Ink Cartridge Refill Help Center

OfficeJet J4500, J4600 & 4500 Printers

NOTE: “Empty” and “Low Ink” alerts are COMPLETELY NORMAL for HP 901 and 901XL ink cartridges which have been refilled!  While at first this may be an unusual workflow, it does allow print operations to proceed.

If you observe poor print quality, run the extended self test to evaluate and help resolve degraded ink nozzle performance.

HP 901 - Extended Self Test



Many of the HP 901, 901XL ink cartridge alert and error messages you may encounter using refilled ink cartridges can typically be overcome using the steps provided below.  However, in some cases a marginally performing cartridge might be considered faulty by the printer. In this event, printer error bypass and HP diagnostic test procedures have been provided to help you correct and/or diagnose the cause of failure.

HP 901 Clipped Cartridges_sm

Support Documentation: HP 901 Problem Resolution (pdf)



Cartridge Health Diagnostics Test:

  • Load Letter/A4-size paper into paper feed tray.
  • If any lights are blinking, first press Cancel to attempt to clear.
  • Press the * and # keys simultaneously.
  • Enter 124 at keypad (‘Underware’ menu should be displayed)
  • Use the arrow keys to navigate to the System Menu. Select Ok.
  • Use the arrow keys to navigate to the ‘print-mech tap test’. Select Ok. Should display  code = 0.
  • Use the arrow keys to enter code = 41 (or just enter 41 on keypad). Select Ok.
  • The test will print; refer to video below to analyze the printed diagnostic pattern.


Alternative Cartridge Error Bypass Procedure (Emergency Printing Only)

  1. Remove ink cartridges from printer:
  2. press 4 + # + OK simultaneously, this should display the Information Menu.
  3. Using the navigation arrow keys, go to CHECKSUM FOR RELOCK DATA INPUT
  4. Install both ink cartridges.
  5. Press Ok five (5) times.
  6. Exit by pressing the Cancel (X) Button.
  7. Attempt to send emergency print job thru to printer. If this doesn’t work the 1st time you may need to repeat 2 or 3 times to ensure relock data clears.


Advanced Diagnostics

To view advanced diagnostics tests for your printer, click here:

HP Printer Diagnostics



Poor Print Quality or Missing Colors:

If any streaks or missing colors appear on prints, thoroughly clean the cartridge’s electrical contacts and printer’s flex driver cable surface. If the cartridge is clogged then a warm water flush may be necessary to recover all colors. Click here for instructions.

Ink Cartridge & Service Station Cleaning


Partially Jetting Nozzles


NOTE 1: Replacing the ink cartridge is the best way to verify cartridge/printer performance.

NOTE 2: All cartridges being repeatedly refilled eventually do fail.  Some cartridges/printers may encounter an unavoidable mechanical or electrical failure which is unrelated to refilling.  Check for physical damage on the cartridge.  Look at the print cartridge and see if there are any cracks, tears or missing elements.  Any one of these can cause a failure.  In these cases, you will need to purchase a new cartridge and start the refill process again after it has run out.


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