Question about HP Photosmart C5180 All-In-One InkJet Printer

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HP C5180 yellow cartridge empty

I have a C5180 all-in-one that says the yellow ink cartridge is empty. I've replaced it with new 2 times and it still doesn't work. I've cleaned the contacts as well as anything else that I can think of. Not sure how to clear this error and get it working again. Any ideas?

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  • bradncherie Nov 22, 2008

    Actually it won't print anything. It's locked up until I replace the yellow cartridge (exclamation mark is flashing). It won't even let me cancel out.

  • bradncherie Nov 22, 2008

    The old cartridge was pretty low, still had a little bit in it but probably did need to be replaced.

    When I put the new cartridge in it still says it's empty.

    It won't let me print a test page, just keeps the message up about replacing the yellow cartridge.

    I used alcohol to clean the contacts where the cartridge plugs in on the printer, I guess that might be the print head. Not sure of the correct language. :)

    It seems like the error message for the empty cartridge is stuck, but even when you display the ink levels it shows the yellow empty. Thank you for your help.

  • bradncherie Nov 22, 2008

    Well, I went through and uninstalled the printer and removed the old driver. rebooted and reinstalled but it still has the same message.

    So how bad is it if it is a sensor? Is that something I can replace?

    Thanks again for all of your help!


  • bradncherie Nov 22, 2008

    No warranty, we've had it just over 2 years.

  • bradncherie Nov 22, 2008

    Thank you for your help!


  • Anonymous Nov 23, 2008

    I had a similiar problem. I have the C5180 all in one It said I needed to change the magenta colored ink. I tried changing it 3 x and it kept telling me it was out of ink. I then changed the light magenta and now it works.So actually it was telling me one color and it was another.

  • vispieux Feb 21, 2009

    Hi, I have exactly the same problem as bradncherie. I have taken apart
    the printer because I thought it could have been a blocked pipe. It's
    not that. I see the yellow ink circulating in the little window just
    like all the other color. It must be a sensor but where are they? And how do they work?

  • Anonymous Feb 26, 2009

    I'm completely computer clueliss. My printer screen says, "Cannot print" then below it says "Replace the following empty ink cartridge(s) to resume printing" BUT the box is WHITE not a color. It says the printer does not have enough ink to ensure printer health. The empty ink carts must be replace to resume. I've changed ALL of them and it still won't print. What does a white box mean? Sure hope you can help.

  • NickyH1234 Mar 05, 2009

    Exact same problem - the yellow reported out - replaced the cartridge. Cartridge registers as still empty - yellow won't print even though there is ink in there. Cleaned the print head multiple times, Restored factory settings, reinstalled drivers. No luck. Other forums also report the same problem always with the yellow cartridge. It's a bug?

  • muzhik Mar 08, 2009

    Same issues... like others said, already replaced yellow cartridge, I guess HP wants us to buy new printers...

  • shirldick Mar 09, 2009

    I have the exact same problem with the same printer and the same yellow. I have changed the cartridge 3 times and cannot get it to work. I live in a small town with no repair service and the printer is 3 yrs old.

  • Anonymous Mar 11, 2009

    i have the same problem.........yellow ink is empty.....i changed it with 3 new ones.......have any one figure it out?????

  • muzhik Mar 14, 2009

    I've talked to HP Support and they said that it's "hardware" issue after they had me troubleshoot the printer's issue, they recommend that you buy a new printer... haha, since my warranty is out, i can't get it replaced thru HP, what a joke @ HP....

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2009

    hi fellow users. I have the same problem with the yellow ink cartridge and with NO solution from HP. So the sensor is defective and no parts to change it. so it is useless. what a lemon!!!!! Do the expert know if the part is available. The printer shell looks to complicated to un-assemble.

    Paramount Computers Ltd.

  • douchebagHP Mar 29, 2009

    A class action suit should be started .... I'm having the same yellow ink cartridge empty problems as above. 5+ hours of chat later netted me an offer to buy a new HP printer (because mine is out of warranty) - I will never buy anything made by HP again, and I highly recommend anyone considering HP to look elsewhere. Terrible experience on all fronts.

  • brianscot Apr 01, 2009

    My C5180 indicated the yellow cartridge was out and I replaced it with a brand new real HP catridge and the printer continues to indicate the cartridge is empty and needs to be replaced. I've tried putting the old one in again and then the new one, no luck. Tried cleaning contacts, resetting to factory defaults, still the same.

