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HP Officejet 6500 All-in-One Printer - E709a support

An 'Alignment failed' Error Message Displays on the Printer

  • PrintPrint

Issue

The error message '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: Load paper, and 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 tray.
    NOTE:Aligning the printer using colored, photo, or used paper can cause the alignment to fail.
  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.

Step two: Use an automated tool to align the printer

  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ) repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK .
  2. Press the Right Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press OK .
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
  3. Examine the printed alignment page. It should show all the color patterns—especially the black and blue patterns. The ink should not be streaked or faint.
    Figure 1: Example of a correct alignment page
    Image: Example of a correct alignment page.
    Figure 2: Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages
    Image: Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages.
  • If the alignment page looks good, and resetting the printer and realigning did not resolve the ‘Alignment Failed’ message, then skip to the solution to service the printer . There is no need to clean or replace the printhead if the alignment page prints correctly.
  • If the alignment page is missing colors or is faded or streaked, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Check the cartridges

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

Step one: Check estimated 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.
Check the estimated ink levels from the Home screen on the printer control panel.
  1. Look at the estimated ink levels on the Home screen of the printer control panel. The control panel displays the ink levels as "bucket" icons above each color marker.
    Figure 3: Estimated ink level indicators on the printer control panel
    Image: Estimated ink level indicators on the printer control panel.
  2. Identify any low or empty cartridges:
    • An exclamation mark (! ) in the bucket indicates a low or empty cartridge of the color marker below the bucket.
    • A cartridge that is not low or empty shows you its estimated ink level in the bucket above its corresponding color marker: Magenta, cyan, yellow, and black.

Step two: Replace any depleted cartridges

Watch a video or use the following steps to replace a depleted cartridge.

Video of cartridge replacement

The following video demonstrates how to replace a cartridge.
.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube .
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.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage stops moving before proceeding.
    Figure 4: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Press in the tab on the front of the cartridge, and then pull it out and up to remove it from its slot.
    Figure 5: Remove the cartridge from its slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from its slot.
    CAUTION:Do not lift the gray latch next to the carriage to install the cartridges. Doing so can result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing problems. The latch must remain down to correctly install the cartridges.
  4. On the new cartridge, pull the orange pull-tab straight back to remove the plastic wrap.
    Figure 6: Remove the plastic wrap
    Image: Remove the plastic wrap.
  5. Twist the orange cap counterclockwise to snap it off the cartridge.
    Figure 7: Remove the orange cap
    Image: Remove the orange cap.
  6. With the cartridge contacts facing the printhead, slide the cartridge into the correct slot. The color-coded icons on the cartridge and in the printhead indicate the correct slot.
    Figure 8: Insert the cartridge
    Image: Insert the cartridge.
  7. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks firmly into place.
    Figure 9: Press the cartridge into place
    Image: Press the cartridge into place.
  8. Repeat these steps for each cartridge that you want to replace.
  9. Close the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the right side of the printer.

Step three: Align the printer

If you replaced any depleted cartridges, align the printer again. Otherwise, skip to the next step.
  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ) repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK .
  2. Press the Right Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press OK .
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
  3. Examine the printed alignment page. It should show all the color patterns—especially the black and blue patterns. The ink should not be streaked or faint.
    Figure 10: Example of a correct alignment page
    Image: Example of a correct alignment page.
    Figure 11: Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages
    Image: Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages.

