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HP Officejet and PSC printers (pre-2005) - Mixed or Missing Ink

This document applies to HP Officejet 6200, 7200, 7300, 7400, J4524, J4525, J4535, J4540, J4550, J4580, J4585, J4624 series printers, HP PSC 1600, 1610v, 1610xi, 2350 series printers, HP Photosmart 2570, 2600 and 2700 series printers.

Problem

You printed a diagnostic page and found colors that are very different from the colors on the cartridge label, or entirely missing colors.

Step 1: Run the clean print cartridges utility

  1. Press the Setup button.
  2. Use the arrow keys to select Tools and then press the OK button.
  3. Select Clean Print Cartridge and then press OK. The device prints a test page.
  4. Examine the test page. If the print quality of the page is good, stop here. If the print quality is bad, go on to the next step for further cleaning.
  5. Open the Printer Toolbox. There are two ways to do this:
    • Open HP Director, select the Settings menu, then the Print Settings submenu, and finally the Printer Toolbox.
    • If the HP Director method does not work, open Printers and Faxes in the Windows Control Panel, then right-click your printer icon and choose Properties. Click on Printing Preferences. Click the Services tab, then the Service This Device icon.
  6. The Printer Toolbox opens. On the Device Services tab, click Clean the Print Cartridges, then follow the on-screen instructions. Up to three levels of cleaning are available. Discard or recycle the page that prints.

Step 2: Replace the problem cartridge

If a cartridge replacement was not tried previously to solve this problem, replace the problem cartridge now. Go to Ink Cartridge and Printhead Limited Warrantyto see if the cartridge is covered under warranty.

Cause and prevention

Color mix is usually caused by a material touching the nozzles. Ink can wick along the material and travel from nozzle to nozzle. When different colors of ink mix in this way, the result is muddy, inaccurate colors.
Missing colors occur when the cartridge nozzles dry out, or when a color is exhausted because of specific printing demands.
  • Do not remove the protective tape from a new print cartridge until just before you install it. Once you remove the tape, do not reapply it.
  • After you have removed the protective tape, do not allow anything to touch the nozzles.
  • Print at least once a month to keep the print cartridges in good working order.
  • Always turn the printer off by pressing the button on the printer control panel, rather than by unplugging the printer. Turning the printer off properly allows it to protect the cartridges.
  • If you are removing a cartridge from the printer temporarily (for instance, removing the black cartridge in order to install the photo cartridge), put it in a cartridge protector.
  • If you do not have a cartridge protector and need to remove a cartridge temporarily, put it in an airtight plastic tub. Make sure nothing touches the nozzles. Do not use a plastic bag. If you intend to store print cartridges in a tub for a long period of time, place color cartridges with the nozzles down, and black cartridges with the nozzles up.

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