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HP Photosmart 3100, 3200, and 3300 All-in-One Series - 'Printer alignment failed' Message Displays on the Control Panel

Issue
A "Printer alignment failed" error message displays on the product.
Solution
Follow these steps in the order presented until you resolve the issue. When one of the steps resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
Step one: Load the correct type of paper
  1. Remove all the paper from the tray.
      note:
    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: Align the All-in-One
  1. Press Setup.
  2. Press 5. The product opens the Tools menu on the control panel display.
  3. Press 3 to select Align Printer. The product calibrates, aligns the printhead, and then prints an alignment page.
  4. Recycle or discard the alignment page.
The following video demonstrates the steps for printing an alignment page. The product shown in the video is the HP Photosmart C7280. 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 (in English) on YouTube.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next step.
Step three: Clean and reinstall the cartridges
If the contacts on a cartridge are dirty or do not seat correctly, the alignment might fail. Follow these steps in the order presented to clean and reinstall the cartridges.
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • Soft, lint-free materials, such as foam-tipped swabs, that do not stick to the electrical contacts
    • Clean, lint-free paper to rest the cartridges on (coffee filters work well)
    • Distilled water
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  3. Open the cartridge door.
    Figure : Open the cartridge door
    Illustration of opening the cartridge door
  4. Squeeze the tab below the black cartridge on the far left side of the carriage, and then lift the cartridge latch.
      Figure : Lift the cartridge latch
      Illustration of lifting the cartridge latches
    1. Cartridge latch for the black cartridge
    2. Cartridge latches for the color cartridges
  5. Remove the cartridge by pulling it toward you and out of its slot.
      caution:
    Do not remove multiple cartridges at the same time. Remove, clean, and then reinstall each cartridge one at a time. Do not leave a cartridge outside the HP All-in-One for more than 30 minutes.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge from its slot
    Illustration of removing a cartridge from its slot
  6. Inspect the cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.
  7. Dip a clean foam rubber swab or lint-free cloth into distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.
      note:
    Hold the cartridge by its handle. Do not touch the copper-colored contacts with your hands or anything other than a foam rubber swab or lint-free cloth.
  8. Clean only the copper-colored contacts.
      Figure : Clean the copper-colored contacts
      Illustration of cleaning the copper-colored contacts
    1. Copper-colored contacts
  9. Slide the cartridge back into the empty slot.
    Figure : Slide the cartridge back into its slot
    Illustration of sliding cartridge back into its slot
  10. Secure the cartridge in the slot by pressing down on the latch until it clicks into place.
    Figure : Press down on the latch
    Illustration of pressing down on the latch to secure the cartridge
  11. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for each of the cartridges.
  12. Close the cartridge door, and then try to align the product again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next step.
Step four: Check the ink levels
Empty or nearly empty cartridges can result in alignment failures. Follow these steps in the order presented to check the ink levels in the cartridges.
  1. Press Setup ().
  2. Press 5, and then press 1. The Tools menu displays.
  3. Click Display Ink Gauge. The gauges for the six cartridges display.
    Figure : Display Ink Gauge
    Illustration of Display Ink Gauge
  4. Check the gauge for empty or almost empty cartridges, and then replace any you find. The product automatically performs an alignment and prints an alignment page.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next step.
Step five: Replace the cartridges
Follow these steps to replace any cartridges that are empty or low on ink.
  1. Open the cartridge door.
    Figure : Open the cartridge door
    Illustration of opening the cartridge door
  2. Squeeze the tab below the black cartridge on the far left side of the carriage, and then lift the cartridge latch.
      Figure : Lift the cartridge latch
      Illustration of lifting the cartridge latches
    1. Cartridge latch for the black cartridge
    2. Cartridge latches for the color cartridges
  3. Remove the cartridge by pulling it toward you and out of its slot.
      caution:
    Do not replace multiple cartridges at the same time. Replace each cartridge one at a time. Do not leave a cartridge outside the HP All-in-One for more than 30 minutes.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge from its slot
    Illustration of removing a cartridge from its slot
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging, and then, holding it by the handle, slide the ink cartridge into the empty slot.
  5. Slide the new cartridge forward into the empty slot.
    Figure : Slide the cartridge back into its slot
    Illustration of sliding cartridge back into its slot
      note:
    Make sure that you insert the new cartridge into the slot that has the same shaped icon and color as the one you are installing.
  6. Secure the cartridge in the slot by pressing down on the latch until it clicks into place.
    Figure : Press down on the latch
    Illustration of pressing down on the latch to secure the cartridge
  7. Repeat 2 through 5 for each of the cartridges.
  8. Close the cartridge door, and then try to align the product again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next step.
Step six: Reset and relocate the product
A power reset drains power from the product and returns the product to the same settings after restarting. Moving the product to another location and plugging it directly into a wall outlet can eliminate any potential power deficiencies that might prevent a successful alignment.
  1. Make sure that you have the product turned on. If necessary, press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  2. With the product turned on, disconnect the power cord from the back of the product.
  3. Relocate the All-in-One to a different power outlet, preferably in a separate room
  4. Plug the power cord directly into the wall outlet. Do not use a power strip.
  5. Reconnect the power cord to the back of the product.
  6. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  7. Load plain white paper into the tray.
  8. Try the alignment again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next step.
Step seven: Service the All-in-One
Contacting HP for service in Asia Pacific.
If you completed all the preceding steps and your product still has an issue, you might need further assistance from HP. Go to Contact HP Support to review available service options.

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