areas on the printhead to clean
1 - Plastic ramp on the side of the ink nozzles
2 - The edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
3 - The electrical contacts
CAUTION:Do not touch the ink nozzles. Do not touch the electrical contacts with your finger. Use only cleaning materials to touch the electrical contact areas.
Figure 25: Do not touch the electrical contacts
Do not touch the electrical contacts
  1. Gather the following cleaning materials:
    • Several clean, lint-free cloths or papers. Coffee filters and glass-cleaning cloths work well.
    • Distilled or bottled water. Do not use tap water, because it can contain contaminants that can damage the printhead.
  2. Lightly dampen a clean, lint-free cloth.
  3. Use the damp cloth to wipe the electrical contacts from the bottom to the top. Do not go past the edge between the electrical contacts and the ink nozzles. Repeat this motion until no ink remains on the electrical contacts.
    Figure 26: Clean the electrical contacts
    Clean the electrical contacts
  4. Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe any accumulated ink and debris from the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts.
    Figure 27: Clean the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
    Clean the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
  5. Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles. Wipe away from the nozzles only.
    Figure 28: Clean the ramps
    Clean the ramps
  6. Dry the previously cleaned areas with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth before proceeding to the next step.
  7. Lightly dampen a fresh, clean, lint-free cloth with bottled or distilled water.
  8. Clean the electrical contacts inside the product by wiping them from top to bottom. Repeat this motion until no ink remains on the electrical contacts.
    Figure 29: Clean the electrical contacts inside the product
    Clean the electrical contacts inside the product
  9. Dry the area with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.

Step three: Reinstall the printhead

  1. Raise the latch handle, and then reinsert the printhead.
    Figure 30: Insert the printhead
    Reinsert the printhead
  2. Carefully lower the latch handle before reinserting the cartridges.
    NOTE:Leaving the latch handle raised can result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing issues. The latch must remain down to install the cartridges correctly.
    Figure 31: Lower the latch handle
    Lower the latch handle
  3. Using the colored shape icons for help, slide the cartridges into their appropriate slots until they snap firmly into place in the slot.
    Figure 32: Slide the cartridge into the slot
    Slide the cartridge into its slot
    Figure 33: Snap the cartridge into place
    Snap the cartridge into place
  4. Close the cartridge access door.
Check the product control panel display to see if the error message disappears.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Reset the printer

The error message might disappear after you turn off the printer and then turn it on again. After you make any adjustments to the cartridges or the printhead, reset the printer in order for the error message to clear completely. Follow these steps to reset the printer.
  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 the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Replace the printhead

If the previous solutions did not resolve the issue, replace the printhead. Contact HP support to obtain a replacement printhead.
Click Contact HP on this page for more support options.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you will 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. Click this link , and then click your country-language.
  2. A Buy HP page displays. Look for the HP Parts store on this page. The location of the HP Parts store varies depending on your region. Click HP Parts store.
  3. Under Find your part(s), type one of the part numbers below in the Search by part number text box.
    • If your printer uses 4 ink cartridges, type CN643A
    • If your printer uses 5 ink cartridges, type CN642A
  4. Follow the online instructions to order the printhead assembly.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Service the product

If the error message persists with the new replacement printhead, see the steps at the end of this document to service the product.
See the steps at the end of this document to service the product.
For any other 'Ink System Failure' message or other '0x' error codes, follow these solutions to resolve the issue.
The solutions in this section apply to Ink System Failure error messages with either no codes, or any of the following codes:
0xC19A0001, 0xC19A0002, 0xC19A0003, 0xC19A0006, 0xC19A0008, 0xC19A0009, 0xC19A0013, 0xC19A0014, 0xC19A0015, 0xC19A0020, 0xC19A0021, 0xC19A0022, 0xC19A0023, 0xC19A0024, 0xC19A0025, 0xC19A0026, 0xC19A0027, 0xC19A0028, 0xC19A0030, 0xC19A0033, 0xC19A0034, 0xC19A0035, 0xC19A0036, 0xC19A0037, 0xc19A0040, 0xc19A0041, 0xc19A0042, 0xC19AC001, 0xC19AC002, 0xC19AC004, 0xC19AC008, 0xC19AC010, 0xC19AC020, 0xC19AC040, 0xC19AC063, 0xC19AC080, 0xC19AC0a5, 0xC19AC0c6, 0xC19AC0e7, 0xC19AC100, 0xC19AC129, 0xC19AC14a, 0xC19AC16b, 0xC19AC18c, 0xC19AC1ad, 0xC19AC1ce, 0xC19AC1ef, 0xC19AC200, 0xC19AC231, 0xC19AC252, 0xC19AC273, 0xC19AC294, 0xC19AC2b5, 0xC19AC2d6, 0xC19AC2f7, 0xC19AC318, 0xC19AC339, 0xC19AC35a, 0xC19AC37b, 0xC19AC39c, 0xC19AC3bd, 0xC19AC3de, 0xC19AC3ff, 0xC19AC400

