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HP LaserJet P1006 Printer support

Resolving Print Quality Issues

  • PrintPrint

Issue

Print quality or paper output is not as expected.
If you are experiencing any of the paper quality or paper output symptoms listed below, these solutions can help resolve most issues. Even if your symptom is not listed, these solutions might help.
Garbled, illogical text and incomplete printout (graphic)
NOTE:If you are experiencing garbled, jumbled or illogical text, incomplete printouts, or missing text or graphics, go to Resolving Strange, Garbled or Illogical Text, Incomplete Printouts, or Missing Text or Graphics (c01177917) (in English).
Sample defectSymptom
Fuzzy, blurry, or bold areas (graphic)Blurry, fuzzy, or dark print
Page with skewed print (graphic)Crooked or skewed output
Creased or wrinkled paper (graphic)Creased or wrinkled paper
Curled or Wavy paper (graphic)Curled or wavy paper
Printout with a character shadow (graphic)Character shadows
Distorted characters (graphic)Distorted characters
Dropped out text (graphic)Dropped-out text
Dropped edges (graphic)Dropped edges
Dull, faded or light text (graphic)Dull, faded, or light print
Gray shading or background (graphic)Gray shading or background
Vertical repetitive marks (graphic)Repetitive toner marks
Vertical lines or streaks (graphic)Streaks or vertical lines
Image with white vertical linesStreaks or vertical lines (photos)
Printout with smeared toner (graphic)Toner Specks (graphic)Toner smears, specks or other marks
Vertical white stripes (graphic)Vertical white stripes
Water droplets on the printed page (graphic)Water droplets on the printed page
NOTE:For unexpected print quality or paper output causes, see the Causes section.

Solutions

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.

Solution one: Adjust, reload, and change the paper

The most common cause for print quality issues is paper that is not compatible with the product. This can result in poor paper feeding, or in poor toner adhesion. Make sure that the paper or media type meets HP's specifications.

Step one: Adjust and reload the paper

  1. For the best paper-feeding conditions, make sure of the following:
    • Examine the paper for dust, lint, or signs of humidity. If the paper is dusty, too dry or too moist, replace it with fresh paper.
      NOTE:Extreme temperatures or humidity can directly affect paper quality. If you live in an area with extreme conditions, protect your paper supply by storing it in a plastic airtight container.
    • Turn over the paper stack, rotate it 180°, and then reload the paper into the input tray.
    • Adjust the media guides so that they are not too tight or too loose against the paper stack.
      NOTE:A small amount of skew is normal and might be noticeable when using preprinted forms. Largely crooked or skewed printouts can result if the guides are not fit snugly against the paper.
    • Make sure that the main input tray is in place, and that it is not loaded too full.
  2. Try again to print.
  • If these steps resolve the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to Step two.

Step two: Change the paper

  1. Change the paper to a high-quality paper that is compatible with laser printers.
    • If you are experiencing curled or wavy paper, the paper might be too light, too thin or too moist.
      Replace the paper with fresh, dry paper, or change the paper type to one with a heavier basis weight.
      You can also lower the fuser-temperature setting. To do this, see Solution five, Step 6.
    • If you are experiencing creased or wrinkled paper, the paper might be too textured, too thin, or too moist.
      Replace the paper with fresh, dry paper, or change the paper type to one with a heavier basis weight or a smoother texture.
    • If you are experiencing distorted characters, the paper might be too glossy or too textured.
      Change the paper type to one with a matte finish or a smoother texture.
    • If you are experiencing faded text, dropped-out text, or toner scatter, the paper might be too moist, too thick or too glossy, and is resisting the toner.
      Replace the paper with fresh, dry paper, or change the paper type to one with a matte finish or a smoother texture.
      NOTE:While small amounts of toner scattered on the paper is normal for laser printing, if large amounts of toner scatter occur, the paper might be resisting the toner. Some paper manufacturing processes can cause paper to reject toner.
  2. Try again to print.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

