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HP Deskjet, Photosmart printers (pre-2005) - Mixed or Missing Ink

The document applies to HP Deskjet 5440, 6520, 6540, 6540dt, 6620, 6830v, 6840, 6840dt Printers, and Photosmart 8700 Printers.

Problem

You printed a self test 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. Make sure the printer is on and connected to the computer.
  2. Click the Windows Start button, then click Control Panel.
  3. Double-click the Printer and Faxes folder.
  4. Right-click the icon for your printer and choose Preferences.
  5. Choose the Services tab and click Service this Device.
  6. The Printer Toolbox opens. On the Device Services tab, click Clean the Print Cartridges, then follow the onscreen instructions. Up to three levels of cleaning are available. Discard or recycle the page that prints.
    Figure : Click Clean the Print Cartridges

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.

Preventing color mix and missing colors

Color mix is usually the result of a non-porous material contacting the nozzles. 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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