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HP Photosmart B8550, B8553, and B8558 Printers - Faded or Dull Colors in Printouts

Issue

Colors appear faded or dull on the printout when compared to the original.

Solution

Step one: Check the paper

For document print jobs, make sure that only plain, unused, white paper is loaded in the main input tray. For photo printing, HP recommends using HP Advanced Photo Paper. Check the paper to make sure that it is not folded or curled.
Paper with a multipurpose or inkjet rating, brightness rating of 90 or better, and a weight of at least 75 gsm (20 lb.) usually produces the best color quality. Consider using paper with the ColorLok technology symbol on the package.
Abbildung : ColorLok symbol
Supported paper types
Paper type
Paper size
Metric
10 x 15 cm (with or without tab), Panorama 10 x 30, 13 x 18 cm, A3, A4, A5, A6, B4, B5, E
Imperial
Index card 3 x 5 inches, Index card 4 x 6 inches, Index card 5 x 8 inches, 3.5 x 5 inches, 4 x 6 inches (with or without tab), Panorama 4 x 10 inches, Panorama 4 x 11 inches, Panorama 4 x 12 inches, 5 x 7 inches, 8 x 10 inches, 11 x 14 inches, 11 x 17 inches, 12 x 12 inches, 13 x 19 inches
U.S.
Letter, Legal, Executive, Tabloid
Japan
L, 2L, Hagaki, Ofuku Hagaki
Envelopes
Envelope No. 10, A2 envelope, C6 envelope, DL envelope Banner paper: Up to 13 x 44 inches
Banner paper
Up to 13 x 44 inches

Step two: Make sure that you are using genuine HP cartridges

Refilled or remanufactured cartridges often produce inferior results. HP does not support any print problems that result from the use of non-HP cartridges. Check to see if the cartridge is a counterfeit at Why buy HP - fraud information (in English) on the HP Web site.
If the cartridge is not a genuine HP cartridge, consider replacing it with a genuine HP cartridge. HP designs inks and papers to work together for the best print quality possible.
Hinweis:
HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP supplies. Product service or repairs required as a result of using a non-HP supply will not be covered under warranty.

Step three: Check ink levels and replace low or empty cartridges

Check the ink levels and replace any low or empty cartridges.
Hinweis:
The ink levels in non-HP, refilled, or remanufactured cartridges cannot be accurately read by the product.

Check ink levels from the product control panel

  1. Press Setup () on the product control panel.
  2. Press the down arrow () to highlight Tools, and then press OK.
  3. Press the down arrow () to highlight Display Ink Gauge, and then press OK. The control panel display shows the estimated ink levels of each of the installed cartridges.
Hinweis:
Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When an indicator shows low ink levels, keep a replacement cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. Cartridges do not need to be replaced until print quality becomes unacceptable.
If the ink level in any of the cartridges is low or out, replace the cartridge. If the cartridges are not low, go to "Step four: Select higher print quality settings" now.

Replace the cartridge

  1. Press the power button () to turn on the product.
  2. Open the cartridge access door by lifting it until it snaps into place.
    Abbildung : Open the cartridge access door
    Open the cartridge access door
    The carriage moves to the center of the product.
  3. Press the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it and remove it from the slot.
    Abbildung : Remove the cartridge
    Remove the cartridge
    • If replacing the black cartridge, push the tab of the cartridge on the far right.
    • If replacing one of the other cartridges, such as photo black, magenta, cyan, or yellow, push the tab on the appropriate cartridge to remove it.
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging by pulling the orange pull-tab straight back to remove the plastic wrap from the cartridge.
    Abbildung : Remove the plastic wrap
    Remove the plastic wrap
  5. Twist the orange cap to snap it off.
    Hinweis:
    A forceful twist might be necessary to remove the orange cap.
    Abbildung : Remove the orange cap
    Remove the orange cap
  6. Using the colored shape icons for guidance, slide the cartridge into the empty slot until it clicks into place and is seated firmly in the slot.
    Abbildung : Insert the new cartridge
    Insert the new cartridge
      Vorsicht:
    Do not lift the latch handle on the carriage to install the cartridges. Doing so can result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing issues. The latch must remain down in order to install the cartridges correctly.
      Abbildung : Carriage latch
      Carriage latch in down position
    1. Latch in down position
    Make sure that the cartridge is inserted into the slot that has the same shape icon and color as the cartridge.
    Hinweis:
    Repeat steps 3 through 6 for each cartridge to be replaced.
  7. Close the cartridge access door.
    Abbildung : Close cartridge access door
    Close cartridge access door

Step four: Select higher print quality settings

  1. On the File menu in the software program, click Print.
  2. Click the button that opens the Properties dialog box.
    Hinweis:
    Depending on the software program, this button might be called Properties, Options, Printer Setup, Printer, or Preferences.
  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: Select a high print quality setting, such as Best or Maximum dpi.
    • Paper type: If one of the options matches the paper type loaded in the product exactly, select it instead of Automatic.
    • Paper size: Make sure that the selected paper size matches the paper loaded in the product.
  4. To see additional options, click the Advanced tab. Consider changing the following option:
    Ink Volume: Click the drop-down menu and select Change. Click the Change button that appears and then 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 less the ink volume, the more quickly the printout dries.
  5. Click OK.

