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A 'Cartridge(s) Problem', or 'Incompatible Cartridge' Message Displays on the Computer

  • PrintPrint
This document is for the Deskjet D1658, D1660, D1663, and D1668 printers.
The message 'Cartridge(s) Problem', or 'Incompatible Cartridge' displays on the computer. The printer does not print, and the Power button might blink.

Solution one: Use genuine HP cartridges

HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the following solutions might not resolve your print quality issue.
Which cartridges you use might depend on your country/region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
NOTE:For the United States only, go to the HP Home & Home Office Store .
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Remove, inspect, and reseat the cartridges

The cartridge might not have full electrical contact with the product. Removing and reinstalling the cartridge might help.
  1. Make sure that the product is on. If necessary, press the Power button () to turn on the product.
    CAUTION:If the product is not on, it will not release the cartridges. You might damage the product if the cartridges are seated incorrectly when you try to remove them.
  2. Open the cartridge cover.
    Figure 1: Open the cartridge cover
    Illustration of opening the cartridge cover
    The cartridge carriage moves to the center of the product.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then lightly press down on a cartridge to release it.
    Figure 2: Remove the cartridge
    Illustration of removing the cartridges
    1 - The tri-color cartridge is on the left side of the carriage
    2 - The black cartridge is on the right side of the carriage
  4. Pull the cartridge toward you out of its slot, and then inspect it.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
    Figure 3: Cartridge contacts and nozzles
    Illustration of the cartridges
    1 - Copper-colored electrical contacts (do not touch)
    2 - Nozzles (do not touch)
    Check the copper-colored electrical contacts for debris.
    Make sure that no clear protective tape remains on the contacts or nozzles.
    Figure 4: Remove the protective tape
    Illustration of the copper electrical strip
    CAUTION:Do not try to remove the copper electrical strip.
    Check the number on the cartridge label to make sure it is compatible with the product, and then compare it with the following table.
    Figure 5: Number on cartridge label
    Illustration of cartridge numbers
    1 - Cartridge numbers
    Cartridge DescriptionAbbreviated Country/Region Zone*
    North and South America, Korea (Zone 1)Europe (Zone 2)Russia, Japan (Zone 3)China, India (Zone 4)
    Black cartridge (standard yield)HP 60HP 300HP 121HP 818
    Color cartridge (standard yield)HP 60HP 300XLHP 121XLHP 818XL
    Black cartridge (high yield)HP 60XLHP 300HP 121HP 818
    Color cartridge (high yield)HP 60XLHP 300XLHP 121XLHP 818XL
    To find a complete list of compatible cartridges, do the following:
    1. Click the language selection link next to the globe icon.
      Figure 6: Language selection link
      Red arrow pointing to the language selection link
    2. From the drop-down lists, select the appropriate Language and Location, and then click Save.
    3. Enter your product number, and then press Enter. A list of compatible cartridges appears.
  5. If the cartridge is compatible with the product, reinstall it in the product.
    • Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then insert the cartridge back into the carriage slot. Push the cartridge firmly into the slot until it snaps into place.
      Figure 7: Insert the cartridge into the carriage
      Illustration of how to insert a cartridge
    • The tri-color cartridge installs in the left carriage slot.
    • The black cartridge installs in the right carriage slot.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Clean the electrical contacts

Follow these steps to clean the electrical contacts.
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • Distilled water (tap water can contain contaminants that can damage the cartridge)
    • Cotton swabs or other soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the electrical contacts
    • Clean sheet of paper
  2. Open the cartridge cover.
    Figure 8: Open the cartridge cover
    Illustration of opening the cartridge cover
    The carriage moves to the center of the product.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then lightly press down on a cartridge to release it.
    Figure 9: Remove the cartridge
    Illustration of removing the cartridges
    1 - The tri-color cartridge is on the left side of the carriage
    2 - The black cartridge is on the right side of the carriage
  4. Place the cartridges on a sheet of paper with the copper strips facing up.
    CAUTION:Do not leave the cartridges out of the product for more than 30 minutes.
  5. Lightly moisten a cotton swab with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from the swab.
  6. Hold the ink cartridge by its sides, and then clean only the copper-colored contacts.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the ink nozzles. Doing so can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure 10: Clean cartridge contacts
    Illustration of cleaning the contacts
    1 - Copper-colored contacts
    2 - Ink nozzles (do not clean)
  7. Repeat this process until no ink residue or debris shows on the swab.
  8. Either let the cartridge sit for ten minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.
  9. Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then insert the cartridge back into the carriage slot. Push the cartridge firmly into the slot until it snaps into place.
    Figure 11: Insert the cartridge into the carriage
    Illustration of how to insert a cartridge
    • The tri-color cartridge installs in the left carriage slot.
    • The black cartridge installs in the right carriage slot.
  10. Close the cover.
    Figure 12: Close the cover
    Illustration of closing the cover
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Repeat reseating and cleaning steps

If you completed all the steps and the issue continues, repeat Solutions one and two in this document to inspect the cartridges and clean the electrical contacts.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Replace the cartridges

Follow these steps to replace the cartridges in the product.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.

Step one: Remove the original cartridge

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  2. Open the cartridge door.
    Figure 13: Open the cartridge door
    Illustration of the product's cartridge door opening.
  3. Wait for the carriage to move to the center of the product.
  4. When the carriage stops, press down on the cartridge to release it, and then remove it from the slot.
    Figure 14: Press down on the cartridge
    Illustration of how to press down on the cartridge
    NOTE:If replacing both cartridges, note their positions on the carriage. The tri-color cartridge occupies the left slot, and the black cartridge occupies the right slot.

Step two: Insert the new cartridge

  1. Remove the cartridge from its packaging.
    Figure 15: Remove the cartridge from its package
    Illustration showing the cartridge removed from its packaging.
  2. Carefully pull the pink pull-tab to remove the plastic tape.
    Figure 16: Remove the plastic tape from the cartridge
    Illustration showing plastic tape being removed from cartridge
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored electrical contacts or the ink nozzles. Touching these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure 17: Do not touch the electrical contacts or the ink nozzles on the cartridge
    Illustration cautioning against touching the cartridge's electrical contacts or ink nozzles
  3. Slide the cartridge into the slot, and then press your thumb firmly on the cartridge until it clicks into place.
    NOTE:The cartridge drops slightly as it approaches its seat on the carriage. Allow it to do so, and then continue to push until the cartridge clicks into place.
    Figure 18: Press the cartridge into the slot firmly
    Illustration of thumb pushing cartridge into slot
  4. Follow these same steps to replace the other cartridge, if necessary.
  5. Close the cartridge door only. Leave the paper tray down.
    Figure 19: Close the cartridge door - leave the paper tray down
    Illustration of cartridge door closing

Step three: Align the new cartridges

  1. Make sure that the paper tray contains paper.
  2. Open HP Solution Center:
    • Windows XP: On the Windows taskbar, click Start, click All Programs, point to HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
    • Windows Vista: On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, point to HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
  3. Click Open Toolbox. The printer Toolbox window opens.
  4. Click Align the Print Cartridges. The Align the Print Cartridges window opens.
  5. Click Align. The product aligns the cartridges, calibrates the product, and prints a test page.
  6. Wait for the test page to print, and then follow the on-screen instructions.
  7. Click Done.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Service the printer

These steps apply to Asia Pacific.
If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, you may need further assistance from HP to remedy your concern.
Please contact HP using one of the options found in Contact HP.

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