Question about HP PhotoSmart C4480 All-in-One Printer InkJet

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HP photosmart C4480 printer cartridge incompatible error

I have an HP photosmart C4480. After a paper jam cleared, the printer reported printer cartridge incompatible. This is a replacement cartridge, not from the manufacturer, that prior to the paper jam worked without any problems. How can I get the printer to accept the cartridge and start printing again? The color cartridge is original to the printer and the black cartridge is the "new" one.

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  • Anonymous Apr 08, 2009

    After the paper jammed in my HP C4480, the replacement cartridge I had been using seems not to be good any more - the message "incompatible print cartridge" comes up - what happened? I removed cartridge, put it back in, again, open, closed - nothing seems to work. Can anybody help?

  • Ginny62 Apr 16, 2009

    I'm having the same exact problem with my HP C4480. I replaced the black cartridge and it worked just fine for just a little while, now it's telling me "incompatible printer cartridge"....it doesn't make sense. I've tried everything - turned off the printer, unplugged the printer, cleaned the cartrdige with a soft cloth, nothing is working - this is a brand new full black cartridge (74). If anyone else has experienced this and knows the trick to fixing this problem, please let me know. thanks so much!!

  • Anonymous May 01, 2009

    Same as above. After I installed ink cartridge it worked for a while an dnow says "incompatible Ink Cartridge" I have no idea why or how to fix it.

  • oach May 02, 2009

    Yep....same issue.....but my printer is HP Photosmart C5280. My Cartridge is # 99 Photo Cartridge which goes on the right hand side instead of the black. This cartridge also worked fine but for some reason now says it in incompatible. I have just been online to HP tech support and she mention to try and reset the printer back to the factory default as a last resort and then wait an hour?? Have just done this but dont like my chances...would appreciate any help possible :)

  • honey
    honey Jan 31, 2018

    Call HP Support Team (877-690-9305)

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Well....I solved the problem......bought a new Canon printer!!

I tried everything...unplugging, cleaning everything that was mentioned above. I was onto HP online support several time, but they were absolutely no help at all...they basically told me that the cartridge must be damaged or ink dried up and to buy a new cartridge to see if the error persisted.....I don't think so!!!
I will never by HP again after having issues with the last two I have had. I love my new Canon printer it is EVERYTHING that HP wasnt.

Posted on Jan 16, 2010

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  • neodoliwi Dec 01, 2010

    Me to! Same problem here. It happened twice, and after second time printer goes in REAL recycle bin. I bought Brother printer and said goodbye to this HP ****....

  • andrew3ds Dec 15, 2010

    Hy. I have found a different solution for c4480 "incopatible cartrige". it worked for me so i hope it works for you to

    Steps:

    1. Press X power at the same time
    2. Press BLUE, GREEN, GRAY
    3. press BLUE until you see "INFORMATION MENU"
    4. press OK
    5. Press Blue until you see "CHECKSUM FOR RELOCK DATA INPUT"
    6. OK
    7. Press X until you exit all menius
    8. When promted for aliement cancel it with X.
    It should bypass the error

  • andrew3ds Dec 15, 2010

    Hy. I have found a different solution for c4480 "incopatible cartrige". it worked for me so i hope it works for you to

    Steps:

    1. Press X power at the same time
    2. Press BLUE, GREEN, GRAY
    3. press BLUE until you see "INFORMATION MENU"
    4. press OK
    5. Press Blue until you see "CHECKSUM FOR RELOCK DATA INPUT"
    6. OK
    7. Press X until you exit all menius
    8. When promted for aliement cancel it with X.
    It should bypass the error

  • jen_a0706 Jan 20, 2011

    Oh My God!!!! I am so happy this actually worked. After being told by HP my printer was basically garbage. Thank You so much

  • SPLittleOnes Jan 24, 2011

    Thank you so much for this!!!!! I tried it in desperation, in disbelief that it could possibly work, but it did!!

