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HP Officejet 4400 (K410), Deskjet Ink Advantage (K209), and Deskjet F4400 and F4500 All-in-One Printer Series - The Cartridge Alignment Fails

Issue

After you install new cartridges, the alignment process fails. An alignment page might or might not print, and an error message might display on the printer control panel.

Solution one: Reset the printer

  1. With the printer turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  3. Wait at least 15 seconds.
  4. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
  5. Reconnect the power cord to the printer.
  6. Turn the printer on.

Solution two: Check the paper, and then try the alignment again

If the paper tray contains color, photo, or used paper, the alignment fails. Load the correct paper, and then try the alignment again.

Step one: Load the correct paper

  1. Remove all the paper from the paper tray.
  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.
    Figure : Load paper into the tray
    Image: Load paper into the tray

Step two: Align the printer

  1. Open HP Solution Center:
    The HP Solution Center opens.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click Align the Print Cartridges ().
    note:
    You can also access the automated tool to align the cartridges from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers, click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences, select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services if necessary, and then click Align the Print Cartridges ().
    The printer calibrates, and then aligns the cartridges.
  5. Click Print Page. The printer prints an alignment page.
    Figure : The printer prints an alignment page
    Image: The printer prints an alignment page
  6. Lift the scanner lid.
    Figure : Lift the scanner lid
    Image: Lift the scanner lid
  7. Place the alignment page print side down in the right-front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  8. Lower the scanner lid.
    Figure : Lower the scanner lid
    Image: Lower the scanner lid
  9. Press the Scan button () to scan the alignment page.
    Figure : Scan the alignment page
    Image: Scan the alignment page
  10. Wait while the printer scans the alignment page and completes the alignment process.
  11. Remove the alignment page from the scanner glass, and then close the scanner lid.

Step three: Examine the alignment page

The alignment page should have both black and color print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
note:
The alignment page that prints might not look exactly the one in the following example.
Figure : Example of a good alignment page
Image: Example of a good alignment page
  • If the alignment page looks correct and there is no error message, the issue is resolved, and you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page looks correct but the 'Alignment failed' error message still displays, the sensor in the printer might be faulty. Skip to the solution at the end of this document to service the printer.
  • If the alignment page is streaked, faded, or missing colors, continue to the next solution to check the cartridges.
    Figure : Example of faded alignment pages that are missing colors
    Image: 	Examples of faded alignment pages that are missing colors

Solution three: Check the cartridges

Low or empty cartridges can cause an alignment failure. Follow these steps to check the ink levels in the cartridges, and then replace any low or empty cartridges.

Step one: Check the ink levels

note:
Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When an indicator shows low ink levels, consider having a replacement ink cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace ink cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.
Examine the ink gauge on the control panel, near the control panel display.
    Figure : Ink gauge on the control panel - Black ink close to empty
    Illustration of the ink gauage on the control panelThe ink gauge on the left shows the ink level in the color cartridge, and the gauge on the right shows the ink level in the black cartridge.
  1. Color cartridge ink gauge
  2. Black cartridge ink gauge

Step two: Replace the depleted cartridges

Follow these steps to replace any low or empty cartridges. If the cartridges are not depleted, do not replace them now. Instead, skip to the next solution to clean the cartridges.
The following video demonstrates how to replace a print cartridge.
note:
This video shows the HP Deskjet F4400. The outside of the product might not look the same as your product, but the steps are the same.
.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube..
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Load unused, plain white letter or A4-sized paper in the tray.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the printer. If the carriage does not move to the right side, turn off the printer, and then turn it on again.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
    Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
  4. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you out its slot.
    Figure : Press down on the cartridge
    Image: Press down on the cartridge
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the left to replace the color cartridge.
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the right to replace the black cartridge.
    note:
    Recycle any low or empty cartridges. The HP Inkjet Supplies Recycling Program is available in many countries/regions, and it is free of charge.
  5. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging. Be careful to touch only the black plastic.
  6. Gently remove the plastic tape on the cartridge by pulling the orange pull tab.
      Figure : Remove the tape
      Image: Remove the tape
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Plastic tape with pull tab (remove before installing)
    3. Ink nozzles under tape
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not retape the cartridges. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure : Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
  7. Hold the new cartridge by its sides.
    Figure : Hold the cartridge by its sides
    Image: Hold the cartridge by its sides
    The black parallelogram icon () designates the slot for the black cartridge, and the magenta half circle icon () designates the slot for the color cartridge.
  8. Slide the new cartridge into its designated slot.
    Figure : Insert the new cartridge
    Image: Insert the new cartridge
    The cartridge rests in its slot at a slight upward angle.
    Figure : Cartridge rests at a slight upward angle
    Image: Cartridge rests at a slight upward angle
  9. Press the cartridge to snap it into place.
    Figure : Snap the cartridge into place
    Image: Snap the cartridge into place
  10. Repeat these steps to replace the other cartridge, if needed.
  11. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door