Solution two: Check the product environment

The product environment can directly affect print quality and is a common cause for print quality or paper feeding issues.
  1. For the best possible print quality, make sure of the following:
    • Move the product away from drafty locations such as open windows or doors, or air conditioning vents.
    • Make sure the product is not exposed to high temperatures or extreme humidity.
      • Very dry (low humidity) conditions can increase the amount of background shading.
      • Very wet (high humidity) conditions can fog up the laser scanner optics, cause drop-outs, cause uneven dark, light or fuzzy print, or leave water droplets on the printed page.
    • Remove the product from confined spaces such as a cabinet.
    • Remove anything blocking the top vents. Make sure that there is good air flow throughout the product, including the top.
    • Protect the product from airborne debris, steam, grease, or other elements that can leave residue inside the product.
  2. Try again to print.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

Solution three: Check the product connections

Devices attached between the computer and the product, or between the product and the wall outlet, can sometimes interfere with communication to and from the product. This can result in character shadows, areas of fuzzy or dark print, or toner marks. To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
  1. Connect the product directly to the computer.
  2. Connect the product directly to the wall outlet.
  3. Try again to print.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

Solution four: Clean the product

During the printing process, paper, toner, and dust particles can accumulate inside the product. Over time, this buildup can cause print quality issues such as toner specks, smears, or marks. To resolve this issue, clean the product paper path and paper width guides, and the pickup roller.

Step one: Print a cleaning page using Windows

You can clean the interior of the product by using the Cleaning mode function in Windows. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Load paper in the input tray.
  2. Make sure that the product is idle and that the Ready light is on steady.
  3. Open Printer Properties.
    1. Open the Printer or the Printers and Faxes folder.
      • Windows XP: Click Start, and click Printers and Faxes.
      • Windows Vista: Click the Vista icon (), click Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, and then click Printer.
    2. Right-click the product icon, and click Properties.
  4. Click the Configure tab.
  5. In the Cleaning Page section, click Start to begin the cleaning.
    NOTE:The cleaning process takes approximately 2 minutes. The cleaning page stops periodically during the cleaning process. Do not turn the product off or interrupt the cleaning process until it finishes and the cleaning page ejects. You might need to repeat the cleaning process several times to thoroughly clean the product.

Step two: Clean the pickup roller

  1. Turn off the product, disconnect the power cord, and then wait for the product to cool.
  2. Open the print cartridge door, remove the print cartridge, and then find the pickup roller.
  3. Release and remove the pickup roller.
    1. Pull the small, white tabs on either side of the pickup roller outward.
      Releasing the pickup roller (graphic)
    2. Rotate the pickup roller toward the front.
    3. Gently pull the pickup roller up and out.
  4. Clean the pickup roller with a lint-free cloth, lightly moistened with water.
    NOTE:Distilled, filtered, or bottled water is recommended for cleaning the pickup roller. Tap water might contain contaminants that can damage the pickup roller.
  5. Allow the pickup roller to dry completely.
  6. Replace the pickup roller.
    1. Position the pickup roller in the slot.
    2. Rotate the top of the pickup roller away from you until both sides snap into place.
      Reinstalling the pickup roller (graphic)
  7. Close the access door, reconnect the power cord, turn on the product, and then try again to print.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

Solution five: Check the driver settings

Try to resolve the issue by adjusting the driver settings.
NOTE:This solution might require the full HP software. If you did not install the full version of the software when you installed your product, go to the Software and Drivers page to download and install it now.

Step one: Check the printer default

  1. Open the Printer or the Printers and Faxes window.
    • Windows XP: Click Start, and click Printers and Faxes.
    • Windows Vista: Click the Vista icon (), click Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, and then click Printer.
  2. Find your product, and check whether it is selected as the default printer.
    • If the product icon appears with a checkmark (), skip to the next step.
    • If the product icon does not appear with a checkmark (), right-click the product icon, and select Set as Default Printer.
NOTE:If the wrong printer driver is selected when installing the software, this can result in toner marks or smears.

