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Fixing Print Quality Problems for the HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One (C311) Printer Series

Issue

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.

Solution one: Use genuine HP 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.

Solution two: Allow automatic servicing to complete

Many print quality problems with black ink, such as poor black text or issues that occur with a newly installed black cartridge, clear up with the printer's automatic servicing routine. There is nothing you need to do. The print quality should start improving in a few hours.
If you cannot wait for the automatic servicing routine to complete, continue with the following troubleshooting solutions.

Solution three: Check the paper

The quality and type of paper can affect the print job. Use the following guidelines to make sure that the paper is appropriate. If it is not, load an appropriate paper type.
note:
To view the types of paper your printer supports, see the specifications for your printer.
  • 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.
note:
Inappropriate paper usually causes vertical streaks in printouts (or if the problem occurs on a copy, dirty scanner glass usually causes the issue). Do not replace cartridges to fix vertical streaks.
Examples of horizontal streaks and vertical streaks in the printout
Figure : Horizontal streaks in printout
Image: Horizontal streaks.
Figure : Vertical streaks in printout
Image: Vertical streaks.
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks or other print quality issues besides vertical streaks.
Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document, or click here to fix Vertical Bands, Lines, or Streaks in Copies or Scans to resolve the issue.
After following the preceding guidelines, try printing the document again.

Solution four: Check the print settings

Follow these steps to check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for your print job.

Solution five: Check the ink levels and replace any low or empty cartridges

Follow these steps to check the estimated ink levels on your printer, and then replace any low or empty cartridges according to the results.

Step one: Check the ink levels

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.
From the home screen of the printer control panel, touch the Ink icon .
The current ink levels display.
Figure : Example of estimated ink levels
Image: Estimated ink levels displaying on the control panel.

Step two: Replace any depleted cartridges

Follow these steps to replace the cartridges indicated on the product control panel.

Video of replacing a cartridge

The following video demonstrates how to replace an ink cartridge.
  1. Turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the ink cartridge access door.
    The carriage moves to the access area.
    Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Wait until the carriage stops moving before you continue.
  4. Press the tab on the front of the ink cartridge inward to release it, and then pull up on the ink cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Remove the cartridge from the slot.
    note:
    Never turn off the printer when ink cartridges are missing. Make sure you replace any missing ink cartridges as soon as possible to avoid print quality issues and possible extra ink usage or damage to the ink system.
      caution:
    Do not lift the latch to the side of the carriage to remove the ink cartridge. Doing so might result in incorrectly seated ink cartridges.
  5. Repeat the previous step until you have removed all of the ink cartridges from the printer.
  6. Remove an ink cartridge from its package, and then pull the orange pull-tab straight back.
      caution:
    Make sure you remove the orange pull-tab and plastic wrap completely before you remove the orange cap in the next step. Otherwise, ink might leak from the ink cartridge. When you remove the plastic wrap, the paper label on the top of the ink cartridge tears slightly, which is necessary to properly vent the cartridge.
    Remove the new cartridge from the plastic wrap.
  7. Twist the orange cap counter clockwise until it snaps off the new ink cartridge.
    Remove the orange cap from the new cartridge.
  8. With the nozzle and contacts facing down, slide the ink cartridge into its slot. Press down on the cartridge until it snaps into place.
      caution:
    Do not lift the carriage latch handle to install the ink cartridges. Doing so can result in incorrectly seated ink cartridges and printing problems. The latch must remain down to install the ink cartridges correctly. Make sure the colored icon on the ink cartridge matches the colored icon on the slot.
    Insert the cartridge.
  9. If the ink cartridge does not snap into place, remove the ink cartridge from the carriage. Gently bend the tab away from the ink cartridge, and then reinsert the ink cartridge into the carriage.
      caution:
    Be careful not to bend the tab out more than 1.27 cm (0.5 in). Moving the tab too far might damage the ink cartridge or cause the tab to break off.
      Adjust the ink cartridge tab
    1. Bend the tab away from the cartridge
    2. Do not bend the tab more than 1.27 cm (0.5 in)
  10. Repeat the previous steps until you have inserted all of the new ink cartridges into the printer.
  11. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Close the cartridge access door.
  12. When you insert a new ink cartridge, the printer automatically prompts you to align the ink cartridges. Touch OK on the printer control panel to complete the alignment.

Solution six: Print and evaluate a Print Quality Diagnostic Report

Follow these steps to print a test page, and then evaluate the results.

Video of how to print a test page

The following video demonstrates how to print a test page.
This video shows an HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-On (C311a) printer, but the steps are the same for your printer.
note:
The steps in the video might not match exactly the steps in the document.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube.

Step one: Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Report

Follow these steps to print a test page.
  1. Load plain white U.S. letter or A4 size paper in the tray.
  2. From the control panel home screen, touch the Settings icon ().
  3. Touch Tools, and then touch Print Quality Report. The product prints a test page.
    Figure : Example Print Quality Diagnostic Report
    Image: Example Print quality Diagnostic Report

