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  • Information
    Important Print Security Update

    HP was recently made aware of a vulnerability in certain inkjet printers by a third-party researcher. HP has updates available for download to address the vulnerability. Details and more information are available in the Security Bulletin

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HP Officejet J6400 Series All-in-One Printers - A 'Need alignment' or 'Alignment failed' Error Message Displays on the Control Panel

Issue
A 'Need alignment' or 'Alignment failed' error message displays on the product control panel.
  IMPORTANT: You must follow these solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue.
Solution one: Load the correct paper type, and then align the cartridges
Follow these steps to load the correct paper type, and then align the cartridges.
Step one: Load the correct paper type
If you load color, photo, or used paper in the tray when you align the product, the alignment might fail. Follow these steps to load the correct paper type.
  1. Lift the output tray.
    Figure : Lift the output tray
    Illustration:  Lift the output tray
  2. Remove all the paper from the tray.
  3. Load 10 to 25 sheets of letter or A4 unused, plain white paper into the tray. Align the stack of paper with the right and back edges of the tray.
    Figure : Load plain paper
    Illustration: Load plain paper
  4. Slide the paper width guide inward until it stops at the edge of the paper.
    Figure : Slide in the paper width guide
    Illustration:  Slide in the paper width guide
  5. Lower the output tray, and then pull out the tray extension.
    Figure : Pull out the tray extension
    Illustration: Pull out the tray extension
Step two: Align the cartridges
The following video demonstrates how to use the automated tool to align the cartridges.
  note:
This video shows the HP Officejet J6400 All-in-One Printer series, but the steps are the same for your printer.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube.
Follow these steps to align the cartridges.
  1. On the product control panel, press the Setup button ().
  2. Press the Right Arrow button () to select Tools, and then select Align Print Cartridge.
  3. Press OK. The product aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page.
  4. Check the alignment page to see if it printed correctly. The black and color blocks should be complete and not faded. The page should have no steaks, blurs, or missing patterns.
    • If the alignment page printed correctly, stop troubleshooting.
    • If the alignment failed or the alignment page did not print correctly, continue to the next solution.
Solution two: Check the cartridges
Follow these steps to check the cartridges.
Step one: Check the ink levels
Check the product Home screen for the estimated ink levels. The icon on the left represents the color cartridge. The icon on the right represents the black cartridge.
  note:
  • An exclamation mark (!) indicates low ink levels.
  • A question mark (?) indicates the product cannot determine the status of the cartridge. This might be because the cartridge is refilled.
    Figure : Example of ink levels on the Home screen
    Image: Example of ink levels on the Home screen.
  1. Example of the color cartridge with low ink levels
  2. Example of the black cartridge with full or nearly full ink levels
  • If any of the cartridges are empty or nearly empty, continue to the next step to replace them.
  • If the cartridges are not empty, or if the ink status cannot be determined, skip to the solution in this document to clean the cartridges automatically.
Step two: Replace any empty or nearly empty cartridges
The following video demonstrates how to replace a cartridge.
  note:
This video shows the HP Officejet J6400 All-in-One Printer series, but the steps are the same for your printer.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube.
  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
      caution:
    The product must be turned on when you open the cartridge door to access the cartridges. If the product is turned off, the product does not release the cartridges. The product might be damaged if the cartridges are not docked safely for removal.
    Figure : Open the cartridge door
    Illustration: Open the cartridge door
  3. Lightly press down on the cartridge to release it, and then slide the cartridge out of its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging.
  5. Hold the black plastic sides of the new cartridge, and then gently pull the pink tab to remove the protective tape.
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper colored contacts or retape the cartridges.
    Figure : Remove the protective tape
    Image: Remove the protective tape. Do not touch the copper colored contacts.
  6. Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then insert the cartridge back into the carriage slot. Push the cartridge in firmly until it snaps into place.
    • Insert the tri-color cartridge in the slot on the left.
    • Insert the black, photo, or gray photo cartridge in the slot on the right.
    Figure : Push the cartridge in firmly
    Illustration: Push the cartridge in firmly
  7. Repeat these steps for the other cartridge, if it needs to be replaced.
  8. Close the cartridge door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge door
    Illustration: Close the cartridge door
  9. When prompted, load letter or A4 unused, plain white paper into the tray, and then press OK. The product aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page.
  10. Check the alignment page to see if it printed correctly. The black and color blocks should be complete and not faded. The page should have no steaks, blurs, or missing patterns.
    • If the alignment page printed correctly, stop troubleshooting.
    • If the alignment failed or the alignment page did not print correctly, continue to the next solution.
Solution three: Clean the cartridges automatically
Follow these steps to clean the cartridges automatically.
  1. Load letter or A4 unused, plain white paper into the tray.
  2. On the product control panel, press the Setup button ().
  3. Press the Right Arrow button () to select Tools, and then select Clean Print Cartridge.
  4. Press OK to start the cleaning process. When the cleaning process ends, the product prints an alignment page.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page.
  5. Check the alignment page to see if it printed correctly. The black and color blocks should be complete and not faded. The page should have no steaks, blurs, or missing patterns.
    • If the alignment page printed correctly, stop troubleshooting.
    • If the alignment failed or the alignment page did not print correctly, continue to the next solution.
Solution four: Manually clean the cartridge and carriage contacts, and then align the cartridges
