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HP PSC, Photosmart and Officejet All-in-One Series Printers - Color Image Prints in Black and White

This document is for printers that have full feature drivers for their current operating system.
The printer is working, but the printed output is in black and white when it should be in color.
Step one: Check the Print in Grayscale setting
The product software print setting is probably designated as grayscale. Follow these steps to check this setting:
  1. In the software application you are trying to print from, click File, and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
  2. Make sure your printer is selected, then click Preferences. The printer Preferences dialog box opens.
  3. Select the Color tab, then make sure that the Print in grayscale option is not selected.
Step two: Print a diagnostic page
If the Print in grayscale option is not the problem, print and evaluate a diagnostic page to see if the cartridges or printer is causing the problem.
  1. Press the left arrow and right arrow simultaneously, then release both buttons.
  2. Press 1, 2, then 3. The Service menu appears.
  3. Press the right arrow twice. The Special Reports menu opens.
  4. Press OK.
  5. Press the right arrow once. The Print Cartridge menu opens.
  6. Press OK. The diagnostic page prints.
Identify which cartridge printed which part of the diagnostic page, so that if you find defects on the page, you know which cartridge is the problem.
However, you can install different combinations of ink cartridges in your printer, and different cartridge combinations print different diagnostic page patterns. The diagnostic page might not look exactly like the example presented here, but the right and left cartridges print in the same areas of the page no matter which cartridges are installed.
    Figure : Diagnostic page layout (the patterns in each area might look slightly different on your page)
  1. Printed by the right cartridge
  2. Printed by the left cartridge
  note:
If you are printing in reserve mode (one cartridge is missing), the area of the diagnostic page where that cartridge prints is blank.
  note:
If you have installed a refilled or remanufactured ink cartridge, or a cartridge that has been used in another product, the ink level indicator is inaccurate or unavailable.
Look in the middle of the diagnostic page. The bars with "E" (for "empty") and "F" (for "full") at each end show the ink levels in the cartridges. As ink is used, the solid color changes to a faded color.
Figure : Left (tri-color) cartridge almost full - right cartridge empty
Figure : Both left and right cartridges almost full
In general, if the printer and print cartridges are working properly, the patterns (which look like grids of lines) should contain few or no missing lines. Also, the colors of the patterns and bars should be approximately the same as the color dots on the print cartridge label.
  note:
Do not compare the colors on your diagnostic page to the colors on this Web page. Unless your monitor is calibrated, the colors will not be correct. Instead, compare the colors on the page to the colors dots on the print cartridge label. While the color dots might not be perfectly accurate, they are likely to be more accurate than the colors on the monitor.
Missing lines or streaked bars
If a pattern shows more than a few missing lines, or a bar is streaked, that print cartridge is not functioning properly.
Figure : The right cartridge (a photo cartridge) shows missing lines and a streaked bar - the cartridge is not functioning properly
Figure : The left cartridge (a tri-color cartridge) shows missing lines and a streaked bar - the cartridge is not functioning properly
If your diagnostic page shows missing lines or streaked bars, click here to continue troubleshooting.
Color mix
If the color of the patterns or bars differs from the color dots on the cartridge label, the cartridge is not functioning properly.
Figure : Color dots on the left (tri-color) cartridge label
Figure : The color of one of the left cartridge bars is different from the color on the cartridge label - the cartridge is not functioning properly
If your diagnostic page shows colors that differ from the colors on the cartridge label, click here to continue troubleshooting.
Missing colors
If any of the color blocks or patterns is entirely missing, the cartridge is not functioning properly.
Figure : The yellow pattern and bar for the left (tri-color) cartridge is missing
If any of the patterns or color blocks is entirely missing, click here to continue troubleshooting.
Ink smears
If the diagnostic page shows smeared ink, you might need to clean your cartridges.
Figure : Left (black) cartridge shows smeared ink
If your diagnostic page shows smeared ink, click here to continue troubleshooting.
If no defects appear on the diagnostic page, the cartridges and product are probably working correctly. Click here to continue troubleshooting (c00211601) (in English).

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