Solution one: Reset the printer

The error message might disappear after you turn off the printer and then turn it on again. After you make any adjustments to the cartridges or the printhead, reset the printer in order for the error message to clear completely. Follow these steps to reset the printer.
  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 the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Remove, clean, and reinstall the printhead

If the previous solutions did not resolve the problem, the printhead might be installed incorrectly, or there might be ink or debris on the printhead electrical contacts. Follow these steps to check and clean the printhead.

Step one: Remove the printhead

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  2. Open the cartridge access door.
  3. To remove each cartridge, press the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it and remove it from the slot.
    Figure 34: Remove the cartridge
    Remove the cartridge from the printhead
    NOTE: Do not leave the cartridges outside the product longer than 30 minutes. Doing so can result in damage to both the product and the cartridges.
  4. Lift the latch handle on the carriage until it stops.
    Figure 35: Lift the latch handle
    Lift the carriage latch handle
  5. Lift the printhead straight up to remove it.
    Figure 36: Remove the printhead
    Lift the printhead straight up to remove it

Step two: Clean the printhead

There are three areas of the printhead that need to be cleaned: the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles, the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts, and the electrical contacts. Follow these steps to clean the printhead.
Figure 37: Three areas to clean
The three areas on the printhead to clean
1 - Plastic ramp on the side of the ink nozzles
2 - The edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
3 - The electrical contacts
CAUTION:Do not touch the ink nozzles. Do not touch the electrical contacts with your finger. Use only cleaning materials to touch the electrical contact areas.
Figure 38: Do not touch the electrical contacts
Do not touch the electrical contacts
  1. Gather the following cleaning materials:
    • Several clean, lint-free cloths or papers. Coffee filters and glass-cleaning cloths work well.
    • Distilled or bottled water. Do not use tap water, because it can contain contaminants that can damage the printhead.
  2. Lightly dampen a clean, lint-free cloth.
  3. Use the damp cloth to wipe the electrical contacts from the bottom to the top. Do not go past the edge between the electrical contacts and the ink nozzles. Repeat this motion until no ink remains on the electrical contacts.
    Figure 39: Clean the electrical contacts
    Clean the electrical contacts
  4. Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe any accumulated ink and debris from the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts.
    Figure 40: Clean the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
    Clean the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
  5. Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles. Wipe away from the nozzles only.
    Figure 41: Clean the ramps
    Clean the ramps
  6. Dry the previously cleaned areas with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth before proceeding to the next step.
  7. Lightly dampen a fresh, clean, lint-free cloth with bottled or distilled water.
  8. Clean the electrical contacts inside the product by wiping them from top to bottom. Repeat this motion until no ink remains on the electrical contacts.
    Figure 42: Clean the electrical contacts inside the product
    Clean the electrical contacts inside the product
  9. Dry the area with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.

Step three: Reinstall the printhead

  1. Raise the latch handle, and then reinsert the printhead.
    Figure 43: Insert the printhead
    Reinsert the printhead
  2. Carefully lower the latch handle before reinserting the cartridges.
    NOTE:Leaving the latch handle raised can result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing issues. The latch must remain down to install the cartridges correctly.
    Figure 44: Lower the latch handle
    Lower the latch handle
  3. Using the colored shaped icons for help, slide the cartridges into their appropriate slots until they snap firmly into place in the slot.
    Figure 45: Slide the cartridge into the slot
    Slide the cartridge into its slot
    Figure 46: Snap the cartridge into place
    Snap the cartridge into place
  4. Close the cartridge access door.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Reset the product

  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 the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Replace the printhead

If the previous solutions did not resolve the issue, replace the printhead. Contact HP support to obtain a replacement printhead.
Click Contact HP on this page for more support options.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you will 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. Click this link , and then click your country-language.
  2. A Buy HP page displays. Look for the HP Parts store on this page. The location of the HP Parts store varies depending on your region. Click HP Parts store.
  3. Under Find your part(s), type one of the part numbers below in the Search by part number text box.
    • If your printer uses 4 ink cartridges, type CN643A
    • If your printer uses 5 ink cartridges, type CN642A
  4. Follow the online instructions to order the printhead assembly.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Service the product

See the steps at the end of this document to service the product.
Follow these steps to resolve the issue of 'Ink System Failure' with no error code.

