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Fixing Print Quality Problems for the HP Officejet Pro L7500, L7600, and L7700 All-in-One Printer Series

This document applies to the HP Officejet Pro L7500, L7600, and L7700 All-in-One Printer Series.
The quality of a printed document or photo is not as expected. The procedures in this document should help with streaked or faded printouts, color or black ink not printing, documents with blurred or fuzzy text, ink streaks or smears, and other print quality problems.
HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the following solutions might not resolve your print quality issue.
 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 you are prompted to.
Use the following guidelines to make sure that the paper you are using is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the product with an appropriate paper type.
  • HP papers, inks, and printers are designed to work together. Many non-HP media could be incompatible with HP inks and printing systems.
  • Use the correct paper type for your project:
    • For everyday text documents, plain paper with ColorLok technology works well.
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for the best results.
  • Load the paper print side down in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides.
  • Do not use wrinkled or curled paper. Load only clean, wrinkle-free paper into the product.
  • Store photo paper in its original packaging inside a resealable plastic bag. Store the paper on a flat surface in a cool, dry place. Load photo paper only when you are ready to print, and then put the unused paper back in the packaging.
  • Try using a different paper. Paper that does not accept ink well is also prone to print defects. HP designs ink and paper to work together.
  • Some media may not absorb ink as well as others. If your prints smear easily, make sure you are using a recommended paper.
Figure : Plain paper with ColorLok technology is recommended for text printing
Example of the ColorLok logo
Figure : Horizontal streaks in printout
illustration of horizontal streaks in printouts
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks, or other print-quality issues besides vertical streaks.
Figure : Vertical streaks in printout
illustration of vertical streaks in printouts
Do not replace cartridges or printheads for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document, or search for a document that covers this issue. Vertical streaks in copies can often be fixed by cleaning the scanner glass.
Solution three: Check the print settings
Check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for your print job.
Solution four: Print and evaluate a Print Quality Diagnostics Page
The Print Quality Diagnostics Page can help determine if the printer needs to be aligned or if the printheads need to be cleaned or if the linefeed needs to be calibrated.
Step 1: Print the Print Quality Diagnostics Page
  1. Load plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press the Setup button.
  3. Select Print Report.
  4. Select Print Quality Page.
  5. Press OK.
Figure : Print Quality Diagnostics Page
Image: Print Quality Diagnostics Page
If the patterns on the test page are extremely streaked or are missing some portions, follow these steps to check the ink supply tubes:
  1. Open the printer lid. The carriage moves to the left side of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  2. Look in the center of the printer for the four ink tubes that connect to the printhead, and then examine the ink tubes. The ink tubes should be bundled neatly, and they should not appear kinked or bent.
    Figure : Ink tubes, correctly bundled and not kinked
    Image: Ink tubes, correctly bundled and not kinked.
  • If the ink tubes are bundled correctly and are not kinked, continue to the next step.
  • If the ink tubes are bundled incorrectly but do not appear to be kinked, service the printer. You do not need to replace the printheads.
     note:
    Incorrect bundling of the ink tubes does not directly cause print quality problems, but it is an issue that must be corrected. When the printer has been serviced, continue with the next step in this document.
  • If the ink tubes are bundled incorrectly and are kinked, skip to the solution to service the printer. When the printer has been serviced, replace the printhead associated with the kinked tubes:
    • If the black or yellow tube is kinked, replace the black and yellow printhead.
    • If the magenta or cyan tube is kinked, replace the magenta and cyan printhead.
Step 2: Examine Test Pattern 1
Evaluate Test Pattern 1 to make sure that the lines are straight and connected.
Figure : Test Pattern 1
Image: Test Pattern 1.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, skip to the step to examine Test Pattern 2.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, continue with the steps to align the printhead.
Step 3: Use an automated tool to align the printhead
If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, follow these steps to align the printer. A printer alignment can fix many print quality issues.
  1. Load plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press the Setup button on the control panel, and then press 6 on the keypad or scroll to Tools.
  3. Press 4 on the keypad or scroll to Align Printer.
  4. Press Okay, and then press OK again when the alignment is done to continue.
  5. Print another Print Quality Diagnostics Page to see if the issue is resolved.
  • If the lines in the Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, there is no need to continue.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, skip to the solution to service the printer.
Step 4: Examine Test Pattern 2
Examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 on the Print Quality Diagnostics Page.
Figure : White lines in Test Pattern 2
Image: White lines in test pattern 2
  • If there are white lines through ALL the color blocks and white lines through the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3, do not clean the printheads. Instead, skip to the step to examine Test Pattern 3.
  • If any of the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 show white lines or are faded or missing completely, continue with the steps to clean the printhead.
Step 5: Use an automated tool to clean the printhead
A printhead cleaning can fix many print quality issues. Follow these steps to clean the printhead.
  1. Load plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press the Setup button.
  3. Select Tools.
  4. Select Clean Printhead.
  5. Wait while the printer cleans the printhead.
  6. A test page prints after the printhead is cleaned.
    Figure : Clean the printhead test page
    Image: Clean the printhead test page
  • If there are no defects on the page, then you do not need to continue.