    I agree, there needs to be a class action suit filed against HP for their substandard products.

  • nosliw626 May 06, 2009

    I have the same problem. Tried replacing the yellow cartridge twice with new genuine hp ink. Called tech support but they had no answers except to uninstall and install the software. Tried resetting it but now it says all my color cartidges are empty.


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Thanks for everyone for posting there problem with HP C5180 with the yellow ink being empty. With out this I would not figure and made attempt to fix it. 
Credit to Longtimemacuser @

Same here-  I'm running into this problem for the second time in less than 3 weeks on my HP C5150. . Brand new cartridge installed, and it is fine for a day - then 2 days later, after NO color printing - it suddenly shows as completely empty.
Last month when I had the same problem, customer support suggested the following, which seemed to work.
(typos were theirs - I just copied and pasted):

Please try the following step's
Power your C5150 on and remove all 6 cartridges and close the cartridge access door
With your C5150 powered on unplug the power cord directly from the back
Press and hold the OK button and the HELP button down together while you plug the power cord back in
Keep the button's held down until the display screen goes blank then release the button's and power your C5150 back on
When you are prompted on the display screen to install the cartridges install all 6 cartridges and close the cartridge access door
Are you still getting the same message ?

I did the printer reset but I only removed the yellow cartridge. follow the on-screen prompt and this process will take about 3-5 minutes. When everythings done, suggest to clean the printer head

Hope this help 
Anthony L.

This should resolve the issue. If you need further assistance, please reply to this message and we will be happy to assist you further.

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Posted on Mar 26, 2009

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Class action lawsuit for a $200 printer...Better yet... I swear never to buy HP again!!! I'll be letting themm know that I am going to post this everywherer!!

Posted on Jul 05, 2009

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  • 84 Answers

When you say it doesnt work, do you mean it doesnt print yellow?


Posted on Nov 22, 2008

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  • Vincent Wright
    Vincent Wright Nov 22, 2008

    Hello bradncherie,

    I see, It certainly won't work without the yellow cartridge but after installing a new cartridge it should recognize that a new cartridge is installed and thus, work!

    Having said that I am still a little confused as to exactly when the problem becomes a problem for the printer so lets break a down a bit:

    With a new yellow ink cartridge installed, does it say it is empty or full?

    Was the Yellow ink cartridge actually empty when it complained about it being empty?

    What happens when you print a test page with a new Yellow ink cartridge?

    When you say cleaned the contacts, what contacts were cleaned? On the printhead or the actual ink cartridge?

    - Vincent

  • Vincent Wright
    Vincent Wright Nov 22, 2008

    Let's go ahead and uninstall the printer from your computer, reboot and re-install the printer. This really sounds like a sensor ssue with the printer but let's hope it's a faulty driver problem.

    If you need instruction on how to do this let me know.

    - Vincent

  • Vincent Wright
    Vincent Wright Nov 22, 2008

    I am not exactly sure if we could simply replace the printhead or if the printer needs to be replaced. Is it still under warranty?

  • Vincent Wright
    Vincent Wright Nov 22, 2008

    Well, this really looks like a mechanical issue and usually it's a matter of being under warranty or not to fix it. I would contact HP and see what they say.

    - Vincent

  • Vincent Wright
    Vincent Wright Nov 22, 2008

    Sure! Good luck to you and have a great weekend!


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You have to completely remove the printer software from your computer and then reinstall the software. That fixed the cartridge problem on my Photosmart 6200 series printer.

Posted on Jul 11, 2010

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I had the same problem last week. I contacted HP services, and they had me do some resetting to factory specs and I got it to print in color with YELLOW, however 4 days laters it is starting to flash the same error ... :Please replace yellow cartridge.

The tech guy told me it is likely a sensor problem. Anybody know where I can get a sensor so i can replace the damn thing ...

BTW, in order to reset your printer, disconnect the a/c plug, wait 30 seconds, hold down the setup bottom, and the OK button while you plug it back in. It will resync about 2 or 3 times.

If you get stuck, get a hold of HP Tech guys via chat ... they're quick and courteous ..

Posted on Mar 14, 2009

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Tried all of the above! HP Tech guys could'nt give me a solution. So I upgraded to a C6280. A good price and had it here in two days. Shirldick

Posted on Mar 14, 2009

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