Step three: Align the printer

When you insert a new cartridge, the printer automatically aligns the cartridges. The alignment process takes about 30 to 60 seconds to complete.
  1. Open HP Solution Center:
    The HP Solution Center opens.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click Align the Print Cartridges ().
    note:
    You can also access the automated tool to align the cartridges from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers, click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences, select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services if necessary, and then click Align the Print Cartridges ().
    The printer calibrates, and then aligns the cartridges.
  5. Click Print Page. The printer prints an alignment page.
    Figure : The printer prints an alignment page
    Image: The printer prints an alignment page
  1. Wait until the printer prints an alignment page.
    Figure : The printer prints an alignment page
    Image: The printer prints an alignment page
  2. Lift the scanner lid.
    Figure : Lift the scanner lid
    Image: Lift the scanner lid
  3. Place the alignment page print side down in the right-front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  4. Lower the scanner lid.
    Figure : Lower the scanner lid
    Image: Lower the scanner lid
  5. Press the Scan button () to scan the alignment page.
    Figure : Scan the alignment page
    Image: Scan the alignment page
  6. Wait while the printer scans the alignment page and completes the alignment process.
  7. Remove the alignment page from the scanner glass, and then close the scanner lid.

Step four: Examine the alignment page

The alignment page should have both black and color print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
  • If the alignment page looks correct and there is no error message, the issue is resolved, and you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page looks correct but the 'Alignment failed' error message still displays, the sensor in the printer might be faulty. Skip to the solution at the end of this document to service the printer.
  • If the alignment page is streaked, faded, or missing colors, continue to the next solution to clean the cartridges.

Solution four: Clean the cartridges

Follow these steps to automatically clean the cartridges, and then try to align the printer again.

Step one: Use an automated tool to clean the cartridges

  1. Open HP Solution Center:
    The HP Solution Center opens.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click the Device Services tab, and then click Clean the Print Cartridges.
  5. Click Clean. The printer automatically cleans the cartridges.
    note:
    You can also access the automated tool to clean the cartridges from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers, click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences, select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services if necessary, and then click Clean the Print Cartridges.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions until you are satisfied with the print quality, and then click Done.
    note:
    There are three stages of cleaning. Each stage lasts from one to two minutes, uses one sheet of paper, and uses an increasing amount of ink. After each stage, review the quality of the printed page. Initiate the next phase of cleaning only if the print quality is still poor.

Step two: Align the printer

  1. Open HP Solution Center:
    The HP Solution Center opens.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click Align the Print Cartridges ().
    note:
    You can also access the automated tool to align the cartridges from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers, click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences, select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services if necessary, and then click Align the Print Cartridges ().
    The printer calibrates, and then aligns the cartridges.
  5. Click Print Page. The printer prints an alignment page.
    Figure : The printer prints an alignment page
    Image: The printer prints an alignment page
  6. Lift the scanner lid.
    Figure : Lift the scanner lid
    Image: Lift the scanner lid
  7. Place the alignment page print side down in the right-front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  8. Lower the scanner lid.
    Figure : Lower the scanner lid
    Image: Lower the scanner lid
  9. Press the Scan button () to scan the alignment page.
    Figure : Scan the alignment page
    Image: Scan the alignment page
  10. Wait while the printer scans the alignment page and completes the alignment process.
  11. Remove the alignment page from the scanner glass, and then close the scanner lid.

