Yea, I agree with "USAFRet" If Epson says it's empty it needs to be replaced there is no work around besides buying a chip resetter, then even if there is ink left in it, you would run the risk of running it completely empty, which isn't recommended.
If the Epson status monitor shows that it still has ink in it (which from your post doesn't seem to be the case) you can run some head cleanings from the maintenance tab (Start/Devices and Printers/Right click-"Epson Stylus Photo R230 Series"/From drop-down click "Printing Preferences"/maintenance tab/Head Cleaning) intermingled with nozzle checks.
If the status monitor sees your ink cart as empty this won't work but, if it doesn't see it as empty and it does work do not do more than 3 cleanings in a row as that can clog your print heads worse. Cleanings will also use up allot of ink.
The R230 is a good printer but, like "USAFRet" said, it "is a quite old printer". Since your buying such an old printer I guessing you don't have allot of money to spend on ink supply's and Epson ink can get quite expensive so I suggest reading the tutorial I wrote on this subject below.
If your ink heads are clogged beyond what can be resolved with the normal Epson cleaning utility I'm also posting a 2nd tutorial I wrote on that subject however, keep in mind that you will also need ink cartridges that the Epson status monitor does'nt see as empty (reached the end of its life).
[faq]Aftermarket Inkjet Ink Supplies
I often see people asking about cheaper alternatives to buying OEM ink supplies and just as often they get incorrect responses, So hopefully I can clear a few thing up here. THE INKJET PRINTER MANUFACTURERS The makers of inkjet printers are... See full content