Printer and Photocopier Troubleshooting and Repair Collection : Cartridge detection on HP DeskJets      
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Cartridge detection on HP DeskJets

(From: Fred Keen (fkeen@repeatotype.com).)

The HP printers test for the presence of a cartridge by checking the electrical voltages on the contacts between the cartridge and the cable. The slightest amount of dirt on the contacts can give a false reading making the printer think that no cartridge is present. If cleaning the contacts does not work you will have to buy a new cartridge.