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HP Photosmart C5280 All-in-One Printer support

A 'Print cartridge alignment failed' Error Message Displays on the All-in-One

  • PrintPrint

Issue

During cartridge alignment, the error message 'Print cartridge alignment failed' displays on the printer control panel.

Solution one: Reset the printer

  1. Press the Power button ( ) to turn on the product.
  2. With the product turned on , disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  4. Wait at least 15 seconds.
  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  7. If the product does not turn on by itself, press the Power button ( ) to turn it on.

Solution two: Check the paper type, and then try to align the printer again

Follow these steps to make sure that the paper type is appropriate to print an alignment page, and then try to align the printer again.

Step one: Load the correct type of paper

  1. Remove all the paper from the paper tray.
  2. Make sure that you use clean, unused, plain white U.S. letter or A4 size paper, and then load the paper tray.
    Figure 1: Load plain white paper into the tray
    Image: Load plain white paper into the tray
    NOTE:Color, photo, or used paper can cause the printer alignment to fail.

Step two: Align the printer

  1. Press the Setup ( ) button on the printer control panel.
  2. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Tools , and then press OK .
  3. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Align Print Cartridges , and then press OK .
    The printer calibrates, aligns the printhead, and then prints an alignment page.
  4. When a success or failure message displays, press OK to continue.

Step three: Examine the alignment page

The alignment page should have both black and color print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
NOTE:The alignment page that prints might not look exactly like the one in the following example.
Figure 2: Example of a good alignment page
Image: Example of a good alignment page
  • If the alignment page looks correct and there is no error message , the issue is resolved, and you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page looks correct but the 'Alignment failed' error message still displays , the sensor in the printer might be faulty. Skip to the solution at the end of this document to service the printer .
  • If the alignment page is streaked, faded, or missing colors , continue to the next solution to check the cartridges.
    Figure 3: Examples of alignment pages that are faded, streaked, or missing colors
    Image: 		Examples of alignment pages that are faded, streaked, or missing colors

Solution three: Check the cartridges

Low or empty cartridges can cause alignment failures. Follow these steps to check the ink levels in the cartridges, and then replace any low or empty cartridges.

Step one: Check the ink levels

NOTE:Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When an indicator shows low-ink levels, consider having a replacement cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.
  1. Open HP Solution Center:
    The HP Solution Center opens.
    NOTE:You can also check the ink levels from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers , click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences , select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services or Service this Device if necessary, and then click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
  2. Click Settings ( ).
  3. Under Print Settings , click Printer Toolbox . The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click the Estimated Ink Level tab. The estimated ink levels display in a graphic on the computer.
    Figure 4: Estimated Ink Levels gauge
    Image: Estimated Ink Levels gauge

Step two: Replace any deleted cartridges

Follow these steps to replace any low or empty cartridges. If the cartridges are not depleted, skip to the next solution to clean the cartridges
Which cartridges you use depends on your country or region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer using HP SureSupply.
  1. Click this link, HP SureSupply .
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country or region location is correct.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Load unused, plain white letter or A4-sized paper in the tray.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the printer. If the carriage does not move to the right side, turn off the printer, and then turn it on again.
    Figure 5: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
    Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
  4. Lightly press down on the low or empty cartridge to release it.
    Figure 6: Press down on the cartridge
    Image: Press down on the cartridge
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the left to replace the tri-color cartridge.
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the right to replace the black cartridge.
  5. Pull the cartridge toward you out of its slot.
    NOTE:Recycle any low or empty cartridges. The HP Inkjet Supplies Recycling Program is available in many countries/regions, and it is free of charge.
  6. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging. Be careful to touch only the black plastic.
  7. Gently remove the plastic tape by pulling the orange pull tab.
    Figure 7: Remove the tape
    Image: Remove the tape
    1 - Copper-colored contacts
    2 - Plastic tape with pull tab (remove before installing)
    3 - Ink nozzles under tape
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not retape the cartridges. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure 8: Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
  8. Slide the new cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push the cartridge until it snaps into place. Repeat this step, if necessary, to replace the other cartridge.
    • To install a tri-color cartridge, insert it into the left slot.
    • To install a black cartridge, insert it into the right slot.
    Figure 9: Insert the new cartridge
    Image: Insert the new cartridge
  9. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 10: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door

Step three: Align the printer

  1. Press the Setup ( ) button on the printer control panel.
  2. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Tools , and then press OK .
  3. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Align Print Cartridges , and then press OK .
    The printer calibrates, aligns the printhead, and then prints an alignment page.
  4. When a success or failure message displays, press OK to continue.

