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HP Officejet Pro 251dw, 276dw, 8600, and 8610 Series Printers - A 'Problem with Ink System' Error Message Displays on the Control Panel or Computer During Setup

This document is for the HP Officejet Pro 251dw, 276dw, 8600, and 8610 series printers.

A 'Problem with Ink System ' error message displays on the control panel or computer, and the printer will not print.

Example error message on the printer control panel
Example error message on the computer
Problem with Ink System
Problem with Ink System
Remove cartridges and inspect for leaks. Do not use leaky cartridges. Re-install cartridges if okay.
Please remove the ink cartridges and examine them for any sign of leaks. If any cartridges have leaks, contact HP. Do not use cartridges that are leaking. If there are no leaks, re-install cartridges and close the printer cover. Turn the printer off then on again. If you get this message a second time, contact HP.

Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.

Solution one: Check the cartridges for leaks

Important : To avoid startup failures at initial printer setup or when replacing a printhead, use the SETUP cartridges that came with the printer or replacement printhead.

If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.

  2. Slip your fingers into the slot on the left side of the printer, and then pull forward to open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the left side of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.

    Figure 1: Open the cartridge access door

    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
    1 - Slot on the left side of the printer
  3. Press the front of the first cartridge to release it, and then pull it out of the carriage.

    Figure 2: Press to release the cartridge

    Image: Press to release the cartridge.
  4. Check the cartridge for leaking ink. Be careful not to get ink on your skin or clothing.

    • If the cartridge is leaking , replace the cartridge.

    • If the cartridge is not leaking , continue to the next step.

    NOTE: If you see a small amount of ink on the ring where the ink exits the cartridge, the cartridge is not leaking.
  5. Slide the cartridge back into its color-coded slot, and then gently push it forward until it clicks into place.

    Figure 3: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot

    Image: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot.
  6. Repeat these steps to check the other cartridges for leaking ink.

  7. Close the cartridge access door.

Solution two: Reset the printer

Follow these steps to reset the printing mechanism.

  1. If the printer is turned off, press the Power button to turn on the printer.

  2. Wait until the printer is idle and silent before you continue.

  3. With the printer turned on , disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.

  4. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

  5. Wait at least 60 seconds.

  6. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.

    NOTE: HP recommends connecting the printer power cord directly to the wall outlet.
  7. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.

  8. If the printer does not turn on by itself, press the Power button to turn it on.

    NOTE: The printer might go through a warm-up period. The printer lights might flash, and the carriage might move.
  9. Wait until the warm-up period finishes and your printer is idle and silent before you proceed.

Solution three: Remove and then reinsert the printhead

The 'Problem with Ink System ' error message is sometimes caused by poor electrical contact between the printhead and the printer. Removing and reinserting the printhead can help. Follow these steps in the order presented to remove, and then reinsert the printhead.

Step 1: Remove the printhead

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on. Wait until the warm-up period finishes and your printer is idle and silent before you proceed.

  2. Place your fingers into the slot on the left side of the printer, and then pull to open the cartridge access door. Allow the carriage to move to the cartridge access area, and the carriage stops moving.

    Figure 4: The slot on the side of the printer

    Image: The slot on the side of the printer.
  3. Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer. Unplugging the printer prevents the carriage from moving.

    WARNING: You must disconnect the power cord before reaching inside the printer to avoid risk of injuries or electric shock.
  4. Lift the carriage latch.

    Figure 5: Lift the carriage latch

    Image: Lift the carriage latch.
  5. Grasp the sides of the printhead, gently lift and remove the printhead from the carriage.

    NOTE: Do not remove the cartridges from the printhead. You can safely remove the printhead with all of the cartridges inserted.

    Figure 6: Remove the printhead

    Image: Remove the printhead.
    CAUTION: The nozzle area on the bottom of the printhead is fragile! Make sure that the bottom of the printhead does not bump or rub on the printer. Do not touch the nozzles or electrical contacts. Touching these areas can cause electrical failures or print quality problems.

    Figure 7: Nozzles and electrical contacts

    Image: Nozzles and electrical contacts
    1 - Nozzles
    2 - Electrical contacts
  6. Place the printhead assembly (with the cartridges still installed) upside down on a clean sheet of paper.

    CAUTION: Do not leave the printhead assembly outside of the printer for an extended period. Doing so can result in damage to the printhead or the printer.

    Figure 8: Printhead upside down on a clean sheet of paper

    Image: Printhead upside down on a clean sheet of paper.

Step 2: Inspect the carriage path where the printhead sits

Inside the printer, look for and remove any obstructions from the printhead compartment. If necessary, use a flashlight to thoroughly check for any obstructions.

Use a flashlight
Paper jammed in carriage path
Image: Use a flashlight
Image: Paper jammed in carriage path

Step 3: Insert the printhead, and then lower the carriage latch

  1. Grasp the sides of the printhead and turn it right side up with the nozzles facing down and the electrical contacts facing away from you.

  2. On the front of the printer, insert the printhead into the carriage, ensuring that the electrical contacts face the inside of the printer. As you guide the printhead into the carriage, it lowers into the carriage as it seats.

