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I have the same problem & have been searching for weeks for a replacement printer that will print B & W with one or more colors empty. I haven't had any luck yet - I did run across a post that said: For black and white images and photos, a blend of colors called "composite black" may be used to achieve significantly better image quality and smoother gray tones than can be accomplished with black inks alone. I'm still searching...
Printer manufacturers design their printers to print some color mixed in with the black when you are only printing black. That is why your color cartridge is running out when you only print black and why it prints "weird colors" when the color cartridge is empty. Printer manufacturers sell the printers at a loss and make up the profit on the cartridges.
Black ink is an essential part of the printing process. The black color is only made by the black cartridge, the color cartridge does make "black".
One or more optional photo cartridges may be available, depending on your printer model.
Use the photo cartridge with a tri-color cartridge for best-quality color photos and graphics, and sepia or antique photos.
Choose a gray photo cartridge to print black and white photos with truer grays and richer blacks.
if you look at the options in the printer there should be an option to use the color cartridge to print black. How does this work? Well what the printer will do is mix all three colors to make a light black. This will eat up your color cartridge faster but is useful when you are out of black ink and you need to print