Step four: Examine the alignment page

The alignment page should have both black and color print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
  • If the alignment page looks correct and there is no error message , the issue is resolved, and you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page looks correct but the 'Alignment failed' error message still displays , the sensor in the printer might be faulty. Skip to the solution at the end of this document to service the printer .
  • If the alignment page is streaked, faded, or missing colors , continue to the next solution to clean the cartridges.

Solution four: Clean the cartridges

Follow these steps to automatically clean the cartridges, and then try to align the printer again.

Step one: Use an automated tool to clean the cartridges

  1. Press the Setup ( ) button on the printer control panel.
  2. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Tools , and then press OK .
  3. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Clean Ink Cartridges , and then press OK .
    The printer cleans the cartridges, and then prints a test page. Discard or recycle the test page.

Step two: Align the printer

  1. Press the Setup ( ) button on the printer control panel.
  2. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Tools , and then press OK .
  3. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Align Print Cartridges , and then press OK .
    The printer calibrates, aligns the printhead, and then prints an alignment page.
  4. When a success or failure message displays, press OK to continue.

Step three: Examine the alignment page

The alignment page should have both black and color print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
  • If the alignment page looks correct and there is no error message , the issue is resolved, and you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page looks correct but the 'Alignment failed' error message still displays , the sensor in the printer might be faulty. Skip to the solution at the end of this document to service the printer .
  • If the alignment page is streaked, faded, or missing colors , continue to the next solution to replace the cartridges.

Solution five: Replace the cartridges

If you have completed all the previous solutions and the alignment page still looks streaked or faded, or is still missing colors, replace one or both of the cartridges, as indicated by the alignment page, and then try to align the printer again.
  • If the black areas of the alignment page look streaked, faded, or are missing colors, replace the black cartridge located in the slot on the right in the printer.
  • If the colored areas of the alignment page look streaked, faded, or are missing colors, replace the tri-color cartridge located in the slot on the left in the printer.

Step one: Replace the cartridges

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Load unused, plain white letter or A4-sized paper in the tray.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the printer. If the carriage does not move to the right side, turn off the printer, and then turn it on again.
    Figure 11: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
    Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
  4. Lightly press down on the low or empty cartridge to release it.
    Figure 12: Press down on the cartridge
    Image: Press down on the cartridge
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the left to replace the tri-color cartridge.
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the right to replace the black cartridge.
  5. Pull the cartridge toward you out of its slot.
    NOTE:Recycle any low or empty cartridges. The HP Inkjet Supplies Recycling Program is available in many countries/regions, and it is free of charge.
  6. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging. Be careful to touch only the black plastic.
  7. Gently remove the plastic tape by pulling the orange pull tab.
    Figure 13: Remove the tape
    Image: Remove the tape
    1 - Copper-colored contacts
    2 - Plastic tape with pull tab (remove before installing)
    3 - Ink nozzles under tape
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not retape the cartridges. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure 14: Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
  8. Slide the new cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push the cartridge until it snaps into place. Repeat this step, if necessary, to replace the other cartridge.
    • To install a tri-color cartridge, insert it into the left slot.
    • To install a black cartridge, insert it into the right slot.
    Figure 15: Insert the new cartridge
    Image: Insert the new cartridge
  9. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 16: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door

Step two: Align the printer

  1. Press the Setup ( ) button on the printer control panel.
  2. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Tools , and then press OK .
  3. Press the Down Arrow ( ) to select Align Print Cartridges , and then press OK .
    The printer calibrates, aligns the printhead, and then prints an alignment page.
  4. When a success or failure message displays, press OK to continue.

Step three: Examine the alignment page

The alignment page should have both black and color print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
If the alignment page prints correctly and there is no error message, the issue is resolved.

Solution six: Service the product

If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, you may need further assistance from HP to remedy your concern.
Please contact HP using one of the options found in Contact HP .
HP Photosmart C5280 All-in-One Printer

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