This type of HP 901 ink cartridge error ("Refer to Device Documentation", etc.) condition is likely an internal micro-electronic failure inside the HP 901 (or 901XL) black ink cartridge. These failures typically occur due to natural degradation of internal micro-electronics over time and can occur with brand new ink cartridges.
To confirm root cause and check the internal electrical condition of both black and color ink cartridges, please execute the 'Tap 41' cartridge's electrical diagnostic test below (refer to procedure B).
CAUTION: Be advised, the use of remanufactured ink cartridges is considered somewhat unreliable since the cartridges are already on their 3rd life when purchased new (off the internet or at select retailer stores). As well, the use of compatible/clone cartridges (i.e. sold thru the internet from China) are known to be problematic and may cause printer errors.
NOTE 1: Unfortunately, alignment pages and internal self test prints will usually print Ok even if the cartridge is internally electrically damaged. Do not use these test pages as a proxy for determining whether a cartridge is good or bad, only the 'Tap 41/43' diagnostic test report can yield this information.
A. Ensure BOTH carriage/flex cables and BOTH ink cartridge contacts are thoroughly clean before proceeding: http://inkjet411.com/?page_id=1519
B. Validate the cartridge's electrical health by running the 'Tap 41' diagnostics test. Refer to 2nd video procedure at the following link on how to activate and read the service test: http://inkjet411.com/?page_id=620
a. Load Letter/A4-size paper into paper feed tray.
b. If any lights are blinking, first press Cancel to attempt to clear.
c. Press the * and # keys simultaneously.
d. Enter 124 at keypad. The 'Underware' menu should be displayed.
e. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the System Menu. Select Ok.
f. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the 'print-mech tap test'. Select Ok. Printer screen should display "code = 0".
g. Use the arrow keys to enter "code = 41" (or just enter 41 on keypad). Select Ok. The Tap 41 diagnostic test pattern prints.
--- Providing the HP 901 (or 901XL) color cartridge is partially functioning the Tap 41 diagnostic test print will be printed (this is a forced service print test which is mainly used for the evaluation of ink cartridge electrical health - the printer will attempt to print the diagnostic test print). A good HP 901 color cartridge should display 1248 good nozzles, while a good HP 901/901XL black ink cartridge should show 336 good nozzles. If the results yield anything different then the ink cartridge is likely damaged and will need to be replaced. Refer to 2nd video on how to read the diagnostic test print: http://inkjet411.com/?page_id=620
---- If the printer attempts to print the diagnostic test pattern (1 page) then the printer is generally considered operational and functional, if nothing is printed, but the printer attempts to print the pattern, then the tri-color ink cartridge is either empty, clogged or severely electrically damaged (black ink cartridge is not used). You can remove the tri-color cartridge, reactivate the tap 41 test and the printer will print the diagnostic test print in black ink.
For more diagnostic tests and error bypass procedures, please visit the Inkjet411 support center: http://www.inkjet411.com
Hopefully this helps....