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HP LaserJet Pro P1566 and P1606dn Printers - Troubleshooting Print Quality Issues

You can prevent most print-quality problems by following these guidelines.
  • Use paper that meets HP specifications.
  • Clean the product as necessary.

Image defect examples

This section provides information about identifying and correcting print defects.
note:
If these steps do not correct the problem, contact an HP-authorized dealer or service representative.

Light print or faded

  • The print cartridge is nearing end of life.
  • Redistribute the toner to extend the life.
  • The media might not meet Hewlett-Packard's media specifications (for example, the media is too moist or too rough).
  • If the whole page is light, the print density adjustment is too light or EconoMode might be turned on. Adjust the print density, and disable EconoMode in the printer Properties.

Toner specks

  • The media might not meet Hewlett-Packard's media specifications (for example, the media is too moist or too rough).
  • The product might need to be cleaned.
  • The print cartridge might be defective. Install a new genuine HP print cartridge.

Dropouts

  • A single sheet of media might be defective. Try reprinting the job.
  • The media moisture content is uneven or the media has moist spots on its surface. Try printing with new media.
  • The media lot is bad. The manufacturing processes can cause some areas to reject toner. Try a different type or brand of media.
  • Place the product in quiet mode, and send the print job again.
  • The print cartridge might be defective. Install a new genuine HP print cartridge.

Vertical lines

The photosensitive drum inside the print cartridge has probably been scratched. Install a new genuine HP print cartridge.

Gray background

  • Change the media to a lighter basis weight.
  • Check the product's environment. Very dry (low humidity) conditions can increase the amount of background shading.
  • The density setting might be too high. Adjust the density setting.
  • Install a new genuine HP print cartridge.

Toner smear

  • If toner smears appear on the leading edge of the media, the media guides might be dirty. Wipe the media guides with a dry, lint-free cloth.
  • Check the media type and quality.
  • The fuser temperature might be too low. In your printer driver, make sure the appropriate media type is selected.
  • Place the product in quiet mode, and send the print job again.
  • Install a new genuine HP print cartridge.

Loose toner

  • The fuser temperature might be too low. In your printer driver, make sure the appropriate media type is selected.
  • Clean the inside of the product.
  • Check the media type and quality.
  • Place the product in quiet mode, and send the print job again.
  • Plug the printer directly into an AC outlet instead of into a power strip.

Vertical repetitive defects

  • The print cartridge might be damaged. If a repetitive mark occurs at the same spot on the page, install a new genuine HP print cartridge.
  • The internal parts might have toner on them. If the defects occur on the back of the page, the problem will probably correct itself after a few more printed pages.
  • In your printer driver, make sure the appropriate media type is selected.

Misformed characters

  • If characters are improperly formed, producing hollow images, the media stock might be too slick. Try a different media.
  • If characters are improperly formed, producing a wavy effect, the product might need service. Print a configuration page. If the characters are improperly formed, contact an HP-authorized dealer or service representative.

Page skew

  • Make sure that the media is loaded correctly and the media guides are not too tight or too loose against the media stack.
  • The input bin might be too full.
  • Check the media type and quality.

Curl or wave

  • Check the media type and quality. Both high temperature and high humidity cause media to curl.
  • The media might have been in the input tray too long. Turn over the stack of media in the tray. Also, try rotating the media 180° in the input tray.
  • Place the product in quiet mode, and send the print job again.
  • The fuser temperature might be too high. In your printer driver, make sure the appropriate media type is selected. If the problem persists, select a media type that uses a lower fuser temperature, such as transparencies or light media.

Wrinkles or creases

  • Make sure that media is loaded properly.
  • Check the media type and quality.
  • Turn over the stack of media in the tray. Also, try rotating the media 180° in the input tray.
  • Place the product in quiet mode, and send the print job again.
  • For envelopes, this can be caused by air pockets inside the envelope. Remove the envelope, flatten the envelope, and try printing again.

Toner scatter outline

  • If large amounts of toner have scattered around the characters, the transfer of toner to the media is not optimal (a small amount of toner scatter is normal for laser printing). Try a different media type setting in the printer driver, or use a different media type.
  • Turn over the stack of media in the tray.
  • Use media that is designed for laser printers.
  • Place the product in quiet mode, and send the print job again.

Moisture

note:
This product dissipates heat by using convective cooling. The heat and moisture generated by the printing process escape through vents in the product exterior or through the output bin area.
Water droplets from the convective cooling process will not damage the product.
Verify normal product operation
The release of moisture is a result of normal product operation. However, HP recommends using the following steps to verify that the product is releasing steam and does not have a functional problem.
  1. Turn the product off, and then on.
  2. Send a print job to the product, and then verify that the product is operating correctly.
  3. When printing a job and vapor is visible, immediately reprint the job using the same sheet of paper. There should be either no visible vapor, or much less vapor during the printing process.
Limit or reduce steam or vapor
  • Make sure that the product is placed in a well-ventilated area that meets the environmental specifications.
  • Do not place the product, or store paper, near an outside entrance where temperature changes can increase humidity.
  • Use an unopened ream of paper that has not been exposed to high humidity.
  • Store paper in an airtight container, where it will be less likely to absorb moisture.
  • Place the product in quiet mode, and send the print job again.

Optimize and improve image quality

Change print density

You can change the print density setting by from the printer properties dialog box.
  1. Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003 (using the default Start menu view): Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
    -or-
    Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003 (using the Classic Start menu view): Click Start, and then click Printers.
    -or-
    Windows Vista: Click Start, click Control Panel, and then in the category for Hardware and Sound click Printer.
  2. In the list of printers, right-click the name of this product, and then click the Properties menu item to open the printer properties dialog box.
  3. Click the Device settings tab, and then move the Print Density slider to the desired setting.
  4. Click the Apply button to accept the setting, and then click the OK button to close the dialog box.