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Honor Student
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎02-18-2009
Message 1 of 11 (8,024 Views)

j4540 all in one - 'incompatible print cartrige'

I can't seem to correct an error message.  'incompatible print cartridge(s) [Tri-Color]

I have had this HP J4540 for several months - same Tri-Color cartridge the whole time - but

today, this message continues to pop-up.  The only way that I am able to get the machine

to print - or transmit a fax - is to remove the tri-color cartridge.

Has anyone had this problem - and have you found a solution?


0 Kudos
Posts: 29,562
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 2 of 11 (8,075 Views)

Re: j4540 all in one - 'incompatible print cartrige'

[ Edited ]

Try cleaning the cartridge contacts as shown here.  If that does not correct the issue your cartridge may have failed.  If it is not showing low on ink in the toolbox then check the cartridge warranty as shown here.



Bob Headrick, Microsoft MVP Printing/Imaging

Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------------V

If my answer was helpful please click the "Thumbs Up" to say "Thank You"--V

Honor Student
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎04-22-2009
Message 3 of 11 (7,796 Views)

Re: j4540 all in one - 'incompatible print cartrige'

I am experiencing the same problem with the black cartridge on my J4550. Have you found a solution yet?
Honor Student
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎04-23-2009
Message 4 of 11 (7,784 Views)

Re: j4540 all in one - 'incompatible print cartrige'

Same problem. I've had J4550 for about two months. A week ago, incompatible tri-color. Cleaned it as shown. Worked for an hour. Today, the black cartridge did the same thing. Both have ink in them. Both were new HP cartridges.
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎05-01-2009
Message 5 of 11 (7,697 Views)

Re: j4540 all in one - 'incompatible print cartrige'

[ Edited ]
Same exact problem with a 3- or 4-month old F4280 printer: tri-color cartridge with plenty of ink suddenly reports the incompatible error. Fine one day, incompatible the next. Clearly a common issue HP seems reluctant to address in a meaningful way. Have not found an acceptable explanation or solution (apparently new cartridges help in some but not all cases).

Somehow I just can't shake the notion of a variation on planned obsolescence:

1.   Sell printers at low price point; ink cartridges = outrageous profit margins!!! 

      (bonus: lower consumer expectation of printer life/quality)

2.   Have cartridges "fail" prematurely (important: must fail at "random" intervals, esp. with plenty of ink left)

3.   Customer will buy new cartridges because they need to print their work NOW 

4.   If new cartridge works, GREAT! Highly unlikely customer will pursue refund/replacement from HP;

4a. If new cartridge fails, direct user to website for troubleshooting help.

5.   Post customary "help" on website, e.g., advise purchase of HP cartridges only, recommend cleaning cartridge/print head contacts, note "highly advanced micro-technology blah blah blah," suggest daily usage for optimum performance, etc.)  

5a. HP "support" presence on help forums should be minimal to none. Important: HP-authored posts could imply acknowledgment of a problem as common or significant -- neither of which is allowed under CSO (Corporate Strategic Optimization) guidelines.    

6.   Bury relevant info & warranty options deep in site labyrinth  (unfortunately, must provide, "Legal" says it's req'd)

7.   Make warranty/replacement procedure difficult and time-consuming for consumer; should discourage typical customer

8.   In the event ax-grinding customer pursues replacement, ignore until receipt of 2nd request; delay response time (see tips in "Burden on Consumer" section of employee handbook) 

9.   If step 8 fails to deter, apologize for the delay and the problem. Commence review/repeat of possible solutions as posted on HP website; confirm customer has performed all; if not, have customer perform all steps (at least 2 times) and contact HP support if problem still exists.

9a. If problem persists, further aggravate with review of all circumstances and actions taken prior to "failure;" suggest possibility of inadvertent customer responsibility re damage to cartridge.

10. Remind customer foul and/or abusive language is unnecessary and if he/she persists the call will be discontinued. Apologize for the inconvenience; state that: a) HP will be happy to replace defective cartridges, and b) Requires examination by an HP-certified technician to determine liability.

11. Provide options/steps for returning cartridge. 

12. If absolutely no damage was detected, replace cartridge(s). Enclose std prod replacement letter, incl CQCS paragraph (Commitment to Quality & Customer Satisfaction).

13. "Resolve" issue just prior to critical market downturn with "new, improved" cartridges and/or printer  ;-)

14. Repeat. 

Message Edited by wilguus on 05-01-2009 02:14 PM
Message Edited by wilguus on 05-01-2009 02:17 PM
Top Student
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎06-25-2009
Message 6 of 11 (7,223 Views)

Re: j4540 all in one - 'incompatible print cartrige'

I too have had this problem less than 4 months after purchasing the printer.  All the other functions work as long as I remove the tri color print cartridge.  It vexes me that I contacted the customer service "helpdesk" and they ran through the same troubleshoot process as I did by reading it on the website.  No other assistance was given but I see that it is a common problem with this printer.  I hate I brought this all-in-one printer
zot Student
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎08-27-2009
Message 7 of 11 (6,685 Views)

Re: j4540 all in one - 'incompatible print cartrige'

Same problem.  I'm using the cartridge that came with this piece of junk.  It had been working ok.  Suddenly incompatible?
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎09-22-2009
Message 8 of 11 (6,382 Views)

Re: j4540 all in one - printing problems

Apologies for second posting:


I had to reinstall the printer on my Dell system because had no printing and no printer recognition. Using Plug and Play, the printer finally reinstalled. 


BUT NOW, neither the black printing nor the copier is printing. I can get some printing from the color cartridge but only when I set to print at the Best rinting setting.


Any suggestions on how to get back to a plain ol' printing in b & w?





Honor Student
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎04-23-2009
Message 9 of 11 (6,322 Views)

Re: j4540 all in one - printing problems

This thread is about incompatible printer cartridge problems, not black and whte/color printing.
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎10-18-2009
Message 10 of 11 (6,012 Views)

Re: j4540 all in one - 'incompatible print cartrige'

Mine is a F4240 I've had it for a few months (long enough for the warranty to expire) ran out of color ink, installed new (HP 60xl) cartridge. Worked fine then suddenly it is no longer compatible. Nearly new, nearly full, $40 HP cartridge. This is my first HP printer and from what I've been reading in the forums it will be my last. I guess it is time to go back to Brother. Never had this kind of problem with them.
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