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HP OfficeJet Pro 7720 Printers - Black Ink Not Printing and Other Print Quality Issues

This document is for HP OfficeJet Pro 7720 Wide Format 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.
In general, low ink levels should not impact print quality. Your printer stops and displays a message when ink levels get too low. However, the printer might still perform a limited amount of printing in 'backup mode' at low ink levels. In backup mode, blacks might not be as dark, or printouts might be in grayscale (shades of gray with no color). Replace any low ink cartridges if backup mode printing is unacceptable.
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: 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).
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
If installing genuine HP ink cartridges resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 2: Make sure you are using the appropriate paper for your print job

Make sure the paper you are using is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the printer with an appropriate paper type.
  • Load the paper print side down in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides, such as photo paper and envelopes. 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. Use only clean, wrinkle-free paper.
    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.
      ColorLok logo
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photos, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for best results.
    • Some paper might 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 10-20 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 the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Check print settings

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

Step 4: Check the estimated ink levels

Check the estimated ink levels. If an ink cartridge is empty, your printer can print for a period of time in either greyscale or composite black, depending on which ink cartridge is empty. If a color ink cartridge is empty, the printer prints in greyscale using black ink. If the black ink cartridge is empty, the printer prints in composite black using color ink. Composite black might not be as dark as regular printouts.​
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 you are prompted to.
On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Ink Level Indicator icon or .
The control panel displays estimated ink levels. The amount of color shown within a column represents how much ink remains in the ink cartridge of that color.
Example of the ink level display.

Step 5: Replace any low or empty ink cartridges

Replace any critically low or empty ink cartridges, and then try to print again. Skip this step if all ink cartridges display adequate ink levels.
note:
To avoid print quality issues and dried out ink cartridges, do not leave any ink cartridges outside the printer for longer than 30 minutes.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Open the ink cartridge access door.
    Figure : Opening the ink cartridge access door
    Image: Open the ink cartridge access door
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
  4. Push in on the front of the ink cartridge to release it, and then pull the ink cartridge toward you to remove it.
    Figure : Removing the ink cartridge from its slot
    Image: Remove the ink cartridge from its slot.
  5. Remove the replacement ink cartridge from its package.
  6. Slide the new ink cartridge into its slot, and then gently push it forward until it snaps into place.
      caution:
    Do not lift the latch handle on the carriage to insert ink cartridges. Doing so could cause the printhead or ink cartridges to be incorrectly seated, which could damage the print mechanism and cause printing problems.
    Figure : Inserting the ink cartridge into its slot
    Image: Insert the ink cartridge into its color-coded slot
  7. Repeat these steps to install any other new ink cartridges.
  8. Make sure no ink cartridge is sticking out farther than the others. If an ink cartridge is sticking out, push it until it snaps into place.
  9. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Figure : Closing the ink cartridge access door
    Closing the ink cartridge access door
Try to print. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 6: Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page, and then evaluate the results.
  1. Load plain white paper in the input tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .
  3. Swipe up on the display, touch Reports, and then touch Print Quality Report.
    A Print Quality Diagnostic Page prints.
    Figure : Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Example of the Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Step 7: Examine Test Pattern 1

Evaluate Test Pattern 1 to make sure the lines are straight and connected.
Figure : Test Pattern 1
Image: Test Pattern 1.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, skip to Examine the color blocks for defects.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, continue to the next step.

Step 8: Align the printhead

Aligning the printhead can resolve errors with Test Pattern 1.
  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .
  2. Swipe up on the display, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  3. Touch Align Printhead, and then touch Continue.
    An alignment page prints.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page

Step 9: Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to examine the lines in Test Pattern 1 again.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, skip to Order a replacement printhead.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, continue to the next step.

Step 10: Examine the color blocks for defects

Examine the color blocks on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page to make sure the color blocks do not show white lines and are not faded or missing.
Figure : Color blocks with white lines in a color bar
Image: Test Pattern 2 with white lines in a color bar.
Figure : Color blocks with a missing color block
Image: Test Pattern 2 with a missing color block.
  • If the color blocks do not show white lines, and are not faded or missing, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If any of the color blocks show white lines or are faded or missing completely, continue to the next step.

Step 11: Clean the printhead

The printhead could be clogged, and you might need to clean the printhead several times to restore print quality. Use the automated tool from the printer control panel to clean the printhead.
  caution:
Never turn off the printer when ink cartridges are not installed. To avoid issues that require cleaning the printhead or that can damage the ink system, always replace ink cartridges as soon as possible, and always turn off the printer using the Power button.
  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .
  2. Swipe up on the display, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  3. Touch Clean Printhead, and then touch Continue.
    A test page prints.
    Example of the printhead cleaning test page
  4. Examine the test page.
    • If the print quality is unacceptable, touch Clean Again to continue the next level of cleaning. Repeat these steps for the third cleaning stage, if necessary.
      note:
      If the printhead is badly clogged, it might require another cleaning cycle. If so, wait 30 minutes before you perform all three levels of cleaning again.
    • If the print quality is acceptable, touch Done.

Step 12: Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 again.
  • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 2, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If there are still defects in Test Pattern 2 after a second printhead cleaning cycle, you can try to clean the printhead a third time or continue to the next step.

Step 13: Order a replacement printhead

If the previous steps did not resolve the issue, replace the printhead.
  caution:
Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before removing the ink cartridges. HP recommends that you do not leave the ink cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the ink cartridges.
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.
If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, you can purchase a new one online.
  1. Go to HP Parts Store (in English), and then select your country/region and language combination, if prompted.
  2. In the Find your part search box, type M0H91A, and then press Enter.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to order the printhead assembly.
When you have the replacement printhead, go to Replacing the Printhead.
If replacing the printhead did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

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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