Ink Cartridge Refill Help Center

HP 934, 934XL, 935 & 935XL Ink Cartridge Errors



For refilled HP 934/935 ink cartridge series printer models which display printer/cartridge error messages such as “cartridge missing or damaged”, “cartridge problem”, “cartridge depleted”, etc., and printing is not permitted, there is a new printer firmware update available for your printer model which will enable refilled ink cartridges to function normally (as of Sept. 2017).  Click on the link below; this will explain the issue & offer a printer firmware download to fix the issue and allow you to continue using refilled ink cartridges: click here

NOTE: HP routinely ‘pushes’ auto software/printer updates which can sometimes roll the printer firmware versions back and unfortunately disables refilled/aftermarket cartridges from functioning. We suggest you disable the receipt of any future auto-updates, click here for instructions:


Why did HP do this?

See ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE Report, Sept. 2017 — Is HP up to Its Same Old Firmware Tricks? 



NOTE: Used“, “Counterfeit”, “Refilled” and “Non-Genuine Cartridge”  alerts are COMPLETELY NORMAL for all HP 934, 934XL, 935 & 935XL black and color  ink cartridges which have been refilled and are initially installed into the printer. These nuisance messages may be bypassed and normal printing will be available. Since new replacement chips were installed, ink level monitoring will be available.  



NORMAL Cartridge Alerts

1) Upon installation of a refilled HP 934, 934XL, 935 & 935XL ink cartridge you will observe various ‘Used’, ‘Counterfeit’ & ‘Non-HP’ alert messages. Choose ‘Yes’, ‘Continue’ and/or ‘OK’ to bypass the various nuisance alerts. This will enable normal print operations.



2) Since the HP 934, 934XL, 935 & 935XL cartridges have new replacement chips installed, ink level monitoring will be available.  NOTE: Upon refilled cartridge installation the printer may show a “Low Ink” alert message one time, simply select ‘OK’ to proceed.



3) During normal printing you will observe two levels of ink low warning messages – this is normal.



ABNORMAL Cartridge Alerts

If the printer cannot recognize the ink cartridge (i.e. “Cartridge Error”, “Missing or Damaged”, “Unrecognized Cartridge”, etc.), then first re-seat the ink cartridge(s) in the carriage. If this does not correct the problem, remove the suspect cartridge and carefully inspect the smart chip on the bottom.


The chip should be present, similar the photo below. There should be NO cuts or gashes on the micro-chip surface, the chip should not be skewed (chip alignment & position is important). If the chip does not look correct then return to your ink refiller for evaluation.


If the problem persists, then remove all 4 cartridges from the carriage. Pull up on the PRINTHEAD release latch (at right side) and remove PRINTHEAD. Inspect electrical contacts on PRINTHEAD and on Carriage for ink residue. Adhering to manufacturer instructions, thoroughly clean the electrical contacts. Reinstall the PRINTHEAD and lower latch to secure. Reinstall cartridges and retest. For more information click here:

HP 564 Color Recovery


HP 6500A (HP 920s) Printhead Removal_1


Connectivity problems, between the cartridge and Printhead, include error messages such as “Unrecognized“, “Missing or Damaged“, or “Ink Cartridge Problem”. Also refer to NOTE at bottom of page. 

1. Remove ALL ink cartridges.

2. Check cartridge chip surface for ink residue/contaminants; thoroughly clean chip contact area using a water or isopropyl moistened towel.

3. Install ALL ink cartridges to see if problem clears.


An “Incompatible Printhead” or “Alignment Failed” error message is NOT an ink cartridge error, but instead a possible failure indicator of the large electronic assembly used for firing all four (or five) colors onto the paper. If you observe this message it is suggested you visit HP for recommendations on how to correct.  General HP ink series printhead removal procedures are provided below for informational purposes only.

To check the electrical performance of the printhead refer to the diagnostic test for your specific printer model, click here:

HP Printer Diagnostics

HP 564 Printhead Assembly

If you encounter a severe ink cartridge error which prohibits printing, perform the recommended solutions below.   If you think the refilled cartridge might be bad, take it back to your refiller and have them re-check the cartridge.


Recommended Solutions

The contact between the ink cartridge and the printer must be clean for proper functioning.  If any dirt, ink or paper dust is on the contacts, the printer may indicate that the ink cartridge is bad.  To ensure a clean contact, follow the steps below:

1) Remove and re-install the cartridge

  1. Turn the printer on; open the printer to access the print cartridges.
  2. Remove the suspect cartridge(s) from the station.
  3. Re-install the cartridges in their stations.
  4. Close the printer.
  5. Turn off the printer for 30 seconds and then turn it back on.
  6. Print a test page following your printer’s instructions.
  7. If this does not work, please proceed to step 2.

2) Re-set the printer:

a.  If the problem persists, it may be useful to perform a “hard reset”.  This can correct an electronic flag setting inside the printer telling it that the print cartridge is problematic.  From the printer’s main menu, select (Note: printer buttons will NOT be illuminated):

  1. BACK
  3. BACK

Inside the Service Menu, locate the Resets Menu, select Semi-Full Reset to reset the printer.

b.  Refer to diagnostic test file for additional printer model specific instructions, click here:

HP Printer Diagnostics


c.  Print a test page to determine if the problem has been resolved.

d.  If a printing-related problem persists, see below.


