Released November 2011. Model # N911n

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"There is a problem with the printer or ink system"

"Turn off, then on. If problem persists, contact HP.

I have unplugged the machine, removed the ink carrage and cartriges, does not help.

Any suggestions?


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Webroot is a bad security application which I absolutely hate. I recommend if talking to any support at all, talk to HP.


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There are a few possible fixes for this. I'm not going to list all the instructions here,

but here a few things to try, assuming you've already tried the general reset

procedure mentioned above:

Here is one of HP's official fix procedures for this problem:

HP OfficeJet Printers - Resolving 'Problem with Ink System' Error

Below, is a list of some of HP's suggestions from the above link, as well as some procedures which are definitely NOT HP-AUTHORIZED. Some steps involve (minor) risk of damaging the printer if you're not careful, or don't follow instruction carefully.

1. Make sure you're using cartridges that have not dried up/clogged, and that still contain wet ink. I shake them to listen for the liquid inside.

2. Clean the gold electrical contacts on the ink cartridges, and clean the contacts on the printhead, that connect with the ink cartridge . (as per webpage linked above).

3. Inspect the carriage path for obstacles (as per webpage linked above).

4. Clean the printhead/nozzle. If you want to do this the way HP recommends, read the instructions linked above, or watch HP's own video detailing the process.

HP's video tells you to do this with warm, distilled water, which is gentle so presents lower risk, but water doesn't always unclog the inket nozzles to fix the problem.

Others perform this step with commercial inkjet cleaner formula. Some people use their own formula made of alcohol and original Windex. Best viewed on Youtube. Cleaning with anything other than water is NOT according to HP's instructions.

5. Remove the ink cartridges, then remove the printhead. Reinstall the printhead, and reinstall the ink cartridges. Note that HP's documentation states you sometimes have to do this 3 or even 4 times for it to take effect. You can see this in HP's documentation on their website about resolving this error. As shown on HP's webapge, and also a video hosted by . There are also videos on Youtube which show this.

6. Check the CMOS battery. Apparently a dead CMOS battery can cause this problem. I'd only recommend this for people who aren't too scared of taking things apart. It's pretty tight in the side of the printer where the logic (circuit) board sits. That being said, if you have steady hands, are patient, and can follow instructions, well, give it a try.

HP Officejet Pro 8600 CMOS battery location and replacement

7. Some videos tell you to do what HP calls a Semi-full reset to fix this problem. A semi-full reset is a sequence of keys on the control panel that you press that resets certain information in the printer to original settings. This sometimes makes the printer "forget" cartridges dried up, ink was not recently pumped, etc.

See this video for more info:

How to Fix the HP Ink System Failure!

However, I have scoured the Web and can't find any way to initiate a semi-full reset if you are stuck at the "ink system failure" error. If you are not stuck at that error, then a semi-full reset is well worthy trying.

8. Some documentation suggest doing a firmware update on this printer may clear this error. As with above, I haven't found way to do that unless you're NOT stuck at the error message in question

9. Make sure the printer is plugged directly into a wall outlet, and not into a UPS, power bar, surge protector or similar. Supposedly, that can cause the problem as well.

10. Check the inside of the printer for spilled ink. This can jam things up or trigger sensors which are not what you want. I'm not sure what chemical to use to clean spills, but that would most likely be in the Youtube videos.

11. Try using aluminum foil or wire to bridge contact that may lose continuity on the inside of the printhead circuit board. See this video for details:

How to fix inksystem failure for HP 8600, 8610, 8620, 8630 Print Heads

12. If all this fails, your last option is that the printhead is likely damaged/worn out. New ones are expensive. You can get them from HP, but they are cheaper (esp. used ones) on eBay.

Would love to view a service manual for that printer.


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i also suffered from this problem. i may be able to help you.

solution 1: try new cartridges . if it fails try solution 2.

solution 2: see this video. but instead of using the aluminium chips i prefer cleaning the copper contacts with penny brite cleaner .[it worked for me , my printer was sitting idle for a long time and it damaged the contact surfaces.]. it is non toxic available on amazon. see the video you will understand. if cleaning the contacts does not help then you can try aluminium chips. but remember then you have to watch out for empty cartridges.

solution 3: if above solution does not work then buy new printer head form eBay. remember to buy only if accompanied by setup cartridges. this very important.

remember ink system failure message occurs when the cartridge chip says it has ink but the ink does not flow. hp uses a special ink which also transmits current.

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This method works I used the aluminum foil strips and the error cleared. I was able to get the printer heads to clean and perform the additional alignment procedures. The printer had not been used for 3+ months and had been sitting with 2 empty cartridges,


Good it works for you. the only reason I cleaner the copper contacts is that

1]. I like to repair with minimum changes to original.

2]. the foils can dislodge cause a short circuit , or they can fall into printer causing a paper jam, for which you have to open the printer.

anyway, moral of the story: use the printer atleast once a month.


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has this been setting for a long time?

if so the ink may have dried up at the point it goes in to the printer.

take each one out clean it with alcohol put them back in

and try it.

you might have to just get new ink too.


call H.P. for help

they fixed mine for free. 1-800-474-6836

you'll get this recording saying to go to the web site but just wait it will send you to somebody after awhile.

then tell them whats going on and they will help you fix it

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You were pretty vague there. Clean, what, exactly? This is a tech. forum, you'll need to be more precise.

My experience is that calling HP results in nothing but anger from them if your printer is not within warranty.


you take out "each ink cart." and clean where the ink goes in to the printer

it's in the front on the cart. it looks like a plug just stick a Q-tip in there with alcohol on it and twist it a few times using two or more Q-tips (each end)

after it come clean put the cart. back in and try it

hope this helps



thanks I didn't know about not using q-tips

BTW when I call H.P. I had no problems with them would give them a full 5 star rating as they fixed my printer free of charge, and it took 2 of them to help get it fixed. ans well over 1 hour on the phone with me. and my printer has been out of warranty for over 3 years now and they still didn't charge me anything

maybe you just caught them on a bad



It was HP that told you to clean the nozzles/print head?


No a friend told me to do that. and it worked good


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OK, so you mean flush the jets. That's right, as already mentioned in detail in my long treatise above.

However, as indicated by HP, you are never supposed to use Q-Tips (cotton swabs), as a small part of the fluff could get into the jets and prevent them from working or even do damage.

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Most HP printers can give this problem after 3 years. Perhaps by design! I have 2 printers with same problems. Solution: Moved to another brand.

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mrtapie will be eternally grateful.
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