I don't need Magenta to print black text!
October 13, 2010 8:37 AM   Subscribe

My HP deskjet 8000's printer drivers won't allow me to print at all when 1 color of ink is out. Yes, even if I only want to print in black and white. Aside from going back and time and telling me not to buy this POS, can you help me? Are there hacked drivers?

I'm open to any kinds of hacks you have in mind. Physical hacks? How does it know when ink is low and can I fool it?

A solution for a Mac running Snow Leopard would be preferred, but we've also got Windows 7 and Ubuntu computers to choose from.
posted by fontophilic to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Just in case you haven't tried it - is there a setting in print options (when you are printing from Word, for example) that says print in black & white/greyscale instead of colour? Setting that might make the printer ignore whether its colours have ink or not.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:39 AM on October 13, 2010

Every color printer I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with has been like this. From the manufacturer of the ink's standpoint it's a feature, not a bug.
posted by notsnot at 8:59 AM on October 13, 2010

Ah, HP. The printer that just keeps on sucking (the money out of your wallet).

On mine I override the printer toner 'replace supply' prompt - you don't have my model, but I think the idea's the same.

On your printer keypad, scroll through to 'System Setup' or similar appears. Push OK. Find something that sounds like 'Print Quality'. Push OK. Find something that says 'Replace Supplies' and select that. Scroll through until you find something that looks like 'Override Out', and press OK.

Good luck - it's not easy to find the override, but it's hidden in there somewhere.
posted by zennish at 9:24 AM on October 13, 2010

Nthing the 'print grayscale' solution - worked for me.
posted by DandyRandy at 10:06 AM on October 13, 2010

Slate has an article on tricking another printer to do this with a useful link to http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/. Unfortunately there isn't anything for HP Deskjet 8000
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 10:15 AM on October 13, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, should have stated that printing in greyscale does not work even when "print with black cartridge only" is checked. I was baffled, as this had worked in for all my previous printers, including HP ink jets.

I'll be hunting for your override option Zennish.

Burhanistan, funny you should mention that driver. I actually did something similar with my last printer when HP (and/or Apple) decided not to make a Snow Leopard driver for it (it was 6+ years old). I put up with funky old drivers for a while, then decided to buy this new printer! Ha!

Thanks all, still open to other suggestions too.
posted by fontophilic at 10:25 AM on October 13, 2010

You can get printer ink filler kits that allow you to refill the ink. The color quality may be dicey, but a full cartridge would allow you to print.
posted by theora55 at 10:48 AM on October 13, 2010

I don't know about HPs, but on old Canon I got rid of a couple of years ago used an optical sensor to determine whether a cartridge was empty. The Canon driver didn't have an override feature, but a piece of masking tape on the bottom of the cartridge to fool the sensor worked fine.
posted by jon1270 at 3:01 AM on October 14, 2010

It's a long shot but have you tried uninstalling the HP drivers and using the Microsoft generic ones instead? Less features so hopefully it'll be missing the one that bugs you.
posted by mr_silver at 3:34 AM on October 14, 2010

Best answer: Is it a deskjet 8000 or a photosmart 8000?

in older HP printers (with a single tri-color cartridge), the printhead is actually on the cartridge, so if you keep printing after you run out of one color, you'll damage the printhead, but it doesn't matter because when you buy a new tri-color cartridge, you get a new printhead.

I have a photosmart 8250. Each color is installed separately, and the printhead is in the printer, not in the ink cartridge, so if you run out one color, it won't let you print because it could ruin the printer.
posted by comah at 12:19 PM on October 29, 2010

Response by poster: Ah, actually it's an officejet, I erred in my post.

Comah, that makes a lot of sense. There are no print heads on these ink cartridges. They are separate colors. Thanks!
posted by fontophilic at 1:04 PM on October 29, 2010

I wonder if in the future, it would work if you switch to black-only when the color ink is low, but before it runs out altogether. (I've never actually tried this on mine. I just order new ink from amazon prime when my ink is low, and it always arrives well before I run out of ink altogether).
posted by comah at 1:45 PM on October 29, 2010

Response by poster: As I understand it, when the printer does it's regular "maintenance" it will clean the print heads, which by necessity wastes some ink. So, over time, your printer will run out of colored ink if just printing in black and white anyways.
posted by fontophilic at 4:18 PM on October 29, 2010

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