Step three: Examine the alignment page

The alignment page should have both black and color print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
  • If the alignment page prints successfully and there is no error message, the issue is resolved, and you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page prints successfully and the 'Alignment failed' error message still displays, the sensor in the printer might be faulty. Skip to the solution at the end of this document to service the printer.
  • If the alignment page is still streaked, faded, or missing colors, continue to the next solution to replace the cartridges.

Solution five: Replace the cartridges

If you have completed all the previous solutions and the alignment page still looks streaked or faded, or is still missing colors, replace one or both of the cartridges, as indicated by the alignment page.
  • If the black areas of the alignment page look streaked, faded, or are missing colors, replace the black cartridge located in the slot on the right in the printer.
  • If the colored areas of the alignment page look streaked, faded, or are missing colors, replace the color cartridge located in the slot on the left in the printer.

Step one: Replace the cartridges

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Load unused, plain white letter or A4-sized paper in the tray.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the printer. If the carriage does not move to the right side, turn off the printer, and then turn it on again.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
    Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
  4. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you out its slot.
    Figure : Press down on the cartridge
    Image: Press down on the cartridge
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the left to replace the color cartridge.
    • Remove the cartridge from the slot on the right to replace the black cartridge.
    note:
    Recycle any low or empty cartridges. The HP Inkjet Supplies Recycling Program is available in many countries/regions, and it is free of charge.
  5. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging. Be careful to touch only the black plastic.
  6. Gently remove the plastic tape on the cartridge by pulling the orange pull tab.
      Figure : Remove the tape
      Image: Remove the tape
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Plastic tape with pull tab (remove before installing)
    3. Ink nozzles under tape
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not retape the cartridges. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure : Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the contacts or ink nozzles
  7. Hold the new cartridge by its sides.
    Figure : Hold the cartridge by its sides
    Image: Hold the cartridge by its sides
    The black parallelogram icon () designates the slot for the black cartridge, and the magenta half circle icon () designates the slot for the color cartridge.
  8. Slide the new cartridge into its designated slot.
    Figure : Insert the new cartridge
    Image: Insert the new cartridge
    The cartridge rests in its slot at a slight upward angle.
    Figure : Cartridge rests at a slight upward angle
    Image: Cartridge rests at a slight upward angle
  9. Press the cartridge to snap it into place.
    Figure : Snap the cartridge into place
    Image: Snap the cartridge into place
  10. Repeat these steps to replace the other cartridge, if needed.
  11. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door

Step two: Align the printer

When you insert a new cartridge, the printer automatically aligns the cartridges. The alignment process takes about 30 to 60 seconds to complete.
  1. Open HP Solution Center:
    The HP Solution Center opens.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  4. Click Align the Print Cartridges ().
    note:
    You can also access the automated tool to align the cartridges from the Printing Preferences dialog box for your printer. Right-click your printer in Printers and Faxes or Devices and Printers, click Properties if necessary, select Printing Preferences, select the Features or Services tab, click Printer Services if necessary, and then click Align the Print Cartridges ().
    The printer calibrates, and then aligns the cartridges.
  5. Click Print Page. The printer prints an alignment page.
    Figure : The printer prints an alignment page
    Image: The printer prints an alignment page
  1. Wait until the printer prints an alignment page.
    Figure : The printer prints an alignment page
    Image: The printer prints an alignment page
  2. Lift the scanner lid.
    Figure : Lift the scanner lid
    Image: Lift the scanner lid
  3. Place the alignment page print side down in the right-front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  4. Lower the scanner lid.
    Figure : Lower the scanner lid
    Image: Lower the scanner lid
  5. Press the Scan button () to scan the alignment page.
    Figure : Scan the alignment page
    Image: Scan the alignment page
  6. Wait while the printer scans the alignment page and completes the alignment process.
  7. Remove the alignment page from the scanner glass, and then close the scanner lid.

Step three: Examine the alignment page

The alignment page should have both black and color print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
If the alignment page prints correctly and there is no error message, the issue is resolved.

Solution six: 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.

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