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HP Officejet 6300 and J Series - Missing Lines

The document applies to HP Officejet 6300, 6310xi, J4524, J4624, J5700, and J5783 series printers.


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


Step one: Did you just install a new tri-color or photo cartridge?

If all three of the following statements are true, the problem can probably be solved just by letting the printer sit for 30 minutes:
  • You just installed a photo or tri-color print cartridge (the cartridge can be either new or previously-used)
  • The problem appeared right after you installed the cartridge
  • The recently-installed cartridge is the one that is printing the defective patterns on the self-test page
Sometimes when a tri-color or photo print cartridge is snapped into the print carriage, it ingests a small amount of air, which can prevent some nozzles from working properly. The air soon works its way out of the cartridge.

Step two: Run the clean print cartridges utility

If the step above did not solve the problem, clean the print cartridges.
  1. Make sure that there is plain white paper in the input tray.
  2. On the product control panel, press Setup.
  3. Press the left arrow () or the right arrow () to select Tools, and then press OK.
  4. Press the left arrow () or the right arrow () to select Clean Print Cartridge, and then press OK. The product prints a test page.
  5. Examine the test page. If the print quality of the page is good, stop here. If the print quality is bad, proceed to the next step.

Step three: Clean the contacts

  1. Gather the following items to clean the cartridge contacts:
    • Dry foam rubber swabs, lint-free cloth, or any soft material that will not come apart or leave fibers.
      Coffee filters are lint-free and work well for cleaning cartridges.
    • Clean distilled, filtered, or bottled water. Tap water might contain contaminants that could damage the cartridge.
      Do not use platen cleaners or alcohol to clean the cartridge contacts. These can damage the cartridge or the unit.
    • Sheets of paper or paper towel to rest the cartridges on during cleaning.
  2. Turn on the product and open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the unit.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then disconnect the power cord from the back of the unit.
  4. Lightly press down on the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you out of the slot.
    Do not remove both cartridges at the same time. Remove and clean each cartridge one at a time. Do not leave a cartridge outside the unit for more than 30 minutes because the ink can dry and clog the nozzles.
  5. Inspect the cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.
  6. Dip a clean foam rubber swab or lint-free cloth into the distilled water. Squeeze it to remove any excess water. The swab should be only slightly damp.
  7. Hold the cartridge by its sides and clean the copper-color contacts.
      Figure : Clean the cartridge contacts
      Clean the cartridge contacts
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Ink nozzles (do not clean)
  8. Allow the cartridges to dry for approximately ten minutes.
  9. Slide the cartridge back into the correct slot. Push the cartridge forward until it clicks into place.
    • If inserting the tri-color cartridge, insert the cartridge in the slot on the left.
    • If inserting the black cartridge, insert the cartridge in the slot on the right.
    Figure : Insert cartridge
    Insert the cartridge
  10. Repeat steps 4 through 10 for the other cartridge, if necessary.
  11. Close the cartridge door.
  12. Reconnect the power cord into the back of the unit.

Step four: Remove and rest the black cartridge for two hours

The following procedure does not fix missing lines or streaked bars printed by the tri-color, photo, or gray photo cartridges, or other color-printing problems. Perform the following steps only if the black cartridge has printed defective patterns or if the black text darkness is uneven and not uniform.
In the black cartridge, this problem might be caused by sediments collecting in the nozzle area. Perform the following steps to resolve this issue:
  1. Open the cartridge door.
  2. Remove the black cartridge.
  3. If the carriage has a latch, re-latch it and then close the cartridge door.
    If the door is not closed, it cannot adequately protect the remaining tri-color cartridge.
  4. Place the cartridge on a level surface with the nozzles up (label down).
    Figure : Cartridge with the nozzles up
    Cartridge with nozzles facing up
  5. Allow the cartridge to sit undisturbed for two hours.
  6. Reinstall the cartridge, and then print a diagnostic page using the following steps:
    1. Load letter or A4 unused plain white paper into the input tray.
    2. On the product control panel, press and hold Cancel, and then press Start Copy Color.
    Make sure that the test patterns on the printout show a complete grid and the thick color lines are complete.
    • More than a few broken lines in a pattern can indicate a problem with the nozzles. You might need to clean the cartridges.
    • If the black line is missing, faded, streaked, or shows lines, this might indicate a problem with the black cartridge in the right slot.
    • If any of the color lines are missing, or if the pattern appears faded, streaked, or shows lines, this might indicate a problem with the tri-color cartridge in the left slot.
  7. If the diagnostic page shows no defects for the black cartridge, and if the cartridge was new, align the cartridge. To align the cartridge, follow these steps:
    1. Load letter, A4, or legal unused plain white paper into the input tray.
    2. In HP Solution Center, click Settings, point to Print Settings, and then click Printer Toolbox. The Printer Toolbox appears.
      You can also open the Printer Toolbox from the Print Properties dialog box. In the Print Properties dialog box, click the Services tab, and then click Service this device.
    3. Click the Device Services tab.
    4. Click Align the Print Cartridges. An alignment sheet prints.
    5. Place the alignment sheet with the print side down on the right front corner of the scanner glass.
    6. On the product control panel, press Start Scan/Reprints. The product aligns the cartridges. Recycle or discard the alignment sheet.
      You can also align the cartridges from the product control panel. Press and hold Cancel, and then press the power button. When the Check Paper and Check Print Cartridge lights are blinking, press Cancel, then press Number of Copies, then press Paper Type, and finally press Color Start.
    If the page still shows defects, go to the next step.

Step five: Replace the problem cartridge

If the previous steps did not resolve the issue, either the problem cartridge or the product is defective.
  • If you have not tried cartridge replacement previously to resolve the issue, replace the problem cartridge now. To see if your cartridge is covered under warranty, see information about warranty for cartridges and replaceable printheads. .
  • If you have replaced the cartridge and it did not resolve the issue, the product might need to be serviced.
Click Contact Support on this page for more support options.

Preventing missing lines

Missing lines 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.
  • Always turn the printer off 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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