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An 'Alignment Failed' Error Message Displays on the 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 the alignment 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
    Illustration of loading paper into the tray
Step two: Align the printer
  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.
    • Windows 8:
      If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, the information in these steps might not match your experience. You can get the latest version of Windows 8 from the Microsoft Store.
      1. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search, and then type HP.
      2. Click HP Solution Center.
    The HP Solution Center opens.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click the Device Services tab, and then click Align the Print Cartridges.
     note:
    You can also access the automated tool to align the cartridges from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers, click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences, select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services if necessary, and then click Align the Print Cartridges.
  5. Wait while the printer calibrates, aligns the cartridges, and then prints an alignment page.
  6. Open the scanner lid.
  7. Place the alignment page print side down in the right-front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  8. Press OK to start the scan. The printer scans the alignment page, and the alignment process continues. When the alignment completes, the Power button stops flashing.
  9. Remove the alignment page from the scanner glass, and then close the scanner lid.
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.
 note:
The alignment page that prints might not look exactly the one in the following example.
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 an alignment failure. 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 cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.
  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.
    • Windows 8:
      If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, the information in these steps might not match your experience. You can get the latest version of Windows 8 from the Microsoft Store.
      1. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search, and then type HP.
      2. Click HP Solution Center.
    The HP Solution Center opens.
     note:
    You can also check the ink levels from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers, click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences, select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services or Service this Device if necessary, and then click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click the Estimated Ink Level tab. The estimated ink levels display in a graphic on the computer.
    Figure : Estimated Ink Levels gauge
    Image: Estimated Ink Levels gauge
Step two: Replace any depleted cartridges
Follow these steps to replace any low or empty cartridges. If the cartridges are not depleted, skip to the next solution to clean the cartridges
Video of replacing cartridges
The following video demonstrates the steps explained on this page. The outside of the product might look different, but the steps are the same 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 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/region location is correct.
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
Which cartridges you use might depend on your country/region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
 note:
For the United States only, go to the HP Home & Home Office Store.
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Load unused, plain white letter or A4-sized paper in the tray.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the printer. If the carriage does not move to the right side, turn off the printer, and then turn it on again.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
    Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
  4. Lightly press down on the low or empty cartridge to release it.
    Figure : Press down on the cartridge
    Image: Press down on the cartridge
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the left to replace the tri-color cartridge.
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the right to replace the black cartridge.
  5. Pull the cartridge toward you out of its slot.
     note:
    Recycle any low or empty cartridges. The HP Inkjet Supplies Recycling Program is available in many countries/regions, and it is free of charge.
  6. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging. Be careful to touch only the black plastic.
  7. Gently remove the plastic tape by pulling the orange pull tab.
      Figure : Remove the tape
      Image: Remove the tape
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Plastic tape with pull tab (remove before installing)
    3. Ink nozzles under tape
     caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not retape the cartridges. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure : Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
  8. Slide the new cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push the cartridge until it snaps into place. Repeat this step, if necessary, to replace the other cartridge.
    • To install a tri-color cartridge, insert it into the left slot.
    • To install a black cartridge, insert it into the right slot.
    Figure : Insert the new cartridge
    Image: Insert the new cartridge
  9. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
When you insert a cartridge, the printer automatically prompts you to align the cartridges. Follow these steps to try the alignment again.
  1. Press OK on the printer control panel when prompted. The printer calibrates, aligns the cartridges, and then prints an alignment page.
  2. Open the scanner lid.
  3. Place the alignment page print side down in the right-front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  4. Press OK to start the scan. The printer scans the alignment page, and the alignment process continues. When the alignment completes, the Power button stops flashing.
  5. Remove the alignment page from the scanner glass, and then close the scanner lid.
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 to clean the cartridges.
Solution four: Clean the cartridges
Follow these steps to automatically clean the cartridges, and then try to align the printer again.
Step one: Use an automated tool to clean the cartridges
  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.
    • Windows 8:
      If you are not using the latest full-feature version of Windows 8, the information in these steps might not match your experience. You can get the latest version of Windows 8 from the Microsoft Store.
