NOTE: “Empty” and “Low Ink” alerts are COMPLETELY NORMAL for all HP 61/61XL ink cartridges which have been refilled! While at first this may be an unusual workflow, it does allow print operations to proceed.
Many of the HP 61 / 61XL ink cartridge alert and error messages you may encounter using refilled ink cartridges can typically be overcome using the steps provided below. However, in some cases a marginally performing cartridge might be considered faulty by the printer. In this event, printer error bypass and HP diagnostic test procedures have been provided to help you correct and/or diagnose the cause of failure.
HP 61-61XL Ink Cartridge Diagnostics — HP Deskjet 1000-3056 Printer Models*
Verify cartridge’s electrical health by running the ‘Tap 41’ diagnostics test (see video below):
– PRESS AND HOLD the Power Button
– Press the Cancel (X) button 4 times
– Press the Scan button once
– Release the Power button
– Diagnostic test page should print within 30 seconds.
A good HP 61 color cartridge should display 612 good nozzles, while a good HP 61 black ink cartridge should show 336 good nozzles). See video below on how to read the diagnostic printout. NOTE: the tri-color ink cartridge must be ‘partially’ functioning to print the pattern; black ink from the black ink cartridge is not used.
* Deskjet 1000, Deskjet 1010, Deskjet 1050, Deskjet 1051, Deskjet 1055, Deskjet 1056, Deskjet 2050, Deskjet 3000, Deskjet 3050, Deskjet 3050A, Deskjet 3051A, DeskJet 3052A, Deskjet 3054, Deskjet 3056A
To view advanced diagnostics tests for your printer model, click here:
Poor Print Quality or Missing Colors:
If any streaks or missing colors appear on prints, thoroughly clean the cartridge’s electrical contacts and printer’s flex driver cable surface. If the cartridge is clogged then a warm water flush may be necessary to recover all colors. Click here for instructions.
NOTE 1: Replacing the ink cartridge is the best way to verify cartridge/printer performance.
NOTE 2: All cartridges being repeatedly refilled eventually do fail. Some cartridges/printers may encounter an unavoidable mechanical or electrical failure which is unrelated to refilling. Check for physical damage on the cartridge. Look at the print cartridge and see if there are any cracks, tears or missing elements. Any one of these can cause a failure. In these cases, you will need to purchase a new cartridge and start the refill process again after it has run out.
NOTE: If you need to purchase a new ink cartridge(s) due to a cartridge failure or because a refill center is not conveniently located near you and you would like to cut ink costs, we suggest you try a remanufactured ink cartridge from http://www.inkplicity.com/ Their ink cartridges typically have the lowest cost in the USA, have a high reliability rating, come with a 1-year warranty and provide free shipping for all orders above $20 (purchases available to USA residents only).