HP Customer Support - Knowledge Base







HP PSC 1100, 1200, 1300, and 1400 Series - Check Print Cartridge Light Blinking


Figure : Check Print Cartridge light blinking
After you insert one or both print cartridges, or after you open the gray door, the Check Print Cartridge light begins to blink. The printer will not print.
If the printer is connected to a computer and the HP software has been installed, one of the following messages is displayed:
  • The cover is open
  • The print cartridge on the right side of the carriage is missing, not detected, or incorrectly installed
  • The color print cartridge is missing, not detected, or incorrectly installed
  • Print cartridge error

Step 1: Close door

If the cartridge access door is open, close it.
Figure : Close door

Step 2: Determine which cartridge is the problem

  • Do you have the printer connected to a computer? If you do, and if the HP software is installed on the computer, you should have seen a message displayed on the computer.
  • If you do not have the printer connected to a computer, or the HP software is not installed, there is no computer message. Try the steps below to identify the problem cartridge:
    1. Open the cartridge access door.
    2. Remove the cartridge on the right.
    3. Close the cartridge access door.
      • If the On/Resume light starts blinking, the tricolor cartridge (the cartridge on the left) is the problem cartridge. Continue with Step 3 below - you only have to perform the steps on the problem cartridge.
      • If the On/Resume light does not blink, you cannot tell which cartridge is the problem cartridge. Continue with the steps below - you must perform the steps on both cartridges.

Step 3: Remove and reseat the problem cartridge

If the problem still occurs, the electrical contact between the cartridges and the printer might be bad. Removing and reseating the cartridges might help.
  1. Open the cartridge access door and wait a moment for the cartridges to come to the center.
  2. Press down on the end of the problem cartridge to snap it out of the carriage.
    Figure : Removing the problem cartridge
  3. If there is tape on the cartridge, remove it. Do not remove the copper-colored strip.
    Figure : Removing the tape
  4. Replace the cartridge. Place it in its slot at a slight angle, and then press up and forward until the cartridge snaps into position.
    Figure : Replacing the cartridge
    • The black or photo cartridge goes on the right.
    • The tricolor cartridge goes on the left.

Step 4: Clean the problem cartridge contacts

If the light is still blinking, clean the electrical contacts by the procedure below:
  1. Gather the following items to clean the cartridge and print carriage:
    • Clean distilled water. Use bottled or filtered water if distilled water is not available.
    • Clean cotton swabs or any soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the cartridges (coffee filters work well).
  2. Remove the cartridge and place it on a piece of paper with the nozzle plate facing up.
    Try to clean the contacts quickly enough that the cartridge is not outside of the printer for more than 30 minutes. The ink can dry and clog the nozzles if the cartridge is outside of the printer for too long.
  3. Unplug the printer.
  4. Dip a swab in the clean water, then squeeze it to remove most of the moisture. The swab should only be slightly damp.
  5. Clean the print cartridge contacts. The illustration below shows these contacts. Avoid touching the nozzles.
    Figure : Clean the print cartridge contacts
  6. Clean the contacts in the print carriage, inside the printer. The illustration below shows the carriage and the contacts.
  7. Wait ten minutes to allow the cartridge to dry, then reinstall the cartridge, plug the printer back in, and close the cartridge access door.
Figure : Print carriage
Figure : Clean the gold-colored contacts in the print carriage

Step 5: Repeat reseating and cleaning steps

If the print cartridge light keeps flashing, repeat steps 3 and 4 above.

Step 6: Replace the problem cartridge

If the problem hasn't been solved by the steps above, either the printer or the problem cartridge is defective.
  • If you have already tried cartridge replacement and it didn't help, click the link at the top of this page to contact HP, the printer may need to be serviced.
  • If you haven't tried cartridge replacement, replace the problem cartridge now.






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