I can't print black and white.
April 11, 2012 6:35 AM   Subscribe

Odd printing issue for a HP Officejet 4500 Wireless; using old or new cartridges, black won't print and colour is distorted. Pictures of diagnostic pages inside along with what I've done so far.

We changed cartridges; both with new and old cartridges no black will print, and colour prints in a distorted fashion, as seen here in this test page I printed.

I followed the instructions here, aligned cartridges, cleaned print heads, turned off and on again, unplugged from mains power, swapped out old and new cartridges, etc.. Not sure what to do to fix this.

Here is an album of the various test pages the printer printed.
posted by By The Grace of God to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
The muddy colour should be cyan (blue), not mud. The mud suggests serious contamination of the cyan ink lines, which is overall pretty unlikely given that the tri-colour cartridge is monolithic. Since black isn't printing either, it seems more like an electrical problem where the printhead commands are being misdirected to the wrong head. Have you tried pulling out the printheads completely, cleaning off the contacts of both the heads and the head carrier with a bit of distilled water and a q-tip, and then reseating them? I think this is your best shot.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:52 AM on April 11, 2012

Seconding, with the recommendation of amping up to alcohol (no, not the drinkable stuff) if the water doesn't do it. Also, not to diminish your mad skillz, but have you tried both a driver reinstall and a recalibration?
posted by Samizdata at 11:09 PM on April 13, 2012

the cartridges were borked. replacing them sorted it!
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:17 PM on May 28, 2012

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