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HP Inkjet Cartridges - HP 15, 17, 23, 41, 45, and 78, Printing Unit Does not Detect Cartridge Due to White, Waxy Substance on Cartridge Contacts

Introduction
This statement aims to inform about a crystallization issue on the contacts of the above-mentioned Inkjet print cartridges. These cartridges are used in several HP Deskjet, HP Photosmart, and HP Officejet all-in-one products. The crystallization gives the cartridge contacts a white, waxy appearance (see Figure 1), causing the printing unit not to be able to recognize, if one of the mentioned cartridges in the title is seated in the printing device.
Information
Ink manufacturing uses a lubricant coating to attach the electrical contacts on the cartridges. HP has discovered that in a small number of cases, the lubricant may form a crystalline material that blocks electrical impulses between the cartridge contacts and the contacts of the cradle inside the printing unit.
The result will be rejection of the cartridge or print quality issues (white streaks or very noticeable banding showing up in the printout). The symptoms of cartridge rejection are:
For HP Deskjet printers
  • Blinking (cartridge) lights on the HP Deskjet printers.
  • The message "Check black or color cartridge" is displayed on PC monitor.
For HP Officejet and PSC all-in-one products
  • The error "Remove and check black or color cartridge" appears on the front panel.
For HP Photosmart printers
  • Printer toolbox window shows error message: "Cartridges not seated."
  • "Replace (color or black) cartridge or Cartridge failed" message on the display
As soon as the problem was discovered, a change to the lubricant process was made to ensure proper lubricant material performance. HP will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and make any necessary amendments to the manufacturing process to guard the quality of the above-mentioned Inkjet print cartridges.
If experiencing one of the symptoms mentioned earlier, be advised to use the steps in the instructions below.
Photo showing flex circuit with crystallized lube
Photo showing flex circuit with normal lube
Figure : Cartridge contacts
Instructions
In most cases unseating and reseating the cartridge in the unit to dislodge residue from the cartridge contacts can resolve the problem. If this does not immediately resolve the problem, continue the reseating process up to five times. Follow the instructions below.
Unseating and reseating the cartridge
  1. Turn the unit on and open the lid or top cover.
  2. Remove the cartridges.
  3. Re-insert the cartridges.
  4. Close the unit’s lid or top cover.
  5. Cycle the power to the device by turning the printer off for a few seconds.
  6. Turn the printer back on.
  7. Print a test page. If this does not solve the problem, proceed to the next section.
Wiping the cartridge contacts
  1. Turn the unit on and open the lid or top cover.
  2. Remove the cartridges.
  3. Using a clean, dry lint-free cloth (a coffee filter works well), wipe the cartridge contacts, from the top to the bottom (see Figure 2). The contact area of the cartridge should be rubbed briskly to remove the waxy lubricant material from the gold contacts.
    Figure : Cleaning the cartridge contacts
  4. The contacts inside the printer may also require cleaning. Using a clean, dry, lint-free cloth, gently wipe the contacts, from the top to the bottom (see Figure 3).
    Figure : Cleaning contacts inside the printer
  5. Re-insert the cartridges and close the printer’s top cover.
  6. Print a test page. If the problem persists, perform a hard reset as described in the next section.
Performing a hard reset on the unit
When the printing unit detects an issue with the cartridge, a software flag is set inside the device. This flag may not reset until performing a hard reset on the device.
HP Deskjet and Photosmart printers
  1. Verify that the unit is switched on.
  2. Open printer and remove both cartridges.
  3. Unplug the power cord from the printer.
  4. Wait 30 seconds.
  5. Plug the power cord back into the printer.
  6. Open the top cover and reinsert both cartridges.
  7. Turn the unit on.
  8. Print a test page. If the problem persists, the cartridge should be replaced.
HP Officejet and PSC all-in-one
  1. Verify that the unit is switched on.
  2. Remove the power cable from the back of the machine.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Press and hold the POWER button on the front panel.
  5. Reinsert the power cable in the backside of the unit.
  6. Print a test page. If the problem persists, the cartridge should be replaced.

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