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Did putting a black ink cartridge into the color slot in my printer damage anything?

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    Did putting a black ink cartridge into the color slot in my printer damage anything?

    I was given a free printer. It's a Dell A940 all in one. My main PC has Windows XP in a dual boot. I was testing the printer in XP. The printer came with two black 7Y743 cartridges. Only one is detected by the printer. It asks new or old cartridge and I gave either answer when testing and reinserting the detected cartridge. The Dell software installs OK but even though only one black cartridge is detected and it even shows 100% ink level, the printer prints, but nothing is printed on the page. The printer keeps complaining of having no color cartridge. Maybe it will only print if both a black and color cartridge is present?

    So I made my big mistake by seeing if the printer will print if I used both black cartridges at the same time. That means putting a black cartridge in the color slot. I did that and it fit in the slot but can't remember if I tested printing or not. The printer still prints nothing on the page. I took out the black ink cartridge from the color slot and tested the single black ink cartridge in the black ink slot and it still prints nothing on the page. Now I'm freaking out if I damaged my expensive computer in some way due to my ignorance. I don't care about the printer. I only care about my computer and the surge protector the printer and computer are plugged into. The printer does not appear to be damaged but I can't tell 100% because like I said before, it can't print. I can always get a new printer, but is the rest of my hardware damaged? Please help.

    #2
    blackincolorinkslot.gif

    This is what HP's site says. Although I have a Dell printer this info probably applies to all brands of printers.


    Sorry the image looks kinda weird, just trying to comply with image upload requirements on this forum.

    Comment


      #3
      You did not damage your computer when you broke your printer.
      Offering a bounty for:
      - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
      - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

      Comment


        #4
        This is a previously unused ink cartridge? Check and see if there is a piece of protective tape over the nozzle....

        You might also try gently wiping off the nozzle with a q-tip. See if you can ascertain if this cartridge is "100%" full of dried up ink.

        Also... are you SURE you are printing something that is in pure black and white? (Try a word processor document, also check the printer properties) If it is trying to use color, even if it is mixing color to make black, then you will get NOTHING if there is no functional color cart. For example, if you are printing a color graphic from a photo editor, even if it contains only black and white, it will use the color cart.

        I have no idea about this particular printer, but some color inkjets do indeed require a color cartridge in order to operate. In this case, often even an empty color cart will suffice.

        Since it is at least talking to the printer, you have NOT damaged your computer. At worst the driver software is crap, and I doubt that is the issue.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by computerdude92 View Post
          I was given a free printer. It's a Dell A940 all in one. My main PC has Windows XP in a dual boot. I was testing the printer in XP. The printer came with two black 7Y743 cartridges. Only one is detected by the printer. It asks new or old cartridge and I gave either answer when testing and reinserting the detected cartridge. The Dell software installs OK but even though only one black cartridge is detected and it even shows 100% ink level, the printer prints, but nothing is printed on the page. The printer keeps complaining of having no color cartridge. Maybe it will only print if both a black and color cartridge is present?

          So I made my big mistake by seeing if the printer will print if I used both black cartridges at the same time. That means putting a black cartridge in the color slot. I did that and it fit in the slot but can't remember if I tested printing or not. The printer still prints nothing on the page. I took out the black ink cartridge from the color slot and tested the single black ink cartridge in the black ink slot and it still prints nothing on the page. Now I'm freaking out if I damaged my expensive computer in some way due to my ignorance. I don't care about the printer. I only care about my computer and the surge protector the printer and computer are plugged into. The printer does not appear to be damaged but I can't tell 100% because like I said before, it can't print. I can always get a new printer, but is the rest of my hardware damaged? Please help.
          You certainly did not harm your computer with the failed tests and probably did not harm the printer, either. I am unfamiliar with this Dell printer cartridge but I think there is a good chance all you need is a fresh set of cartridges, one black and one multi-color.

          The reason I make this supposition has to do with the way early ink jet cartridges were designed: They had the print head IN the cartridge. Every new cartridge came with a new head. If that's the case with yours you will probably find several electrical contacts on the side of the cartridge and mating with a similar pattern on the carriage slot. These are the path by which the early ink jet printers, e.g. Canon "bubble jet", communicate with the print head. Since there are more colors to control in a color cartridge than in a BW cartridge, the printer will use more contacts for communicating with a color cartridge. If one of those contacts is missing - because this is a BW cartridge in a color cartridge slot - the printer knows something is wrong.

          The problem is that the ink used in the printer has to be able to be spit out by the printhead in very fine drops and then dry very quickly on the paper. Left unprotected an ink jet cartridge will plug up the tiny nozzles in a week. It is possible to unplug them but let's not go there: Spring for new carts and see what happens.

          -CH-

          Comment


            #6
            I would not bother with that printer at all. You can get a new ink-jet printer with ink cartridges included for the price of what a single ink cartridge costs for an existing printer. And if the printer is damaged, you would even waste that money. So just buy a new cheap printer instead.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
              I would not bother with that printer at all. You can get a new ink-jet printer with ink cartridges included for the price of what a single ink cartridge costs for an existing printer. And if the printer is damaged, you would even waste that money. So just buy a new cheap printer instead.
              Respectfully, Timo, is this not a site for the support of vintage computing machinery?

              -CH-

              Comment


                #8
                We are in "Completely off Topic -> General Off Topic" and talking about a dirt-cheap Dell ink-jet printer. There's no vintage here in this topic. And sometimes it's just about being reasonable.
                Last edited by Timo W.; April 4, 2021, 03:57 AM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I went that way with a few inkjet color printers, which IMHO, are a complete PITA for home use. I found it cheaper to just go to Walmart for the prints. I currently use a wireless Canon B/W laser, scans and can print both sides. I got it on sale for $99 a few years ago from Newegg.
                  Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
                    We are in "Completely off Topic -> General Off Topic" and talking about a dirt-cheap Dell ink-jet printer. There's no vintage here in this topic. And sometimes it's just about being reasonable.
                    Additionally, ink-jet printers are known loss leaders: They exist only to sell ink cartridges, which is where the profit is. Like the old adage, "Gillette gives razors away so they can later sell the blades."

                    IMO, there is no point in troubleshooting an inkjet printer made after the year 2000; they're disposable, because they were engineered to be. Buy a new one; it will cost less than $90, have way more features (wifi, etc.), and have faster and better print quality anyway.
                    Offering a bounty for:
                    - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I agree with Timo on this one. IJ printers are largely the analogue of safety razors. See Razor and blades model.

                      I've picked up old gear that was sold on the proviso that I also took a bunch of IJ printers. Those went straight to recycling.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Unless you're going to print a LOT of color images, get a cheap B&W laser printer. Ink jet printers are programmed to perform a little sleight of hand trick, without your knowledge, where they feed cyan from the color cartridge into your B&W print jobs, making sure you have to change your color cartridge, even if you don't do any color printing. I got sick of that crap on my HP Officejet AIO about 2 years ago and bought the cheapest Brother laserjet printer on sale at Staples to replace it. A 2 pack of high capacity black and color cartridges for my HP cost the same as I paid for the Brother laserjet with one toner cartridge pre-installed and I never have to replace color ink cartridges that I hardly use ever again.

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