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HP Deskjet Not Printing Color?!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by quantass, Nov 27, 2003.

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  1. quantass

    quantass Thread Starter

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    I've had the HP DeskJet 950C printer for my Windows 2000 Pro system for over a year now. It was working perfectly printing out black & white and color photos. About 6 months ago the unit started printing out red color images for color pictures which I concluded to be the color ink cartridge was running low (no green/blue left). I continued to use the printer without replacing the color ink catridge mostly printing b&w documents. Around 1 month ago I wanted to print out a Word document which contained a table with a 45% gray shaded background. On printout the table had no gray scale (it printed nothing in this area). I was thinking that a setting must have been off since the black catridge was running low but still had lots of juice to printout many other docs, and gray scale was the result of b&w dithering. After many hours of frustration I've concluded that the black catridge isnt responsible for gray scale and the color catridge IS.

    I decided to replace the color ink catridge with a new one. On printout I still don't see any gray being printed out. In fact I tried printing a color image which resulted in a black and mostly white image. It seems the printer isnt printing color!! What the heck is going on?!?

    Here are some facts about my situation:
    x The HP Printer Toolbox utility reports the black ink catridge as low (0% - Though I've printed out 50 more pages of documents despite the value) and the new color ink catridge as high (90% -- It hasnt even been used so why 90%?!?). Sometimes the values for both catridges fluctuates from 80-90% for the color and 0-90% for the black.
    x I've run all calibration, diagnostic, and print tests the printer offers but on printing out a color image the result is always a black on mostly white image.
    x Printing colored text from MS Word results in nothing being printed out.
    x The new color ink catridge came sealed in a reflective package. The catridge had a 3.5"x1.5"x.5" plastic guard capped onto one end protecting the electrical leads on the catridge and the nozzle end. I did not see any transparent tape over the nozzle end.
    x I used rubbing alcohol on the catridge leads as well as the color ink connectors within the printer.
    x I rubbed the nozzle end of the color ink catridge onto toilet paper to see if there was any colored streak. There was.
    x Printer Properties is set for Color
    x I've tried using the Parallel Cable connector as well as USB.
    x I'm using the latest driver from HP
    x My replacement color catridge name: HP C6578D. HP's website states the color catridge to be: HP 78 (C6578AN large or C6578DN economy). My new replacement catridge, though, appears to be non-HP -- I have no idea who made it. There is no actual HP logo on it like there is on the black catridge. Though the very same type of catridge is consistently bought at my work so it must be satisfactory.

    Can someone tell me why my Deskjet doesnt print in color? Is this a common occurence for HP DeskJet 950C Printers? How much does a technician charge to repair such a unit, hopefully for less than a used one on Ebay?

    BTW, I have an extra new color ink catridge and black catridge though I'm a bit hesitant in opening up the packages just to find out the printer is still screwed up. Can someone reassure me that once the new catridges have been opened I can put them "back" into their packaging for future use, perhaps 1.5 years later?

    Im using Windows 2000 Pro (SP4), printing mostly through MS Word 2000, using Parallel Cable.

    Thanks for any info.
     
  2. MCP

    MCP

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Messages:
    93
    Try uninstalling the driver for this printer and then reinstall it. Then print a test page to see if that worked.

    About old cartridges, a packet that's been open for a year and a half will definately dry out. Personally, I don't open my printer ink cartridges until I'm ready to use them, and if I know they've been sitting more than a month or two without being used, I just assume they've gone bad. One test page to see if the cartrige still works, and if it does, it's a pleasant surprise.
     
  3. quantass

    quantass Thread Starter

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    Messages:
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    Thanks for the info on opening the new ink catridge. I gues i wont be doing that. Someone mentioned the newly installed ink catridge could be faulty and should try a different one. I hate to have to open up a $60 catridge just to discover the same problem.

    I tried the print test, diagnostic, duplex test, and sample page and nothing prints in color. Black works fine. Reinstalling the driver didnt help. :( I have 2 seperate PCs producing the same problem with the printer.
     
  4. MCP

    MCP

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    Are both PCs connected to the same printer?
     
  5. Rockn

    Rockn

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    Is the color cart a tri color cartrige? Did you remove the protective tape from the contacts prior to installing it? Did you run the head cleaning and alignment test after installing the carts? Occaisionally you have to manually clean the print heads with water and a Q-tip to get them in working order.
     
  6. quantass

    quantass Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    I have 2 PCs here and they have print sharing on as well as actual drivers for the printer. What we normally do is print directly to the printer by moving the parallel cable to the PC which needs to print now.

    The color cart just says "Color" on the box and on the sticker on the cart. I assume its using 3 colors. As for the protective tape, I did NOT remove any protective tape. After removing the new color cart from its package I noticed a large "clip on" panel on one side. It fitted over the electrode interface and the bottom ink nozzle area. I assumed this was the modern way of protecting both critical parts. A look at the nozzle end reveals no leafy tape to be torn away. BTW I did try dabbing the new color cart nozzle onto toilet paper in hopes of finding some colored streak. I did see some colored streaking.

    I did not run the Head Cleaning and ALignment Test after installing because after installing a catridge the printer automatically goes into a test mode. I figured it was saving me time.

    I will try the water/Q-Tip cleaning. BTW do I clean the electrode interface on the backside of the color cart? Should I clean the actual connectors within the printer which connect to the ink catridge?

    Thanks.
     
  7. MCP

    MCP

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Since the parallel port has been repeatedly connected & disconnected, check to make sure none of the pins on the cable are bent or broken. If they are, the cable will probably need to be replaced. With this type of setup, I recommend using an A-B switchbox to prevent wear on the connections.
     
  8. Rockn

    Rockn

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    With file and printer sharing there is no need for an A/B switch unless you are not networked. Run the cleaning and alignment utility just to rule that out. You shouldn't have to clean the contacts on the back of the cart.
     
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