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HP Color Laser 178, 179 Printers - Fixing Poor Print Quality

This document is for HP Color Laser MFP 178nw, 178nwg, 179fnw, and 179fwg printers.
The quality of a printed document is not as expected. The procedures in this document should help with print quality problems such as smeared, fuzzy, dark, or faded print, and loose, partially missing, or scattered toner.

Step 1: Check the paper

The quality and type of paper can affect the print job. Follow these guidelines to make sure the paper is appropriate. If it is not, load an appropriate paper type.
  • Use paper designed for HP Laser printers. Do not use paper designed only for inkjet printers.
  • Do not use paper that is too rough. Smoother paper might result in better print quality.
After loading appropriate paper in the tray, print another page. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 2: Check the toner level

Low toner levels might cause print quality problems, such as faded print.
note:
The toner supply level and the percentage of toner cartridge life remaining provide estimates for planning purposes only. When the toner level is low, consider having a replacement toner cartridge available. You do not need to replace toner cartridges until the print quality becomes unacceptable.
Check the estimated toner remaining. For more information, go to How to Check Ink or Toner Levels.
  • If the toner cartridge is not low, skip to Check print settings.
  • If the toner cartridge is low, continue to the next step to replace the toner cartridge.

Step 3: Replace a low or empty toner cartridge

If a toner cartridge is critically low or empty, replace it.
To find your cartridge number and to purchase ink or toner supplies, go to HP Store or a local retailer. Make sure you are using the correct genuine HP ink or toner supplies for your printer. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. To check the authenticity of your cartridges, go to the HP anti-counterfeit webpage (in English).
  1. Open the toner cartridge access door.
    Opening the toner cartridge access door.
  2. Grasp each side of a toner cartridge, and then pull out the toner cartridge to remove it.
    Removing the toner cartridge from the inside of the printer.
  3. Remove a new toner cartridge from its package, and then recycle the packing materials.
    Removing the toner cartridge packaging.
  4. Lift the cover, and then pull out the cover until you remove all the sealing tape from the toner cartridge.
      Removing the cover and sealing tape from the toner cartridge.
    1. Toner cartridge cover
    2. Sealing tape
  5. Align the new toner cartridge with the tracks inside the printer, and then push in the toner cartridge until it is firmly seated.
    Inserting the new toner cartridge into the printer.
  6. Repeat these steps to install any other low or empty toner cartridges.
  7. Close the toner cartridge access door.
    Closing the toner cartridge access door.
Print another page. If replacing the toner cartridge did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

Step 4: Check print settings

Sometimes the print settings can affect print quality. Check the print settings to make sure they are appropriate for your print job.
Print another page. If changing the print settings did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

Step 5: Inspect the toner cartridges and imaging drum

Examine the memory chip on each toner cartridge, and then look for any surface damage on the imaging drum.
  1. Turn off the printer, and then unplug the power cord from the rear of the printer.
      warning:
    You must disconnect the power cord before reaching inside the printer to avoid risk of injuries or electric shock.
  2. Open the toner cartridge access door.
    Opening the toner cartridge access door.
  3. Grasp each side of a toner cartridge, and then pull out the toner cartridge to remove it.
    Removing the toner cartridge from the inside of the printer.
  4. Examine the memory chip for damage.
    • If the memory chip is damaged, refer to the previous steps to replace a toner cartridge.
    • If the memory chip is not damaged, continue with these steps.
    Location of a toner cartridge memory chip
  5. Set the toner cartridge aside, and then repeat these steps for each toner cartridge.
  6. Remove the toner collection unit. Carefully set the unit aside on a flat, solid surface to avoid spilling the waste toner.
    Removing the toner collection unit.
  7. Remove the imaging drum.
      caution:
    Do not touch the imaging drum. Fingerprints on the imaging drum can cause print quality problems.
    Removing the imaging drum.
  8. Examine the surface of the imaging drum.
    • If you see any scratches, fingerprints, or other damage on the imaging drum, go to Replacing an Imaging Drum.
    • If the imaging drum is not damaged, continue to the next step.
    Location of the imaging drum

Step 7: Service the printer

Service or replace your HP product if the issue persists after completing all the preceding steps.
Go to Contact HP Customer Support to schedule a product repair or replacement. If you are in Asia Pacific, you will be directed to a local service center in your area.
To confirm your warranty status, go to HP Product Warranty Check. Repair fees might apply for out-of-warranty products.
note:
Keep a print sample that shows the problem. If the printer, imaging drum, or toner cartridges are replaced under warranty, the support agent might request the print sample.

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