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Print Cartridge Lights are Blinking

  • PrintPrint

Problem

Figure 1: Both lights may be blinking
Figure 2: Or only the left light
Figure 3: Or only the right light
After you install a print cartridge, one or both of the print cartridge lights begins to blink. The printer will not print. One of the following messages may appear on your computer screen:
  • Incorrect Print Cartridge
  • Incompatible Print Cartridge
  • Problem with the [Left/Right] Print Cartridge

Solution

Work through the sections below in order. When the print cartridge light stops blinking, you have solved the problem.
NOTE:In the procedures below, the "problem" cartridge is identified by the blinking light. The light on the left blinks when the left cartridge is the problem, the light on the right blinks when the right cartridge is the problem, and both lights blink when both cartridges are the problem.

Step 1: Remove, inspect, and reseat the problem cartridge

The print cartridge may 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. Use genuine HP print cartridges to ensure good quality.
  1. Make sure the product is on. Press the Power button if it is not lit.
  2. Open the product cover, then wait until the print carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Press down lightly on the end of the problem cartridge to release it.
    Figure 4: Releasing the problem cartridge
  4. Slide the cartridge out, and inspect it.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
    Figure 5: Electrical contacts and nozzles
    1 - Copper electrical contacts
    2 - Nozzles
    Check the electrical contacts for debris. If any debris is evident, proceed to step two.
    Make sure all the clear nozzle protective tape has been removed.
    CAUTION:Do not attempt to remove the copper electrical strip.
    Figure 6: Removing the clear nozzle protective tape
    Look at the number on the print cartridge label, and make sure it is compatible with the product. Compatible print cartridges are listed in the Printer Reference Guide supplied with the product.
  5. If the cartridge is compatible, reinstall it.
    • Cartridges marked with a triangle, go into the left carriage slot.
    • Cartridges marked with a square or pentagon, go into the right carriage slot.
    Figure 7: Sliding the cartridge into the carriage
    Figure 8: Pushing the cartridge into place
  6. Close the product cover.
  7. Try to print again. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 2: Clean the problem cartridge contacts

  1. Gather the following items to clean the cartridge and carriage:
    • Clean distilled water. Use bottled or filtered water if distilled water is not available. Tap water can contain contaminants that damage the cartridge.
    • Clean cotton swabs or any soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the cartridges (coffee filters work well).
    • Sheets of paper or a paper towel to rest the cartridge on during cleaning.
  2. Open the product cover and wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Remove the cartridge and place it on a piece of paper with the nozzle plate facing up.
    NOTE:Clean the contacts quickly so that the cartridge is not outside of the product for more than 30 minutes. If the cartridge is outside of the product for too long, the ink can dry and clog the nozzles.
  4. Unplug the product from the electrical outlet.
  5. Dip the swab or other cleaning material in the water and squeeze it to remove most of the moisture. The swab should be only slightly damp.
  6. Clean the cartridge contacts.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the ink nozzles.
    Figure 9: Cartridge contacts
    Cartridge contacts
  7. Clean the contacts in the carriage.
    Figure 10: Carriage contacts
    Carriage contacts
  8. Either let the cartridge sit for 10 minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.
  9. Reinstall the cartridge.
  10. Reconnect the product to the electrical outlet.
  11. Close the product cover.

Step 3: Repeat reseating and cleaning steps

If the problem is not solved, repeat the reseating and cleaning procedures above.

Step 4: Contact HP

If a cartridge replacement was not tried previously to solve this problem, replace the problem cartridge now. Click here (c00206040) (in English) to see if the cartridge is covered under warranty.

Step 5: Print in backup mode

If you do not have a replacement cartridge, you can still print in ink backup mode. Simply remove the problem cartridge, and print with the remaining cartridge.
  • If you remove the tri-color cartridge, printouts will be in grayscale.
  • If you remove the black or photo cartridge, the product prints slowly and the colors in the printouts might differ.

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