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    How to use compatible ink in HP Photosmart printers

    I've just spent a fun hour trying to get a new magenta ink cart running on the office Photosmart C7280. The orginal (HP) cart ran bone dry and the printer refused to print, even in in black and white, so not wanting to spend £40+ on a set of genuine HP inks as it's an old printer and I don't print out photos on it, I went and got a full set of 6 large capacity compatible carts from Amazon for £10. I replaced the magenta cart with the compatible and restarted the printer which duly showed it as being full and ready to print. Tried to print out a web page as a test and was presented with a 'The magenta cart is empty, do you want to print in black only?' message and was a bit unnerved in case I had purchased some really cheap i.e. not going to work at all, carts. So as a test I tried to do a full colour photocopy from the scanner. This worked perfectly, however I still, no matter how I tried, could not print from Windows without the print in black message appearing. So this is what I did.

    I uninstalled all of the HP drivers and software (please ensure you turn off the printer first) and please don't try to uninstall all of the components individually or else it will have you reboot after each one and there is no way around it (thanks HP I thought we'd gone beyond 1998). Look for a HP software manager program and select uninstall for that. This will give you the option to uninstall individial components. Simply select everything, including drivers, and click uninstall.

    Once uninstalled you will have to reboot

    When Windows (in my case Windows 7 Ultimate x64) reboots it will install the basic drivers for the printer and scanner again. Print out a test page and smile.

    I suspect that one of the software components adds cartridge scanning components to look for non-genuine carts (as tehy are chipped) and refuses to play, which is why you could get full colour from the device directly, but not via Windows printing. Besides it also rid me of the awful all in one software packages that HP insists on dumping on your machine when using their install disks and freed up some disk space and system resources.

    Edited to add: This technique, although simple will probably also work with other ink based HP pinters should you be experiencing similar issues.
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 19th April 2012 at 02:40 PM.

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