    CAUTION: The nozzle area on the bottom of the printhead is fragile! Make sure that the bottom of the printhead does not bump or rub on the printer. Do not touch the nozzles or electrical contacts. Touching these areas can cause electrical failures or print quality problems.

    Figure 9: Insert the printhead

    Image: Insert the printhead.
  3. Gently rock the printhead to the left and right to make sure that the printhead fully seats in the carriage.

  4. Carefully lower the carriage latch to secure the printhead.

    Figure 10: Lower the carriage latch

    Image: Lower the carriage latch.
  5. Verify that the carriage latch is down .

    Figure 11: Carriage latch positions

    Image: Carriage latch positions.
    1 - Carriage latch is up
    2 - Carriage latch is down
  6. Close the cartridge access door.

  7. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.

  8. If the printer does not turn on by itself, press the Power button to turn it on.

    NOTE: The printer might go through a warm-up period. The printer lights might flash, and the carriage might move.
  9. Wait until the warm-up period finishes and your printer is idle and silent before you proceed.

  • If these steps resolved the issue , skip to the step to clean the printhead.

  • If the issue persists , see the next step.

Step 4: Reseat the printhead up to three times

Sometimes error messages persist after inserting the printhead. To clear any error messages, reseat the printhead up to three times.

Example error messages on the printer control panel
Problem with Ink System
Missing or failed printhead
Ink System Failure
Printer Failure
Carriage Jam

How do I reseat the printhead?

NOTE: You do not need to remove the printhead from the carriage.
  1. Slip your fingers into the slot on the left side of the printer, and then pull forward to open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the left side of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.

    Figure 12: Open the cartridge access door

    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
    1 - Slot on the left side of the printer
  2. Unplug the power cord from the rear of the printer. Unplugging the printer prevents the carriage from moving.

    WARNING: You must disconnect the power cord before reaching inside the printer to avoid risk of injuries or electric shock.
  3. Lift the carriage latch.

    Figure 13: Lift the carriage latch

    Image: Lift the carriage latch.
  4. Grasp the sides of the printhead, and then slightly lift the printhead without fully removing it from the carriage.

    Figure 14: Slightly lift the printhead

    Image: Slightly lift the printhead.
  5. Reinsert the printhead into the carriage to reseat it. As you guide the printhead into the carriage, it lowers into the carriage as it seats.

    Figure 15: Reseat the printhead

    Image: Reseat the printhead.
  6. Gently rock the printhead to the left and right to make sure that the printhead fully seats in the carriage.

  7. Lower the carriage latch.

    Figure 16: Lower the carriage latch

    Image: Lower the carriage latch.
  8. Verify that the carriage latch is down .

    Figure 17: Carriage latch positions

    Image: Carriage latch positions.
    1 - Carriage latch is up
    2 - Carriage latch is down
  9. Close the cartridge access door.

  10. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.

  11. If the printer does not turn on by itself, press the Power button to turn it on.

  12. Wait until the warm-up period finishes and your printer is idle and silent before you proceed.

  • If these steps resolved the error message , continue with the next step.

  • If the error message persists , skip to the next solution.

Step 5: Use the automated tool to clean the printhead

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

  2. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow ( ) to display additional options.

  3. Touch Setup ( ), touch Tools , and then touch Clean Printhead .

  4. Wait until the printhead cleaning sequence completes and the report prints.

Solution four: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all of the troubleshooting steps and are still experiencing a problem, replace the printhead.

CAUTION: Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before removing the cartridges. HP recommends that you do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the cartridges.

If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.

If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you receive a kit with a new printhead assembly, instructions, and a full set of cartridges. You must install the SETUP cartridges that comes with the new printhead, or a cartridge error might occur.

If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, you can purchase a new one online.

  1. If you are in the United States, go to the HP Parts Store website (in English).

  2. Under Find your part(s) , type CR322A in the Search by part number text box.

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to order the printhead assembly.

If you are outside of the United States, go to HP How to Buy website to buy supplies.

If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you receive a kit with a new printhead assembly, instructions, and a full set of cartridges. You must install the SETUP cartridges that comes with the new printhead, or a cartridge error might occur.

If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, you can purchase a new one online.

  1. If you are not in the United States, go to the HP How to Buy website , and then click your country-language.

  2. A Buy HP page displays. Look for the HP Parts store on this page. The location of the HP Parts store varies depending on your region. Click HP Parts store .

  3. Under Find your part(s) , type CR324A (Europe and the Middle East) or CR326A (Japan and Asia Pacific) in the Search by part number text box. Follow the on-screen instructions to order the printhead assembly.

If you are in the United States, go to HP Parts Store website (in English) to buy supplies.

Solution five: Service the printer

Contacting HP for service in Asia Pacific.

If you completed all the preceding steps and your product still has an issue, you might need further assistance from HP.

Go to Contact HP to review available service options.

Contacting HP for service in all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.

If you completed all the preceding steps and your product still has an issue, service the product.

First, go to HP Printer Warranty Check to check your warranty status, and then go to Contact HP to find an authorized service dealer or to schedule a repair. Repair fees might apply for out of warranty printers.

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