Solution one: Check the cartridges

The ink system can fail if the cartridges in the printer are installed incorrectly, if the ink in the cartridge is low or out, or if the cartridges are damaged or not correctly vented. Follow these steps to check the cartridges thoroughly and resolve any issues you might find.

Step one: Replace empty or low cartridges

The error prevents you from checking ink levels using the HP software. However, this error can be caused by a low or empty cartridge. If the Ink Alert message displayed before the error occurred, replacing the cartridge might resolve the issue.
Which cartridges you use might depend on your country/region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
NOTE:For the United States only, go to the HP Home & Home Office Store .
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.

Step two: Make sure the cartridges are installed correctly

  1. Turn on the product.
  2. Lift the cartridge access door to open it.
  3. To remove the cartridge, press the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then remove it from the slot.
    Figure 47: Remove the cartridge
    Remove the cartridge from the printhead
    NOTE: Do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. Doing so can result in damage to both the printer and the cartridges.
  4. Examine the vent area, which is located on top of the cartridge, next to the HP logo.
    Figure 48: Vent area
    Vent area
  5. If an orange tab is attached to any cartridge, remove it.
    Figure 49: Orange tab
    Remove the orange tab.
  6. If any of the cartridges have clogged vents, use a pin to clean the vents.
    Figure 50: Correctly vented
    Correctly vented cartridge
    Figure 51: Vent clogged with adhesive
    Clogged vent
  7. Using the colored shaped icons for help, slide each cartridge into the correct empty slot, and then press down until the cartridge snaps firmly into place in the slot.
    Figure 52: Slide the cartridge into its slot
    Slide the cartridge into its slot
    Figure 53: Snap the cartridge into place
    Snap the cartridge into place
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
  9. Check the product control panel display.
    • If the error message has disappeared, try printing to check the print quality. If the print quality is acceptable, the issue is resolved and there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
      If the print quality is not acceptable, continue to the next step to use the automatic printhead cleaning utility.
    • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution in this document.

Step three: Use the automatic printhead cleaning utility

Use an automatic cleaning utility to clean the printheads.
Click the plus sign () next to your operating system for more information.
Printhead cleaning options vary among products. Choose an applicable option for your product.
  1. Turn on the product, and then connect it to the computer.
  2. Open HP Solution Center.
      Click Start (), click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
      Click the Windows icon (), click Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
      Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
    NOTE:You can also open the HP software from your computer desktop; double-click the icon for your HP product ().
  3. In HP Solution Center, click Settings.
  4. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The Printer Toolbox opens.
  5. Click Clean the Printhead, and then follow the on-screen instructions. The product prints a test page when the printhead cleaning completes.
  • If the print quality is acceptable on the test page then there is no need to continue to troubleshoot.
  • If the print quality is not acceptable, repeat the automatic printhead cleaning procedure again. If the print quality is still not acceptable, continue to the next solution.
If your printer has a control panel display, follow these steps to clean the printhead. Steps might vary depending on your product.
  1. On the product control panel, press the Setup icon ().
  2. Press Tools, and then press Clean Printhead.
NOTE:If you do not see a Setup icon (), or you do not have these menu choices, go to HP Customer Care . Enter your product name, and then click Next. You might have to choose your product from a list of similar models. On the product support page, click Manuals. Click User Guide, and then look for instructions to clean the printhead.
Follow these steps to run a utility to clean the printhead.
  1. Make sure the printer is on and connected, and unused, plain paper is loaded.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. Click Print & Fax (10.5 or 10.6) or Print & Scan (10.7).
  4. Select the printer in the list on the left side of the dialog box.
  5. Click Options and Supplies.
  6. Click the Utility tab at the top of the window, and then click Open Printer Utility.
  7. The HP Utility opens. Click Clean Printheads (features and options might vary depending on the printer model). A test sheet prints when the process is done.
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the cleaning process are normal.
  8. Examine the test sheet for print quality. Consider repeating the cleaning if there is improvement. Sometimes several cleanings are required.
  9. Recycle or discard the test sheet.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Reset the product

  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 the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Remove, clean, and reinstall the printhead

If the previous solutions did not resolve the problem, the printhead might be installed incorrectly, or there might be ink or debris on the printhead electrical contacts. Follow these steps to check and clean the printhead.