  • jpize10 Feb 02, 2011

    unbelievable...I have hit this printer, cursed this printer, and had given up on this printer. But this actually worked. The only difference is that it wasn't the blue button that got me to the "CHECKSUM FOR RELOCK DATA INPUT" screen. It was the grey one I believe. It hitting OK, it produced a number of some kind then I used the X button to back out of everything and I was able to actually print! Wow! Thanks so much

  • thanksfolks Feb 06, 2011

    This worked for me, too. Thank you so much! In step one, I wasn't sure what you meant, but I pressed "X and the power button" at the same time. That was it. When I got to step 8, I made the mistake of hitting OK for alignment instead of canceling alignment with "X." This is why my first attempt to fix this problem using your instructions failed.
    I unplugged the machine, waited a couple of minutes, and started over. This time I hit X on step 8. The message told me the alignment had failed, but that I could use my printer anyway. I made a color copy of something, and the colors came out the wrong shade. I was then given the message to start the alignment process (sorry, I didn't write down the exact prompts). I went through the alignment process, and now it's working perfectly. The whole process, including working around my own mistakes, only took about 10 minutes. By the way, I'm using a 74 (not XL) cartridge and a 75XL cartridge together without a problem. Thanks again.

  • rlw9234 Mar 05, 2011

    You are a God!!! I've been playing with this printer for 1/2 an hour with no avail. This worked like a charm. Thank you!!!!

  • R A Mar 26, 2011

    When I press both the X and power button it asks 'enter special key combo' i press the blue green and gray. nothing happens then after pressing the blue button i get many options but not 'information menu' there is a system menu and a ui menu

  • Henk1959 Mar 26, 2011

    It works but just for ONE print. After printing you need to go through all the steps again.

  • tech_bliss Mar 26, 2011

    THANK YOU, Andrew3ds! I have spent an hour on a Sunday afternoon trying to fix this problem. Too bad I have to google "problem with C4480 printer" to get an answer instead of finding it on the HP site! Your solution worked very well, the key is patience. I had to wait a minute after the last step before I saw the alignment window. Bless you!

    Tidelwave, I had your problem, then realized I hit the three buttons in order, instead of the order he said, which is top, bottom, then middle. Try that.

  • ScubaSteve90 Mar 30, 2011

    I don't get an information menu does any one else have this problem?

  • ScubaSteve90 Mar 30, 2011

    Ok i got it but i still get the issues and when i do print its not aligned so it all blurry. Any on e knwo a way to print with out it coming out all blurry

  • Stoggy Apr 05, 2011

    Basically what is happening is that the cartridges have a date code. When the code is picked up as outdated, HP sends a message to the printer that it is incompatible, which really means they don't want you to use ink bought from other sources.

    The good news is that you can stop HP from accessing the printer by going in and turning off all updates. Seriously, why does a printer need to be constantly updated? The bad news is that since the code on your cartridge that is currently in the printer has been read, you will have to replace it or use the method Andrew3ds described. Make sure the updates are turned off before you install the new cartridge.

  • Johan82 Apr 13, 2011

    It works, but unfortunately only for one print. I changed from 350-351 cartridge to 74-75, because the 350-351 is not available or very expensive in Malaysia. Still a weird problem.

  • sonnyeclipse Apr 14, 2011

    Thanks for the tips above, worked like a charm you are an it god! Cheers

  • storeofoto May 27, 2011

    Hi people, it works as Andre3ds says but like ScubaSteve90 my black cartridge prints all blurry? Do you know why this is happening? how can I fix the blurry printing problem?

  • cd_chai Jul 14, 2011

    Amazing. This worked the first time I tried it after weeks of an unusable printer (and after buying a new ink cartridge). Thank you!

  • gedhunt Jul 17, 2011

    Thanks Andrew3ds, it worked a treat. But as Henk1959, it seems to work for only one print. If you happen to see this Andrew, is there a way to restore it permanently, instead of having to go thru your 8-step solution each time?

  • jgraves617 Aug 26, 2011

    I have always used HP 74 color and 75 black print heads, so this is a mystery to me why the color cartridge is getting this error message. I installed both cartridges one week ago and they are both almost full. I input the formula and got the C4480 printer working. But it did not ask for an alignment, and it only works for one copy session at a time - so if I go from Excel to Word to print, I get the error again. Then I have to re-input the formula. What do I need to do to make the fix permanent?

