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HP Deskjet 6500, 6600, 6800 and Photosmart 8700 - Missing Lines

The document applies to HP Deskjet 6520, 6540, 6540dt, 6620, 6840, and 6840dt series, and Photosmart 8700 series printers.

Problem

You printed a self test page and found missing lines in one or more of the test patterns or streaks in one or more of the color bars.

Step 1 - Run the clean print cartridges utility

  1. Make sure the printer is on and connected to the computer.
  2. Click the Windows Start button, then click Control Panel.
  3. Double-click the Printer and Faxes folder.
  4. Right-click the icon for your printer and choose Preferences.
  5. Choose the Services tab and click Service this Device.
  6. The Printer Toolbox opens. On the Device Services tab, click Clean the Print Cartridges, then follow the onscreen instructions. Up to three levels of cleaning are available. Discard or recycle the page that prints.
    Figure : Click Clean the Print Cartridges

Step 2 - Clean the contacts

  1. Gather the following items to clean the ink cartridge and carriage:
    • Clean distilled water. Use bottled or filtered water if distilled water is not available. Tap water can contain contaminants that damage the ink cartridge.
    • Clean cotton swabs or any soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the ink cartridges (coffee filters work well).
    • Sheets of paper or a paper towel to rest the ink cartridge on during cleaning.
  2. Open the ink cartridge access door and wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Disconnect the power cord from the back of the printer.
  4. Remove the ink cartridge and place it on a piece of paper with the nozzle plate facing up.
    note:
    Do not leave the ink cartridges outside of the printer for more than 30 minutes. If the ink cartridge is outside of the printer for too long, the ink can dry and clog the nozzles.
  5. Dip a clean foam-rubber swab or lint-free cloth into distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.
  6. Clean only the copper-colored contacts
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Ink nozzles (do not clean)
  7. Repeat these steps for the other ink cartridge.
  8. Lightly moisten another cotton swab with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from the swab.
  9. Use the swab to clean the electrical contacts in the carriage, located inside the printer on the carriage slots.
    Image: The electrical contacts in the ink cartridge slots
  10. Wait 10 minutes to allow the ink cartridge and carriage electrical contacts to dry.
  11. Reinstall the ink cartridges.
  12. Close the ink cartridge access door.
  13. Reconnect the power cord to the back of the printer.
  14. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  15. Try to print a page.
  16. If you are still unable to print, repeat these steps to clean and reseat the ink cartridges. Multiple cleanings might be necessary to restore printing.
Figure : Print carriage contacts

Step 3 - Black cartridges only: remove and rest for two hours

note:
The procedure below will not fix missing lines or streaked bars printed by the tri-color, photo, or gray photo cartridges, or other color printing problems. Only perform the steps below if the black print cartridge has printed defective patterns, or if you notice non-uniform black text darkness.
In the black print cartridge, this problem may be caused by sediments collecting in the nozzle area. Follow the steps below to solve this problem:
  1. Remove the black print cartridge.
  2. If the carriage has a latch, relatch it and then close the printer - this is important. If the printer is not closed, it cannot adequately protect the remaining tri-color cartridge.
  3. Place the cartridge on a level surface with the nozzles up (label down).
    Figure : Cartridge with the nozzles up
  4. Allow the cartridge to sit undisturbed for two hours.
  5. Reinstall the cartridge and print another self test page.
    1. Click the Windows Start button, then click Control Panel.
    2. Double-click the Printer and Faxes folder.
    3. Right-click the icon for your printer and choose Preferences.
    4. Choose the Services tab and click Service this Device. The printer Toolbox opens.
    5. On the Devices Services tab, click Print a Diagnostic Page.
  6. Look for defects on the page.
    • If the self test page shows no defects for the black cartridge, and if the cartridge was new, align the cartridge. To align the cartridge, follow the steps below:
      1. Load fresh, white paper.
      2. Click the Windows Start button, then click Control Panel.
      3. Double-click the Printer and Faxes folder.
      4. Right-click the icon for your printer and choose Preferences.
      5. Choose the Services tab and click Service this Device. The printer Toolbox opens.
      6. On the Device Services tab, click Align the Printer.
    • If the cartridge was not new, there is no reason to align the printer.
    • If the page still shows defects, go to the next step.

Step 4 - Replace the problem cartridge

If a cartridge replacement was not tried previously to solve this problem, replace the problem cartridge now. Go to Ink Cartridge and Printhead Limited Warrantyto see if the cartridge is covered under warranty.

How to prevent missing lines or streaks

Missing lines and streaks occur when the cartridge nozzles dry out, or when a cartridge is running low on ink.
  • Do not remove the protective tape from a new print cartridge until just before you install it. Once you remove the tape, do not reapply it.
  • After you have removed the protective tape, do not allow anything to touch the nozzles.
  • Print at least once a month to keep the print cartridges in good working order.
  • When you turn the printer off, always do so by pressing the button on the printer control panel, rather than by unplugging the printer. Turning the printer off properly allows it to protect the cartridges.
  • If you are removing a cartridge from the printer temporarily (for instance, removing the black cartridge in order to install the photo cartridge), put it in a cartridge protector.
  • If you do not have a cartridge protector and need to remove a cartridge temporarily, put it in an airtight plastic tub. Make sure nothing touches the nozzles. Do not use a plastic bag. If you intend to store print cartridges in a tub for a long period of time, place color cartridges with the nozzles down, and black cartridges with the nozzles up.

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Country/Region: Flag India

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