HP Customer Support - Knowledge Base







A 'Remove and check [Left/Right] Cartridge' Message Displays for HP DeskJet 6980dt, 6980, 6940, and 6940dt Printers


After installing a new cartridge or during normal use after installation, one or both print cartridge status lights begin to blink. The printer will not print. The message Remove and check [Left/Right] Cartridge displays on the computer screen.
The left status light represents the tri-color print cartridge, which is installed in the left side of the print cartridge cradle. The right status light represents the black or the photo print cartridge. Either of those print cartridges can be installed in the right side of the print cartridge cradle.


Use one or both of these methods to solve the issue..

Solution one: Remove, inspect, and reseat the cartridges

The print cartridge might not have full electrical contact with the product. Use the following steps to remove, inspect, and then reinstall the print cartridges.
HP cannot guarantee the quality of remanufactured or refilled cartridges.
  1. Make sure that the product is on. Press the Power button (), if it is not lit.
  2. Open the printer cover, and then wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Lift the print cartridge latch for each print cartridge.
  4. Press down on a print cartridge to release it from the carriage.
    Figure : Press down on the cartridge
  5. Pull the print cartridge forward out of the slot.
    Figure : Pull the print cartridge forward
    Do not touch the copper electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
      Figure : Electrical contacts and nozzles
    1. Copper electrical contacts
    2. Ink nozzles
  6. After removing each cartridge, check its condition:
    • Make sure all the clear nozzle-protective tape has been removed.
      Do not try to remove the copper electrical strip.
        Figure : Remove the protective tape
      1. Protective tape
    • Look at the number on the print cartridge label and make sure it is compatible with your product.
    • Check the electrical contacts for debris. If the contacts are dirty, continue to the next solution to clean the electrical contacts.
  7. If the cartridge is compatible and clean, reinstall it in the product.
    1. Hold the print cartridge so that the copper strips are on the bottom and facing toward the product.
    2. Slide the print cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and gently push it until it snaps into place.
      Figure : Slide the cartridge into the carriage
      • Install the tri-color print cartridge (marked with a triangle) in the left carriage slot.
      • Install the black, photo, or gray photo print cartridge (marked with a square or pentagon) in the right carriage slot.
    3. Press down on the print cartridge latch to close it.
      Figure : Close the latch
  8. Close the printer cover.

Solution two: Clean the cartridge contacts

  1. Raise the printer cover, remove the print cartridge on the right, and then lower the cover.
    • If the cartridge status light is off, a problem exists with the print cartridge you removed. Proceed to step 2.
    • If the cartridge status light is flashing, open the printer cover, replace the print cartridge you removed, and then remove the other print cartridge. Proceed to step 2.
  2. Manually clean the print cartridge.
    You will need the following items to clean the print cartridge:
    • Distilled water (tap water can contain contaminants that can damage the print cartridge)
    • Cotton swabs or other soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the print cartridge
    Be careful not to get ink on your hands or clothing as you clean.
    1. Place the print cartridge on a piece of paper with the copper strips facing up.
      Do not leave the print cartridges outside the product for more than 30 minutes.
    2. Moisten a cotton swab or lint-free material with distilled water and squeeze out any excess water.
    3. Use the moistened swab to wipe the print cartridge copper contacts.
      Do not touch the print cartridge ink nozzles. Touching the ink nozzles will result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
        Figure : Clean the contacts
      1. Copper contacts
      2. Ink nozzles (do not touch)
    4. Repeat this process until no ink residue or dust appears on the swab.
    5. Reinstall the print cartridge in the carriage, and then close the printer cover.
  3. Repeat the procedure for the other cartridge, if necessary.
  4. If the issue continues, repeat steps 1 through 4.

Service your product

Service or replace your HP product if you completed all preceding steps.
To see if your product is still under warranty, go to the warranty check website http://www.support.hp.com/checkwarranty. Contact HP Support to schedule a repair or replacement. If you are in Asia Pacific, Contact HP Support to find a local service center in your area.
Repair fees might apply for out-of-warranty products.






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