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, Adele.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it. You must replace the color cartridges, there is no other option.
This is by design - the printer (and virtually every other inkjet printer) will not function with any cartridge empty. This is a protection feature, because if 1 or more colors goes dry, those corresponding printhead nozzles still heat up during use, and then they dry out and overheat, causing permanent damage to the printer.
Your only option to make the printer work would be to replace the cartridges.
However, for the cost of a new set of color cartridges, I would caution you against making even that investment.
This printer is significantly past its service life at this point and would be expected to fail at any time now. Investing in cartridges is probably going to be a waste of money as you will quite likely end up having to buy an all new printer in the very near future. I would recommend you consider skipping ahead and doing so now, you can get a brand new printer with a fresh warranty from a better quality brand (these dells have lots of hardware problems) for around $75, which would make more sense in the long run.
If you truly never use color, I'd suggest buying a black and white laser printer instead, it will be much more reliable and last longer, and you never have to worry about color ink, and the black toner cartridges will last for thousands of pages
A black only all in one laser is around $125: http://amzn.to/1JSHOlQ
Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,