Step one: Remove the printhead

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  2. Open the cartridge access door.
  3. To remove each cartridge, press the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it and remove it from the slot.
    Figure 54: Remove the cartridge
    Remove the cartridge from the printhead
    NOTE: Do not leave the cartridges outside the product longer than 30 minutes. Doing so can result in damage to both the product and the cartridges.
  4. Lift the latch handle on the carriage until it stops.
    Figure 55: Lift the latch handle
    Lift the carriage latch handle
  5. Lift the printhead straight up to remove it.
    Figure 56: Remove the printhead
    Lift the printhead straight up to remove it

Step two: Clean the printhead

There are three areas of the printhead that need to be cleaned: the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles, the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts, and the electrical contacts. Follow these steps to clean the printhead.
Figure 57: Three areas to clean
The three areas on the printhead to clean
1 - Plastic ramp on the side of the ink nozzles
2 - The edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
3 - The electrical contacts
CAUTION:Do not touch the ink nozzles. Do not touch the electrical contacts with your finger. Use only cleaning materials to touch the electrical contact areas.
Figure 58: Do not touch the electrical contacts
Do not touch the electrical contacts
  1. Gather the following cleaning materials:
    • Several clean, lint-free cloths or papers. Coffee filters and glass-cleaning cloths work well.
    • Distilled or bottled water. Do not use tap water, because it can contain contaminants that can damage the printhead.
  2. Lightly dampen a clean, lint-free cloth.
  3. Use the damp cloth to wipe the electrical contacts from the bottom to the top. Do not go past the edge between the electrical contacts and the ink nozzles. Repeat this motion until no ink remains on the electrical contacts.
    Figure 59: Clean the electrical contacts
    Clean the electrical contacts
  4. Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe any accumulated ink and debris from the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts.
    Figure 60: Clean the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
    Clean the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
  5. Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles. Wipe away from the nozzles only.
    Figure 61: Clean the ramps
    Clean the ramps
  6. Dry the previously cleaned areas with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth before proceeding to the next step.
  7. Lightly dampen a fresh, clean, lint-free cloth with bottled or distilled water.
  8. Clean the electrical contacts inside the product by wiping them from top to bottom. Repeat this motion until no ink remains on the electrical contacts.
    Figure 62: Clean the electrical contacts inside the product
    Clean the electrical contacts inside the product
  9. Dry the area with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.

Step three: Reinstall the printhead

  1. Raise the latch handle, and then reinsert the printhead.
    Figure 63: Insert the printhead
    Reinsert the printhead
  2. Carefully lower the latch handle before reinserting the cartridges.
    NOTE:Leaving the latch handle raised can result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing issues. The latch must remain down to install the cartridges correctly.
    Figure 64: Lower the latch handle
    Lower the latch handle
  3. Using the colored shape icons for help, slide the cartridges into their appropriate slots until they snap firmly into place in the slot.
    Figure 65: Slide the cartridge into the slot
    Slide the cartridge into its slot
    Figure 66: Snap the cartridge into place
    Snap the cartridge into place
  4. Close the cartridge access door.
Check the product control panel display to see if the error message disappears.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Reset the printer

The error message might disappear after you turn off the printer and then turn it on again. After you make any adjustments to the cartridges or the printhead, reset the printer in order for the error message to clear completely. Follow these steps to reset the printer.
  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 the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Replace the printhead

If the previous solutions did not resolve the issue, replace the printhead. Contact HP support to obtain a replacement printhead.
Click Contact HP on this page for more support options.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you will 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. Click this link , and then click your country-language.
  2. A Buy HP page displays. Look for the HP Parts store on this page. The location of the HP Parts store varies depending on your region. Click HP Parts store.
  3. Under Find your part(s), type one of the part numbers below in the Search by part number text box.
    • If your printer uses 4 ink cartridges, type CN643A
    • If your printer uses 5 ink cartridges, type CN642A
  4. Follow the online instructions to order the printhead assembly.
  • If the error message disappears, the issue is resolved and you do not need to troubleshoot further.
  • If the error message persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Service the product

If the error message persists with the new replacement printhead, see the steps at the end of this document to service the product.
Follow these steps only if the preceding troubleshooting instructed you to do so.
NOTE:Ink system failures can produce a carriage stall error when you reset the product. If the ink system failure requires you to return the product for service, you do not need to troubleshoot the carriage stall issue.
These steps apply to 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.
  • If your product is out of warranty, fees might apply for contacting HP.
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