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I'm getting the following error message in HP Photosmart C7200 series print dialog:

The printer is out of ink.

The following ink cartridges are empty: Magenta. Replace these ink cartridges to resume printing.

How can I make it print with the black and white cartridge only?

Mac OSX 10.7.3
HP Photosmart C7280 (7200 series)

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This has become a popular post so I'm copying over the answer from the official HP forums rather than linking to it.

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Hi,

Unfortunately it is not possible to print using the black and white while any of the ink cartridges are empty.

Using the Black ink only possible while there is color ink as well.

While the color ink is not required for prinitng purposes, it do required for ,maintnance operations of the device.

As the device contain an internal printhead (IIC system), lack of color ink will damage the printing system shortly. Therefore the device will not be functional when there is no ink in order to avoid damaging the system.

For users who wish to print using just black ink (despite the reduced print quality), many HP printers offer options. For example, a driver colour setting (by selecting "print in greyscale with the black cartridge only" in printing preferences) specifies printing using only black ink. In addition, many IPH printers can operate in "reserve mode", which allows the user to continue to print with just the black cartridge when the colour cartridge is removed or not installed.In HP IIC systems, all supplies are required to be installed in the printer for the printer to function

Source

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HP forum post

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It might not be possible. I've read in a printer manual before that color inkjets use a small amount of color ink in black and white prints to clear the print heads.

If you rarely print in color or if you print enough black and white only to make it worth it, I would consider buying a separate black and white only printer.

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A cheap laserjet printer is by far the best way to go for monochrome printing. They can be purchased for $100, and their cartridges last for hundreds of pages, rather than the dozens you get from an ink jet. –  music2myear Apr 17 '13 at 13:40
    
Also, for you conspiracy theorists out there, this may be another reason why: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printer_steganography –  ultrasawblade Apr 17 '13 at 16:26

Just to clarify, the asker's actual printer couldn't actually print in just black. bit.ly/HsLpXa for information.

However, if you do have color and want to print in black, try this:

Go to Print and a window should pop up. Go to the drop down menu labeled "Copies & Pages."

Then select "Paper Type/ Quality."

And finally, under Paper > Color, select "Grayscale."

Or go to print, preview the item to be printed (It should open as a PDF), and there should be a dropdown menu where 'Preview' is selected. Click on 'Quality and Media', and check the 'Greyscale Printing' box.

I hope these help you!

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I did that exactly and it gave me the same message again. BTW I had another option beneath the Color Options frame called, "Grayscale Options". It had two choices, "High Quality" and "Black ink cartridge only" with the later selected. I've read that some printers can't print if even one of the ink cartridges is empty. I'm thinking this may be the case for me... –  1.21 gigawatts Apr 8 '12 at 11:29
1  
You can probably find out by asking on their website. –  ekaj Apr 8 '12 at 17:32
    
So did this actually work, or did you go and ask on their website? (just to clarify =p) –  ekaj Apr 9 '12 at 4:48
    
The steps you gave are correct but it's just that they don't work for my printer. I wasn't sure to mark it "answered". I didn't go to their site but found other posts stating that this series of printers are not able to print without all inks. I should check with the source... –  1.21 gigawatts Apr 9 '12 at 17:38
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Confirmed. My printer doesn't support it. bit.ly/HsLpXa –  1.21 gigawatts Apr 9 '12 at 20:26

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