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HP DeskJet 2130 Printers - Black or Color Ink Not Printing, Other Print Quality Issues

This document is for HP DeskJet 2130, 2131, 2132, 2134, 2136, DeskJet Ink Advantage 2134, 2135, 2136, and 2138 All-in-One printers.
The quality of a printed document or photo is not as expected. The procedures in this document should help with streaked or faded printouts, color or black ink not printing, documents with blurred or fuzzy text, ink streaks or smears, and other print quality problems.
note:
Rough handling at the store or during installation can cause print quality problems with newly installed ink cartridges. If you see print problems with newly installed ink cartridges, wait for a few hours for the automatic servicing routine to complete, and then try to print again.

Step 1: Reinstall the print driver (Windows only)

If you cannot print color from a Windows computer, uninstall and reinstall the printer software. Skip this step if your printer is able to print in color.
  1. Remove the printer from the devices list.
    For steps on removing the printer from the devices list, go to Uninstalling the Printer Software (Windows).
  2. Go to HP Customer Support - Software and Driver Downloads, and then install the latest software for your printer.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 2: Use genuine HP ink cartridges

HP recommends that you use genuine HP ink or toner supplies. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP or refilled cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the steps in this document might not resolve the issue. To check the authenticity of your cartridges, go to the HP anti-counterfeit webpage (in English).
HP DeskJet 2130 All-in-One printers
Ink cartridge description
North America, Asia Pacific (excluding China, India, and Indonesia)
Western Europe
Africa, CIS, Latin America, and Middle East
China, India, and Indonesia
Black ink cartridge
HP 63 Black 
HP 63XL Black 
HP 302 Black 
HP 302XL Black 
HP 123 Black
HP 123XL Black
HP 803 Black
HP 803XL Black
Color ink cartridge
HP 63 Tri-color
HP 63XL Tri-color
HP 302 Tri-color
HP 302XL Tri-color
HP 123 Tri-color
HP 123XL Tri-color
HP 803 Tri-color
HP 803XL Tri-color
HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 2130 All-in-One printers
Ink cartridge description
Latin America
Asia Pacific
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
Black ink cartridge
HP 664 Black
HP 664XL Black
HP 680 Black 
HP 652 Black
Color ink cartridge
HP 664 Tri-color
HP 664XL Tri-color
HP 680 Tri-color
HP 652 Tri-color
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
If using genuine ink cartridges resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 3: Check for ink smears on the back of printouts

If there are smears of ink on the back of your printouts, you can use an automated tool to resolve the issue.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Load paper into the input tray.
  3. Press and hold the Power button, press the Cancel button three times, press the Start Copy Color button eight times, and then release the Power button.
    The printer feeds one page slowly and it might make some noise for approximately one minute. A blank test page prints.
  4. Wait until the page is out of the printer before you remove it.
  5. Discard or recycle the test page, and then try to print.
If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 4: Make sure you are using the appropriate paper for your print job

Using incorrect paper for the print job might cause warping, lines, or streaks. Refer to the following guidelines to make sure the paper you are using is appropriate. If it is not, reload the printer with an appropriate paper type.
  • Load the paper print side up in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides, like photo paper and other special media. Usually, the smoother side is the "print side," and sometimes the non-print side has a logo of the paper manufacturer on it.
  • Do not use wrinkled or curled paper. Load only clean, wrinkle-free paper into the printer.
    Image: Do not use wrinkled paper
  • Use the correct paper type for your project.
    • For everyday text documents, plain paper with ColorLok technology works well. Paper with ColorLok technology is industry-standard paper that works well with HP ink.
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for the best results.
    • Some media may not absorb ink as well as others. If your prints smear easily, make sure you are using a recommended paper.
  • Store photo paper in its original packaging inside a resealable plastic bag. Store the paper on a flat surface in a cool, dry place. Load 10-15 sheets of photo paper only when you are ready to print, and then put the unused paper back in the packaging.
  • Try using a different paper. This determines if the problem is related to the paper.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 5: Check the print settings

Check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for your print job.
note:
Print settings vary by operating system and software program.

Step 6: Check estimated ink levels

Low ink levels can impact print quality. Check estimated ink levels to see if any ink cartridges are critically low or empty.
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.