Step two: Check the paper type setting

  1. Right-click the product icon, and click Printing Preferences to open the Printing Preferences window.
  2. Click the Paper/Quality tab.
  3. Check the paper or media type setting.
    1. Find the Type is: drop-down list.
      Figure 1: 'Type is:' drop-down list in the Printing Preferences window
      'Type is:' drop-down list in the Printing Preferences window, Paper/Quality tab (screenshot)
    2. Select the paper or media type you are using.
      • For thinner paper, select Light, Thin, or Vellum.
      • For thicker paper, select Heavy or Thick.
      NOTE:HP does not recommend the use of heavily textured paper, extremely thin paper, or paper with a basis weight heavier than 90 g/m2 (24 lb).
  4. Make sure the paper or media type setting is appropriate for the fuser temperature.
    NOTE:Unlike ink printers, laser printers use heat to fuse a plastic toner to the surface of the paper. Make sure to use heat-resistant paper, and labels and envelopes that use adhesives compatible with the heat and pressure of the product’s fusing process.
    If you are experiencing any issues in the following list, adjust the setting.
    • If the paper is curled or wavy, try the following:
      1. Decrease the fuser temperature setting. To do this, select Light, Thin, or Transparency.
      2. Use the archive print feature to improve toner fusing. To do this, select Archive or Bond.
    • If the printout has areas of fuzzy or dark print, or toner scatter, increase the fuser temperature setting.
      1. Select Heavy or Thick.
        If this does not resolve the fuzzy, dark print, or toner scatter issues, use a lower basis weight or thinner paper.
  5. Click Apply.

Step three: Check the print density settings

Follow these steps to check the print density settings in Printing Preferences and in Properties.
  1. In the Printing Preferences window, click the Paper/Quality tab, and find the Print Quality section.
    Figure 2: 'Print Quality' section in the Printing Preferences window
    'Print Quality' section in the Printing Preferences window, Paper/Quality tab (screenshot)
  2. If you are experiencing any issues in the following list, adjust the settings.
    • If the entire page is too dark, change the dpi setting, and turn on EconoMode.
      1. Select 600 dpi from the drop-down list.
      2. Select the EconoMode check box.
    • If the entire page is too light, change the dpi setting, and turn off EconoMode.
      1. Select FastRes 1200 from the drop-down list.
      2. Clear the EconoMode check box.
  3. Click Apply, click OK, and then close the Printing Preferences window.
  4. Open Printer Properties. To do this, right-click the product icon, and click Properties.
  5. Click the Device Settings tab, and find the Print Density section.
    Figure 3: 'Print Density' section in the Properties window
    'Print Density' section in the Properties window, Device Settings tab (screenshot)
  6. If you are experiencing any issues in the following list, adjust the setting.
    • If the printout has areas of gray shading or a gray background, decrease the print density setting.
      To do this, slide the bar to the left.
    • If the printout has light, dull or faded areas, increase the print density setting.
      To do this, slide the bar to the right.
  7. Click Apply, click OK, and then close the Properties window.
  8. Try again to print.
    If these steps do not resolve the light, dull or faded issue, the print cartridge is almost empty. Skip to Solution eight: Replace the print cartridge .
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

Solution six: Print a test page using Windows

To test the product by printing a test page using Windows, follow these steps:
  1. Open Printer Properties.
    1. Open the Printer or the Printers and Faxes window.
      • Windows XP: Click Start, and click Printers and Faxes.
      • Windows Vista: Click the Vista icon (), click Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, and then click Printer.
    2. Right-click the product icon, and click Properties.
  2. On the General tab, click Print Test Page.
    The test page prints.
If the test page contains distorted or improperly formed characters, or produces a wavy effect, the print cartridge might be damaged. Skip to Solution eight: Replace the print cartridge .
If the test page prints normally using the control panel, but you are still experiencing print quality issues, see the next solution.