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I had this exact problem with my hp c4480 after a paper jam, the next time i came to se it, it said the same messages.

i looked for ages and couldnt find a solution...

so i took out the ink cartidge, left the door open, pulled the plug (thats how to reset it apparently, as in; dont use the power switch on the printer, just pull the plug),
then i wiped the contact tabs on the cartridge, and on the printer.

thinking it might have been caused by something being shifted out of place after removing the paper jam, i then just pushed all the bits of the carriage around, as if to make sure they are all in properly. nothing clicked or anything, but

(it was unplugged for about 3 mins)

i then plugged it back in, put the cartridge in, and shut the door.

error gone, and i can print again. :)

weird i know, and unlikely to work for everyone, but thought id let you know!

Posted on Jan 02, 2010

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You can fix it temporarily by entering the service menu and execution a command. The printer will forget the incompatible cartridge but only for one print job. You will have to do this every time you want to print something. Here are the steps:
1. Press the Cancle and Power Button at the same time. The printer will ask you for a key combo2. Press blue green grey in that order3. Press blue to got up in the menu, "Information Menu" should appear4. Press green to enter the information menu5. Press grey two times to go down to the entry "Checksum for relock data input"6. Press green and wait for the printer to calculate that checksum7. Press Cancle until you left the service menu, you should now be able to print
More informations on the service menu can be found here: http://www.out-of-warranty.com/how-to-reset-hewlett-packard-hp-all-in-one-printers/

Posted on Nov 16, 2012

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  • phyokyawthet
    phyokyawthet Apr 05, 2013

    It did work for me. I was so upset with my printer and I just keep on printing one after another by repeating the above process. Guess what? My printer got tired of me and he forgot that he wasn't recognizing his own HP original print cartridge. lol... It works perfectly again.

  • phyokyawthet
    phyokyawthet Apr 05, 2013

    It did work for me.

  • phyokyawthet
    phyokyawthet Apr 05, 2013

    I was so upset with my printer and I just keep on printing again and again repeating the above procedure. Guess what? After printing several pages, my printer forgot that it wasn't recognizing it's own HP original cartridge. lol.. It works perfectly just now.

  • Sonia
    Sonia Sep 30, 2013

    Thanks a bunch, Peter! I had been using a slightly different reset method (which at one time worked). Yours works, also! I gave up on trying to print from this HP Photosmart C4480 printer and only use it for scanning.

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Same Problem with C4480, genuine HP 351 XL and 350 XL original cartridges installed. Was once working, now incompatible cartridge(s) error. Discovered that it was possible to remove either one or other cartridge, run the cleaning cycle on that cartridge from the HP Printer Utility and print a perfect results page. Therefore both cartridges working fine independently, just not together. Solution: Hit the printer sharply on the front right knocking it about 5 or 6 inches backwards (if the used cartridges message comes up only temporarily, smack the machine again and make sure you hit the OK button before that message dissappears). Screen reported: used cartridges installed, pushed OK and then went through setup / alignment steps. Printer working fine, no more error message. Maybe you think this is nuts but it worked for me and anyhow it saved throwing the printer at a window risking breaking that too. Cheers!

Posted on May 13, 2010

  • coxcoxcox May 19, 2010

    confirmed: having tried all of the suggestions here, as well as everything suggested by HP technical support, the answer to this problem is either to beat the **** out of the printer until it initializes the print alignment cycle - or to gt HP to acknowledge that the anti-competitive practice of building in 3rd party cartridge and territory restrictions into these printers to force users to buy HP cartridges at fixed prices from specific groups of vendors has back-fired on genuine users to the point where these machines need to be recalled. P.S. the scanner utility on this machine sucks terribly also. Avoid.

  • trick
    trick May 11, 2014

    Crazy! Also tried all solutions, but hitting the printer on the front right part as described actually worked (the message of incompatible cartridge magically vanished after the hit!). Thanx! Let's see how permanent is the solution.

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Don't ever buy HP products. I have had this problem too. I went and bought anoher printer from another company and I got over my frustration with HP product.

Posted on Sep 11, 2010

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Get a Brother printer in exchange for your money.

HP only gives you frustration for your money.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012

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I am wondering if, in my case, I replaced my black ink cartidge with a black xl type and the color is still standard type. perhaps they are not compatable in that way? Perhaps cannot mix one xl cartridge and one standard cartridge????? Will look into that while I am trying all these reboot reset things suggested. One thing from HP I did notice was YOU MUST INSTALL THE INK that came with the printer originally or you will get this message. With that said, and it being a couple monthes later, perhaps the printer looses its memory and "thinks" it is new out of the box and is looking for that original ink cartridge? Sooooooo sad as this was traded in long ago for the new ink.

