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HP Officejet 6100 ePrinter - H611a support

Troubleshooting Print Quality Issues

  • PrintPrint

Issue

The quality of the printed text or printed image is not as expected. The solutions in this document help troubleshoot streaked or faded prints, prints without black or other colors, prints with blurred or fuzzy text, prints with ink streaks or smears, and many other issues with print quality.
Click the plus sign () next to your operating system for more information.
Follow these steps to change the print properties in Windows.
NOTE:If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, the information in this document might not match. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.
Garbled, illogical text, and incomplete printout (graphic)If you are experiencing garbled, jumbled or illogical text, incomplete printouts, or missing text or graphics, go to Continuous Pages of Strange or Garbled Characters Print in Windows .
Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
NOTE:Some of the following solutions require the full HP software. If you did not install the full software during installation, click here to go to the software and drivers page , and then download and install the full feature software.

Solution one: Use genuine HP cartridges

HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the following solutions might not resolve your print quality issue.
To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country or region location is correct.

Solution two: Allow automatic servicing to complete

Many print quality problems with black ink, such as poor black text or issues that occur with a newly installed black cartridge, clear up during the automatic servicing routine. There is nothing you need to do. The print quality should start improving in a few hours.

Solution three: Check the paper

Use the following guidelines to make sure that the paper you are using is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the product with an appropriate paper type.
  • Load the paper print side down in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides, like photo paper and other special media. Usually, the smoother side is the "print side," and sometimes the non-print side has a logo of the paper manufacturer on it.
  • Do not use wrinkled or curled paper. Load only clean, wrinkle-free paper into the product.
    Figure 1: Do not use wrinkled paper
    Image: Do not use wrinkled paper
  • Use the correct paper type for your project.
    • For everyday text documents, plain paper with ColorLok technology works well. Paper with ColorLok technology is industry-standard paper that works well with HP ink.
      Figure 2: Plain paper with ColorLok technology is recommended for text printing
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for the best results.
    • Some media may not absorb ink as well as others. If your prints smear easily, make sure you are using a recommended paper.
  • Store photo paper in its original packaging inside a resealable plastic bag. Store the paper on a flat surface in a cool, dry place. Load 10-20 sheets of photo paper only when you are ready to print, and then put the unused paper back in the packaging.
  • Try using a different paper. This will determine if the problem is related to the paper.
NOTE:Inappropriate paper usually causes vertical streaks in printouts. Do not replace cartridges to fix vertical streaks.
Examples of horizontal streaks and vertical streaks in printout
Figure 3: Horizontal streaks in printout
Image: Illustration of horizontal streaks in a printout
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks, or other print quality issues besides vertical streaks.
Figure 4: Vertical streaks in printout
Image: Illustration of vertical streaks in a printout
Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document, or search for a document that covers this issue.
After trying the preceding guidelines, try printing again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Check the print settings

Follow these steps to check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for the print job.
NOTE:The following steps include instructions to "click" an element on the screen to perform the task. In Windows 8, users with touchscreens can also tap those elements to perform the task.

Step one: Check the print quality settings

  1. In the software program you are trying to print from, click File, or click the Microsoft Office Button (), and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
  2. Select your product from the Name drop-down list, and then click Properties. The Properties dialog box opens.
  3. Click the Paper/Quality tab.
  4. Review the following options, and then make any necessary changes.
    • Paper size: Make sure that the selected option matches your paper size.
    • Media: If one of the options matches your paper type exactly, select that option.
    • Quality Settings: If you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, increase the print quality. To print more quickly, decrease the print quality.
  5. Click OK to apply the settings, and then click OK again to start the print job.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next step.

Step two: Check the Print in Grayscale setting

  1. In the software program you are trying to print from, click File, or click the Microsoft Office Button (), and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
  2. Select your product from the Name drop-down menu, and then click Properties. The Properties dialog box opens.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Under Printer Features, check the Print in Grayscale setting.
    • If you are trying to print in color, make sure that the Print in Grayscale setting from the drop-down menu is Off.
    • If you are printing a black-and-white image, select High Quality Grayscale to fix streaking in black areas.
  5. Select High Quality Grayscale to fix streaking in black areas.
  6. Click OK, and then click OK again to start the print job.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Check the ink levels, and then replace the depleted cartridges

The HP product might operate with depleted cartridges if certain conditions occur, but the quality of printed documents is affected. If the black cartridge is depleted, blacks are not as dark. If a color cartridge is depleted, printouts are in grayscale. Follow these steps to check the ink levels, and then replace depleted cartridges if print quality is unacceptable.

