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HP Color LaserJet 9500 and 9500mfp Series Printers - Optimizing and Improving Print Quality

Suggestions for improving print quality
The following table lists ways in which print quality can be improved and relevant sources for more information.
Suggestion
More information
Make sure that the supplies are installed correctly
See the following sections in the User's Guide for replacement procedures:
  • "Replacing the print cartridges"
  • "Replacing the image drums"
  • "Replacing the image transfer kit"
  • "Replacing the image fuser kit"
  • "Replacing the image cleaning kit"
Make sure that supported media is being used
For best results, use HP-brand media and print cartridges. HP-brand media and print cartridges have been designed to provide optimal performance with HP printers.
HP print cartridges and part numbers
Cyan (C8551A)
Magenta (C8553A)
Yellow (C8552A)
Black (C8550A)
Common HP media product numbers
HP Color Laser Paper
Letter (HPL245R)
11 x 17 (tabloid) (HPL2417)
HP High Gloss Laser Paper
Letter (Q2419A)
A4 (Q2421A)
HP Soft Gloss Laser Paper
Letter (C4179A)
A4 (C4179B)
NOTE HP Soft Gloss Laser Paper is designed specifically for use with the HP Color LaserJet 9500 series.
Make sure that the media type and size for the tray are set correctly in the control panel for the media that is being used.
Print by media type and size from the printer driver.
Calibrate the printer.
Print the Print Quality Troubleshooting Pages and follow the instructions.
Clean the post charger.
See "Cleaning the post charger" in the User's Guide.
Make sure that the location and operation requirements of the printer are met.
Set the registration value.
Clean the fuser input area.
See "Cleaning the fuser input area" in the User's Guide.
Ordering supplies
Supported media and the supplies listed in the following table can be ordered from HP for the HP Color LaserJet 9500 series printer in three ways:
Item
Part number
Print cartridges
Black
C8550A
Cyan
C8551A
Yellow
C8552A
Magenta
C8553A
Image drums
Black
C8560A
Cyan
C8561A
Yellow
C8562A
Magenta
C8563A
Image cleaning kit (includes one image transfer cleaner, one filter, and one toner collection bottle)
C8554A
Image transfer kit (includes one transfer belt, one filter, and ten rollers)
C8555A
Image fuser kit (includes one fuser)
C8556A
Ordering directly through the Embedded Web Server
In a network environment, use the following steps to order printing supplies directly through the Embedded Web Server. (For more information about the Embedded Web Server, see the User's Reference Guide.)
  1. In the Web browser, type the Internet Protocol (IP) address for the printer home page. This opens the Device Status page.
  2. In the Other Links section, click Order Supplies. A new browser window opens and a privacy agreement appears. After the agreement is accepted, the order supplies Web site appears.
  3. Select the part numbers to be ordered and follow the instructions on the screen.
Printing by type and size of media
It is possible to configure the printer to select media by type (such as plain, glossy, or letterhead) and size (such as letter or A4), rather than by source (a tray).
Benefits of printing by type and size of media
Printing by type or size means you want the printer to pull paper or print media from the first tray that is loaded with the type or size that you choose. Selecting media by type and size results in significantly better print quality for heavy paper and glossy paper. Using the wrong setting can result in unsatisfactory print quality. Always print by type for special print media such as labels or grayscale transparencies. Always print by size for envelopes.
To print by type or size and the trays have not been configured for a certain type or size, load the paper or print media into tray 1, and then select the type or size from the Page Setup dialog box, the Print dialog box, or the Print Properties dialog box.
  note:
The type and size settings can also be configured from the HP Web Jetadmin software for networked printers. For Macintosh operating systems, these settings can be configured by using the HP LaserJet Utility.
To print by type and size of paper (tray 1)
Use the following steps to print by type and size of paper in tray 1.
  1. Load and adjust the tray.
  2. At the printer control panel, press (Select) to open the menus.
  3. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to PAPER HANDLING, and then press (Select).
