How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Russell H. Your Own Question
Russell H.
Russell H., Printer and Office Tech
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 11222
Experience:  11+ yrs experience, inkjets & lasers, from huge to portable
Type Your Printers Question Here...
Russell H. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My hp color laserjet 2840 won't print black when trying to

Customer Question

My hp color laserjet 2840 won't print black when trying to print a color page. It prints black fine if i send a page in grey scale and no color.
If I use the printer's color copy option the same result, a color copy void of black.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.

Hi, thank you for contacting My name is***** will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

I think that your problem may be owing to software on your computer - at any rate, it is to-be-tried. I am aware that you consider yourself to have eliminated the driver. You say that you used the Color Copy option... did you use the Copy Color button on the HP machine itself, and try copying a page with both color and black in it? I advise doing that, and seeing if, that way, the black is not reproduced in the page.

Also, please tell me what cartridges you are using, esp. the current black ink cartridge? are they HP-OEM-original or are they 'HP Compatible' or refills, remanufactured, rechipped, etc.?

What is your computer, a Windows PC or an Apple computer?

Which version of Windows (or MAC OS X ) is on it?

(If a Windows PC, what is its System Type? either 32-bit or 64-bit, and found in
Start - Control Panel - System and Security - System .)

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We used the Color Copy Button on the printer on a color image and only the other 3 colors correctly printed. If we select the Black Copy button and it copied correctly a grey scale version of the color image.The cartridges are HP brand.Computer Sony Vaio core i7 running Windows 7 64bit.Also, we have a number of computer on the network that used to be able to print in color of various windows OS. All of a sudden all computers lost the ability to print in color which initially had us checking to see if they all received some sort of update. Fortunately none of use allow windows to auto update and we selectively apply updates so this wasn't the case This again led us to believe it was related to the printer. One other interesting detail... about 2 weeks ago my computer was able to print in color late one night. The next day once again I wasn't able to print in color. I discovered that someone had turned off the printer that night so what ever was allowing the color capability was then lost...Regards,Tim
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the detailed rundown; that is a confusing set of symptoms and problems.

Check the Ink Levels, first, I advise. In an attempt to simplify the problem, we need to see if the black ink is low.

I have an idea about a simple root to this problem: the black ink may be running out, unrecognized at times because the cartridge is flakey, or it might be a 'HP compatible' cartridge rather than an HP-OEM-original cartridge... HP's cartridges (the genuine ones) are very precisely made to be recognizable and to eliminate the use of non-HP or non-OEM cartridges, so whatever black ink cartridge you have in the printer may be intermittently not recognized, instead of being low or out of ink.

In HP printers, when the black ink runs out, the printer can switch to using the three color inks together to produce a 'black' from a mix of all three colors. This 'mix' mode can produce grayscale printing and 'black' text printing. It helps the printer get past a running-out or other disabling of the black ink, but it runs down the color inks much faster.

So in short, for all these reasons, I advise replacing the black ink cartridge. I explained this in detail, in order for you to see why I make a simple recommendation for a complex problem... it might possibly amount to just that needing to be done.

And when the black ink is replaced, of course, replace it with a genuine HP cartridge.