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HP Photosmart C4180 All-in-One Printer support

Resolving Copy Quality Problems

  • PrintPrint
This document applies to the following series:
  • HP Officejet 4311, 4312, 4314, 4315, 4315v, 4315xi, 4317, 4319, 4308, 4338, 4352, 4353, 4355, 4357, and 4359 All-in-Ones
  • HP Officejet 6301, 6304, 6305, 6307, 6308, 6310, 6310v, 6310xi, 6313, 6315, and 6318 All-in-Ones
  • HP Photosmart 2570, 2571, 2573, 2574, 2575, 2575a, 2575v, 2575xi, and 2578 All-in-Ones
  • HP Photosmart C3110, C3125, C3135, C3140, C3150, C3170, C3173, C3175, C3180, C3183, C3188, C3190, C3193, and C3194 All-in-Ones
  • HP Photosmart C4110, C4140, C4150, C4170, C4173, C4175, C4180, C4183, C4188, C4190, C4193, and C4194 All-in-Ones

Introduction

This document covers many of the common problems that may be experienced when making a copy from the flatbed glass. Additional information will be found in other documents if the copy quality problem is occurring from the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). Please review the information below to determine the cause of the problem.

Basic copy quality troubleshooting

If copies are being made, but the quality is not as good as it should be, refer to the information below.
There are many factors that can affect copy quality and many of them are not related to the all-in-one. The first step is to determine if the all-in-one is the problem or if it is being caused by other factors. Review the basic print quality troubleshooting steps that are listed below:
  1. Check your paper and verify that the all-in-one has clean, white, inkjet-rated or multipurpose paper in it. Copier grade papers or paper specifically for laser printers should NOT be used. These papers are frequently coated and are not intended for dye-based inks.
    The paper container should also have a brightness and weight listed on it. The brighter and heavier the paper, the better the printout will look. HP recommends papers with at least 90 brightness and 75 g/m2 (20 pound) ratings.
  2. Verify that the all-in-one is on a firm surface that fully supports its weight and does not move as the all-in-one prints. If the all-in-one is placed on a desk or other surface that is free to move or shake as the all-in-one prints, the printout will not look as good as it should.
  3. Refilled or re-manufactured print cartridges will often produce inferior results. HP will not support any print problems that result from the use of re-manufactured and refilled print cartridges since their quality is not in HP's control. If you are using refilled or re-manufactured print cartridges, replace them with a new HP print cartridge.
  4. Print a self-test page from the all-in-one to verify that the all-in-one is working correctly. Contact HP for assistance if a self-test page will not print. To print a self-test page, follow the steps below:
    Press Setup .
    Press or until Print Report displays, then press OK .
    Press or until Self-Test Report displays, then press OK . The self-test report prints.
    Figure 1: A self-test page from an all-in-one
    1 - Printed by left cartridge
    2 - Printed by right cartridge
    You must identify which cartridge printed each part of the diagnostic page, so that if you find defects on the page, you will know which cartridge is the problem. However, you can install different combinations of print cartridges in your printer, and different cartridge combinations print different diagnostic page patterns. Your diagnostic page may not look exactly like the picture above, but the right and left cartridges will print in the same areas of the page no matter which cartridges are installed.
  5. Examine the self-test page.
    In general, if the printer and print cartridges are working properly, the patterns should contain few or no missing lines. No colors should be missing and the colors of the blocks at the bottom of the page should match the labels below each block. Also, there should be no streaks of ink on the report.
  6. If the colors on the page are incorrect or are missing, follow the steps below to clean the print cartridges. If the self test looks fine, proceed to step eight.
    1. Verify there is plain white paper in the input tray.
    2. Press Setup .
    3. Press or to select Tools , then press OK .
    4. Press or to select Clean Print Cartridge , then press OK . The unit prints a test page.
    5. Examine the test page. If the print quality of the page is good, stop here. If the print quality appears to be getting better, run Clean Print Cartridge again. If the print quality is still poor, proceed to step seven.
  7. If the quality is still poor, one or more of the cartridges may be empty or low on ink. Follow the steps below to check the ink levels.
    1. Open HP Solution Center .
    2. Click Settings .
    3. Click Print Settings .
    4. Click Printer Toolbox .
    5. Click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
      Figure 2: Estimated ink levels - both cartridges low
      NOTE:You can also open the Printer Toolbox from the Print Properties dialog box. In the Print Properties dialog box, click the Features tab, then click Printer Services , then click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
    6. Replace any ink cartridge that is low on ink.
  8. If the self test prints fine, then the problem is with the image being copied. Change the copy quality setting to Best and make another copy of your image. If the original image is something that was printed, it will not copy as well as a photograph. This is expected behavior. If the copy still looks poor, refer to the steps below for the issue you are seeing.

