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Alignment Page Printed Before Every Print Job

  • PrintPrint

Issue

The printer prints one or more pages with lines and color blocks before every print job.

Solution one: Check the alignment page

Figure 1: Alignment page
Illustration of an alignment page
The pages printed before every print job are alignment and calibration pages. They are printed before every job because the printer cannot successfully align itself. This could be caused by poor print quality or a bad sensor in the printer.
Newly installed printheads must be aligned to the printer for best print quality. For successful alignment, a sharp, clear alignment page must be printed, and that requires unused, plain white paper. Colored paper, or paper that has already been printed on, even on the other side, can cause alignment to fail.
  • If paper is not loaded, the paper has printed text or images, colored, or no alignment page printed, see Step five: Retry alignment .
  • If unused, plain white paper is loaded, and an alignment page did print, check the alignment page. For successful alignment, the patterns on the alignment page must be sharply printed.

Solution Two: Clean the printheads

If the alignment page has streaks or missing colors, clean the printheads.
If you installed the HP software that came with the printer, you can use the instructions in the left column below. If you did not, you can use the instructions in the right column.
HP software is installedNo HP software
  1. Make sure the printer is loaded with unused white paper.
  2. Open HP Solution Center , then click Settings , then Printer Toolbox .
  3. Select the Services tab.
  4. Click Clean Printheads .
    Figure 2: Clean Printheads through Printer Toolbox
  5. A Clean the Printheads window opens. Click Clean .
    Figure 3: Clean the Printheads window
    After each stage of cleaning, a diagnostic page prints and another cleaning window opens.
    Figure 4: Page printed after every cleaning stage
  6. Another Clean the Printheads window opens. If the page that prints looks good, click Done in the Clean the Printheads window. If the page does not look good, click Intermediate Clean .
    Figure 5: Click Done or Intermediate Clean
  7. If the page that prints looks good, click Done in the cleaning window. If the page does not look good, click Advanced Clean .
    Figure 6: Click Done or Advanced Clean
  8. If the page that prints looks good, click Done in the cleaning window. If the page does not look good, click Clean Again to repeat the cleaning sequence.
    Figure 7: Click Done or Clean Again
  1. Press and hold the Power button ( ).
  2. Press the Cancel button ( ) twice.
  3. Release the Power button ( ).
    Cleaning takes a few minutes, and when it completes, a page prints. If the page shows no streaking, stop here. Otherwise, continue with the next cleaning level.
  4. Press and hold the Power button ( ).
  5. Press the Cancel button ( ) twice.
  6. Press the Resume button ( ) once.
  7. Release the Power button ( ).
    The second stage of cleaning takes a few minutes, and when it completes, another page prints. If the page shows no streaking, stop here. Otherwise, continue with the third cleaning level.
  8. Press and hold the Power button ( ).
  9. Press the Cancel button ( ) twice.
  10. Press the Resume button ( ) twice.
  11. Release the Power button ( ).
    The third stage of cleaning takes a few minutes, and when it completes, another page prints. If the page shows no streaking, stop here. Otherwise, continue with priming.
  12. Press and hold the Power button ( ).
  13. Press the Cancel button ( ) once.
  14. Press the Resume button ( ) nine times.
  15. Release the Power button ( ).
    Priming takes a few minutes, and when it completes, another page prints. If the page shows no streaking, stop here. Otherwise, one or both printheads must be replaced. Go to the procedure for replacing printheads, elsewhere in this document.

Solution three: Print and evaluate a Print Quality Diagnostic page

After cleaning (or if you are not sure your product requires cleaning), print a Print Quality Diagnostic page.
If you installed the HP software that came with the printer, you can use the instructions in the left column below. If you did not, you can use the instructions in the right column.
HP software is installedNo HP software
  1. Make sure the printer is loaded with unused white paper.
  2. Open HP Solution Center , then click Settings , then Printer Toolbox .
  3. Select the Services tab.
  4. Click Print PQ (print quality) diagnostic page .
    Figure 8: Print a PQ (Print Quality) Diagnostic Page through the Toolbox
  5. In the next dialog box, click Print .
    Figure 9: Click Print
  1. Press and hold the Power button ( ).
  2. Press the Cancel button ( ) seven times.
  3. Press the Resume button ( ) two times.
  4. Release the Power button ( ).
Figure 10: Print Quality Diagnostics Page
Examine the report for defects:
  • Figure 11: White lines in Test Pattern 2
    Illustration showing white lines through the black, red, and green color bars
    If any of the colored blocks in Test Pattern 2 show white lines, clean the printheads by the procedure in Solution two.
    Repeated cleanings might eventually fix the printheads. However, if after repeated cleanings there are still white lines through the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 (but no lines in the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3), replace the printheads by the procedure in Solution six: Replace one or both printheads .
    NOTE:If there are white lines through ALL the color blocks, and also white lines through the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3, skip to Solution four: Calibrate linefeed .
  • Figure 12: White gaps in Test Pattern 3
    Illustration showing white gaps next to arrows in Test Pattern 3
    If any of the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3 show dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, see Solution four: Calibrate linefeed .
    If, after calibrating linefeed, there are still lines through the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3, service the printer.
  • If all Test Patterns on the Print Quality Diagnostic look okay, discontinue these steps.

