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Clearing the HP “Cartridge Problem” Error Message with Troubleshooting

Clearing the HP “Cartridge Problem” Error Message with Troubleshooting

Hewlett Packard’s “Cartridge Problem” error message can appear in a variety of circumstances and is applicable to many different OfficeJet Pro and PageWide Pro series inkjet printers. This message will also be accompanied by the following text:

“One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace with new cartridges.”

Most commonly “Cartridge Problem” means that your HP printer simply cannot recognise the colour or black ink cartridges. Thankfully however this error message can usually be cleared with some basic troubleshooting.

How do I clear the “Cartridge Problem” message?

Whilst there is no definitive fix or workaround to clear this error message, the majority of the time you can get your Hewlett Packard printer up and running by checking a few things with your printer/cartridges. I would advise running through the points below and checking to see if the “Cartridge Problem” message has disappeared at the end of each one.

  • Check/Wipe Cartridge Contacts: A common cause of the “Cartridge Problem” message is the gold contacts found on an electonic chip on the body of the HP cartridge being obscured with dirt/ink or even physically having been damaged. Firstly remove the indicated cartridge from the printer and locate the chip. Ensure the gold contacts on this chip are not physically damaged, then wipe them down with a piece of non-fibrous tissue like kitchen roll. I would recommend wiping them down even if no dirt is visible and using alcohol based cleaning solution or cartridge flush for any stubborn marks that could be stopping the cartridge from being recognised.
  • Wipe Contacts Inside the Printer: If the cartridge contacts mentioned in the previous point are clean, it may be that the corresponding contacts inside the printer are obscured and stopping your printer from recognising the cartridge. If you can see these electronic contacts and they are easily accessible, clean them with the method mentioned above to ensure they are also clean. Some of these contacts in these printers are raised/pointed and I would advise using caution to ensure scraps of tissue are not left inside the printer obscuring the contacts further.
  • Try Another Cartridge: It may be that the cartridge in question has a genuine electronic fault that can not be detected with a visual examination. In such an instance the only course of action is to try another cartridge. If you have an old cartridge to hand that you know has been accepted by the printer previously or another new cartridge (preferably a genuine HP one) I would advising installing this to see if the message disappears.

I hope this has helped, but if you are using compatible/remanufactured cartridges specifically, a small selection of printers can also resolve this issue with a simple firmware update. Details of inkjet printers compatible with this firmware update and further details can be found here. If your printer is not mentioned in the linked article, and the problem persists after you have tried everything above it may be that there is a genuine problem with your printer and I would advise getting in touch with HP or a printer technician.

What cartridges and printers are affected by the “Cartridge Problem” message?

The “Cartridge Problem” error message covered in this article is applicable to many different series of cartridges. The printers compatible with these cartridges can be found listed below.

  • HP 907XL, HP 903XL and HP 903
    HP Officejet Pro 6950, 6960, 6970 and Pro 6975 All-in-One
  • HP 934XL, HP 935XL, HP 934 and HP 935
    HP Officejet Pro 6230, ePrinter and HP Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One
  • HP 957XL, HP 953XL and 953
    HP Officejet Pro 7720, 7730, 7740, 8210, 8218, 8710, 8715, 8716, 8718, 8720, 8725, 8728, 8730 and 8740.
  • HP 950XL, HP 951XL and HP 950
    HP Officejet Pro 251dw, 276dw, 8100, 8600, 8600, 8600, 8600, 8610, and 8620 e-All-in-One
  • HP 970XL, HP 971XL, HP 970 and HP 971
    HP Officejet Pro X451DW, X476DW, X551DW and X576DW
  • HP 913A
    HP PageWide Pro 352dn, 352dw, 377dn, 377dw, 452dw, 452dwt, 477dw, and 477dwt

I hope you have found the information here useful. If however you have anything to ask or add, please get in touch via any of our social media platforms.

About the author

I have been involved in the printer industry since I was 18 and have been an employee of Refresh Cartridges since early 2009. I am a dedicated family man, gamer, music fan and friend to all. I write the majority of the content here on Igloo and am responsible for its upkeep.

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