Step four: Make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and seated correctly

If the vent on the top of the cartridge is clogged or obstructed, the cartridge might not work properly. Follow these steps to make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and seated correctly.
  1. If the product is not already on, press the Power button to turn it on.
  2. Open the ink cartridge door.
    Figure 12: Open the ink cartridge door
    The carriage moves to the center of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before continuing.
  3. Press the tab on the front of one of the ink cartridges to release it, and then remove it from its slot.
    Figure 13: Remove the ink cartridge
    CAUTION:Do not lift the gray latch next to the carriage to remove the ink cartridge. Doing so can result in incorrectly seated ink cartridges and printing problems.
  4. Examine the vent area above the HP logo on the top of the ink cartridge.
    Figure 14: Vent area on the ink cartridge
    Image: Vent area on the top of the cartridge.
  5. If the cartridge still has the orange pull-tab attached, pull to remove it.
    Figure 15: Orange pull tab
    Image: Orange pull tab.
  6. If the vent is clogged, use a straight pin to gently remove excess adhesive from the vent.
    Figure 16: Clean the clogged vent with a pin
    Image: Clean the clogged vent with a pin.
    1 - Clogged vent
    2 - With a straight pin, gently remove excess adhesive from the vent
    3 - Unclogged vent
  7. With the cartridge contacts facing the printhead, slide the cartridge into the correct slot. The color-coded icons on the cartridge and in the printhead indicate the correct slot.
    Figure 17: Insert the cartridge
    Image: Insert the cartridge.
  8. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks firmly into place.
    Figure 18: Press the cartridge into place
    Image: Press the cartridge into place.
  9. Repeat these steps to inspect the vents on each of the ink cartridges.
  10. Make sure that each cartridge is firmly in place in its slot. Run your finger along the top of the cartridges to feel for any that are protruding, and if any are, press down firmly until each cartridge snaps into place.
  11. Close the cartridge access door.
  12. Try the print job again.

Step five: Align the printer

If you replaced an empty cartridge, cleared a vent, or correctly latched a cartridge , align the printer again. Otherwise, skip to the next solution.
  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ) repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK .
  2. Press the Right Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press OK .
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
  3. Examine the printed alignment page. It should show all the color patterns—especially the black and blue patterns. The ink should not be streaked or faint.
    Figure 19: Example of a correct alignment page
    Image: Example of a correct alignment page.
    Figure 20: Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages
    Image: Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages.

Solution four: Use an automated tool to clean the printhead

NOTE:This process uses ink to try to unclog and clean the nozzles in the printhead. This process might take a few minutes and uses one or more sheets of paper.
You should only clean the printhead if the alignment page is streaked, faded, or missing colors.

Step one: Clean the printhead

  1. Load letter, A4, or legal size, unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press the Setup button ( ).
  3. Press the Down Arrow button ( ) to highlight Tools , and then press OK .
  4. Press the Down Arrow button ( ) to highlight Clean Printhead , and then press OK . The printer cleans the printhead, and a test page prints once the printer is done cleaning the printhead.
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the cleaning process are normal.
  5. Examine the test sheet for print quality. Consider repeating the cleaning if there is improvement. Sometimes the printer requires several cleanings.
  6. Recycle or discard the test sheet.
  7. When the cleaning process completes, press any button on the control panel to return to the Tools menu.
  8. Align the printer again.
NOTE:If the printhead is badly clogged, you might need to clean the printhead several times to restore normal print quality.

Step two: Align the printer

Once the printer finishes cleaning the printhead, align the printer.
  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ) repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK .
  2. Press the Right Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press OK .
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
  3. Examine the printed alignment page. It should show all the color patterns—especially the black and blue patterns. The ink should not be streaked or faint.
    Figure 21: Example of a correct alignment page
    Image: Example of a correct alignment page.
    Figure 22: Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages
    Image: Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages.

Solution five: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all the previous steps and the alignment page still looks streaked or is missing colors, replace the printhead.
CAUTION:Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before removing the cartridges. HP recommends that you do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the cartridges.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you receive a new printhead assembly, cleaning materials, and a full set of new cartridges.
If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, you can purchase a new one online.
  1. Go to the HP Parts Store website (in English).
  2. Under Find your part(s) , type CN643A in the Search by part number text box.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to order the printhead assembly.

Solution six: Service the printer

These steps apply to all countries and regions except the Asia/Pacific/Japan region.
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 6500 All-in-One Printer - E709a

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