HP Customer Support - Knowledge Base







HP Photosmart A636 and A637 Photo Printers - 'The print cartridge is missing or incorrect' Message Displays on the Printer After Installing an Ink Cartridge


After installing an ink cartridge or during printing, the message The print cartridge is missing or incorrect appears on the product control panel display.


Step one: Remove, inspect, and reinstall the ink cartridge

The ink cartridge may not have full electrical contact with the product. Removing and reinstalling the cartridge may help.
HP cannot guarantee the quality of remanufactured or refilled cartridges.
  1. Make sure that the product is on.
  2. Open the output tray and open the cartridge door.
      Figure : Opening the output tray and cartridge door
    1. Opening the output tray
    2. Opening the cartridge door
  3. Lightly press down on the ink cartridge to release it and pull it out.
  4. Check the electrical contacts on the cartridge for debris.
    Be careful not to touch the copper-colored contacts.
    Figure : Copper-colored contacts
  5. Make sure all of the protective tape has been removed from the cartridge.
  6. Reinsert the ink cartridge into the carriage and push it in until it snaps into place.
    Figure : Reinserting the ink cartridge
  7. Close the cartridge door.

Step two: Clean the cartridge contacts

If these steps did not resolve the issue, clean the electrical contacts on the ink cartridge.
  1. Gather the following items to clean the cartridge:
    • Clean distilled water. Use bottled or filtered water if distilled water is not available. Tap water may contain contaminants that could damage the cartridge.
    • Clean cotton swabs or any soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the cartridges (coffee filters work well).
    • Sheets of paper or paper towel to rest the cartridges on during cleaning.
  2. Open the ink cartridge access door.
  3. 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 product for more than 30 minutes. The ink can dry and clog the nozzles if the cartridge is outside of the product for too long.
  4. Unplug the product.
  5. Dip a swab in the clean water and squeeze it to remove most of the moisture. The swab should be only slightly damp.
  6. Clean the ink cartridge contacts. Do not touch the nozzles.
    Figure : Cleaning the cartridge electrical contacts
  7. Either let the cartridge sit for 10 minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.
  8. Reinstall the cartridge, reconnect the product, and then close the product cover.

Step three: Repeat reseating and cleaning steps

If the issue continues, repeat the reseating and cleaning procedures.

Step four: Replace the ink cartridge

If the error message is still displayed, the ink cartridge might be faulty. Try replacing the ink cartridge.
  1. Make sure the product is turned on.
    The attention light blinks indicating that the ink cartridge is empty or ink level is low.
  2. Open the cartridge door.
    Figure : Opening the cartridge door
  3. Lightly press down on the ink cartridge to release it and pull it out.
  4. Remove the new ink cartridge from its packaging.
  5. Pull the pink tab to remove the clear tape from the ink cartridge.
    Figure : Removing the tape from the ink cartridge
    Be careful not to touch the ink nozzles or copper contacts.
    Figure : Copper contacts
  6. Hold the ink cartridge with the label facing up and the copper contacts facing the product.
  7. Insert the ink cartridge into the carriage and push it in until it snaps into place.
    Figure : Installing the ink cartridge
  8. Close the cartridge door.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions. The alignment page prints.

Step five: Service the printer

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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