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The printer requires both cartridges to have ink before the printer will initialize and operational. Even if you are only printing black and white both cartridge have to contain ink or the printer will error out. This is standard on all ink jet printers from every manufacturer. You will have to get ink before you can print.
In short, No. This is a safety feature built into ink jet printers in most cases. There are some older Lexmark and HP printers that will print the other colors even though 1 Cartridge is empty however these are slowly leaving the market.
Take out the black cartridge once you've determined that you are completely out of black ink. You'll have to rely on the dark hues from the color cartridge to print in black.
Adjust the printer software settings. Once you take out the black cartridge, your printer's software will typically warn you that you are missing a cartridge. Follow the instructions for your printer to allow the printer to print without the black cartridge. Then set the printer to print in black and white, not color. This overrides the black cartridge and allows the printer to access the dark hues of the color cartridge.
Print a test page to ensure that your printer now prints black using the color cartridge.
Print your documents. Bear in mind that your documents may not appear as black as normal. Still, they should be dark enough to pass for black, depending on how much color ink you have and the strength grade of the ink.
Your printer creates it's black by using ALL the colours together. This effectively gives a very dark purple rather than black.
It sounds like you have a colour cart that is drying up or may be struggling to get enough air into the cartridge. Make sure you have removed any tape over the vent holes if you are using compatible inks. If not then try running a couple cleaning cycles via the button panel/driver.
If you alter the settings in the driver by going into START - PRINTERS AND FAXES and then right click on your 2610 and select PROPERTIES - the changes you make in here will be set as the default settings for each print job.