Step 7: Replace any low or empty ink cartridges

Replace any critically low or empty ink cartridges, and then try to print again. If the ink cartridges show healthy ink levels, skip to Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Lower the output tray.
  3. Reach inside the printer, grasp the handle, and lower the ink cartridge access door.
    The carriage moves to the center of the printer.
    Image: Open the ink cartridge acesss door
  4. Wait until the carriage stops moving before you continue.
  5. Lightly press down on the ink cartridge to release it, and then pull the ink cartridge out of its slot.
    Image: Remove the ink cartridge
  6. Remove the new ink cartridge from its package, and then remove the plastic tape.
      caution:
    Do not try to remove the copper electrical strip.
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not replace the protective tape on the contacts. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Image: Remove the plastic tape
  7. Hold the ink cartridge by its sides with the nozzles toward the printer, and then insert the ink cartridge into its correct slot.
    • Insert the black ink cartridge into the right slot.
    • Insert the tri-color ink cartridge into the left slot.
  8. Slide the new ink cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push the ink cartridge until it snaps into place.
    Image: Push the ink cartridge into its slot until it snaps into place
  9. Repeat these steps to install the other ink cartridge, if necessary.
  10. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    The printer automatically prints an alignment page.
  11. Lift the scanner lid.
  12. Place the alignment page with the print side down on the scanner glass, and then position it according to the engraved guides around the glass.
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  13. Close the scanner lid.
  14. Press the Start Copy Black button or the Start Copy Color button on the control panel of the printer.
    The printer aligns the ink cartridges.
    note:
    If the alignment page fails to automatically print, you can manually print an alignment page using the HP Printer Assistant software (Windows) or the Printer Utility (OS X).
Continue to next step to align the ink cartridges.

Step 8: Align the ink cartridges

Align the ink cartridges for the best print quality.
  1. Lift the scanner lid.
  2. Place the alignment page with the print side down on the scanner glass, and then position it according to the engraved guides around the glass.
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  3. Close the scanner lid.
  4. Press the Start Copy Black button or the Start Copy Color button on the control panel of the printer.
Try to print. If the print quality is unacceptable, continue to the next step.

Step 10: Examine the black and color blocks for defects

Examine the ink blocks on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page to make sure the color and black ink blocks do not show white lines, and are not faded or missing.
Example of the black ink block without defects
Image: Example of the black ink block without defects
Example of the color blocks without defects
Image: Example of the color blocks without defects.
  • If any of the color or black ink blocks show white lines, are faded, or are missing completely, continue to the next step.
  • If the color or black ink blocks do not show white lines, and are not faded or missing, then the ink cartridges are working properly. There is no reason to clean or replace the ink cartridges or service the printer. Try to print the original print job again.
    If that print is still unsatisfactory, try the following general print quality guidelines.
    • Make sure the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Images that are enlarged too much might appear fuzzy or blurry.
    • If the issue 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 degrees. The problem might not display on the other end of the printout.

Step 11: Clean the ink cartridges (Windows)

Clean the ink cartridges using the HP software, and then evaluate the results. If you have a Mac, skip to the next step.
note:
To avoid issues that require cleaning, always turn the printer off with the Power button.
  1. Load U.S. letter or A4 size, unused, plain paper into the input tray.
  2. Turn on the printer.
  3. Open or search for the HP folder in your list of installed software programs, click the folder for your printer, and then click the name of your printer.
    HP Printer Assistant opens.
  4. On the HP Printer Assistant window, click Maintain Your Printer.
  5. Click the Device Services tab, and then click Clean Ink Cartridges.
  6. Once the cleaning cycle completes, click Print.
    A test page prints.
    Image: Example of a test page without defects
  7. Examine the test page.
    • If the print quality is acceptable, click Done. You can stop troubleshooting.
    • If the print quality is unacceptable, click Second-level Clean when prompted to perform the next level of cleaning.
      note:
      If the ink cartridges are badly clogged, it might require another cleaning cycle. If so, wait 30 minutes before you perform both levels of cleaning again.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 12: Manually clean the area around the ink nozzles

