For the HP Photosmart 3100, 3200, 3300, C6100, C7200, C7280 & PSC 7280 printer series which use HP 02 and HP 02XL ink cartridges and feature a keypad display, you can perform the Tap 43 diagnostic test to help determine if the built-in PRINTHEAD is functioning correctly:
Tap 43 Report – Printhead Diagnostics Procedure:
1. Turn ON the printer.
2. Press * and # keys simultaneously.
3. Enter ‘123’ on keypad.
4. At ‘Service’ menu, click the Right Arrow 7 times until ‘Reports Menu’ is displayed.
5. Select Ok, then click Right Arrow 2 times until the ‘print-mech button tap’ menu is displayed.
6. Select Ok (‘code = 0′ will be displayed); click and hold Right Arrow until ‘code = 43′ is displayed or enter 43 on keypad.
7. Select Ok. The ‘Tap 43′ diagnostic test page prints.
8. Check the 4th line at the top of the printed report; an electrically good/stable PRINTHEAD ‘Pen Status’ will state “Pen Status: Pen OK”.
To view advanced diagnostics tests for your HP printer model, click here:
NOTE: The electronic printhead, which the ink cartridges plug into within carriage, is responsible for pulling ink from the 6 ink cartridges and firing ink drops onto the page, will eventually fail over time. This is primarily based on a combination of total printed pages (rated duty cycle) vs. image content and printing frequency. Dry firing, where one particular color is not printing, can significantly increase the chances of a permanent printhead failure.
How an Inkjet Printhead Works — 4, 5 & 6 Ink Cartridge Printers: