Ink-jet cartridge or printhead problems.

Clogged Print head:
This can occur if you use an inkjet printer infrequently.

CLEANING SOLUTION: Buy any brand of ammoniated window cleaner. In North America that means either Windex original formula (not the new types or all surface types) or any generic "blue transparent" version but makes sure it has ammonia in it.

You may also use household NON-SUDSY ammonia and mix it one part ammonia to 9 parts water.

Once you have either the window cleaner or the diluted household ammonia, add about 8 parts of that liquid to 2 parts of isopropyl rubbing alcohol, either 70 or 99%, but make sure it is transparent, clear, isopropyl containing no additives such as skin conditioners or lanolin or other oils, or oil of wintergreen, etc.

Remove the cartridge and heat it with a hair dryer

HP Deskjet:
There used to be a clean printhead option in tools, but it was not there as of 2016.
People frequently have problems with black not printing.
See Solved: Black not printing - HP Support Forum - 2926025
None of the solutions worked for me. I spent 40 min on the phone with HP and they told me the printer was broke and offered me a bad deal on a discontinued model.
Potential causes:
  • Printing without ink or low ink can cause damage to the printhead.
  • Lack of use can cause ink on the printhead to dry.
  • It is not recommended to leave the ink cartridges outside of the product longer than 30 minutes. This could result in damage to both the printhead and the ink cartridges.
  • Print once or twice a week using all colors. This is more important as the printer gets older.

10 Biggest Printer Problems -- And How To Fix Them | PCWorld
More Printer Ink Tricks From Readers | PCWorld
INKJET411 | Home | Ink Cartridge Refill Help Center
HP Deskjet 2540 All-in-One Printer How to | HP® Customer Support
How an Inkjet Printhead Works -- 4, 5 & 6 Ink Cartridge Printers - YouTube
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last updated 22 June 2016