Do not perform these steps unless the test page or printout specifically shows smeared text or track marks. Clean the area around the ink nozzles if you see track marks or smears on the printouts. Otherwise, skip to the next step
Image: Example of smeared text
Image: Example of text with track marks
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • Dry foam-rubber swabs, lint-free cloth, or any soft material that does not come apart or leave fibers (coffee filters work well)
    • Distilled, filtered, or bottled water (tap water might contain contaminants that can damage the ink cartridges)
        caution:
      Do not use platen cleaners or alcohol to clean the ink cartridge contacts. These can damage the ink cartridge or the printer.
  2. Turn on the printer.
  3. Lower the output tray, reach inside the printer, and then grasp the handle and lower the ink cartridge access door to open it.
    The carriage moves to the center of the printer.
    Image: Open the ink cartridge access door.
  4. Wait until the carriage stops moving before you continue.
  5. With the printer turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.
      warning:
    You must disconnect the power cord before reaching inside the printer to avoid risk of injuries or electric shock.
  6. Lightly press down on one of the ink cartridges to release it, and then pull the ink cartridge toward you out of its slot.
    Image: Press down to remove the ink cartridge
      caution:
    Do not remove both ink cartridges at the same time. Remove and clean each ink cartridge one at a time. Do not leave an ink cartridge outside the printer for more than 30 minutes.
  7. Hold the ink cartridge by its sides.
    Image: Hold the ink cartridge by its sides.
  8. Inspect the ink cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Touching these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Image: Do not touch the contacts or nozzles.
  9. Lightly moisten a foam-rubber swab or lint-free cloth with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.
  10. Clean the face and edges around the ink nozzle with the swab.
      caution:
    Do not clean the ink nozzle plate.
      Image: The ink nozzle and ink cartridge contacts.
    1. Nozzle plate - Do not clean
    2. Area surrounding ink nozzle - Do clean
    3. Ink cartridge contacts - Do not clean
  11. Either let the ink cartridge sit for 10 minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.
  12. Slide each ink cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push up on each ink cartridge until it locks into place.
    Image: Push the ink cartridge into its slot until it locks into place.
  13. Repeat these steps to clean around the nozzles on the other ink cartridge.
  14. Close the ink cartridge access door.
  15. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.
  16. Turn on the printer.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 13: Replace the problem ink cartridge

Replace the problem ink cartridge if continue to see print quality issues and the preceding steps did not resolve the issue, even if the ink cartridge is not low on ink. The problem ink cartridge is the one that printed the defects on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page as described earlier in this document.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink or toner supplies, go to Printer and Page Yield Overview, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Lower the output tray.
  3. Reach inside the printer, grasp the handle, and lower the ink cartridge access door.
    The carriage moves to the center of the printer.
    Image: Open the ink cartridge acesss door
  4. Wait until the carriage stops moving before you continue.
  5. Lightly press down on the ink cartridge to release it, and then pull the ink cartridge out of its slot.
    Image: Remove the ink cartridge
  6. Remove the new ink cartridge from its package, and then remove the plastic tape.
      caution:
    Do not try to remove the copper electrical strip.
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not replace the protective tape on the contacts. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Image: Remove the plastic tape
  7. Hold the ink cartridge by its sides with the nozzles toward the printer, and then insert the ink cartridge into its correct slot.
    • Insert the black ink cartridge into the right slot.
    • Insert the tri-color ink cartridge into the left slot.
  8. Slide the new ink cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push the ink cartridge until it snaps into place.
    Image: Push the ink cartridge into its slot until it snaps into place
  9. Repeat these steps to install the other ink cartridge, if necessary.
  10. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    The printer automatically prints an alignment page.
  11. Lift the scanner lid.
  12. Place the alignment page with the print side down on the scanner glass, and then position it according to the engraved guides around the glass.
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  13. Close the scanner lid.
  14. Press the Start Copy Black button or the Start Copy Color button on the control panel of the printer.
    The printer aligns the ink cartridges.
    note:
    If the alignment page fails to automatically print, you can manually print an alignment page using the HP Printer Assistant software (Windows) or the Printer Utility (OS X).
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 14: 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.
note:
Keep a print sample that shows the problem. If the ink cartridges, printhead, or printer is replaced under warranty, the support agent will request the print sample. If the printer is returned to HP, the print sample must be returned with the printer. Place the sample in the output tray when you package your printer for shipping.

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