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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 19581
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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HP Photosmart 7515. This has been a great printer. However,

Customer Question

HP Photosmart 7515. This has been a great printer. However, now when I try to print, it will only print the part in color, not in black. I have inserted new black cartridges, to no avail. I also cleaned the cartridges. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 months ago.

Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble.

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head (or the logic board that controls it).

You can try going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function repeatedly, up to 5 times total, testing after each.

If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning as a next step.

I have to caution you up front though that the manual cleaning process is messy and time consuming. It also has a low chance of success, if you see no improvement at all from the automated cleaning. It is most likely a hardware failure (bad head) which the cleaning can’t fix, as printheads are a wear item and do fail with time/use.

Realistically, it’s probably time for a new printer. As this is a 2011 model printer, it is well past its 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising. While it can be fixed, it is not worthwhile to do so. You would have to, at a minimum, replace the printhead, which costs about $85; if the logic board is bad you’re looking at $200-250. For $80-100 you can replace the entire machine with a brand new model, with current technology and a fresh warranty, which makes more sense than buying the new part for an older printer.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, if you wish. Let me know how the built in cleaning function works, and I’ll guide you through the manual steps next, or I can recommend replacement options if you prefer.

Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Do you have a HP printer that you would recommend? This would just be for home use and would be tied into 3 computers. One immediate disclaimer is that my wife and I are "techno-terrorists" and as such are not conversant with the nuances of most appliances, printers included. Does one buy directly from HP or just go to Best Buy et al?
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 months ago.

Honestly there is not a single HP inkjet model I'd recommend. They have gone down considerably in quality over the years.

If looking for a replacement, I’d recommend any of the Epson workforce series printers. They tend to be very reliable, are easy to set up and use, have good print quality, and reasonably priced ink. Example: or

Note that these, like all consumer grade inkjet printers, are designed to be low cost and are essentially disposable after a few years, subsidized by the high cost of ink cartridges. If you wish to have a better quality and longer lasting printer, that comes with years worth of ink up front, consider the Epson ecotank models instead:

Alternately, for a more business/commercial grade product that will be rated for a 5 year life, consider a laser printer. Lasers cost more up front also, but a toner cartridge can last for thousands of pages. A black only all in one laser is around $125:

while a color model is about twice that:

If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please take a moment to rate my service using the stars at the top of the page; hopefully I have earned 5 Stars. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at and ask for Nathan.

Thank you, ***** ***** a good day,


Expert:  Nathan replied 4 months ago.

Do you need more help with this?