Severe Print Quality Issue or Missing Colors

1) If any streaks or missing colors appear on prints, initiate a ‘Clean Printhead’ via the printer control panel ‘Setup’/’Tools’ menu. On some printer models, the ‘Clean Printhead’ procedure will yield a test pattern – inspect pattern to ensure all colors are firing and solid bands of color appear. With other printer models you will need to select a test/diagnostic print under the ‘Tools’ menu. You may need to perform the ‘Clean Printhead’ procedure several times if the printer has been idle or rarely used.

Partially Jetting Nozzles


2) To verify all colors are firing properly, print a Self Test page or Print Quality Report under the tools or maintenance menu. You may also select an Inkjet411 test print by clicking the button below:

Test Prints


A normal looking Print Quality Report (i.e. internal printer test) is pictured below:



3) If all colors are printing but you observe cross-contamination (colors appear to bleed onto each other), then it is suggested to clean the service station…click here for instructions:

HP 564 Color Recovery


4) If you cannot identify which color cartridge is empty, print a test/diagnostic page via: 1) your printer control panel or 2) via the ‘Test Prints’ button below. A faded/missing color indicates empty. In the examples below, streaking/banding can be observed – running the ‘Clean Printhead’ can help remedy these issues.

HP B210 Diagnostic Print

Test Prints


5) If missing colors or severe/poor print quality continues to be observed following a 72 hour wait period (i.e. allows enough time for ink to fully absorb into cartridge foam), then flush the Printhead. Check your printer’s User Manual to see if your printhead can be easily removed. 


NOTE: Refer to manufacturer instructions for your printer model; the steps provided below are for general guidance only.

a. Turn on the printer; open the printer to access the ink cartridges.

b. Remove all 4 (or 5) ink cartridge(s) from the carriage.

HP 564 Cartridge removal

c. Lift printhead release latch (lever) to remove printhead assembly (if removable – refer to User Manual).

Carriage Release latch (B210)

d. Remove printhead and clean printhead contacts. Use the damp cloth (de-ionized water or isopropyl alcohol) to wipe the electrical contacts from the bottom to the top. Coffee filters and glass-cleaning cloths work well.Do not go past the edge between the electrical contacts and the ink nozzles. Repeat this motion until no ink remains on the electrical contacts.

Printhead Removal(B210)


e. Re-install printhead assembly; lower the latch handle to securely lock the printhead assembly into place.
f. Print a test pattern to determine if the problem has been fixed.

g. If necessary, replace printhead with a new one (can be ordered from Adhere to manufacturer’s recommendations and related troubleshooting instructions.




6) If missing colors or severe/poor print quality continues to be observed, then please refer to advanced corrective actions:

HP 564 Color Recovery



Cartridge Care & Printhead Care


For refilled HP 934, 934XL, 935 & 935XL cartridges which are not in use, ensure the orange protective cap is securely attached to bottom of cartridge (covers ink spout) to prevent cartridge from drying out. CAUTION: If the internal foam is allowed to dry out then cartridge recovery may be difficult and possibly unusable. While it is normally suggested to use tank-based cartridges 1 year from the refill date, it is recommended to use refilled HP 934 & 935 ink cartridges within 90 days to avoid print quality issues due to the type of foam inside the cartridge.

HP 564_cart bottom n chips_sm HP 564 foam_merged_sm

Stop printing as soon as you notice a color is missing – continuing to print will ‘dry-fire’ the PRINTHEAD which can lead to permanent PRINTHEAD electrical damage. Immediately refill ink cartridges which are empty.

Stop Printing when a color drops out

Severe Print Quality Issues / Missing Colors

If, after adhering to all suggestions above, the printer continues to exhibit severe print quality performance and/or multiple colors are missing as observed in the printer’s self test page or print quality report, click here:

Warm (Hot) Water Printhead Flush


Printhead Diagnostics:

To verify the PRINTHEAD’s electrical performance activate the PRINTHEAD Health Diagnostics Test Report, click here:

HP 920 Printhead Diagnostics



Printhead Life 

The built-in PRINTHEAD will eventually fail over time with usage and age (may or may not be replaceable depending on printer model – see User Manual)

Possible Printhead Failure? 


To learn more about Printhead Function & Failure conditions, please select your printer model:

HP OfficeJet Pro 6230 PrinterHP OfficeJet Pro 6830 Printer, HP OfficeJet Pro 6835 PrinterHP OfficeJet  6812 eAIO PrinterHP OfficeJet 6815 eAIO Printer,  HP OfficeJet 6820 e-All-in-One PrinterHP OfficeJet 6810 e-All-in-One Printer 



Advanced Printer Diagnostics

To view advanced diagnostics tests for your HP printer, click here:

HP Printer Diagnostics



Compatible Printers (select your printer model): 

HP Officejet Pro 6230 ePrinterHP Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One PrinterHP Officejet Pro 6835 e-All-in-One PrinterHP Officejet 6812 e-All-in-One PrinterHP Officejet 6815 e-All-in-One PrinterHP OfficeJet 6820 e-All-in-One PrinterHP OfficeJet 6810 e-All-in-One Printer 



NOTE: A compatible/clone ink cartridge can be problematic; the embedded smart chip may not provide reliable printer-cartridge connectivity once installed. Compatible/clone cartridges are typically purchased on-line or at select retailers (i.e  sold under a different label than the regular HP cartridge packaging) and is essentially a “clone” of the original/genuine ink cartridge (if cartridge is original/genuine then the HP trademark logo will be displayed on the side and/or top labels of the ink cartridge). For the best refilling experience, only use HP original/genuine ink tanks. Most ink refillers will NOT refill non-genuine HP 934, 935, 934XL, 935XL ink cartridges.

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