Step one: Check the ink levels

NOTE:If you installed a refilled or remanufactured cartridge or a cartridge that was used in another product, the ink-level indicator might be inaccurate or unavailable.
Use one of the following options to check the ink levels in the cartridges.
Print a test page to check the ink levels.
Follow these steps to print a test page.
  1. Load unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  3. Press and hold the Cancel button () for five seconds.
    The product prints the test page.
Figure 5: Example of a test page
Image: Example of a test page
Follow these steps to check the estimated ink levels from the HP software on the computer.
  1. Open the HP software:
      Click Start (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().
      Click the Windows icon (), click Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().
      Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().
      1. Right-click the lower left corner of the screen, and then click Search from the menu.
      2. Type HP in the search box.
      3. Click your printer ().
    NOTE:You can also open the HP software from your computer desktop; double-click the icon for your HP product ().
  2. In the HP software window, under the Shopping Resources heading, click Estimated Ink Levels.
    The HP Toolbox opens and displays a graphic of the estimated ink levels for each cartridge.
    Figure 6: Estimated ink levels
    Graphic: Estimated ink levels displayed in the Toolbox

Step two: Replace the depleted cartridges

Follow these steps to replace the depleted cartridges.
CAUTION:While cartridges are not damaged when left outside of the product, the printhead does need to have all cartridges installed at all times after the product is set up and in use. Leaving one or more cartridge slots empty for an extended period might lead to print quality problems and possibly damage the printhead.
  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the left side of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
    Figure 7: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Push in on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you to remove it from its slot.
    Figure 8: Press the cartridge and remove it from its slot
    Image: Press the cartridge and remove it from its slot.
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging.
  5. Hold the cartridge so that the cartridge contacts are facing toward the product.
  6. Slide the new cartridge into its slot, and then gently push it forward until it clicks into place.
    NOTE:Make sure that the colored dot on the cartridge label matches the colored dot on the slot.
    Figure 9: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot
    Image: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot.
  7. Repeat these steps to replace other cartridges, if necessary.
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 10: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Print and evaluate a Print Quality Diagnostic Page and troubleshoot defects

Follow these steps to print, and then evaluate a test page. The test page helps you determine if the HP product needs to be aligned, or if the printheads need to be cleaned.

Step one: Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Follow these steps to print a test page from the product control panel:
  1. Load plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  3. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () seven times.
    2. Press the Resume button () two times.
  4. Release the Power button (). The test page prints.
    Figure 11: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page.

Step two: Examine Test Pattern 1

Evaluate Test Pattern 1 on the test page to make sure that the lines are straight and connected.
Figure 12: Example of Test Pattern 1
Image: Example of Test Pattern 1.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, continue with these steps to align the printheads.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, skip to the next step to Examine Test Pattern 2.
Follow these steps to align the printheads.
  1. Load plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press and hold the Power button (), and then press the Resume button () three times.
  3. Release the Power button (). The product begins the alignment process. When the product completes the alignment process, it prints a test page.
  4. Print another test page.
Follow these steps to print a test page from the product control panel:
  1. Load plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  3. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () seven times.
    2. Press the Resume button () two times.
  4. Release the Power button (). The test page prints.
    Figure 13: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page.

Step three: Examine Test Pattern 2

Examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 on the test page.
Figure 14: Example of Test Pattern 2
Image: Example of Test Pattern 2.
  • If any of the colored blocks in Test Pattern 2 show white lines, are faded, or missing completely, continue with these steps to clean the printhead.
  • If the colored blocks in Test Pattern 2 do not show white lines, are not faded, nor missing, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
Follow these steps to clean the printhead.
  1. Load plain white paper into the tray.
  2. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () two times.
    2. Press the Resume button () once.
  3. Release the Power button (). The product cleans the printheads.
  4. Wait while the product completes the printhead cleaning process, and then print another test page to determine if the issue is resolved.
Follow these steps to print a test page from the product control panel:
  1. Load plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  3. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () seven times.
    2. Press the Resume button () two times.
  4. Release the Power button (). The test page prints.
    Figure 15: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
  • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 2, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If there are defects in Test Pattern 2, try cleaning the printhead again.
NOTE:To avoid issues that require printhead cleaning, always turn the HP product off when it is not in use. Make sure to replace any missing cartridges as soon as possible to avoid print quality issues and possible extra ink usage or damage to the ink system. Never turn off the HP product when cartridges are missing.

