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HP Deskjet 1050, 1050A, 2050, and 2050A All-in-One Printer Series - 'Alignment Failed' Error Message Displays on the Computer

Issue

The error message 'Alignment failed' displays on the computer.
Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.

Solution one: Make sure that the paper type is appropriate and then reload the paper

Follow these steps to make sure that the paper type is appropriate, and then reload the paper.

Step one: Make sure that the paper type is appropriate

Use the following steps to make sure that you are using an appropriate paper type.
  1. Remove all the paper from the tray.
  2. Make sure that the paper is clean, unused, plain white, and letter or A4 size paper.
    note:
    Aligning the product using colored, photo, or used paper can cause the alignment to fail.

Step two: Reload the paper

Once you determine that you are using the appropriate paper type, follow these steps to reload the paper in the product.
  1. Raise the input tray.
    Figure : Raise the input tray
    Graphic: Raise the input tray
  2. Lower the output tray, and then pull out the tray extender.
    Figure : Pull out the tray extender
    Illustration of pulling out the tray extender
  3. Slide the paper width guide to its outermost position.
    Figure : Slide the paper width guide to its outermost position
    Illustration of sliding the width guide outward
  4. Load a stack of plain paper into the input tray, print-side up. Slide the stack of paper in until it stops.
    Figure : Load paper
    Illustration of loading paper
  5. Slide the paper width guide snugly against the paper.
    Figure : Slide the paper width guide snugly against the paper
    Illustration of sliding the paper width guide against the paper

Step three: Align the cartridges

After you have loaded the appropriate paper type, try the alignment process again. Use the following steps to align the product.
IMPORTANT: To complete the alignment process, the product must successfully print and scan the alignment page. After the alignment page prints, make sure you complete the steps to scan the page.
Figure : Example alignment page
Graphic: Example of an alignment page
  1. Open the HP product software:
    • Windows XP: Click Start (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().
    • Windows Vista or Windows 7: Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().
    note:
    You can also open the HP product software from your computer desktop: double-click the icon for your HP product ().
    The product software opens.
  2. In the product software, double-click Printer Actions ().
  3. Double-click Maintenance Tasks (). The HP Toolbox opens.
  4. Click Align Ink Cartridges, and then follow the on-screen instructions to print the alignment page.
  5. Lift the scanner lid.
  6. Place the alignment page with the printed side down on the right-front corner of the scanner glass. See the engraved guide next to the scanner glass for help loading the alignment page.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Graphic: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  7. Close the scanner lid.
  8. Press the Start Copy Black button () to begin the scan. The product scans the alignment page.
  9. Wait until the Power light () stops blinking, which indicates that the cartridge alignment is complete.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Run the automatic cartridge cleaning process

Use the following steps to run the automatic cartridge cleaning process from the HP software, and then try to align the product again.

Step one: Run the automatic cartridge cleaning process

Use the following steps to run the automatic cartridge cleaning process from the HP software.
  1. Open the HP product software:
    • Windows XP: Click Start (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().
    • Windows Vista or Windows 7: Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().
    note:
    You can also open the HP product software from your computer desktop: double-click the icon for your HP product ().
    The product software opens.
  2. In the product software, double-click Printer Actions ().
  3. Double-click Maintenance Tasks (). The HP Toolbox opens.
  4. Click the Device Services tab, and then click Clean Ink Cartridges, and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the cartridge cleaning process. The product cleans the cartridges and then prints a test page.
  5. Examine the test page.
    • If the black and all of the colors are present, and not faded or streaked, continue to the next step to align the cartridges again.
    • If the black or any of the colors are missing, faded, or streaked, skip to Solution three: Clean the electrical contacts.

Step two: Align the cartridges

After running the automatic cartridge cleaning process, try to align the cartridges again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Clean the electrical contacts

Use the following steps to clean the electrical contacts on the cartridges, and then try to align the cartridges again.

Step one: Clean the electrical contacts

Follow these steps to clean the electrical contacts on the cartridges.
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • Dry foam-rubber swabs, lint-free cloth, or any soft material that will not come apart or leave fibers (coffee filters work well)
    • Distilled, filtered, or bottled water (tap water might contain contaminants that can damage the cartridges)
        caution:
      Do not use platen cleaners or alcohol to clean the cartridge contacts. These can damage the cartridge or the product.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before continuing.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Graphic: Open the cartridge access door
  4. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then pull the cartridge out to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Graphic: Remove the cartridge
      caution:
    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 product for more than 30 minutes.
  5. Hold the cartridge by its sides.
    Figure : Hold the cartridge by its sides
    Illustration of holding the cartridge by its sides
  6. Inspect the ink cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.
  7. Dip a clean foam-rubber swab or lint-free cloth into distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.
  8. Clean only the copper-colored contacts, and then allow the cartridge to dry for approximately 10 minutes.
      Figure : Clean the contacts
      Graphic: Clean the contacts
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Ink nozzles (do not clean)
  9. Lightly moisten another cotton swab with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from the swab.
  10. Use the swab to clean the electrical contacts in the carriage, located inside the product. Allow the contacts to dry for approximately 10 minutes.
  11. Hold the cartridge by its sides with the nozzles toward the product, and then insert the cartridge into its slot. Make sure that the icon on the cartridge matches the icon on the slot.
    Figure : Insert the cartridge into its slot
    Illustration of installing a cartridge
  12. Push the cartridge forward into its slot until it snaps into place.
    Figure : Snap the cartridge into place
    Graphic: Snap the cartridge into place
  13. Repeat these steps for the other cartridge.
  14. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Graphic: Close the cartridge access door

Step two: Align the cartridges

After cleaning the electrical contacts on the cartridge, try to align the product again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Replace the problem cartridge

A common reason for alignment failure is a cartridge problem. Use the following steps to replace the cartridge associated with the streaked or missing color on the alignment page.
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
note:
Whenever you replace one or both cartridges, the product prompts you to align the cartridges.
  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  2. Open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the center of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before continuing.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Graphic: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Lightly press down on the cartridge to release it, and then pull the cartridge out to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Graphic: Remove the cartridge
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging, and then pull the pink pull tab to remove the plastic tape.
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or ink nozzles. Also, do not re-tape the cartridges. Doing so can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure : Remove the plastic tape
    Illustration of removing the tape from the new cartridge
  5. Hold the cartridge by its sides with the nozzles toward the product, and then insert the cartridge into its slot. Make sure that the icon on the cartridge matches the icon on the slot.
    • The tri-color cartridge () goes in the slot on the left
    • The black cartridge () goes in the slot on the right
    Figure : Insert the cartridge into its slot
    Illustration of installing a cartridge
  6. Push the cartridge forward into its slot until it snaps into place.
    Figure : Snap the cartridge into place
    Graphic: Snap the cartridge into place
  7. Repeat these steps to replace the other cartridge, if necessary.
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Graphic: Close the cartridge access door
  9. Wait about 30 seconds for the alignment page to automatically print.
    Figure : The alignment page prints automatically after 30 seconds
    Graphic: The alignment page prints automatically after 30 seconds
  10. Lift the scanner lid.
  11. Place the alignment page with the printed-side down on the right-front corner of the scanner glass. See the engraved guide next to the scanner glass for help loading the alignment page.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Graphic: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
  12. Close the scanner lid.
  13. Press the Start Copy Black button () to begin the scan. The product scans the alignment page.
  14. Wait until the Power light () stops blinking, which indicates that the cartridge alignment is complete.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Service the All-in-One

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.

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