  • If there are defects on the page, repeat the clean printhead steps.
  • If there are still defects on the page after the printhead has been cleaned a third time, skip to the solution to replace one or both printheads.
Step 6: Examine Test Pattern 3
Examine the gray columns in Test Pattern 3.
Figure : Dark lines or white gaps in Test Pattern 3
Image: Dark lines or white  gaps in test pattern 3
  • If the grey blocks in Test Pattern 3 do not display dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, skip to the next solution to check the image.
  • If the grey blocks in Test Pattern 3 display dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, follow the steps to calibrate the linefeed.
Step 7: Use an automated tool to calibrate the linefeed
Follow these steps to calibrate the linefeed.
  1. Press the Setup button.
  2. Select Tools.
  3. Select Calibrate Linefeed.
  4. Press the OK button.
  5. Print another Print Quality Diagnostics Page to see if the issue is resolved.
  • If there are no defects on the page, then you do not need to continue.
  • If there are dark lines or white gaps in Test Pattern 3, skip to the solution to service the printer.
If you see no defects on the print quality diagnostic report, the print mechanism and ink supplies are working correctly. There is no reason to clean, align or calibrate, or to replace printheads or ink cartridges. Instead, try these solutions:
  • Recheck the first steps in this document. Many non-HP media could be incompatible with HP inks and printing systems. HP cannot guarantee the quality of non-HP inks.
  • Make sure that the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Images that have been enlarged too much might appear fuzzy or blurry.
  • If the problem is confined to a band near the edge of a printout, use the software you installed with the product, or another software program to rotate the image 180°. The problem might not appear on the other end of the printout.
Garbled, illogical text, and incomplete printout (graphic)
Windows only: If you are experiencing garbled, jumbled or illogical text, incomplete printouts, or missing text or graphics, go to Continuous Pages of Strange or Garbled Characters Print in Windows (c01954177).
Solution six: Replace one or both printheads
If you have completed all of the troubleshooting steps and are still experiencing a problem, replace the printhead.
 caution:
Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before you remove 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 you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies, select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
If, after repeated printhead cleaning, the Print Quality Diagnostic page shows white lines across the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 (but no white lines in the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3), one or both of the printheads will have to be replaced. The Print Quality Diagnostic page shows which printhead should be replaced.
Look at the color blocks labeled Test Pattern 2. Some of them should show white horizontal streaks (if none of the blocks are streaked, the printheads are okay).
  • Black block has lines – replace the Black/Yellow printhead.
  • Red block has lines – replace the Black/Yellow printhead.
  • Green block has lines – replace the Black/Yellow printhead.
Figure : Streaked black, red, or green color blocks - replace Black/Yellow Printhead
Illustration of streaked black, red or green color blocks in test pattern 2
  • Cyan block has lines – replace the Magenta/Cyan printhead.
  • Magenta block has lines – replace the Magenta/Cyan printhead.
Figure : Streaked cyan or magenta color blocks - replace Cyan/Magenta Printhead
Illustration of streaked cyan or magenta color blocks in test pattern 2
Step 2: Replace the printhead
Follow these steps to replace the printhead.
The following video demonstrates how to replace a printhead.
 note:
The product shown in the video is the Officejet Pro L7780. The outside of the product might look different, but the steps are similar for your product.
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 replace printheads, do the following:
  1. Open the cover.
  2. Make sure paper is loaded in Tray 1.
  3. If the carriage does not move to the left automatically, press and hold the OK button until the carriage moves to the left. Wait for the carriage to stop moving.
     caution:
    Do not proceed until the carriage is on the left. If the carriage does not move to the left automatically, turn the printer off and back on and then try holding down the OK button again.
  4. Lift the printhead latch.
    Figure : Lifting the printhead latch
    Illustration showing how to lift the printhead latch
  5. Lift the handle of a printhead, and use it to pull the printhead out of its slot.
    Figure : Pull the printhead out of its slot
    Illustration showing how to remove the printhead
  6. Before installing a new printhead, shake the printhead up and down at least six times while the printhead is still in its packaging.
    Figure : Shake the printhead
    Illustration showing how to shake the printhead
  7. Remove the new printhead from its package, and then remove its orange protective caps.
     caution:
    Do not shake printheads after the caps are removed.
    Figure : Open the printhead and remove the orange caps
    Illustration showing how to open the printhead and remove the orange caps
  8. Insert the printhead into its color-coded slot (the label on the printhead must match the label on the printhead latch). Press down firmly on the printhead to ensure proper contact.
  9. Pull the printhead latch all the way forward, and then press down to ensure that the latch is properly engaged. You might have to apply some pressure to engage the latch.
  10. Close the cover, and then wait while the device initializes the printheads and prints the alignment pages.
 note:
Keep a print sample that shows the problem. If the ink cartridges, printhead, or printer is replaced under warranty, the support agent will request the print sample. If the printer is returned to HP, the print sample must be returned with the printer. Place the sample in the output tray when you package your printer for shipping.

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