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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 25833
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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I only want to make black and copies but the printer keeps

Customer Question

I only want to make black and white copies but the printer keeps running out of the color cartridges, why?
JA: What is the exact make and model of your printer? And what kind of cartridges are you using?
Customer: HP officejet 950 for the black and HP officejet 951 for the color. My printer is a 860
JA: What kind of computer are you printing from (Mac or PC)? What Operating System (OS) are you running?
Customer: PC
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: It had a pop up that said I had to replace the black depleted cartridge to resume printing and so I ran to the store and purchase on for 37.97 and now its telling me I must replace the color cartridges as well
JA: Anything else you want the printer expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 11 months ago.

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble with this but I'll do my best to help you.

Expert:  Nathan replied 11 months ago.

Unfortunately what you are wanting to do is not possible.

The printer requires that ALL cartridges be present and available for use, even if you are not actively printing in color.

The reason for this is to protect the printer from damage. If you tried to print in black only with a color cartridge empty, those adjacent nozzles would overheat and become permanently damaged. The color ink is necessary also for normal maintenance (cleaning and purging) operations so some gets used regularly even if you aren't actively printing in color.

You will need to replace the color inks to proceed with black.

If you only ever really need black, you may be better off investing in a new printer, a black only model would be much more economical, as a toner cartridge will last for thousands of pages.

A black only all in one laser is around $125:

My apologies for the news.

If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please take a moment to rate my service as this is the only way I am credited for my time. Hopefully I have earned 5 Stars but if not please let me know what I can do to ensure you are satisfied. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at and ask for Nathan.

Thank you, ***** ***** a nice day,


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I will return my printer to Costco and share by bad experience with management. Shame on your company for making a machine designed to use ink which you don't need. HP has lost my future business...
Expert:  Nathan replied 11 months ago.

This is not just a HP issue.

I share your sentiment, and I honestly would not recommend any HP product because of other quality problems, but this is an inherent part of inkjet printer design for all printer brands, not just HP.

If you can return it, I certainly would.

Expert:  Nathan replied 11 months ago.

To be clear, as you mentioned "your company", I do not work for HP. This is a paid 3rd party support service. HP would not even discuss this issue with you, they only support their printers for the first few months, and would not even let you call them to ask questions about their products at this point, one of the many reasons I will not recommend their printers.


Please note:

I am an independent technician and I've spent my personal time, unpaid, in an effort to assist with the question for which you solicited my services. This site works on the honor system, and to that end, I have prioritized working with you ahead of other paying customers.

Although you’ve already paid your fee to the site, I am only compensated for my efforts when customers such as yourself leave positive feedback for my work. I apologize this is not the outcome you had hoped for, though this is really beyond either of our control. I do hope you’ll consider leaving a 5 star rating for me, rather than “shoot the messenger”, so that I may get credit for my time spent in good faith to answer your question accurately. Rating 1 or 2, or not rating at all, does not produce a refund, it only penalizes me for trying to help.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I thought I was talking to HP wow is everybody out there a scam
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I will let my bank know about the scam stop wasting my time
Expert:  Nathan replied 11 months ago.

No, this is not HP. As I mentioned, HP does not support their printers and they would not even talk to you at this point.

This is not a scam, it is a legitimate support service, where you came to this site, signed up and paid your fee, and posted your question.

I'm just the tech who happened to respond, under the fees you agreed to and paid.

I am sorry if this is not the answer you were hoping to hear about your printer, but that is really a HP issue, and I do hope you won't penalize me personally for taking the time to help you.

Expert:  Nathan replied 11 months ago.


Expert:  Nathan replied 11 months ago.

Hello, it appears your question is still open.

Do you need more help with this?
If so, just reply back on this page. If I’ve answered your question, please let me know you are satisfied, to conclude our session.

Please note: You have already paid your fee to the site; I'd like to help you and provide value for that fee, but I do need to communicate with you here to do so.