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HP Officejet 6500A (E710a) and 6500A Plus (E710n) e-All-in-One Printers - 'Alignment failed' Message Displays on the Printer Control Panel

Issue
The error message 'Alignment failed' displays on the printer control panel.
  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, and then try to align the printer again
If the paper tray contains color, photo, or used paper, the alignment fails. Load the correct paper, and then try the alignment again.
Step one: Load the correct paper
  1. Remove all the paper from the paper 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 : Load paper into the tray
    Image: Load paper into the tray
Step two: Align the printer using the printer control panel
 note:
Align the printer only when instructed. Aligning the printer uses extra ink and can shorten the life of the cartridges.
  1. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow (), and then touch the Setup icon (). The Setup Menu displays.
  2. Touch the Down Arrow (), and then touch Tools.
  3. Touch Align Printhead. The printer aligns the printhead, and then prints an alignment page.
     note:
    Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
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.
Figure : 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 : Example of faded alignment pages that are missing colors
    Image: 	Examples of faded alignment pages that are 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.
 note:
Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When an indicator shows low-ink levels, consider having a replacement ink cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace ink cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.
Step one: Check the ink levels
  1. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow () to display the second navigation screen.
  2. Touch the Ink Status icon (). The Estimated Ink Levels screen displays with gauges for all four ink colors.
Visit HP SureSupply to check ink cartridge compatibility or purchase replacement ink cartridges.
  1. Go to the HP SureSupply website.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and then make sure the country/region location is correct.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to order new ink cartridges or check ink cartridge compatibility with your printer.
Genuine HP ink cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door until it locks into place. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press the tab on the front of the cartridge inward to release it, and then pull on the cartridge to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : 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 remove the cartridges. Lifting the latch might result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing problems. The latch must remain down in order to correctly install the cartridges.
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging.
  5. Pull the orange pull tab straight back to remove the plastic protective wrapping.
    Figure : Remove the plastic protective wrap
    Image: Remove the plastic protective tape by pulling the orange tab
  6. Twist the orange cap counterclockwise to snap it off.
    Figure : Remove the orange cap
    Image: Remove the orange cap from a cartridge
  7. Face the nozzle and contacts down, and then slide the cartridge into its slot. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks into place.
     note:
    Make sure that each cartridge is installed in the correct slot. Match the shape of the icon and the color of the cartridge with the slot that has the same shaped icon and color.
    Figure : Reinstall the cartridge
    Image: Reinstall the cartridge.
  8. Repeat these steps for each cartridge that you want to replace.
  9. Close the cartridge access door. The carriage moves back to the right side of the printer.
Step three: Align the printer
When you insert a cartridge, the printer automatically prompts you to align the printhead. Touch OK on the printer control panel to complete the alignment. An alignment page prints.
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.
Solution four: Make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and correctly installed
Follow these steps to make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and correctly installed, and then try to align the printer again.
Step one: Make sure that the cartridge vents are not clogged
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge access door until it locks into place. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press the tab on the front of the cartridge inward to release it, and then pull on the cartridge to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : 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 remove the cartridges. Lifting the latch might result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing problems. The latch must remain down in order to correctly install the cartridges.
  4. Examine the vent area above the HP logo on the top of the ink cartridge.
    Figure : Vent area on the 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 : 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 : 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. Face the nozzle and contacts down, and then slide the cartridge into its slot. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks into place.
     note:
    Make sure that each cartridge is installed in the correct slot. Match the shape of the icon and the color of the cartridge with the slot that has the same shaped icon and color.
    Figure : Reinstall the cartridge
    Image: Reinstall the cartridge.
  8. Repeat these steps to inspect the vents on each of the cartridges.
Step two: Make sure that the cartridges are correctly installed
  1. Make sure that each cartridge is installed in the correct slot. Match the shape of the icon and the color of the cartridge with the slot that has the same shaped icon and color.
    Figure : Match the icon and color of each cartridge with the corresponding slot
    Image: Match the icon and color of each cartridge  with the corresponding slot.
  2. 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 protrude, and if any do, press down firmly until each cartridge snaps into place.
  3. Close the cartridge access door.
Step three: Align the printer
When you insert a cartridge, the printer automatically prompts you to align the printhead. Touch OK on the printer control panel to complete the alignment. An alignment page prints.
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.
Solution five: Clean the printhead
Follow these steps to clean the printhead, and then try to align the printer again.
Step one: 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.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Load letter, A4, or legal size, unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  3. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow (), and then touch the Setup icon (). The Setup Menu displays.
  4. Touch the Down Arrow (), and then touch Tools.
  5. Touch Clean Printhead. The printer cleans the printhead, and then prints a test page. Discard or recycle the test page.
  1. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow (), and then touch the Setup icon (). The Setup Menu displays.
  2. Touch the Down Arrow (), and then touch Tools.
  3. Touch Align Printhead. The printer aligns the printhead, and then prints an alignment page.
     note:
    Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
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.
Solution six: Replace the printhead
Follow these steps to replace the printhead assembly, and then try to align the printer again.
If you have completed all the previous steps and are still experiencing a problem, you can replace the printhead. Replacement printhead assemblies are available only from HP Support or authorized service providers. Contact HP for assistance to get a new 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.
Step two: Align the printer
Once you have replaced the printhead, try to align the printer again. If the alignment page prints correctly and there is no error message, the issue is resolved.
  1. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow (), and then touch the Setup icon (). The Setup Menu displays.
  2. Touch the Down Arrow (), and then touch Tools.
  3. Touch Align Printhead. The printer aligns the printhead, and then prints an alignment page.
     note:
    Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.

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