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HP OfficeJet Pro X451 and X551 Series Printers - Interpret the Print Quality Report

Introduction

This document provides information on how to print, interpret, and troubleshoot print quality issues found on the Print Quality Report for the HP OfficeJet Pro printer.

Step one: Print the Print Quality Report

Follow these steps to print the Print Quality Report:
  1. Load the printer with regular, unused white paper.
  2. On the printer control panel, press the Home button.
  3. Press Setup, and then press Print Reports.
  4. Select Print Quality Diagnostic. The Print Quality Report prints.
    Figure : Print Quality Report
    note:
    Mark this page with a ‘1’ in a corner. If you clean the printhead later, you will want to keep track of which page was printed first to note any progress.

Step two: Check the Print Quality Report for defects

If the ink system is working correctly, all the color bars are present and not streaked. Each bar has three distinct shades with no color variation across the bar. The bars should also line up. Also, the black text on the page should not show ink streaks.
The following table shows examples of print defects.
Possible Print Defects on the Print Quality Report
Print Defect
Example
Color variation across bar
Color intensity variation across bars
Bars not even (this picture shows an exaggerated defect)
Vertical dark lines
Vertical white lines
Ragged bars

Step three: Troubleshoot print defects

Use the following sections to troubleshoot print defects:
  • Print Quality Report shows no print defects
  • Ragged bars
  • Perform a Clean Printhead
  • Perform a Clean Ink Smear
  • Print defects after performing Clean Printhead and Clean Ink Smear

Print Quality Report shows no print defects

The Print Quality Report has no defects, and the ink system is working correctly.
note:
Do not clean the printhead. Cleaning the printhead unnecessarily wastes ink and paper.
  1. Resend the print job to see if printing the Print Quality Report resolved the problem.
  2. If the print job looks correct, troubleshooting is complete.

Ragged bars

The Print Quality Report has ragged bar defects.
  1. Make sure cartridges have ink and are properly installed.
  2. Perform the Clean Printhead steps in 'Perform a Clean Printhead'.

Perform a Clean Printhead

The Print Quality Report has print defects. Use the following steps to clean the printheads.
note:
After each of step, the Print Quality Report prints, which you will use for comparison to see if the defects are improving. Evaluate the Print Quality Report each time it prints to determine if the defect is fixed. If the defect is fixed, troubleshooting is complete.
  1. Load the printer with regular, unused white paper.
  2. On the printer control panel, press the Home button.
  3. Press Setup, and then press Tools.
  4. Select Clean Printhead.
    • No defects present: If the Print Quality Report does not have any print defects, continue to 'Perform a Clean Ink Smear'.
    • Defects present: If the Print Quality Report still has defects, clean the printheads again.

Perform a Clean Ink Smear

The Print Quality Report has smeared ink on the back of the page. Use the following steps to resolve the smeared ink defect.
note:
After each of step, the Print Quality Report prints, which you will use for comparison to see if the defects are improving. Evaluate the Print Quality Report each time it prints to determine if the defect is fixed. If the defect is fixed, troubleshooting is complete.
  1. On the printer control panel, press the Home button.
  2. Press Setup, and then press Tools.
  3. Select Clean Ink Smear.
    • Defects present: If defects are still present after doing a Clean Ink Smear, do another Clean Ink Smear, especially if the Print Quality Report shows improvement.
    • Defects present after second Clean Ink Smear: If the Print Quality Report still shows defects after a second cleaning, go to the final step in this document.
    • Special case defect: The defect on the Print Quality Report is color variation across the bars (see the table of defects above) and the problem goes away after performing a Clean Printhead, but then reoccurs in the same location on the color bar the next day.
      Check to see if any of the following conditions are true:
      • Prior to the print quality problem, the printer was unused for more than three weeks.
      • The printer was recently moved or experienced a large temperature shift.
      • There was a recent paper jam.
      • The print quality problem seems to be getting better as the printer is used, especially when printing dense backgrounds.
      Conditions ARE true
      If any of the conditions above are true, a printhead recovery may solve the problem. Contact HP for assistance.
      Conditions ARE NOT true
      If the conditions above are not true, the the defect is likely to reoccur, even if a cleaning fixes the problem temporarily. See the final step in this document.

Print defects after performing Clean Printhead and Clean Ink Smear

If print job still shows defects after performing Clean Printhead and Clean Ink Smear, make sure the print settings are correct and that the ink and paper are appropriate. These suggestions may help with some problems:
  • When printing an image, make sure it has a sufficient resolution. Enlarged images might appear fuzzy or blurry.
  • If the problem is confined to a band near the edge of a printout, use the software you installed with the printer, or another software program to rotate the image 180°. The problem might not appear on the other end of the printout.
  • Always use the power button to turn off the printer. This protects the printhead from exposure to air.

Step four: Service the printer if troubleshooting fails

If troubleshooting does not resolve the print defects, service the printer.

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