Step two: Check the test page for defects

Review the diagnostic areas of the print quality report to check for defects. Defects on the report can help you identify the print quality issue and then troubleshoot it.
    Figure : Diagnostic areas of the print quality report
    Image: Diagnostic areas on test page.
  1. Sample text
  2. Alignment patterns
  3. Color bars
In general, if the printer and its cartridges work correctly, all the color bars are present, unstreaked, and uniform in color across the width of the page. The black text on the page does not show ink streaks.
Use the following table for examples of defects that can exist on the print quality diagnostic report. The following examples are not all inclusive, but tend to represent the most common issues.
Examples of defects on the print quality diagnostic report
Defect
Example
Large font text is ragged on one end (possible cartridge or printhead problem)
Image: Ragged large text.
Irregularly streaked or faded color bars (possible cartridge or printhead problem)
Image: Streaked or faded color bars.
Ragged color bars (possible cartridge or printhead problem)
Image: Ragged color bars.
The color bars are streaked with another color (possible cartridge or printhead problem)
Image: Streaked color bars.
The color blocks have regular white streaks (possible cartridge or printhead problem)
Image: White streaks in the color bars.
Completely missing (black) color (possible cartridge or printhead problem)
Image: Missing color (black).
Page is blank or nearly blank (possible cartridge or printhead problem)
Image: Nearly blank page.
Jagged alignment patterns (possible alignment problem)
Image: Jagged alignment patterns.
  • If you see one or more defects on the print quality diagnostic report, continue to the next steps.
  • If there are no defects on the print quality diagnostic report, it indicates that the print mechanism and ink supplies work correctly. Therefore, you do not need to continue the troubleshooting steps in the remainder of this document. However, if printouts are still unsatisfactory, try the following general procedures to improve print quality:
    • Make sure that the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Enlarged images 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.
    • Avoid leaving unprotected cartridges out of the printer for an extended period of time.
    • Always use the Power button to turn off the printer. This protects the cartridges from drying out.
Image: Garbled, illogical text, and incomplete printout.
Windows only: If you are experiencing garbled, jumbled or illogical text, incomplete printouts, or missing text or graphics, go to Continuous Pages of Strange or Garbled Characters Print in Windows.

Step three: Make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and seated correctly

If the vent on the top of the cartridge is clogged or obstructed, the cartridge might not work properly. Follow these steps to make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and seated correctly.
  1. Turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the ink cartridge access door.
    The carriage moves to the access area.
    Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Wait until the carriage stops moving before you continue.
  4. Press the tab on the front of the ink cartridge inward to release it, and then pull up on the ink cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Remove the cartridge from the slot.
  5. Examine the vent area on each ink cartridge, above the HP logo on the top of the ink cartridge.
    Vent area on the top of the cartridge.
  6. If the ink cartridge still has the pull tab attached, pull to remove it.
    Orange pull tab.
  7. If the vent is clogged, use a straight pin to gently remove excess adhesive from the vent.
      Clean the clogged vent with a pin.
    1. Clogged vent
    2. With a straight pin, gently remove excess adhesive from the vent
    3. Unclogged vent
  8. With the nozzle and the contacts facing down, slide the ink cartridge into its slot. Press down on the ink cartridge until it snaps into place. Make sure the color icon on the ink cartridge label matches the color icon on the slot.
    Reinsert the cartridge.
  9. Repeat these steps to inspect the vents on each ink cartridge.
  10. Make sure each ink cartridge is firmly in place in its slot. Run your finger along the top of the cartridges to feel for any that are protruding, and if any are, press down firmly until each ink cartridge snaps into place.
  11. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Close the cartridge access door

Step four: Use an automated tool to clean the printhead

Follow these steps to clean the printhead.
note:
If the printhead is badly clogged, you might need to clean the printhead several times to restore normal print quality.
  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. Load plain white paper in the input tray, if it is not already loaded.
  2. On the printer control panel, touch the Setup icon , and then touch Tools.
  3. Touch Clean Cartridges.
    The printer cleans the printhead and prints a Print Quality Diagnostic page.
  4. Review the print quality on the test page.
    Figure : Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    Image: Print Quality Diagnostic Page
    note:
    There are two cleaning levels. Complete both if necessary. If the printhead is badly clogged, it might require another cleaning cycle. If so, wait 30 minutes before you perform both levels of cleaning again.

Step five: Use an automated tool to align the printer

If there were defects on the print quality diagnostic report, follow these steps to align the printheads.
  1. On the printer control panel, touch the Setup icon (), and then touch Tools.
  2. Touch Align Printer. After the alignment, an alignment page prints.
    note:
    Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
  3. The Alignment Successful screen appears. Press OK to exit the screen.
    note:
    If the alignment fails to complete successfully, follow the on screen instructions to complete the alignment before you proceed to the next step.
  4. Examine the printed alignment page. It should show all the color patterns—especially the black and blue patterns. The ink should not be streaked or faint.
    Figure : Example of a correct alignment page
    Image: Example of a correct alignment page.
    Figure : Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages
    Image: Examples of streaked, faded, or missing colors alignment pages.

Solution seven: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all the previous steps and the alignment page still looks streaked or is missing colors, replace the printhead.
  caution:
Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before removing the cartridges. HP recommends that you do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the cartridges.
These steps apply to all countries/regions except the United States.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you receive a new printhead assembly, cleaning materials, and a full set of new ink cartridges with the replacement printhead.
If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, you can purchase a new one online.
  1. Go to the HP How to Buy website, and then click your country-language.
  2. A Buy HP page displays. Look for the HP Parts store on this page. The location of the HP Parts store varies depending on your region. Click HP Parts store.
  3. Under Find your part(s), type CN643A in the Search by part number text box. Follow the on-screen instructions to order the printhead assembly.
This information applies to Asia Pacific only.
If HP replaces your printhead assembly under warranty, you receive a new printhead assembly, cleaning materials, and a full set of new ink cartridges. If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, call the HP Customer Care Center for assistance.
When you have the replacement printhead, go to Replacing the Printhead for detailed instructions to remove the old printhead and install the new one.

Solution eight: Service the printer

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.
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.
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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