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HP Officejet Pro 8000 Enterprise Printer Series - "Alignment failed" Error Message

Issue

After installation of a new printhead, the error message Alignment failed displays on the product control panel.

Step One: Check the alignment page

Figure : Alignment page
The pages printed before every print job are alignment and calibration pages. They are printed before every job because the printer cannot successfully align itself. This could be caused by poor print quality or a bad sensor in the printer.
Newly installed printheads must be aligned to the printer for best print quality. For successful alignment, a sharp, clear alignment page must be printed, and that requires unused, plain white paper. Colored paper, or paper that has already been printed on, even on the other side, can cause alignment to fail.
  • If no paper was loaded, or the paper was previously printed on or colored, or if no alignment page printed, go to Step Five below to retry alignment.
  • If unused, plain white paper was loaded, and an alignment page did print, check the alignment page. For successful alignment, the patterns on the alignment page must be sharply printed.
  • If the page is obviously faded or streaked, go to Step Two below to clean the printheads.
  • If you are not sure whether the alignment page printed correctly, go to Step Three to print a PQ Diagnostic page to see if the printheads are working correctly.

Step Two: Clean the printheads

If the alignment page was streaked or missing colors, clean the printheads.
Cleaning Printheads
  1. Press the Okay button.
  2. Select Maintenance.
  3. Press the Okay button.
  4. Press Okay again when Print Quality appears.
  5. Select Clean Printhead.
  6. Press the Okay button.

Step Three: Print and evaluate a Print Quality Diagnostic page

After cleaning (or if you are not sure a cleaning is required), print a Print Quality Diagnostic page.
Printing PQ Diagnostic
  1. Press the Okay button.
  2. Select Information.
  3. Press the Okay button.
  4. Select Print Quality Page.
  5. Press the Okay button.
Figure : Print Quality Diagnostics Page
Examine the report for defects:
  • White lines
    Figure : White lines in Test Pattern 2
    If any of the colored blocks in Test Pattern 2 show white lines, clean the printheads by the procedure in Step Two above.
    Repeated cleanings may eventually fix the printheads. However, if after repeated cleanings there are still white lines through the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 (but no lines in the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3), replace the printheads by the procedure in Step Six below.
    note:
    If there are white lines through ALL the color blocks, and also white lines through the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3, then do not clean the printheads - instead, calibrate linefeed by the procedure in Step Four below.
  • White gaps
    Figure : White gaps in Test Pattern 3
    If any of the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3 show dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, calibrate linefeed by the procedure in Step Four below.
    If, after calibrating linefeed, there are still lines through the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3, service the printer.
  • If all of the Test Patterns on the Print Quality Diagnostic look okay, you are done. Stop troubleshooting here.

Step Four: Calibrate linefeed

If any of the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3 show dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, calibrate linefeed.
Calibrating Linefeed
  1. Press the Okay button.
  2. Select Maintenance.
  3. Press the Okay button.
  4. Press Okay again when Print Quality appears.
  5. Select Calibrate Linefeed.
  6. Press the Okay button.

Step Five: Retry alignment

If you saw and corrected defects on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page, retry alignment now. Alignment can take up to 20 minutes.
Aligning Printer
  1. Press the Okay button.
  2. Select Maintenance.
  3. Press the Okay button.
  4. Press Okay again when Print Quality appears.
  5. Select Print Alignment.
  6. Press the Okay button.
After retrying alignment, try another print job. If no alignment page prints, the problem is solved.
If alignment continues to fail when the PQ Diagnostic page shows no streaks in the color blocks in Test Pattern 2, then the printer must be serviced.

Step Six: Replace one or both printheads

If, after repeated printhead cleaning, the Print Quality Diagnostic page shows white lines across the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 (but no white lines in the gray blocks in Test Pattern 3), one or both of the printheads will have to be replaced. The Print Quality Diagnostic page shows which printhead should be replaced.
Look at the color blocks labeled Test Pattern 2. Some of them should show white horizontal streaks (if none of the blocks are streaked, the printheads are okay).
Figure : Streaked black, red, or green color blocks - replace Black/Yellow Printhead
  • Black block has lines – replace the Black/Yellow printhead.
  • Red block has lines – replace the Black/Yellow printhead.
  • Green block has lines – replace the Black/Yellow printhead.
Figure : Streaked cyan or magenta color blocks - replace Cyan/Magenta Printhead
  • Cyan block has lines – replace the Magenta/Cyan printhead.
  • Magenta block has lines – replace the Magenta/Cyan printhead.
  1. Lift the carriage-access lid. The top cover rests in an open position.
    Figure : Lift the carriage-access lid
  2. Press and hold the OK button until the carriage moves to the left side of the product. Wait for the carriage to stop moving.
      caution:
    Do not proceed until the carriage is on the left. If the carriage does not move to the left automatically, turn the printer off and back on and then try holding down the OK button again.
  3. Inside the product, lift the blue printhead latch.
    Figure : Lift the printhead latch
  4. Grasp the handle of the old printhead, and then lift upward to remove the printhead from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the printhead from its slot
  5. Without removing the replacement printhead from its packaging, rapidly shake it back and forth six times.
    Figure : Shake the printhead six times
  6. Remove the printhead from its packaging, and then remove the orange protective caps from the nozzles.
      caution:
    Do not shake the printheads after removing the orange protective caps.
    Figure : Remove the printhead and the protective nozzles
      caution:
    Do not touch the nozzles on the printhead. Touching the nozzles can permanently damage the printhead.
    Figure : Do not touch the printhead nozzles
  7. Hold the printhead by its sides with the nozzles toward the product, and then insert the printhead into its color-coded slot.
    • Insert the Black/Yellow printhead into the slot on the left.
    • Insert the Magenta/Cyan printhead into the slot on the right.
    Figure : Insert the printhead into its slot
  8. Repeat these steps if necessary to replace the other printhead. Make sure to shake the other printhead back and forth six times before installing it.
  9. Lower the printhead latch, and then press down until the latch snaps into place.
    Figure : Lower the printhead latch
  10. Close the carriage-access lid.
    Figure : Close the carriage-access lid
  11. Wait for the product to align the printheads and print an alignment page.
    Figure : The product prints an alignment page

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