Step five: Print an extended self-test page

  1. Make sure that letter, A4, or legal size, unused, plain, white paper is loaded into the main input tray.
  2. On the product control panel, press and hold the Cancel () button, and then press the up arrow ().
  3. Press the Print Photos button () twice, and then press the red eye removal button () once.
  4. Press the right arrow twice () and then press OK to select Special Reports.
  5. Press the right arrow once () and then press OK to print the Extended Self Test.
    Abbildung : Extended self test report
    Extended self test report
  • Look at the color blocks. If the blocks are sharp and clear and are not faded or dull, then the printer is functioning properly. However, if the printing problem still occurs, it is being caused by something other than the printer. Check the software settings, the image file, and the media. Do not clean the printhead or replace cartridges if all the color blocks on the printout are present and solidly printed.
  • If any of the image is faded, streaked, missing, or is not uniformly colored, there is a problem with that cartridge or the printhead. Follow the steps below to make sure that the cartridges are vented and latched, to align the product, and to clean the printhead.

Step six: Make sure that the cartridges are properly vented

  1. Make sure that the product is turned on.
  2. Lift the cartridge door to open it.
    Abbildung : Open the cartridge access door
    Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press the tab on the front of each cartridge to release it and remove it from the slot.
      Vorsicht:
    Do not lift the latch handle on the carriage to remove the cartridges.
    Abbildung : Remove the cartridge
    Remove the cartridge
  4. Examine the vent area on each cartridge. The vent is located above the HP logo on the top of the cartridge.
    Abbildung : Vent area
    Vent area on cartridge
    • If any of the cartridges still have the orange tabs attached, remove the tab.
      Abbildung : Orange tab
      Orange tab on cartridge
    • If any of the cartridges have vents that are clogged, try cleaning the vents with a pin.
      Abbildung : Properly vented
      Properly vented
      Abbildung : Clogged vent
      Clogged vent
  5. Reinstall the cartridges.
  6. Close the cartridge door.
    Abbildung : Close cartridge access door
    Close cartridge access door

Step seven: Make sure that the cartridges are latched

  1. Make sure that the product is turned on.
  2. Lift the cartridge door to open it.
    Abbildung : Open the cartridge access door
    Open the cartridge access door
    The carriage moves to the center of the product.
  3. Make sure that the cartridges are installed in the correct slots.
    Abbildung : Check the cartridge slots
    Check the cartridge slots
    Match the shape of the icon and color of the cartridge with the slot with the same shape of icon and color of cartridge.
  4. Run a finger along the top of the cartridges to find any cartridges that are not snapped down completely.
  5. Press down on any cartridges that are sticking up. The cartridges snap down into place.
  6. Close the cartridge door.
    Abbildung : Close cartridge access door
    Close cartridge access door

Step eight: Align the printer

If the preceding steps have not resolved the issue, try aligning the printer.
  1. On the product control panel, press the Setup button ().
  2. Press the down arrow () to highlight Tools, and then press OK.
  3. Press the down arrow () to highlight Align Printhead, and then press OK.

Step nine: Clean the printhead

Print another extended self test page. If one or more color blocks is still faded or dull, try running the automatic utility to clean the printhead.
Use one of these methods to run the automatic utility to clean the printheads.

Method one: Run the automatic utility from the control panel

  1. Load letter, A4, or legal size, unused, plain, white paper into the main input tray.
  2. On the product control panel, press the Setup button (), press the down arrow button () to highlight Tools, and then press OK.
  3. Press the down arrow button () to highlight Clean Printhead and then press OK. The printhead cleaning begins.
  4. Press any button on the product control panel to return to the Tools menu.

Method two: Run the automatic utility from HP Solution Center

  1. Load letter, A4, or legal size, unused, plain, white paper into the main input tray.
  2. Depending on the operating system installed on the computer, use one of these instructions to open HP Solution Center.
    • Windows Vista: On the taskbar, click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
    • Windows XP: Click Start, click Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
  3. Click Settings and then click Printer Toolbox. The Printer Toolbox window appears.
  4. Click the Device Services tab and then click Clean the printhead. Follow the on-screen instructions to run the utility.
  5. When the quality of the printout is satisfactory, click Done.

Step ten: Replace the cartridge

If the print quality is still poor, the cartridges might be faulty. Replace the cartridges.

Step eleven: Contact HP

If the print quality is still poor after replacing the cartridge, contact HP. The printhead might need to be replaced.


Land/Region: Flag Deutschland

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