White lines through copies

White lines can appear on a copy either in a horizontal or vertical direction. How the white line appears on the copy will determine the cause and solution.

Horizontal lines

Horizontal white lines usually indicate the ink cartridge is running out of ink or has some clogged ink nozzles. Try the following steps:
  1. Some of the ink cartridge ink nozzles may be clogged with dry ink. Use the ink cartridge cleaning service to try to clear them.
    1. Verify there is plain white paper in the input tray.
    2. Press Setup .
    3. Press or to select Tools , then press OK .
    4. Press or to select Clean Print Cartridge , then press OK . The unit prints a test page.
    5. Examine the test page. If the print quality of the page is good, stop here. If the print quality appears to be getting better, run Clean Print Cartridge again.
  2. If the self test appears better, increase the copy quality setting (Normal or Best) and try copying again. If the quality is still poor, continue to the next step.
  3. If the quality is still poor, one or more of the cartridges may be low on ink or empty. Follow the steps below to check the ink levels.
    1. Open HP Solution Center .
    2. Click Settings .
    3. Click Print Settings .
    4. Click Printer Toolbox .
    5. Click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
      Figure 3: Estimated ink levels - both cartridges low
      NOTE:You can also open the Printer Toolbox from the Print Properties dialog box. In the Print Properties dialog box, click the Features tab, then click Printer Services , then click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
    6. Replace any ink cartridge that is low on ink.
  4. If the ink levels are not low, clean the cartridge face and electrical contacts at the back of the print carriage.
    1. Open the front of the unit to access the ink cartridges.
    2. After the ink cartridges are at the center, unplug the power cord from the back of the unit, and remove the ink cartridges. The power cord must be removed to ensure that the unit is not damaged during the cleaning process.
    3. Clean the area of the ink cartridge marked as number 1 in the image below with a soft clean cloth that is slightly dampened with clean water to remove any buildup. Avoid cleaning the ink cartridge nozzle plate as indicated by the number 2 in the image below. Cleaning this area can force foreign matter into the ink nozzles and plug them.
    4. With a soft lint-free cloth slightly dampened with clean water, clean the contacts on the back of the ink cartridges. These are labeled with number 3 in the image below.
      Figure 4: Cleaning the ink cartridges
      1 - Clean in cross-hatched area only
      2 - Do NOT touch nozzle plate
      3 - Clean copper-colored contacts
    5. Allow the cartridges to dry before reinserting them.
    6. Close the unit and plug the power cord back in.
    7. Print a self-test page to check the results. To print a self-test page:
      1. Press Setup .
      2. Press or until Print Report displays, then press OK .
      3. Press or until Self-Test Report displays, then press OK . The self-test report prints.
  5. If the problem is not corrected by cleaning the ink cartridges, replace the ink cartridge(s).

Vertical lines

Vertical white lines usually indicate the scanner did not calibrate correctly. This can be caused by debris on the scanner glass or white reference pad. Try the following steps:
  1. Turn off the HP all-in-one product and unplug the power cord.
  2. Open the document cover to access the scanner glass.
  3. Using glass cleaner, thoroughly clean the scanner/copier glass, and white reference pad on the inside of the top cover.
    CAUTION:Spray the cleaner onto the cloth. Never spray fluids directly onto the HP all-in-one product.
  4. Plug in the power cord and turn on the HP all-in-one. When the HP all-in-one restarts, the scanner should re-calibrate.