Solution four: Calibrate linefeed

If any of the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3 show dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, calibrate linefeed.
If you installed the HP software that came with the printer, you can use the instructions in the left column below. If you did not, you can use the instructions in the right column.
HP software is installedNo HP software
  1. Make sure the printer is loaded with unused white paper.
  2. Open HP Solution Center , then click Settings , then Printer Toolbox .
  3. Select the Services tab.
  4. Click Calibrate Linefeed .
    Figure 13: Calibrate Linefeed through Toolbox
  5. An Advance Linefeed Calibration window opens. Click OK .
  6. After calibration, print another PQ Diagnostic. If there are still dark lines or white gaps in Test Pattern 3, the printer must be serviced.
  1. Press and hold the Power button ( ).
  2. Press the Resume button ( ) three times.
  3. Release the Power button ( ). The printer prints alignment and calibration pages.

Step five: Retry alignment

If you saw and corrected defects on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page, retry alignment now.
If you installed the HP software that came with the printer, you can use the instructions in the left column below. If you did not, you can use the instructions in the right column.
HP software is installedNo HP software
  1. Make sure the printer is loaded with unused white paper.
  2. Open HP Solution Center , then click Settings , then Printer Toolbox .
  3. Select the Services tab.
  4. Click Align the Printheads .
    Figure 14: Click Align the Printheads in the Toolbox
  5. The Align Printheads window opens. Click Align .
  1. Press and hold the Power button ( ).
  2. Press the Resume button ( ) three times.
  3. Release the Power button ( ). The printer prints alignment and calibration pages.
After retrying alignment, try another print job. If no alignment page prints, the problem is solved.
If alignment continues to fail when the PQ Diagnostic page shows no streaks in the color blocks in Test Pattern 2, service the printer.

Step six: Replace one or both printheads

If, after repeated printhead cleaning, the Print Quality Diagnostic page shows white lines across the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 (but no white lines in the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3), one or both of the printheads will have to be replaced. The Print Quality Diagnostic page shows which printhead should be replaced.
Look at the color blocks labeled Test Pattern 2. Some of them should show white horizontal streaks (if none of the blocks are streaked, the printheads are okay).
  • Black block has lines – replace the Black/Yellow printhead.
  • Red block has lines – replace the Black/Yellow printhead.
  • Green block has lines – replace the Black/Yellow printhead.
Figure 15: Streaked black, red, or green color blocks - replace Black/Yellow Printhead
Illustration of streaked black, red or green color blocks in test pattern 2
  • Cyan block has lines – replace the Magenta/Cyan printhead.
  • Magenta block has lines – replace the Magenta/Cyan printhead.
Figure 16: Streaked cyan or magenta color blocks - replace Cyan/Magenta Printhead
Illustration of streaked cyan or magenta color blocks in test pattern 2
  1. Open the cover.
  2. Make sure paper is loaded in Tray 1.
  3. If the carriage does not move to the left automatically, press and hold the Resume button ( ) until the carriage moves to the left. Wait for the carriage to stop moving.
    CAUTION:Do not proceed until the carriage is on the left. If the carriage does not move to the left automatically, turn the printer off and back on and then try holding down the Resume button ( ) again.
  4. Lift the printhead latch.
    Figure 17: Lifting the printhead latch
  5. Lift the handle of a printhead, and use it to pull the printhead out of its slot.
    Figure 18: Pull the printhead out of its slot
  6. Before installing a new printhead, shake the printhead up and down at least six times while the printhead is still in its packaging.
    Figure 19: Shake the printhead
  7. Remove the new printhead from its package, and then remove its orange protective caps.
    CAUTION:Do not shake printheads after the caps are removed.
    Open the printhead and remove the orange caps
  8. Insert the printhead into its color-coded slot (the label on the printhead must match the label on the printhead latch). Press down firmly on the printhead to ensure proper contact.
  9. Pull the printhead latch all the way forward, and then press down to ensure that the latch is properly engaged. You might have to apply some pressure to engage the latch.
  10. Close the cover, then wait while the device initializes the printheads and prints the alignment pages.