  4. Do one of the following:
    • To allow the printer to print automatically from tray 1, if it is loaded: Set TRAY 1 SIZE=ANY SIZE and TRAY 1 TYPE=ANY TYPE (First mode).
    • To print by type and size from tray 1, but to have the printer prompt you to load paper before printing: Set TRAY 1 SIZE to the size that is loaded and set TRAY 1 TYPE to anything except ANY TYPE (Cassette mode).
  5. In the software program, click File.
  6. Click Print.
  7. Click Properties.
  8. In the printer driver, make sure to select the type specified in Step 4.
To print by type and size of paper (tray 2, 3, or 4)
Use the following steps to print by type and size of paper in tray 2, 3, or 4.
  1. Load and adjust the tray.
  2. At the printer control panel, press (Select) to open the menus.
  3. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to PAPER HANDLING, and then press (Select).
  4. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to the desired size and/or to the type, and then press (Select).
      note:
    To print by type and size from tray 2, 3, or 4, it might be necessary to unload or close tray 1.
  5. In the software program, click File.
  6. Click Print.
  7. Click Properties.
  8. In the printer driver, make sure to select a type other than Auto Select.
Custom versus Any Custom
When setting the custom/standard switch in a tray to Custom, it is possible to select CUSTOM or ANY CUSTOM as the media size.
If the media size is set as CUSTOM, a prompt appears for the exact height (X dimension) and width (Y dimension) of the media. When printing by size and type and requesting custom-size media, the printer prints from that tray only if the printer driver requests that same custom size. If the printer driver requests a custom size other than the size that has been set, and no tray is set as ANY CUSTOM, an error message appears.
If the media size is set as ANY CUSTOM, no prompt appears for the media dimensions. When printing by size and type, the printer looks first for a CUSTOM tray that contains the requested custom-size media. If no CUSTOM tray contains the requested custom-size media, the printer prints from the tray set to ANY CUSTOM regardless of the size of the media in that tray.
ANY CUSTOM saves time if only one custom-size media is used in the printer, or if the selection is by tray in the driver. If more than one custom-size media is used in the printer, the CUSTOM option is highly recommended.
Setting media type and size
Whenever loading an input tray, make sure to set the type and size for the media in that tray. The printer automatically changes its internal settings to produce the best print quality for the media type that is set. Make sure to set the media type and size at the printer control panel and in the printer driver.
Media type
The media type determines the printer fuser temperature, the length of time the media spends in the fuser, and other factors.
Every time tray 2, tray 3, or tray 4 is closed, there is the opportunity to set the media type for that tray. Set the media type for tray 1 by using the control panel menus.
When printing a document, it is also necessary to set the media type in the printer driver.
To set the media type in Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition (Me), and Windows NT 4.0
Use the following steps to set the media type in Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, and Windows NT 4.0.
  1. Open the printer driver.
  2. On the Paper tab, select the type from the Type is drop-down list.
  3. 3 Click OK.
To set the media type in Windows 2000 and Windows XP
Use the following steps to set the media type in Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
  1. Open the printer driver.
  2. On the Paper/Quality tab, select the type from the Type is drop-down list.
  3. Click OK.
Standard media size
Standard media sizes are the sizes marked in the input trays or listed in the PAPER HANDLING menu on the control panel. Standard sizes are also the options that can be selected when setting media size at the control panel or in the printer driver. Media sizes that are not marked on the input trays or listed in the PAPER HANDLING menu are considered custom sizes. The following are the standard media sizes:
  • letter
  • letter-R
  • 11 x 17
  • executive
  • legal
  • A4
  • A4-R
  • A3
  • A5
  • B4
  • JIS B4
  • B5
  • JIS B5
  • JPostD
  • Monarch (envelope - tray 1 only)
  • C5 (envelope - tray 1 only)
  • DL (envelope - tray 1 only)
  • commercial #10 (envelope - tray 1 only)
      note:
    Tray 2, tray 3, and tray 4: When using standard-size media in these trays, make sure that the custom/standard switch in the tray is set to Standard. For all others, set the switch to Custom.
