Solving printer cartridge installation errors with a cold restart of the printer

2. January 2013 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments

You can save a lot of money by switching from OEM ink and toner cartridges to compatible ink and toner cartridges. Thousands of people use compatible ink cartridges without experiencing any problems at all. From time to time, though, error messages can make it appear that a printer isn't going to accept a compatible ink or toner cartridge. If this has happened to you, don't give up. You shouldn't let an error message get between you and saving a lot of money with compatible cartridges. In most cases, simply cold starting the printer is all that's needed. Learn more about doing so below.

Reasons to Cold Start a Printer

When a printer doesn't seem to work with a compatible cartridge, it's usually just because it's temporarily unable to read its chip. If you've always used OEM cartridges and just switched to a compatible cartridge, your printer just may not be ready. It's used to reading the same types of cartridges, and it may initially have trouble reading the chip on the new one. To make this work, you need to cold start the printer, which will wipe all traces of the old cartridges from its memory.

Use the following steps to cold start your printer:

  1. Remove the compatible ink or toner cartridge from the printer. Look at it carefully. Is there any packaging tape on it, or do you see any stickers? If so, remove these items, replace the cartridge and try again. The cartridge has to be totally free of stickers and tape if its chip is going to be read by the printer. With any luck, this will resolve the issue, and your printer will recognize the cartridge.
  2. If your printer continues not to recognize the cartridge, or if you keep getting error messages, remove the cartridge again. This time, put it someplace safe so that it doesn't leak onto anything. You're going to have to cold start the printer to make the cartridge work. Luckily, it's easy to do. To ensure that this works, there can't be any ink cartridges in the printer.
  3. Turn off the printer. You should use the on/off switch on the printer to do this. Most printers have lights that indicate when they are on. Keep an eye on the light when you turn off the printer. Make sure that it goes out. If it doesn't, your printer isn't really off. If your printer has several indicator lights, none of them should be lit. The goal is to make sure that power is totally turned off on your printer.
  4. Unplug the printer from the outlet. If the power cord also unplugs from the printer, you might want to pull that out as well.  Be sure to leave the printer unplugged for a minimum of 10 minutes. This is the twist that is needed to ensure a truly cold start. By completely disconnecting the printer from power, you will force its memory to be reset. All of the information about the OEM ink and toner cartridges that you used to use will be wiped away, which will eliminate the conflicting information that's causing the error messages.
  5. Plug the printer back in and turn it on again. After it starts up, follow the instructions for installing the compatible ink or toner cartridge. Now that the printer has been cold started and its memory has been reset, it should read the cartridge's chip, recognize it and work properly from this point forward.

In the unlikely event that a cold start doesn't work, you should check with the company that sold you the compatible ink or toner cartridge. It might just be a dud, and a replacement should be sent.

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