I'm trying to fix a problem with an HP All-in-one inkjet printer. It might look like the ink should be replaced, but a new ink cartridge doesn't make a difference. The ink levels of the old cartridge seem OK as well. The colors work well and don't have this problem. It's black only that has a problem. I used the HP software to clean the heads, but that doesn't make a difference.

Could this be the black head having a problem? What can I do to fix this?

Example of problem

What you see is scan of a small part of a print. The blackness stays the same over horizontal lines. For most of the page, black text is pale grey.


It seems like the head has dried out. The printer is exactly three years old and used regularly although not daily. Because replacing the head is quite expensive I've bought a new printer.


In your printer property page, or through the HP printer icon(usually in systray), look for the clean nozzal / clean head feature. You may have to do it multiple times.

You may also consider replacing the black cartage too.

  • As I've mentioned in my question, I used the clean-head feature and I tried another cartridge. – SPRBRN Dec 30 '12 at 17:32
  • I said you have to do it multiple times. That is how we fix clogged head sometimes. Depends on your luck, it may work or not work. – John Siu Dec 30 '12 at 19:37
  • I tried it multiple times, but it didn't work. – SPRBRN Dec 30 '12 at 22:13
  • As I said, this depends on luck. Sometimes 4-6 runs will improve it and you can continue trying. But usually if no improvement after 3 runs, try switch cartridge, if still no improvement, switch the printer if it is one of those home use model. They got so cheap now getting a new one (they come with small cartridges!!) is cheaper than replacing all the cartridges. The problem with small/home printer nowadays is they are so cheap that not worth the time to investigate the problem or even drive them back to the shop. It is a huge waste of material(IMHO). – John Siu Dec 30 '12 at 22:21

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