I have a Canon Pixma printer. I refill my black cartridge whenever it gets low. However, Canon doesn't like me using the same cartridge forever, so it will refuse to print. There is certain keystroke I press -- I believe I hold the black or color print button down for a few seconds -- and this clears the error. The printer no longer tells me how much black ink I have, but it now allows me to refill and use the same black cartridge forever.
I haven't figured out how to refill the color cartridge -- the three inks always seem to get mixed up when I refill the color cartridge. Therefore, I print in grayscale as much as possible, and then replace the color cartridge as needed..
The above method has served me well. If you are struggling with your HP printer, perhaps you would be happier with a Canon Pixma printer. You can get them for next to nothing at Walmart.com.
So here's what I do:
1. I refill the black cartridge whenever the printing fades.
2. I use the color cartridge as little as possible, so I don't have to replace it very often.
3. If the black cartridge ever wears out, I'll replace it.
4. If my printer ever goes on the blink, I'll replace it -- Canon Pixma is dirt cheap at Walmart.com.
5. If I ever have to replace my printer, the new printer comes with a brand new black cartridge that I can refill as needed.
I have bought several dirt-cheap HP and Canon printers at Walmart.com -- usually under $30 for a printer/scanner/copier.