Colors are lighter than original

It is not unusual that the copy will not look exactly the same as the original due to differences in paper and ink. However, there are several things that can improve the copy quality.
  1. Increase the copy quality setting (Normal or Best) and try copying again to see if the problem is corrected.
  2. Verify that the Paper Type setting matches the paper loaded in the printer.
  3. Some all-in-ones have a Color Intensity setting that can be adjusted. Increase the Color Intensity slider to enhance the colors. If your all-in-one has this option, it can be found in the Copy screen when using the Director to setup the copy. For more information on this setting, review the copying information in the Reference Guide or click Help in the Director to view the help files.
  4. Some all-in-ones have a Darkness setting that can be adjusted. Increase the darkness setting and make another copy. If your all-in-one has this option, it can be found in the Copy screen when using the Director to setup the copy. For more information on this setting, review the copying information in the Reference Guide or click Help in the Director to view the help files.

Colors are darker than original

It is not unusual that the copy will not look exactly the same as the original due to differences in paper and ink. There are several things that can improve the copy quality.
  1. When copying photos, make sure that Photo is selected in the Enhancements section of the copy screen when copying from the Director. For more information on this setting, review the copying information in the Reference Guide or click Help in the Director to view the help files.
  2. Verify that the Paper Type setting matches the paper loaded in the printer. For more information on this setting, review the copying information in the Reference Guide or click Help in the Director to view the help files.
  3. Use the lighter/darker settings to lighten the copy slightly. For more information on this setting, review the copying information in the Reference Guide or click Help in the Director to view the help files.

Colors are incorrect

This normally occurs because one of the ink cartridges is low on ink. To fix this, do the following:
  1. Check the amount of ink remaining in the ink cartridges by checking the Estimated Ink Levels tab in the HP Toolbox. The HP Toolbox can be opened by the following method:
    1. Open HP Solution Center .
    2. Click Settings .
    3. Click Print Settings .
    4. Click Printer Toolbox .
    5. Click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
      Figure 5: Estimated ink levels - both cartridges low
      NOTE:You can also open the Printer Toolbox from the Print Properties dialog box. In the Print Properties dialog box, click the Features tab, then click Printer Services , then click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
    6. Replace any ink cartridge that is low on ink.
  2. Print a self-test page from the all-in-one. If the colors are correct on the self-test page and are not faded or light, continue troubleshooting with step three. If one or more colors are incorrect, missing, or fade out, the ink cartridge should be replaced. To print a self-test page:
    1. Press Setup .
    2. Press or until Print Report displays, then press OK .
    3. Press or until Self-Test Report displays, then press OK . The self-test report prints.
  3. If the colors are only slightly off, some all-in-ones have a Color Intensity setting that can be adjusted. Increase the Color Intensity slider to enhance the colors. For more information on this setting, review the copying information in the Reference Guide or click Help in the Director to view the help files.
  4. When printing on some photo papers, the black areas may have a greenish cast when photo paper is the selected paper type. Try changing the paper type setting to HP Bright White paper or Plain paper.
  5. Perform the steps listed to clean the ink cartridges and then make another copy to see if the problem still exists.
    1. Verify there is plain white paper in the input tray.
    2. Press Setup .
    3. Press or to select Tools , then press OK .
    4. Press or to select Clean Print Cartridge , then press OK . The unit prints a test page.
  6. Click Contact HP on this page for further support options if the problem still exists.

Shaded area around the copy (flatbed all-in-ones only)

This occurs when the original is not laying flat on the glass.
  1. Make sure that the original lays flat. It may be necessary to apply light pressure to the top of the lid if the original is badly wrinkled or was folded.
  2. The page to be cloned must lay flat on the glass, and the lid must be fully closed. The clone feature may fail on copies from books and magazines because the center crease will show up.
  3. Place blank sheets of paper over the photo being copied to cover all the glass area.
HP Photosmart C4180 All-in-One Printer

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