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HP Photosmart C4200 All-in-One series - Missing, Faded, or Dull Colors

Issue

The printer is working, but colors in the printed output are missing, faded, or dull in comparison to the original.

Solution

To solve this problem, perform the following steps:

Step one: Check the paper type

Check the paper to make sure you are using the correct paper type for the project. If the paper is too fibrous, the ink applied by the printer might not fully cover the print surface.

Step two - Check your printer settings

  1. In the program being used for printing, click File, and then click Print.
    The Print window opens.
  2. Make sure the appropriate product is selected, and then click Preferences or Properties.
    The Preferences/Properties window opens.
  3. Click the Printing Shortcuts tab.
    Consider modifying some or all of the options in the Printing Shortcuts menu to increase print quality.
    • Print quality: If the quality of the printouts is not acceptable, try increasing the print quality. To print more quickly, try decreasing the print quality.
    • Paper type: If one of the options matches the paper type exactly, select it instead of Automatic.
    • Paper size: Make sure that this option matches the paper loaded in the product.
    To see additional options, click the Advanced tab, and then click Advanced Features.
    The Advanced Features window opens. Consider changing the following option:
    Ink volume: Adjust the amount of ink that prints on a page. For lighter images (less ink), drag the slider to the left. For darker images (more ink), drag the slider to the right. The lighter the ink volume, the more quickly the printout dries.

Step three - Print a Self test report

To check whether the product is operating correctly, print a self-test report. This report provides useful information on several aspects of the product, including the print cartridges.
  1. Load letter, A4, or legal unused plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press and hold the Cancel button (), and then press the Start Copy Color button ().
  3. Release both buttons. The product prints a self-test report.

Step four: Note which cartridges printed which areas of the diagnostic page

Identify which cartridge printed which part of the diagnostic page, so that if you find defects on the page, you know which cartridge is defective.
However, you can install different combinations of print cartridges in the product, and different cartridge combinations print different extended self-test report patterns.
    Figura : Diagnostic page layout
  1. Printed by the left cartridge
  2. Printed by the right cartridge

Step five - Check ink levels

observação:
If you have installed a refilled or remanufactured ink cartridge, or a cartridge that has been used in another product, the ink level indicator is inaccurate or unavailable.
Look in the middle of the diagnostic page. The bars with "E" (for "empty") and "F" (for "full") at each end show the ink levels in the cartridges. As ink is used, the solid color changes to a faded color.
Figura : Left (tri-color) cartridge almost full - right cartridge empty
Figura : Both left and right cartridges almost full
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.

Step six: Look for defects

In general, if the product and ink cartridges are working correctly, the patterns, which look like grids of lines, contain few or no missing lines. Also, the colors of the patterns and bars should be approximately the same as the color dots on the print cartridge label.
observação:
Do not compare the colors on the diagnostic page to the colors on this Web page. Unless your monitor is calibrated, the colors are not the same. Instead, compare the colors on the page to the color dots on the print cartridge label. While the color dots might not be perfectly accurate, they are likely to be more accurate than the colors on the monitor.

Missing lines or streaked bars

If a pattern shows more than a few missing lines, or a bar is streaked, that ink cartridge is not functioning correctly.
Figura : The left cartridge shows missing lines and a streaked bar - the cartridge is not functioning correctly
If the diagnostic page shows missing lines or streaked bars, click here to continue troubleshooting (c01798019) (in English).

Colors do not match the color on the cartridge label

The color on the diagnostic report are printed by the tri-color (left-side) cartridge only. These blocks have labels describing the color they should be. If the color of any of the blocks does not match its label, the left-side cartridge is not functioning correctly.
Figura : The color of one of the left cartridge bars is very different from the color on the cartridge label - the cartridge is not functioning correctly
If one or more of the color blocks does not match its label, click here to continue troubleshooting (c01798025) (in English).

Missing colors

If any of the color patterns or bars are entirely missing, the cartridge is not functioning correctly.
observação:
If you are printing in reserve mode, without all the cartridges installed, the patterns associated with the missing cartridge will also be missing.
    Figura : Missing color
  1. No missing colors
  2. Yellow bar is missing
If any of the patterns or bars are entirely missing, click here to continue troubleshooting (c01798025) (in English).

Ink smears

If the diagnostic report shows smeared ink, you might need to clean the cartridges.
Figura : Smeared ink
If the diagnostic report shows smeared ink, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00635955) (in English).

Step seven: If you saw no defects

If no defects appear on the diagnostic page, the cartridges and product are probably working correctly. Click here to continue troubleshooting (c00635950) (in English).

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