Posted on Jan 16, 2010

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I tried all of the above, and got nowhere!
As a last resort I reinstalled the old empty black cartridge and it got rid of the error message, and it now prints ok but in colour only. very strange.

Posted on Jan 13, 2010

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It may be the problem on the cartridge you may need to check, try cleaning or you check the details, if the cartridge is damaged then you have to replace it so that the printer can work again, then install the HP Photosmart C4480 Driver Download and try to print a document,

Posted on Dec 14, 2017

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HP Photosmart C4240 driver downloads


try to clean both cartridge and carriage contact with ip or petrol if the problem is there again try to replace the faulty cartridge with new cartridge the problem is showing again then your printer carriage may be faulty replacing carriage will definitely fix the problem
if you have old another cartridge try to replace that one

Posted on May 13, 2016

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This type of fatal cartridge error (i.e. "refer to documentation" / "incompatible cartridges", etc.) typically indicates the internal micro-electronics of the HP #74/75 cartridge are damaged. The cartridge's electrical wire runs at rear and lower side of the ink cartridge, are very delicate and are somewhat susceptible to ink attack over time, which can lead to premature failures. In addition, the older the cartridge the higher the chance of an internal electrical failure. I suggest you first run a 'Tap 41' diagnostic test to check cartridges electrical health (this is a forced test); you may also bypass the error (temporarily) on most models which use HP 74/75 cartridges. Refer to Inkjet411 youtube videos below:

HP 74, 75, 74XL, 75XL Cartridges - Solving Errors & Warnings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5ISTGyScWU

HP Photosmart C4200-C4500 and C5200-C5500a Printers - Diagnostic Tap 41 Test: (verifies electrical health of ink cartridges): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fE-IM4AVMc

HP Photosmart 4200-4500 5200-5500 Printers -Cartridge Error Bypass (HP 74-75 Cartridges):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDxRkAGOJaI

HP Officejet J5700/J6400 Printers -Cartridge Error Bypass (HP 74-75 Cartridges):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X3_D90SSq4


Ink Refilling & Cartridge Care Tips - Everything you need to know: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnXoDIblpdU

Posted on Apr 05, 2013

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The steps described here work for one print, but does anyone know whether this error means it's time to replace the printer? It's not worth repairing, so please let me know if there's something else I have to do to make the fix last.

Posted on Jul 06, 2012

  • Rod Eslinger
    Rod Eslinger May 26, 2013

    The problem, like 99.3% of the time is limited to the cartridges themselves. It is common to have a marginally performing ink cartridge (which was performing ok before) in the adjacent slot (i.e. color), then when a marginally performing cartridge is installed into the other slot (i.e. black), both of the ink cartridge(s) then get flagged with electrical errors. The Inkjet411 website contains a very good HP diagnostics document for quite a few HP printer models...the C4480 model includes procedure for the 'Tap 41' (cartridge health diagnostics test) and the Cartridge Error bypass procedure (again, only works for one entire print job per clearing action): http://inkjet411.retailinkjet.com/?page_...

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Also a p-smart C4480 user, I found that the issue is with the cartridge, not the printer. Return the cartridge, get your money back, and get a new one.

Posted on Oct 24, 2010

  • jrgilmore Nov 11, 2010

    I had the same problem, called HP and they said that the print head is damanged and they told me that it is a hardware issue. She also said that with the photosmart line of printers, the print heads are no longer part of the ink cart (as with the inkject/office jet) I don't know how true this is.

    Then they told me it was out of warranty and I purchased it 11 months ago at Radio Shack and it had a 1 year manf waranty. Now I just have to find my receipt to prove it is in warranty.

  • ideaka Feb 09, 2011

    Same issue for me. I tried all the tricks above and they worked for a bit but then my black ink was coming out all messed up. I then tried "clean ink head" and it didn't work.

    I just got off the phone with HP (very nice) and they are sending me a new black ink cartridge to try. He thought that it might be the contacts or bad ink that was causing the problem. Now I just have to wait up to a week for the ink or try my luck and buy one myself.

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