Step Four: Examine Test Pattern 3

Examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 3 on the test page.
Figure 16: Example of Test Pattern 3
Image: Example of Test Pattern 3.
  • If any of the colored blocks in Test Pattern 3 show dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, continue with these steps to align the printhead.
  • If the colored blocks in Test Pattern 3 do not show dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
Follow these steps to align the printhead.
  1. Load plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press and hold the Power button (), and then press the Resume button () three times.
  3. Release the Power button (). The product begins the alignment process. When the product completes the alignment process, it prints a test page.
  4. Print another test page.
Follow these steps to print a test page from the product control panel:
  1. Load plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  3. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () seven times.
    2. Press the Resume button () two times.
  4. Release the Power button (). The test page prints.
    Figure 17: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
  • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 3, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If there are defects in Test Pattern 3, try aligning the printhead again.
  • If there are still defects in Test Pattern 3 after another alignment, continue to the next solution.

Solution seven: Check the image

If there are no defects on the test page, the print mechanism and ink supplies are working correctly. There is no reason to clean, align, or calibrate the printhead or cartridges, or replace the cartridges. Instead, try these solutions:
  • Repeat the first steps in this document to make sure that you are using genuine HP cartridges and the appropriate paper type for your print job. Certain paper types might be incompatible with HP inks and printing systems. HP cannot guarantee the reliability of non-HP cartridges.
  • Make sure that the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Images that have been enlarged too much might appear fuzzy or blurry.
  • If the problem is confined to a band near the edge of a printout, use the software that you installed with the product, or another software program to rotate the image 180°. The problem might not appear on the other end of the printout.
  • Try printing the same image from a different software program.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution eight: Replace the problem cartridge

If none of the previous steps resolved the issue, replace the cartridge that corresponds to the defect on the test page. For example, if the magenta color block is streaked and printhead cleaning does not help, replace the magenta cartridge.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the left side of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
    Figure 18: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Push in on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you to remove it from its slot.
    Figure 19: Press the cartridge and remove it from its slot
    Image: Press the cartridge and remove it from its slot.
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging.
  5. Hold the cartridge so that the cartridge contacts are facing toward the product.
  6. Slide the new cartridge into its slot, and then gently push it forward until it clicks into place.
    NOTE:Make sure that the colored dot on the cartridge label matches the colored dot on the slot.
    Figure 20: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot
    Image: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot.
  7. Repeat these steps to replace other cartridges, if necessary.
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 21: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution nine: Service the product

If you have completed all the solutions listed above and are still experiencing a problem, continue to the Service the product section at the end of this document.
Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
NOTE:Some of the following solutions require the full HP software. If you did not install the full software during installation, click here to go to the software and drivers page , and then download and install the full feature software.

Solution one: Use genuine HP cartridges

HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the following solutions might not resolve your print quality issue.
To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country or region location is correct.

Solution two: Allow automatic servicing to complete

Many print quality problems with black ink, such as poor black text or issues that occur with a newly installed black cartridge, clear up during the automatic servicing routine. There is nothing you need to do. The print quality should start improving in a few hours.

Solution three: Check the paper

Use the following guidelines to make sure that the paper you are using is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the product with an appropriate paper type.
  • Load the paper print side down in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides, like photo paper and other special media. Usually, the smoother side is the "print side," and sometimes the non-print side has a logo of the paper manufacturer on it.
  • Do not use wrinkled or curled paper. Load only clean, wrinkle-free paper into the product.
    Figure 22: Do not use wrinkled paper
    Image: Do not use wrinkled paper
  • Use the correct paper type for your project.
    • For everyday text documents, plain paper with ColorLok technology works well. Paper with ColorLok technology is industry-standard paper that works well with HP ink.
      Figure 23: Plain paper with ColorLok technology is recommended for text printing
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for the best results.
    • Some media may not absorb ink as well as others. If your prints smear easily, make sure you are using a recommended paper.
  • Store photo paper in its original packaging inside a resealable plastic bag. Store the paper on a flat surface in a cool, dry place. Load 10-20 sheets of photo paper only when you are ready to print, and then put the unused paper back in the packaging.
  • Try using a different paper. This will determine if the problem is related to the paper.
NOTE:Inappropriate paper usually causes vertical streaks in printouts (or if the problem occurs on a copy, dirty scanner glass usually causes the issue). Do not replace cartridges to fix vertical streaks.
Examples of horizontal streaks and vertical streaks in printout
Figure 24: Horizontal streaks in printout
Image: Illustration of horizontal streaks in printout
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks, or other print quality issues besides vertical streaks.
Figure 25: Vertical streaks in printout
Image: Illustration of vertical streaks in printout
Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document, or search for a document that covers this issue.
After trying the preceding guidelines, try printing again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Check the print settings