Custom media size
Custom media sizes are sizes that do not conform to those that are marked in the input trays and that are not listed in the control panel menus or in the printer driver.
  note:
Tray 1: When using custom-size media, select CUSTOM from the Tray 1 Size menu.
Tray 2, tray 3, and tray 4: When using custom-size media in these trays, make sure that the custom/standard switch in the tray is set to Custom.
Dimensions of custom-size media must be inputed at the control panel. If using tray 1, the Custom menu appears when CUSTOM is selected from the Tray 1 Size menu. If using tray 2, tray 3, or tray 4, the Custom menu appears when the custom/standard switch is set to Custom and the tray is closed.
Calibrating the printer
Calibration of the printer helps to ensure consistently good print quality. Use the following steps.
  1. Press (Select) to open the menus.
  2. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to CONFIGURE DEVICE, and then press (Select).
  3. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to PRINT QUALITY, and then press (Select).
  4. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to CALIBRATE NOW, and then press (Select).
Printing the Print Quality Troubleshooting Pages
The Print Quality Troubleshooting Pages can help diagnose many print-quality problems that are related to a damaged part or a particular component. Figure 1 shows a thumbnail view of the test pages. Follow the diagnostic procedure on the first page that prints.
    Figure : Thumbnail views of test pages
  1. Procedure Instructions
  2. Page description
To print the Print Quality Troubleshooting Pages
Use the following steps to print the Print Quality Troubleshooting Pages at the printer control panel.
  1. Press (Select) to open the menus.
  2. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to DIAGNOSTICS, and then press (Select).
  3. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to PQ TROUBLESHOOTING, and then press (Select).
Location and operation requirements
Location requirements
Place the printer on a sturdy, level surface.
Prepare a location for the printer that allows for its physical dimensions (see Figure 2 and Figure 3). Allow space around the printer so that the air vents on the left side, right side, and back of the printer are not blocked. Include a space allowance around the printer for opening doors and clearing jams.
    Figure : Printer dimensions - top view
  1. 358 mm (14.1 inches) (Without additional output device)
  2. 682 mm (26.9 inches)
  3. 465 mm (18.3 inches)
  4. 767 mm (30.2 inches)
  5. 455 mm (17.9 inches)
    Figure : Printer dimensions - front view
  1. 887 mm (34.9 inches)
Environmental requirements
The location chosen for the printer should have the following characteristics:
  • A well-ventilated area, but not directly under or over an air conditioning or heating vent, and not directly in a window.
  • No exposure to chemicals, including ammonia, or direct sunlight
  • A stable environment within the following ranges:
    • Recommended room temperature: 20 to 26 degrees Celsius (C) (68 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit [F])
    • Recommended relative humidity: 20% to 50%
    • Allowable room temperature: 10 to 30 degrees C (50 to 86 degrees F)
    • Allowable relative humidity: 10% to 80%
Power requirements
Determine the correct voltage for the printer by checking the voltage rating (shown on the label on the back of the printer). The printer requires one of the following:
  • 15-amp, 110- to 127-volt circuit
  • 10-amp, 220- to 240-volt circuit
  • A stable environment - no abrupt temperature or humidity changes
Setting registration
Use the registration feature to center the image on a page and to align the front and back images. Because image placement varies slightly for each input tray, the following alignment procedure should be performed for each tray and with each type of media.
  note:
The test page prints on letter- or A4-size paper. It is possible to set the registration for any size of paper by printing on that size and following the instructions on the test page.
Use the following steps to set the registration value.
  1. Press (Select) to open the menus.
  2. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to CONFIGURE DEVICE, and then press (Select).
  3. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to PRINT QUALITY, and then press (Select).
  4. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to SET REGISTRATION, and then press (Select).
  5. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to SOURCE, and then press (Select).
  6. Use (Up button) or (Down button) to scroll to the desired tray, and then press (Select).
  7. Use (Up button) and (Down button) to scroll to PRINT TEST PAGE, and then press (Select).
  8. Press Pause/Resume to close the menus.
  9. Follow the instructions on the printed page.

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