I have an HP Photosmart C4680 printer that was given to me by a third party. It is missing the 2 print cartridges. Is there a way I can determine if the printer actually works before I go out and buy 2 printer cartridges?

You could buy a couple of cheap third party cartridges to try it but why bother? The price of a new printer with ink cartidges is often the same or less than you'll pay for a couple of replacement cartridges.

Are you trying to tell us that when the ink carterage runs out of ink we should just buy another printer a couple hundred dollars instead of a new ink carterage for $25.00USD?

I think he is saying that instead of spending $50 for two new cartridges we are better off topping up our landfills with single-use printers by buying a new one whenever the ink runs dry.

It may seem cheaper to buy a new printer, but the ink that comes with the printer is usuall a "starter" pack. These "starter" packs usually contain 1/4 of the ink that is included in the "XL" packs.

@bastrop52, unforutnately, if the cartidges are missing, the printer wont allow you to print. If they were in the printer, even if they are empty, you could at least test to make sure the printer responds to the OS and attempts to print the page.

That's what I assumed, JorgeM, but I thought there might be a way to "fool" the printer to see if it would at least respond in some way to make me think it would print.

Well, come to think of it, if you install the printer and use the Generic/Text driver, it may work, in the sense that the printer may try to print even if there is no cartridge. Its worth a try.

However, I suppose if you use an HP driver, the printer will inform the OS that there is no ink and therefore, you wouldnt be able to print.

What does the third-party say? Does he/she know if it works?

With HP Printers the print-head is built into the ink cartridge. So, your biggest concern is the mechanics of the rest of the printer. Do the rollers still pull in the paper, etc, etc... (that isn't a question) Three people who had bought them through Amazon (their comments are at the bottom of that page) said the printer was cheap to purchase, but had a veracious appetite for ink, and an unreliable paper-feed system. There is another review at PC Mag.

If you need a printer, I would suggest getting a new one, put your money into something certain and avoiding HP's and other like printers. You would get more value for money if you had a printer were the print-head isn't built into the cartridge. For example, for donkey's years I've only ever had Epson Printers. I like to use refillable cartridges and buy bottles of ink on ebay for a few £'s. But I do a lot of printing.

Buy some empty used cartridges from Ebay, see if the printer comes to life, and if so, refill the carts.
Empties can be had for as little as $5.00 delivered.
If the printer does not work, sell off the parts on ebay to recoup your investment.

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