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HP Officejet Pro K550, K5300, K5400, and K8600 Printer Series - Missing Colors in Printout

Issue

Printout colors are poor, as if one or more ink colors are not printing at all. In some cases, the printouts are streaked with horizontal bands of lighter printing.
Figure : Right graphic is missing color (yellow)
Illustration: Right graphic is missing color (yellow)

Solution

Step one: Retry the print job

The problem may occur only rarely. If you have not seen it in other printouts, try again.

Step two: Increase the print quality mode

If reprinting did not help, try increasing the print quality mode.
  1. In the application you are printing from, click File, then Print.
  2. Make sure the printer is selected, then click Properties.
  3. Select the Features tab.
  4. In the Print Quality area, chose the next higher quality setting (if the current setting is Draft, choose Normal. If the current setting is Normal, choose Best).

Step three: Print in grayscale (black area streaking only)

If the streaks are in a black area of a black and white printout, change to grayscale printing.
note:
This step does not apply to color printouts.
  1. In the application you are printing from, click File, and then click Print.
  2. Make sure the printer is selected and click Properties.
  3. Click the Color tab, and select Print Grayscale and High Quality.

Step four: Clean the printheads

If the print quality is still bad, clean the printheads.
  1. Make sure the printer is loaded with unused white paper.
  2. Open the printer Toolbox and select the Services tab.
  3. Click Clean Printheads. A Clean Printheads window opens. Click the Clean button.

Step five: Align the printheads

If the print quality is still bad, align the printheads.
  1. Make sure the printer is loaded with unused white paper.
  2. Open the printer Toolbox and select the Services tab.
  3. Click Align Printheads. The Align Printheads window opens. Click Align.
  4. The printer prints an alignment page. The lines in the patterns should appear to be straight. Click OK when the page finishes printing.

Step six: Calibrate the linefeed

If the print quality is still bad, calibrate the linefeed:
  1. Make sure the printer is loaded with unused white paper.
  2. Open the printer Toolbox and select the Services tab.
  3. Click Calibrate Linefeed. The Advanced Linefeed Calibration window opens.

Step seven: Check the ink cartridge lights

If any of the ink cartridge LEDs are lit, but not blinking, replace that ink cartridge only. The printhead will recover in most cases when a new ink cartridge is inserted.
  • If replacing the ink cartridge did resolve the issue, you do not need to continue with the rest of the steps on this page.
  • If replacing the ink cartridge did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

Step eight: Replace one or both printheads

If the print quality is still bad after performing all the previous steps, replace one or both of the printheads. Print a Print Quality Diagnostic page to see which printhead should be replaced.
  1. Make sure the printer is loaded with unused white paper.
  2. Press and hold the Power () button.
  3. Press the Cancel () button seven times.
  4. Press the Resume () button two times. Then release the Power () button and the diagonstics page prints.
    Figure : Print Quality Diagnostic page. Note the streaks in the red and green blocks (caused by the KY printhead)
    Illustration: Print Quality Diagnostic page. Note the streaks in the red and green blocks (caused by the KY printhead)
  5. Look at the color blocks labeled Test Pattern 2. Some or all of them should show white horizontal streaks (if none of the blocks are streaked, the printheads are okay).
    • If the Black block has lines – replace the KY printhead.
    • If the Cyan block has lines – replace the MC printhead.
    • If the Magenta block has lines – replace the MC printhead.
    • If the Red block has lines – replace the KY printhead.
    • If the Green block has lines – replace the KY printhead.

Step nine: Replace the defective printhead(s)

If replacing the ink cartridge does not solve the problem, replace the printhead(s) that show defects on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page. To replace the printheads, perform the following steps.
  1. Open the top cover.
  2. Lift the printhead latch.
  3. Lift the handle of a printhead and use it to pull the printhead out of its slot.
  4. Before installing a printhead, shake the printhead up and down at least six times while the printhead is still in its packaging.
    Figure : Shake the printhead while it is still in its packaging
    Illustration: Shake the printhead while it is still in its packaging
  5. Remove the new printhead from its package, and then remove its orange protective caps.
      caution:
    Do not shake printheads after the caps are removed.
    Figure : Remove the printhead from its packaging, then remove the orange caps from the printhead
    Illustration: Remove the printhead from its packaging, then remove the orange caps from the printhead
  6. Insert the printhead into its color-coded slot. The label on the printhead must match the label on the printhead latch. Press down firmly on the printhead to ensure proper contact.
  7. Pull the printhead latch all the way forward, and then press down to ensure that the latch is properly engaged. You might have to apply some pressure to engage the latch.
  8. Close the top cover.
  9. Wait while the device initializes the printheads and prints the alignment pages.
    If the device does not print the pages, start the alignment process manually.
    1. Make sure the paper is unloaded with unused white paper.
    2. Press and hold the Power () button.
    3. Press the Resume ( ) button three times, and then release the Power () button.

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