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At $2700 a Gallon Ya Can't Afford to Waste A Drop

Posted on 2004-04-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Have a Deskjet 932c and a Black printer cartridge that won't work.  The Toolbox software reports that the cartridge is 100% full.  Cartridge is within date specs and is a genuine HP cartridge. I swabbed the nozzle area with a wet Q Tip to no avail.  Any tips, tricks, procedures to get this overpriced piece of plastic filled with "black gold" to work ?
Question by:dockboy549
  • 2
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

briancassin earned 400 total points
ID: 10865235
A paper towel damped would be better to dab on the end of the cartridge a q-tip will leave fibers behind that can clog the nozzles on the cartridge. If you have gone into the HP toolbox put the cartridge through several cleaning cycles and even dabbed the end of it with damp paper towel and still get nothing out of it then chances are it is empty.

The software may report it as full but that software actually does not know how much ink is in the cartridge. Let me explain when you tell the software you are replacing the cartridge regardless of new or old it resets a counter in the machine. The machine is pre-set to say 1,000 drops of ink equals a full cartridge. So when you tell it, it has a new cartridges it resets the drops of ink to 1,000 regardless if new or old. It actually has no idea how much ink is in the cartridge so in essence you could put an empty cartridge in the machine and it will report it as full.

Each time you print the machine counts the number of drops of ink used and the status monitor software is preset so that after say 250 drops of ink it will show 3/4 full and so forth. Now If I have a cartridge that is half full and put it in the machine will show on the status monitor as full now when I use 500 drops (half the value of a full cartridge) the monitor will show half full in reality though the cartridge is empty.

So if doing the above does not work then either it is empty or the ink dried out in this is most likely the problem. You did not mention if you just took this cartridge out of its packaging and so forth or if you had already used this cartridge previously. If you did use it previously and did not have it in a plastic zip lock type storage bag with the air pressed out of the bag or it has been in plastic bag out of the printer not in use for over a month then it is most likely the ink is dried solid in the nozzles which means the cartridge will have to be replaced their is nothing you can do further with this cartridge. Once opened the cartridges have a limited life the date on the cartridge only applies if it has never been opened and used that is just a shelf life date.

If this is a new cartridge since you said you wiped the nozzles I am assuming you have removed the blue tape covering the nozzles on the cartridge.

It may be possible their is a problem with the printer too but the only way to determine that would be to buy a new cartridge and put it in if that does not print then it is a problem with the printer.

Author Comment

ID: 10874433
Thanks for the very thorough response.  I've tried everything and to no avail.  Either have a dud or an empty cart.  Just for my own curiousity I'm gonna drill a hole and see if the sucker is empty.  Burns me up to have something that expensive fail and have no recourse to the manufacturer or vendor.  
I checked out your personal info. and a big congratulations on your recent accomplishments in obtaining advanced certifications.  Keep up the good work.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 10875769
Thank you,

A word of caution when drilling the cartridge it will be extremely messy the self contained cartridges are partially pressurized not anything that is going to explode but could spray ink wear something old and do it outside or away from carpets and so forth. Their will be some residual in the cartridge this is normal their is no way for the printer to extract all the ink from the foam pads they have inside the cartridges... They may have changed their design as it has been awhile since I tore one apart but they did at one point have the foam pads.

As far as recourse goes, if the cartridge was bought within 30 days it should be returnable however this depends upon the store, some stores have relaxed return policies such as Wal Mart and others such as Comp USA have very stringent return policies on cartridges.

Another option if you have not drilled it yet and you never used this cartridge (i.e. it is new out of the box) you could contact HP by phone or email or snail mail describe your situation provide a copy of the receipt either scanned in, faxed to them, or copied showing when it was purchased explaining that the cartridge was never used that you have heard HP stands behind their products and you would like to know what they are willing to do for you. I can tell you from experience being firm but polite tends to get you what you want especially when you refer to a companies reputation. If you are impolite it may still get you what you want but then again you may get hung up on or no response to your emails etc... If you sound too nice you may be blown off this is from my own personal experience... Just a tip from someone who used to handle customer concerns / complaints about printer products.

Here is the info about the warranties on the cartridges and how to contact them about it


By the way you may want to check this just in case this may be your issue but it is for specific date coded ink cartridges...If yours is recent which I assume it is then this probably does not apply to you but it is worth looking at.


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