Follow these steps to check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for the print job.

Step one: Check the print quality settings

  1. In the software program you are trying to print from, click File, and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
  2. From the third dropdown box, click Paper Type/Quality.
  3. Review the following options, and then make any necessary changes:
    • Paper type: If one of the options matches your paper type exactly, select that option.
    • Quality: If you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, increase the print quality. To print more quickly, decrease the print quality.
  4. Click Print to start the print job.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next step.

Step two: Check the Print in Grayscale setting

  1. In the software program you are trying to print from, click File, and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
  2. From the third dropdown box, click Paper Type/Quality.
  3. Click the Color Options tab. If you want color printouts, make sure that Grayscale is not selected (if the option does not display, then it is not available for the printer).
  4. Click Print to start the print job.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Check the ink levels and replace the depleted cartridges

The HP product might operate with depleted cartridges if certain conditions occur, but the quality of printed documents is affected. If the black cartridge is depleted, blacks are not as dark. If a color cartridge is depleted, printouts are in grayscale. Follow these steps to check the ink levels, and then replace depleted cartridges if print quality is unacceptable.

Step one: Check the ink levels from the control panel

Print a test page to check the ink levels.
Follow these steps to print a test page.
  1. Load unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  3. Press and hold the Cancel button () for five seconds.
    The product prints the test page.
Figure 26: Example of a test page
Image: Example of a test page
  • If the ink-level graphic shows any depleted cartridges, and you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, continue to the next step to replace the depleted cartridges.
  • If the ink-level graphic does not show any depleted cartridges, you do not need to replace the cartridges yet. Continue to the next solution.

Step two: Replace the depleted cartridges

Follow these steps to replace the depleted cartridges.
CAUTION:While cartridges are not damaged when left outside of the product, the printhead does need to have all cartridges installed at all times after the product is set up and in use. Leaving one or more cartridge slots empty for an extended period might lead to print quality problems and possibly damage the printhead.
  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the left side of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
    Figure 27: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Push in on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you to remove it from its slot.
    Figure 28: Press the cartridge and remove it from its slot
    Image: Press the cartridge and remove it from its slot.
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging.
  5. Hold the cartridge so that the cartridge contacts are facing toward the product.
  6. Slide the new cartridge into its slot, and then gently push it forward until it clicks into place.
    NOTE:Make sure that the colored dot on the cartridge label matches the colored dot on the slot.
    Figure 29: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot
    Image: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot.
  7. Repeat these steps to replace other cartridges, if necessary.
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 30: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Print and evaluate a Print Quality Diagnostic Page and troubleshoot defects

Follow these steps to print, and then evaluate a test page. The test page helps determine if the HP product needs to be aligned, or if the printheads need to be cleaned.

Step one: Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Follow these steps to print a test page from the product control panel:
  1. Load plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  3. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () seven times.
    2. Press the Resume button () two times.
  4. Release the Power button (). The test page prints.
    Figure 31: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page.

Step two: Examine Test Pattern 1

Evaluate Test Pattern 1 on the test page to make sure that the lines are straight and connected.
Figure 32: Example of Test Pattern 1
Image: Example of Test Pattern 1.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, continue with these steps to align the printheads.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, skip to the next step to Examine Test Pattern 2.
Follow these steps to align the printheads.
  1. Load plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press and hold the Power button (), and then press the Resume button () three times.
  3. Release the Power button (). The product begins the alignment process. When the product completes the alignment process, it prints a test page.
  4. Print another test page.
Follow these steps to print a test page from the product control panel:
  1. Load plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  3. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () seven times.
    2. Press the Resume button () two times.
  4. Release the Power button (). The test page prints.
    Figure 33: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page.

