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HP PSC 1400 Series All-in-One - Missing, Faded, or Dull Colors

This document applies to the following printers:
HP PSC 1401, 1402, 1403, 1406, 1408, 1410, 1410v, 1410xi, 1415, 1417


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

If you have installed a refilled or remanufactured print cartridge, or a cartridge that has been used in another printer, the ink level indicator will be inaccurate or unavailable.
  1. Open the Printer Toolbox. There are two ways to open it:
    • Open HP Solution Center, select the Settings menu, then the Print Settings submenu, and finally the Printer Toolbox.
    • If the HP Solution Center method does not work, open Printers and Faxes in the Windows Control Panel, then right-click your printer icon and click Properties. Click Printing Preferences. Click the Services tab, then the Service This Device icon.
  2. The Printer Toolbox opens. Click the Estimated Ink Level tab. A cartridge might be running out of ink even if the graphic shows ink remaining (see the note at the start of this section). Lines or streaks always appear in printouts when the cartridges begin to run out of ink. Replace print cartridges that are out of ink or low on ink.
    Figura : Estimated ink levels - both cartridges low

Step 3: 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 4: Print a self-test page

If the steps above have not helped, print and evaluate a self-test page to see if the cartridges or printer is causing the problem.
    Figura : Print a self-test page
  1. Cancel
  2. Start Color Copy
  1. Make sure the printer is loaded with unused white paper.
  2. Press and hold Cancel on the printer control panel.
  3. Press Start Color Copy.
  4. Release both buttons. The self-test page prints.

Step 5: Note which cartridges printed which areas of the diagnostic page

  • The black bar at the top of the self-test page is printed by the right (black) print cartridge.
  • The colored bars are printed by the left (tri-color) print cartridge.

Step 6: Look for defects

In general, if the printer and print cartridges are working correctly, the bars are solid and unstreaked. Also, the colors of the bars are approximately the same as the color dots on the print cartridge label.
Do not compare the colors on your diagnostic page to the colors on this Web page. Unless your monitor is calibrated, the colors are not correct. 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 computer.

Streaked bars

If a bar is streaked, that print cartridge is not functioning correctly.
Figura : Streaked color bar shows that the tri-color cartridge is not functioning correctly
If your test page shows streaked bars, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00313206) (in English).

Colors do not match the color on the cartridge label

If any of the colors of the bars are different from the color dots on the cartridge label, the cartridge is not functioning correctly.
Figura : One of the bar colors is different from the color dot on the cartridge - the tri-color cartridge is not functioning correctly
If your test page shows colors that are different from the colors on the cartridge label, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00375457) (in English).

Missing colors

If any of the color bars is entirely missing, the cartridge is not functioning correctly.
    Figura : Missing colors
  1. All colors present - no problems
  2. Yellow missing - the tri-color cartridge is not functioning correctly
If any of the bars is entirely missing, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00375457) (in English).

Ink smears

If the test page shows smeared ink, clean your cartridges.
Figura : Smeared ink
If your test page shows smeared ink, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00313140) (in English).

Step 7: 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 (c00211601) (in English).






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