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HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One Printer - C309a support

An 'Alignment failed' Error Message Displays on the All-in-One

  • PrintPrint

Issue

While aligning the printer, the error message 'Alignment failed' displays on the printer control panel. The following issues might also accompany the issue:
  • The printer ejects blank pages
  • A related error message, such as 'Paper mismatch' or 'Paper too narrow' , displays on the control panel
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: Make sure that the correct paper is loaded

Follow these steps in the order presented to resolve the issue.

Step one: Load the correct paper

If the tray contains colored, photo, or used paper, the alignment fails.
  1. Remove all the paper from the tray.
  2. Load unused, plain white letter, or A4-sized paper with a brightness level of at least 85 into the tray.
    NOTE:Look for the brightness level on the paper packaging.
    Figure 1: Load paper in the tray
    Illustration: Load paper  in the tray

Step two: Align the printer

Use one of the following methods to align the printer.
  1. Press the Setup button ( ) on the printer control panel.
  2. Press the Down Arrow button ( ) to select Tools , and then press the OK button.
  3. Press the Down Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press the OK button.
  1. Open HP Solution Center:
    • Windows XP: Click Start , click All Programs , click HP , and then click HP Solution Center .
    • Windows Vista or Windows 7: Click the Windows icon ( ), click All Programs , click HP , and then click HP Solution Center .
    The HP Solution Center opens.
  2. Click Settings ( ).
  3. Under Print Settings , click Printer Toolbox . The Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click the Device Services tab.
  5. Click Align the Print Cartridges , and then click OK .
When the alignment is complete, the printer prints an alignment page and displays a message that indicates the alignment status.
Figure 2: An example of a good alignment page
Image: An example of a good alignment page
  • If your alignment page looks like the example , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If your alignment page does not look like the example , continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Check the cartridges

Follow these steps in the order given to make sure that the cartridges operate correctly.

Step one: Check the ink levels

Empty or nearly empty cartridges can cause alignment failures. Follow these steps in the order presented to check the ink levels in the cartridges.
Use one of the following methods to check ink levels in the cartridges.
NOTE:If the printer has a refilled or remanufactured cartridge, or a cartridge previously used in another printer, the ink level indicators display inaccurate or missing information.
  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ).
  2. Press the Down Arrow button ( ) to select Tools , and then press OK .
  3. Press OK to select Display Estimated Ink Levels . The control panel displays the estimated ink level of each cartridge.
  1. Open HP Solution Center:
    • Windows XP : Click Start , click All Programs , click HP , and then click HP Solution Center .
    • Windows Vista and Windows 7 : Click the Windows icon ( ), click All Programs , click HP , and then click HP Solution Center .
    HP Solution Center opens in a new window.
  2. In HP Solution Center, click Settings , and then click Printer Toolbox . The Printer Toolbox opens.
    NOTE:You can also open the Printer Toolbox from the Print Properties dialog box. In the Print dialog box, click Properties , click the Features tab, and then click Printer Services .
  3. Click the Estimated Ink Levels tab. The estimated ink levels display.
    Figure 3: Example of an estimated ink level chart
    Illustration of Estimated Ink Level chart

Step two: Remove and reinstall the cartridges

One or more of the cartridges might not have full electrical contact with the printer. Removing and reinstalling the cartridges might help.
Important : Before you begin, make sure that the cartridges are compatible with your printer.
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.
NOTE:For the United States only, go to the HP Home & Home Office Store .
  1. 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. Grasp the access handles on the sides of the printer to open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer.
    Figure 4: Open the cartridge door
    Illustration: Open the cartridge  door.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  4. Press in the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then pull up on the cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Figure 5: Remove the cartridge from the slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from the slot
  5. Reinstall the cartridges with the contacts facing down, and then slide the cartridge into its slot.
  6. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks into place.
    Figure 6: Insert the cartridge
    Image: Insert the cartridge
  7. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 7: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
  8. Press the Power button ( ) to turn on the printer if it does not turn on automatically.

Step four: Clean the printhead

Follow these steps to clean the printhead from the printer control panel.
  1. If the error message remains on the control panel display, press the OK button to clear it.
  2. Press the Setup button ( ) on the printer control panel.
  3. Press the Down Arrow button ( ) to select Tools , and then press the OK button.
  4. Press the Down Arrow button ( ) to select Clean Printhead , and then press the OK button.
The printer cleans the printhead and prints a test page.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Reset the printer

A power reset drains power from the printer and returns the printer to the same settings after restarting. To eliminate any potential power deficiencies that might prevent a successful alignment, move the printer to another location and plug it directly into a wall outlet. Follow these steps to reset your 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.
  • If these steps resolved the issue , you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Replace the printhead assembly

The printhead assembly might need to be replaced. Click here for complete instructions for Replacing the Printhead Assembly .

Solution five: Service the printer

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 Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One Printer - C309a

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