Step three: Examine Test Pattern 2

Examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 on the test page.
Figure 34: Example of Test Pattern 2
Image: Example of Test Pattern 2.
  • If any of the colored blocks in Test Pattern 2 show white lines, are faded, or missing completely, continue with these steps to clean the printhead.
  • If the colored blocks in Test Pattern 2 do not show white lines, are not faded, nor missing, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
Follow these steps to clean the printhead.
  1. Load plain white paper into the tray.
  2. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () two times.
    2. Press the Resume button () once.
  3. Release the Power button (). The product cleans the printheads.
  4. Wait while the product completes the printhead cleaning process, and then print another test page to determine if the issue is resolved.
Follow these steps to print a test page from the product control panel:
  1. Load plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  3. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () seven times.
    2. Press the Resume button () two times.
  4. Release the Power button (). The test page prints.
    Figure 35: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
  • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 2, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If there are defects in Test Pattern 2, try cleaning the printhead again.
NOTE:To avoid issues that require printhead cleaning, always turn the HP product off when it is not in use. Make sure to replace any missing cartridges as soon as possible to avoid print quality issues and possible extra ink usage or damage to the ink system. Never turn off the HP product when cartridges are missing.

Step Four: Examine Test Pattern 3

Examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 3 on the test page.
Figure 36: Example of Test Pattern 3
Image: Example of Test Pattern 3.
  • If any of the colored blocks in Test Pattern 3 show dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, continue with these steps to align the printhead.
  • If the colored blocks in Test Pattern 3 do not show dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
Follow these steps to align the printhead.
  1. Load plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press and hold the Power button (), and then press the Resume button () three times.
  3. Release the Power button (). The product begins the alignment process. When the product completes the alignment process, it prints a test page.
  4. Print another test page.
Follow these steps to print a test page from the product control panel:
  1. Load plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  3. Press and hold the Power button () while you perform the following button presses:
    1. Press the Cancel button () seven times.
    2. Press the Resume button () two times.
  4. Release the Power button (). The test page prints.
    Figure 37: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
  • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 3, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If there are defects in Test Pattern 3, try aligning the printhead again.
  • If there are still defects in Test Pattern 3 after another alignment, continue to the next solution.

Solution seven: Check the image

If there are not any defects on the test page, the print mechanism and ink supplies are working correctly. There is no reason to clean, align, or calibrate the printhead or cartridges, or replace the cartridges. Instead, try these solutions:
  • Repeat the first steps in this document to make sure that you are using genuine HP cartridges and the appropriate paper type for your print job. Certain paper types might be incompatible with HP inks and printing systems. HP cannot guarantee the reliability of non-HP cartridges.
  • Make sure that the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Images that have been enlarged too much might appear fuzzy or blurry.
  • If the problem is confined to a band near the edge of a printout, use the software that you installed with the product, or another software program to rotate the image 180°. The problem might not appear on the other end of the printout.
  • Try printing the same image from a different software program.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution eight: Replace the problem cartridge

If none of the previous steps resolved the issue, replace the cartridge that corresponds to the defect on the test page. For example, if the magenta color block is streaked and printhead cleaning does not help, replace the magenta cartridge.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the left side of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
    Figure 38: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Push in on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you to remove it from its slot.
    Figure 39: Press the cartridge and remove it from its slot
    Image: Press the cartridge and remove it from its slot.
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging.
  5. Hold the cartridge so that the cartridge contacts are facing toward the product.
  6. Slide the new cartridge into its slot, and then gently push it forward until it clicks into place.
    NOTE:Make sure that the colored dot on the cartridge label matches the colored dot on the slot.
    Figure 40: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot
    Image: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot.
  7. Repeat these steps to replace other cartridges, if necessary.
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 41: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution nine: Service the product

If you have completed all the solutions listed above and are still experiencing a problem, continue to the Service the product section at the end of this document.

Service the product

These steps apply to all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.
If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, service the product.
Determine if your product is in warranty or out of warranty. If you need help determining your product’s warranty status, go to HP’s Warranty Check Tool .
  • If your product is in warranty, contact HP.
  • If your product is out of warranty, fees might apply for contacting HP.
HP Officejet 6100 ePrinter - H611a

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