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"There is a problem with the print head"

HP OfficeJet Pro 6978
macOS 10.14 Mojave

I have a HP OfficeJet Pro 6978.  As these things usually go, it was working fine until I really needed it.. I'm trying to print something that was requested by HR at a job I am applying for


Today, when I tried to print something, the screen said "There is a problem with the printhead."


So far I have tried:

1. Reseting by unplugging and turning back on

2. Restoring printer to factory settings

3. Removing ink cartridges and cleaning the gold computer chip things (not sure what they are called?) with a lent free cloth

4. Inspecting cartridges to make the chips were aligned correctly

5. Going to "printer maintenance" and selecting "clean printhead" - I got the same error message and the printer did not attempt to clean it

6. Going to "printer maintenance" and selecting "align printhead" - this did not work because I obviously can't print the align page 

7. Calling HP tech support - my luck, there is no tech support right now because of COVID-19

8. Updating printer to latest software


Other pertinent info:

-My printer is not under warranty 

-No recent changes to printer or computer software/ hardware

-No longer using original ink cartridges but am using legit cartridges purchased through HP


Please Help! I splurged to buy this "fancy"/ nice printer after doing a lot of research about what to buy and so far it has been less reliable than the cheap printer I got for free when I purchased my laptop 10 years ago


UPDATE: For anyone reading this post in the future who may have a similar problem, the answer I got after contacting HP is basically that it is a hardware issue and because I am out of warranty I am out of luck. While other printers have removable print heads which can be cleaned or replaced, HP has made it so the print head in this printer can't be removed or taken out - forcing the customer to buy a new printer if any issues come up. I have been running in circles trying to talk to someone who can tell me how to have it fixed (I am willing to pay) but I can't talk to anyone about this because I am out of warranty. I am repeatedly referred to a customer service chat robot that keeps telling me to try steps over and over again that I have already tried without success. I guess I am in the market for a printer - and based on my experience trying to resolve this it will NOT be an HP one. 

HP Support Agent
HP Support Agent
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HP Recommended

"There is a problem with the print head"

Hi @cl851


Welcome to the HP Support Community. I'd be happy to assist you


Due to the current global COVID-19 situation, we're seeing an influx of customers coming in for support. We appreciate your patience.


Let's try a power reset on the printer


Reset the product

  • With the printer turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.
  • Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  • Wait at least 60 seconds.
  • Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
  • Reconnect the power cord to the printer.
  • Turn the printer on. HP recommends plugging the printer directly into a wall outlet.

 Try the steps in the document -Error Indicates Faulty Printhead


If the issue persists, it is a hardware issue with the printer.

I'd suggest you Contact HP in your region regarding the service/upgrade options for your printer


If you are having trouble navigating through the above options, it's most likely because the device is out of warranty. If yes? please send me a private message with the region you are contacting us from. Check next to your profile Name, you should see a little blue envelope, please click on it.  


Hope this helps! Keep me posted. 


Please click “Accept as Solution” if you feel my post solved your issue, it will help others find the solution.

Click the “Kudos, Thumbs Up" on the bottom right to say “Thanks” for helping!


Have a great day! 

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