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'Printhead Problem' or 'Printhead Appears to be Missing or Damaged' Message Displays on the Printer Control Panel

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This document is for the HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One printers (B209a, B209b, and B209c).
The message 'Printhead problem ' or 'Printhead appears to be missing or damaged ' displays on the control panel and the printer does not print. This document addresses these printhead malfunction issues.

Solution one: Remove, clean, and then reinstall the printhead

Follow these steps to remove, clean, and then reinstall the printhead.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.
  3. Remove all the cartridges and place them on a piece of paper with the ink opening pointing up.
    NOTE:Do not leave the cartridge outside of the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the cartridges.
    Figure 1: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge
  4. Lift the latch handle on the carriage until it stops.
    Figure 2: Lift the latch handle
    Image: Lift the latch handle
  5. Lift up to remove the printhead.
    Figure 3: Remove the printhead
    Image: Remove the printhead
  6. Clean the printhead.
    There are three areas of the printhead to clean: the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles, the edge between the nozzles, and the electrical contacts.
    Figure 4: Three areas to clean
    Image: Clean the three areas of the printhead to clean: the plastic ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles, the edge between the nozzles, and the electrical contacts
    1 - Plastic ramp on the side of the ink nozzles
    2 - Edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts
    3 - Electrical contacts
    CAUTION:Do not touch the nozzles. Do not touch the electrical contact areas with your fingers. Touch the electrical contact areas only with cleaning materials.
    To clean the printhead, follow these steps:
    Gather cleaning materials:
    Clean, lint-free cloth or paper (Coffee filters and eye-glass cleaning cloth work well.)
    Distilled or bottled water
    Lightly dampen a clean, lint-free cloth, and then wipe the electrical contact area from the bottom to the top. Do not clean beyond the edge between the nozzles and the electrical contacts. Clean until no new ink shows on the cloth.
    Figure 5: Clean the printhead contacts
    Image: Clean the printhead contacts.
    Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe any accumulated ink and debris from the edge between the nozzles and the contacts.
    Figure 6: Clean the edge of the printhead
    Image: Clean the edge of the printhead.
    Use a fresh, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth to wipe the plastic ramps on both sides of the nozzles. Wipe away from the nozzles.
    Figure 7: Clean the printhead ramps
    Image: Clean the printhead ramps.
    Wipe the previously cleaned areas dry with a dry lint-free cloth before you proceed to the next step.
  7. Clean the electrical contacts inside the printer:
    1. Lightly dampen a clean, lint-free cloth with bottled or distilled water.
    2. To clean the electrical contacts in the printer, wipe with the cloth from top to bottom. Use as many fresh, clean cloths as necessary. Clean until no ink shows on the cloth.
      Figure 8: Clean contacts inside the printer
      Image: Clean contacts inside the printer.
    3. Wipe the area dry with a dry lint-free cloth before you proceed to the next step.
  8. Make sure that the latch handle is up, and then install the printhead.
    Figure 9: Insert the printhead
    Image: Insert the printhead
  9. Carefully lower the latch handle.
    CAUTION:Make sure that you lower the latch handle before you install the cartridges. If the latch handle remains raised, incorrectly seated cartridges and printer problems can occur.
    Figure 10: Lower the latch handle
    Image: Lower the latch handle
  10. Slide each cartridge into the correct slot until it clicks into place. Make sure that the colored shape icon on the cartridge label matches the colored shape icon on the carriage slot.
    Figure 11: Reinstall each cartridge
    Image: Reinstall each cartridge
  11. Close the cartridge access door.

Solution two: Reset the printer

A printer reset can resolve some printhead issues. Follow these steps to reset the printer.
  1. If the printer is turned off, press the Power button to turn on the printer. Wait until the printer is idle and silent before continuing.
  2. With the printer turned on , disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.
  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  4. Wait at least 60 seconds.
  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
    NOTE:HP recommends connecting the printer power cord directly to the wall outlet.
  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.
  7. If the printer does not turn on by itself, press the Power button to turn it on.
    NOTE:The printer might go through a warm-up period. The printer lights might flash, and the carriage might move.
  8. Wait until the warm-up period finishes and your printer is idle and silent before you proceed.

Solution three: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all the previous steps and the issue persists, replace the printhead.
CAUTION:Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before you remove the cartridges. HP recommends that you do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the cartridges.
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.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you receive a new printhead assembly, cleaning materials, and a full set of new cartridges. If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, call the HP Customer Care Center for assistance.
When you have the replacement printhead, go to replacing the printhead assembly for detailed instructions.

Solution four: 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 .

Related links

Does your printer have general print quality issues?
Fixing Ink Streaks, Faded Prints, and Other Common Print Quality Problems
Does your printer have issues with the black ink?
Printer Does Not Print Black Ink or Color Ink, or Prints Blank Pages

Related support links

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