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HP Photosmart C5100 All-in-One series - Uneven Darkness in Black Text

This document applies to the following products:
  • HP Photosmart C5140, C5150, C5170, C5173, C5175, and C5177 All-in-Ones
  • HP Photosmart C5180, C5183, C5185, C5188, C5190, and C5194 All-in-Ones
Issue
Black text or solid black figures in the printed output show uneven or non-uniform darkness.
Figure : The pattern of uneven darkness may not look exactly like the sample below
  note:
If you have installed a refilled or remanufactured print cartridge, or a cartridge that has been used in another printer, the ink level indicator will be inaccurate or unavailable.
  1. Press Setup.
  2. Press to select Tools, then press OK.
  3. Select Display Ink Gauge and press OK. The ink levels are displayed.
    Figure : Ink levels
    • Each icon corresponds to the cartridge that is the color of the icon. The icons are also in the same order, from left to right, as the cartridges in the printer.
    • If an icon is empty, the corresponding cartridge may need to be replaced soon. Lines or streaks always appear in printouts when the cartridges begin to run out of ink.
    • The ink levels in non-HP, refilled, and remanufactured cartridges cannot be read by the printer. Instead of an icon, a question mark is displayed for these cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP ink. Printer service or repairs required as a result of printer failure or damage attributable to the use of non-HP ink will not be covered under warranty.
  1. Open the Printer Toolbox. There are two ways to do this:
    • Open HP Solution Center, select the Settings menu, then the Print Settings submenu, and finally the Printer Toolbox.
    • If the HP Solution Center method does not work, open Printers and Faxes in the Windows Control Panel, then right-click your printer icon and choose Properties. Click Printing Preferences. Click the Features tab, then the Printer Services button, then click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
  2. The Printer Toolbox opens. On the Device Services tab, click Clean the Print Cartridges, then follow the on-screen instructions. Up to three levels of cleaning are available. Discard or recycle the page that prints.
Step three: Clean the contacts
  note:
The printer will only function if all six ink cartridges are installed. Also, HP cannot guarantee the quality of refilled or remanufactured ink cartridges.
Figure : Lifting the top cover
  1. Lift the top cover.
  2. Locate the ink cartridge indicated in the error message. Squeeze the gray tab below the cartridge slot to release the latch, then lift the latch.
      Figure : Unlatching cartridge
    1. Black cartridge
    2. Color cartridges
  3. Remove the cartridge indicated in the error message.
    Figure : Removing cartridge
  4. Gather cleaning materials:
    • Distilled, filtered, or bottled water (do not use tap water or alcohol or platen cleaners)
    • Lint-free cloth or swab. Eyeglass wipes and coffee filters work well.
  5. Lightly moisten the swab and squeeze out excess moisture.
  6. Holding the cartridge by its handle, wipe the copper contacts.
      Figure : Wiping the contacts
    1. Copper contacts
  7. Replace the cartridge, then close the latch and the printer top cover.
If the problem has not been solved by the steps above, either the printer or the problem cartridge is defective.
  • If you have not tried cartridge replacement previously to solve this problem, replace the problem cartridge now.
  • If you have already tried cartridge replacement and it did not help, service the unit.

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