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Checking Ink Levels for HP Photosmart C3100 All-in-One Printer Series


Use the HP software to check the estimated ink levels in the ink cartridges.

NOTE: Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When an indicator shows low-ink levels, consider having a replacement cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.

Checking ink levels

Use one of the following methods to check the ink levels.

Method one: Check the ink levels from the computer using HP Solution Center

HP Solution Center is software that acts as a centralized point of access for tasks such as scanning, printing, and copying. The software is part of the software package that comes with your product. When you perform a standard installation of the HP software, HP Solution Center is automatically installed.

You must have the full-feature print driver, which includes HP Solution Center, installed to use this method. If you do not have the full-feature print driver installed on your computer, you can install it now.

Need the latest full-feature print driver?

Follow these steps to download and install the lasted driver for your printer.

  1. Turn on the printer.

  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the printer and the computer (if you already connected it). If the printer is connected to your network, leave it connected.

  3. Go to HP Drivers & Downloads .

  4. If the Welcome to HP Support page opens, follow these steps:

    1. In the Enter product name or number field, type your printer model or number.

    2. In the Questions or keywords field, type driver, and then press Enter.

      You might need to select your printer model number from a list of similar printer models.

    3. Next to the image of your printer, click the name of your printer.

      Figure 1: Example of the link to your printer homepage

      Image: Example of the link next to your printer homepage
    4. On the HP support site, click Drivers.

  5. Select your operating system, and then click Next.

    A list of drivers and other downloads display.

  6. Scroll down the page, and then click Driver - Product Installation Software.

  7. Click Download next to the full feature software and driver listed, and then follow the prompts to save the driver to your computer.

  8. Open the folder where the software file saved (usually Downloads), double-click the file, and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.

Follow these steps to open HP Solution Center, and then check the ink levels.

  1. Open HP Solution Center.

    • Windows Vista and Windows 7: On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), click Programs or All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.

    • Windows XP: On the Windows taskbar, click Start, click All Programs, point to HP, and then click HP Solution Center.

  2. Click Settings, and then click Printer Toolbox.

  3. Click the Device Services tab, and then click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.

    Figure 2: Estimated ink levels

    NOTE: A cartridge might be running out of ink even if the graphic shows that ink remains in the cartridge. Lines or streaks appear in printouts when the cartridges begin to run out of ink. Replace ink cartridges that are out of or low on ink.

Method two: Check the ink-level indicators on the self-test page

  1. Load the input tray with unused, plain white paper.

  2. Press and hold the Cancel button (), and then press the Start Copy Color button.

  3. Release both buttons. The self-test page prints.

    Figure 3: Example self-test page

  4. Find the ink-level indicators near the center of the page labeled with "E" (empty) and "F" (full).

    Ink-level indicators on the self-test page

    Figure 4: Example of full ink-levels

    Figure 5: Example of low ink-levels

    The shading in the bars indicates ink levels. If the colored bars are closer to E, for example, the tri-color ink cartridge is low on ink.

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