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John, Computer Science Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 5077
Experience:  CompTIA A+ & Microsoft Certified Professional with 15 years of experience repairing computers and printers.
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My 6510 is not printing black. It's not under warranty. I've

Customer Question

My 6510 is not printing black. It's not under warranty. I've done everything the HP support site suggested. I'm out of options and frustrated. I have a job interview on Monday and can't print my resume unless I change the text from black to a color.
JA: Can you guesstimate how old your HP is? And just to clarify, what's the exact model?
Customer: Photosmart 6510 B211a Serial # CN1AS430R905QB Several years old
JA: What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: EVERYTHING on the HP website. Checked ink levels, I use genuine HP cartridges, uninstalled software and drivers, re-installed software and drivers. Cleaned print heads several times, still no black.
JA: The printer expert can solve this for you. Anything else you want him to know before I connect you two?
Customer: No, ready to chat to printer expert
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.

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

I realize the situation must be frustrating, and I think I might be able to help. I know a procedure that, when followed with a little patience and attention, can help with this problem:

In outline:

1. Clean the (black) printhead.

2. Wait 1/2 hour to several hours or overnight, leaving the printer On but unused (no print jobs, etc.)

This allows waste ink to soak into the printhead and hopefully dissolve dried ink etc.

3. Clean the printhead a second time.

4. Wait again (as in step 2 above) for 1/2 hr. to several hrs., printer On but unused.

5. Clean the printhead a third time.

Then test whether black ink is showing up at all in prints at this point. If it is, even faintly, then repeating this procedure will (eventually, at the cost of a certain amount of ink wasted in the process) clear up the clogged printhead.

After that fails, if it does fail, what you need to do is to decide whether replacing the printhead (which will cost something considerable, more than you would think usually) is better, given the printer's age, or whether it would be more preferable for you to replace the printer altogether with a new one (and hopefully recycle the old printer, always a good idea.)

So try the triple-cleaning-with-wait-times that I recommended, and get back to me if it doesn't work for you (so I can advise you further...)... or if it does help (- I always like to hear that something I recommended has worked!)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When you suggest cleaning the printhead, do you mean through the HP Printer Assistant or manually?
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.

Not manually. Use the operation called Printhead Cleaning in your HP software.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay I will try that.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.

Let me know the result. It takes a little time and some ink... but it can (and often does) get the ink flowing again.