      1. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search, and then type HP.
      2. Click HP Solution Center.
    The HP Solution Center opens.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click the Device Services tab, and then click Clean the Print Cartridges.
     note:
    You can also access the automated tool to clean the cartridges from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers, click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences, select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services if necessary, and then click Clean the Print Cartridges.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions until you are satisfied with the print quality, and then click Done.
     note:
    There are three stages of cleaning. Each stage lasts from one to two minutes, uses one sheet of paper, and uses an increasing amount of ink. After each stage, review the quality of the printed page. Initiate the next phase of cleaning only if the print quality is still poor.
Step two: Align the printer
  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.
    • Windows 8:
      If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, the information in these steps might not match your experience. You can get the latest version of Windows 8 from the Microsoft Store.
      1. Right-click the Start button () in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search, and then type HP.
      2. Click HP Solution Center.
    The HP Solution Center opens.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click the Device Services tab, and then click Align the Print Cartridges.
     note:
    You can also access the automated tool to align the cartridges from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers, click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences, select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services if necessary, and then click Align the Print Cartridges.
  5. Wait while the printer calibrates, aligns the cartridges, and then prints an alignment page.
  6. Open the scanner lid.
  7. Place the alignment page print side down in the right-front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  8. Press OK to start the scan. The printer scans the alignment page, and the alignment process continues. When the alignment completes, the Power button stops flashing.
  9. Remove the alignment page from the scanner glass, and then close the scanner lid.
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 prints successfully and there is no error message, the issue is resolved, and you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page prints successfully and 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 still streaked, faded, or missing colors, continue to the next solution to replace any problematic cartridges.
Solution five: Replace the cartridges
If you have completed all the previous solutions and the alignment page still looks streaked or faded, or is still missing colors, replace one or both of the cartridges, as indicated by the alignment page.
  • If the black areas of the alignment page look streaked, faded, or are missing colors, replace the black cartridge located in the slot on the right in the printer.
  • If the colored areas of the alignment page look streaked, faded, or are missing colors, replace the tri-color cartridge located in the slot on the left in the printer.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Load unused, plain white letter or A4-sized paper in the tray.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the printer. If the carriage does not move to the right side, turn off the printer, and then turn it on again.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
    Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
  4. Lightly press down on the low or empty cartridge to release it.
    Figure : Press down on the cartridge
    Image: Press down on the cartridge
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the left to replace the tri-color cartridge.
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the right to replace the black cartridge.
  5. Pull the cartridge toward you out of its slot.
     note:
    Recycle any low or empty cartridges. The HP Inkjet Supplies Recycling Program is available in many countries/regions, and it is free of charge.
  6. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging. Be careful to touch only the black plastic.
  7. Gently remove the plastic tape by pulling the orange pull tab.
      Figure : Remove the tape
      Image: Remove the tape
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Plastic tape with pull tab (remove before installing)
    3. Ink nozzles under tape
     caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not retape the cartridges. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure : Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
  8. Slide the new cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push the cartridge until it snaps into place. Repeat this step, if necessary, to replace the other cartridge.
    • To install a tri-color cartridge, insert it into the left slot.
    • To install a black cartridge, insert it into the right slot.
    Figure : Insert the new cartridge
    Image: Insert the new cartridge
  9. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
When you insert a cartridge, the printer automatically prompts you to align the cartridges. Follow these steps to try the alignment again.
  1. Press OK on the printer control panel when prompted. The printer calibrates, aligns the cartridges, and then prints an alignment page.
  2. Open the scanner lid.
  3. Place the alignment page print side down in the right-front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  4. Press OK to start the scan. The printer scans the alignment page, and the alignment process continues. When the alignment completes, the Power button stops flashing.
  5. Remove the alignment page from the scanner glass, and then close the scanner lid.
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 prints correctly and there is no error message, the issue is resolved.
Solution six: Service the product
Contacting HP for service in all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.
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 to obtain service.
  • If your product is out of warranty, Contact HP to find an authorized service provider or to setup service (fees might apply).

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