Solution seven: Reset the product

To reset the product, follow these steps:
  1. Press the Power button () to turn off the product.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  4. Try again to print.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

Solution eight: Replace the print cartridge

If after you have completed the above solutions you are still experiencing print quality issues, you might have a damaged, empty or incompatible print cartridge.
NOTE:HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. Genuine HP cartridges are designed and tested with HP printers to help you easily produce great results, time after time. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP supplies. Warranty does not cover product service or repairs required from the use of a non-HP ink or toner supply. HP recommends that you make sure that you are using genuine HP cartridges before you continue.
To check the cartridge compatibility for your product, go to HP SureSupply . To identify your cartridge type in a language other than English, click the language link that appears near the globe icon in the top right corner of your browser.
To replace the print cartridge with a new one, follow these steps:
  1. Open the print cartridge door, grasp the handle on the print cartridge, and then pull the print cartridge straight out to remove it.
    Figure 4: Remove the old print cartridge
    Opening the print cartridge door (graphic)Removing the old cartridge (graphic)
  2. Holding the new print cartridge horizontally, gently rotate the print cartridge from front to back to distribute the toner evenly inside the print cartridge.
    Figure 5: Rotate the print cartridge
    Rotating the print cartridge (graphic)
  3. Remove the new print cartridge from its packaging, remove the orange cover, and then pull the orange tab straight out to remove the seal.
    Figure 6: Remove the print cartridge seal
    Removing the print cartridge seal (graphic)
  4. Insert the new print cartridge into the product until it firmly locks into place, and then close the print cartridge door.
    Figure 7: Install the new print cartridge
    Inserting the new print cartridge (graphic)Closing the print cartridge door (graphic)
  5. Try again to print.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

Solution nine: Service the product

Contacting HP for service in 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 to obtain service.
  • If your product is out of warranty, Contact HP to find an authorized service provider or to setup service (fees might apply).

Causes

SymptomCauses
Character shadowsPaper quality is poor
Product is not connected directly to computer or wall outlet
Crooked or skewed outputPaper fed incorrectly due to paper type or poor paper quality
Media guides are too tight or too loose
Curled or wavy paperPaper quality is poor
Paper is too thin
Fuser temperature is too high
Toner fuser setting needs adjusting
Distorted charactersPaper quality is poor
Paper is too glossy or too textured
Product is not connected directly to computer or wall outlet
Dropped edgesPaper quality is poor
Dropped out textPaper quality is poor
Paper is too thick or too glossy and is resisting the toner
Print cartridge is almost empty
Print cartridge is damaged
Pickup roller is dirty
Dull, faded or light textPaper quality is poor
Paper is too thick or too glossy and is resisting the toner
Print cartridge is almost empty
Print cartridge is damaged
Print settings need adjusting
Pickup roller is dirty
Fuzzy, blurry, or bold areasPaper quality is poor
Extreme humidity conditions
Product is exposed to environmental conditions
Product is not connected directly to computer or wall outlet
Print settings need adjusting
Print cartridge is damaged
Gray shading or backgroundPaper quality is poor, likely due to extremely high or low humidity
Input tray is not correctly in place
Product is not connected directly to computer or wall outlet
Print settings need adjusting
Print cartridge is damaged
Toner specksPaper is too thick or too glossy and is resisting the toner
Print cartridge is damaged
Pickup roller is dirty
Paper path is dirty
Streaks or vertical linesPrint cartridge is almost empty
Print cartridge is damaged
Pickup roller is dirty
Paper path is dirty
Streaks or vertical lines (photos)Print cartridge is almost empty
Print cartridge is damaged
Product is not connected directly to computer or wall outlet
Toner smearsPaper is too glossy and is resisting the toner
Print cartridge is damaged
Repetitive marks, regular intervalsPickup roller is dirty
Product is not connected directly to computer or wall outlet
Vertical white stripes or bandingPrint cartridge is almost empty
Print cartridge is damaged
Scanner is dirty
Water droplets on the printed pageExtremely high humidity
Wrinkled or creased paperPaper fed incorrectly
Media guides are too tight or too loose
Paper type is too thin, too textured, or too moist
Media path is obstructed
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