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Scans are Blank, Totally Black, Have a Distinct Colored Tint over the Entire Scanned Image, or Display One or More Vertical Stripes

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Introduction

After scanning an image, the preview screen is blank, completely black; has a yellow, red, pink, or blue/green colored tint over the entire scanned image; or has vertical stripes that are black, white, or multicolored.
At the bottom of this document are links to other HP support documents that relate to specific scanner models and color tinting issues.

Solution

Follow the steps below. Start with the first step and if that does not resolve the issue, go to the next step. You might not need to perform every step.

Step one: Re-home the scanning carriage

The scanning carriage in the scanner may have lost the home position and needs to be reset.
  1. Shut the computer system off and then disconnect the scanner from the power source. Leave the scanner disconnected from the power source for at least one full minute.
  2. Reconnect the power and then restart the computer system.
  3. When the computer system has fully restarted, try scanning again. If the scanner functions normally, there is no need to continue with the other steps in this document.

Step two: Verify the shipping lock is fully disengaged

The scanner may have a shipping lock that prevents the scanning carriage from being damaged during shipping. Lock and unlock the shipping lock several times to be sure it is fully disengaged.
For instructions on unlocking the scanner, refer to the setup poster that came with your scanner.
If the setup poster is not available, find your scanner in the table below and follow the link for more information on unlocking the scanner.
NOTE: The HP Scanjet 3500c, 3570c, 4400c, 4570c, 5500c, and 5550c series do not have a shipping lock.
Click here (bps01057) (in English) for more information on What Should I do if the Scanner Makes a Grinding Sound? Click here (bps05050) (in English) for more information on Scanner Setup Poster. Click here (bps01057) (in English)for more information on What Should I do if the Scanner Makes a Grinding Sound?
Click here (bps03748) (in English) for more information on Setup Poster. Click here (bps02787) (in English) for more information on Installation and Setup Procedure for Windows 95 and 98. Click here (bps03270) (in English) for more information on Scanner Setup Poster.
Click here (bps03728) (in English) for more information on Setup Poster. Click here (bps01057) (in English) for more information on What Should I do if the Scanner Makes a Grinding Sound? Click here (bps01057) (in English) for more information on What Should I do if the Scanner Makes a Grinding Sound?
Click here (bps03625) (in English)for more information on Installation and Setup Procedure for the HP Scanjet 5300c Series. Click here (bps03625) (in English) for more information on Installation and Setup Procedure for the HP Scanjet 5300c Series. Click here (bps01057) (in English) for more information on What Should I do if the Scanner Makes a Grinding Sound?
Click here (bps03015) (in English) for more information on Unlocking the Scanner. Click here (bps03015) (in English) for more information on Unlocking the Scanner. Click here (nps05163) (in English) for more information on Scanjet Setup Poster.

Step three: Use the correct power supply

It is important to use the correct power cord with the built-in power supply for each model of HP Scanjet scanner. A power cord with a built-in power supply looks like an electrical cord with a small black box attached to it.
Using a universal power supply; using a power supply from another device, such as a printer or different model of scanner; or using a defective power supply can all cause the scanner to show a preview scan as completely black.
If the power supply in use with the HP Scanjet scanner is the correct power supply for the scanner, go to the next step.

Step four: Ensure the issue is not caused by Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI)

EMI can cause similar image quality issues. Verify that the scanner is not in the direct vicinity of the computer monitor and/or speakers. If so, relocate the scanner at least three feet away from the monitor and/or speakers and retry the scan.

HP Support forums

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