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HP DeskJet 5550 printer wont recognize new HP ink cartridge

by stick joe / July 18, 2009 7:08 AM PDT

The light keeps flashing empty and won't stop. As a result, can't even print a word much less a page.

The printer is an HP DeskJet 5550.

It's the black ink that's in question.

I've Googled the problem and have tried tons of things, such as :
-restarting computer
-turning off printer, waiting 30 seconds (and once several hours), trying again
-cleaning off conact points, reinserting cartridge
-cleaning off contact points, disconnecting printers cable & plus & shutting it off - waiting 1 minute then retrying
-tried inserting new cartridge repeatedly and then seeing if it's recognized
-turning off printer, disconnecting usb cable, & unplugging it then waiting 1 mintue and retrying

I did remember to take off the protective tape on the ink side after initially forgetting and I put it in with the tape on - maybe that's it, perhaps this confused the printer so now it won't recognize it. If this is the cause, how do I correct it?

Anyone know how to fix this so it recognizes the new ink cartridge?

Thanx for any help

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What date is that cartridge?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 18, 2009 7:20 AM PDT
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Update to my post above
by stick joe / July 18, 2009 7:23 AM PDT

I just fixed it.

And for anyone else who ever reads this and needs the fix, here it is :

With the new cartridge in, turn the printer off and disconnect all the plusg/cables. Then while it's off, remove the new cartridge and don't close the lid either. Now let it sit there about 3 minutes. Then insert the new cartridge again, close the lid, plug the cable and plug back in, turn printer on - fixed!

No need to reply to my post anyone, it's fixed as you can see.

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Still having similar problem
by mcurrao / August 5, 2009 3:11 PM PDT

Hi Stick Joe....I have the same exact problem with replacing new HP cartridge in my 5550. I tried your solution but cartridge light still's driving me crazy to say the least.

Question on your solution...when you turn printer off, how do you retrieve cartridges? For me, the cartridge rack tucks into side and locks. The only way the rack stays is by pulling the plug out while the lid is open. Not sure if this makes any difference with your solution.

Thanks for your anticipated help !

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Worked for HP 3835
by TheBlackMzungu / September 1, 2016 5:47 AM PDT

Compelled to reply. I was skeptical butbit worked. Would notvexcept my new HP 652 Color cartridge. Thought I just lost my money. Hats off to you!!

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HP LaserJet 5550 won't recognize new HP toner cartridge
by cube732110 / October 26, 2016 7:25 AM PDT

I read that this worked for an 5550 inkjet printer so I tried it on a LaserJet 5550 printer. It worked like a charm! The printer would not recognize a new Magenta toner cartridge. I cleaned the contacts and made sure the cartridge was operating properly. the cartridge would still not register with the printer. I installed the new cartridge, closed the lid, turned off the printer and unplugged the cables. I waited a few minutes, removed the magenta cartridge and left the lid open and waited for about 3 minutes. I installed the cartridge, closed the lid, plugged in all disconnected cables and turned the printer on. This time the magenta cartridge registered with the printer.

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HP deskjet 5550
by ouellette.m / October 29, 2009 4:09 AM PDT

Cartridge problem...The problem with the cartridge is it is not registering with the printer due to the contacts on the cartridge and printer are not making a good enough contact with each other. Solution - Take some paper towel and cut a section that is the width of the cartridge and fold the paper towel up end over end making a little wedge or pillow square. With the cartridge in the printer place the paper towel on top of the cartridge and close the cartridge lever the holds the cartridge down in place and then close the printer lid. This solved my same issue instantly.


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by miathornton / January 7, 2010 12:41 AM PST
In reply to: HP deskjet 5550

I have tried the paper towel method, I have cleaned the cartridges & the connection pooints. The cartridge light is still blinking. When I power down, the printer cuts on automatically. Please help...

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When I power down, the printer cuts on automatically. Please
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 7, 2010 12:47 AM PST
In reply to: Assistance

When I power down, the printer cuts on automatically. Please help...

That sounds like a failed printer. But here's an idea. Pull the AC plug. I bet it won't power if. If it does, look at this picture for who to call -> How to call next?

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paper towel method
by pgcote / July 7, 2010 10:37 AM PDT
In reply to: HP deskjet 5550

Thanks much for this info. I had just bought another $24 blk cartridge because I couldn't eliminate the blinking light with a refill cartridge. The new cartridge didn't work either. I was ready to buy another printer-not HP then I came across this post.The paper towel worked. I would like to add that the paper towel method takes care of a broken plastic tab. I compared the cartridge hold down of the color cartridge versus the black. The black had a small piece of hold down plastic that was broken. The paper towel replaces the need pressure that the broken plastic part imparted on the cartridge to make the contact. Printer printed a test page but would not talk to the PC. I had to uninstall then reinstall the printer. I was ready to go out and buy something other

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by buzzsmithmusic / September 27, 2011 2:20 AM PDT
In reply to: HP deskjet 5550

The little napkin trick worked.

The printer is no longer giving me the "incorrect cartridge" message.

Appreciate it!

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It Worked - Thank Goodness for Paper Towels.
by irmaly / October 1, 2016 11:56 AM PDT

I want to thank everyone for the little paper towel trick. It worked for me with my MX922 printer. I had contacted Canon only to be told I needed a new printer (which they would have been happy to sell me). I'm not smart about these things, but I had figured out proper contact wasn't being made with my ink cartridge because if I applied slight pressure to the top, the contact light would come on--but wouldn't stay on. I am also writing to others who may be as challenged as I am about understanding directions. When the instructions above say to place the towel on the top of the cartridge, what they mean (or what this meant in my case) is to tuck that towel piece between what I would call the front of the plastic lever and the ink carrier. Push it gently down to apply the proper pressure to make the light come on. I l finally understood this after fishing out a bunch of paper towel pieces. Once I got the trick, it worked great. Thanks again for saving me a bunch of money.

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