Follow these steps to manually clean the cartridge and carriage contacts, and then align the cartridges.
Step one: Manually clean the cartridge and carriage contacts
  1. Gather the following cleaning materials:
    • Lint free cloth or swab. Eyeglass wipes and coffee filters work well.
    • Distilled, filtered, or bottled water.
        caution:
      Do not use tap water, alcohol, or platen cleaners. These can damage the cartridge or the product.
  2. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  3. Open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
      caution:
    The product must be turned on when you open the cartridge door to access the cartridges. If the product is turned off, the product does not release the cartridges. The product might be damaged if the cartridges are not docked safely for removal.
    Figure : Open the cartridge door
    Illustration: Open the cartridge door
  4. Unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet.
  5. Lightly press down on the cartridge to release it, and then slide the cartridge out of its slot.
      note:
    Clean the cartridge contacts quickly so that the cartridge is not outside the product for more than 30 minutes. If the cartridge is outside the product for too long, the ink can dry and clog the nozzles.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
  6. Inspect the copper colored contacts for ink buildup and debris.
  7. Dip a clean swab or lint-free cloth into the distilled water. Squeeze it to remove any excess water. The swab should be only slightly damp.
  8. Hold the cartridge by its sides, and then clean the copper colored contacts only.
      caution:
    Do not clean the ink nozzles.
      Figure : Clean the copper colored contacts
      Illustration of cleaning the cartridge contacts.
    1. Copper colored contacts
    2. Ink nozzles (DO NOT CLEAN)
  9. Allow the cartridge to dry for 10 minutes, or use a new swab to dry it.
  10. Clean the carriage contacts inside the product, and then dry them with a new swab.
    Figure : Clean the carriage contacts inside the product
    Image: Clean the carriage contacts inside the product.
  11. Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then insert the cartridge back into the carriage slot. Push the cartridge in firmly until it snaps into place.
    • Insert the tri-color cartridge in the slot on the left.
    • Insert the black, photo, or gray photo cartridge in the slot on the right.
    Figure : Push the cartridge in firmly
    Illustration: Push the cartridge in firmly
  12. Repeat these steps for the other cartridge.
  13. Close the cartridge door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge door
    Illustration: Close the cartridge door
  14. Plug the power cord back into the electrical outlet.
  15. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
Step two: Align the cartridges
Follow these steps to align the cartridges again.
  1. On the product control panel, press the Setup button ().
  2. Press the Right Arrow button () to select Tools, and then select Align Print Cartridge.
  3. Press OK. The product aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page.
  4. Check the alignment page to see if it printed correctly. The black and color blocks should be complete and not faded. The page should have no steaks, blurs, or missing patterns.
    • If the alignment page printed correctly, stop troubleshooting.
    • If the alignment failed or the alignment page did not print correctly, continue to the next solution.
Solution five: Reset the All-in-One, and then align the All-in-One
Follow these steps to reset, and then align the product.
Step one: Reset the All-in-One
  1. Press the Power button () to turn off the product.
      note:
    The product might not turn off after you press the Power button. Continue to the next step regardless.
  2. Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  3. Unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet.
  4. Wait at least 30 seconds.
    Figure : Wait at least 30 seconds
    Image of an hourglass showing 30 seconds.
  5. Plug the power cord back into the electrical outlet.
  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  7. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
Step two: Align the cartridges
Follow these steps to align the cartridges.
  1. On the product control panel, press the Setup button ().
  2. Press the Right Arrow button () to select Tools, and then select Align Print Cartridge.
  3. Press OK. The product aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page.
  4. Check the alignment page to see if it printed correctly. The black and color blocks should be complete and not faded. The page should have no steaks, blurs, or missing patterns.
    • If the alignment page printed correctly, stop troubleshooting.
    • If the alignment failed or the alignment page did not print correctly, continue to the next solution.
Solution six: Replace both cartridges
Follow these steps to replace both cartridges.
  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the cartridge door. The carriage moves to the far right side of the product. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
      caution:
    The product must be turned on when you open the cartridge door to access the cartridges. If the product is turned off, the product does not release the cartridges. The product might be damaged if the cartridges are not docked safely for removal.
    Figure : Open the cartridge door
    Illustration: Open the cartridge door
  3. Lightly press down on the cartridge to release it, and then slide the cartridge out of its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging.
  5. Hold the black plastic sides of the new cartridge, and then gently pull the pink tab to remove the protective tape.
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper colored contacts or retape the cartridges.
    Figure : Remove the protective tape
    Image: Remove the protective tape. Do not touch the copper colored contacts.
  6. Hold the cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then insert the cartridge back into the carriage slot. Push the cartridge in firmly until it snaps into place.
    • Insert the tri-color cartridge in the slot on the left.
    • Insert the black, photo, or gray photo cartridge in the slot on the right.
    Figure : Push the cartridge in firmly
    Illustration: Push the cartridge in firmly
  7. Repeat these steps for the other cartridge.
  8. Close the cartridge door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge door
    Illustration: Close the cartridge door
  9. When prompted, load letter or A4 unused, plain white paper into the tray, and then press OK. The product aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page.
  10. Check the alignment page to see if it printed correctly. The black and color blocks should be complete and not faded. The page should have no steaks, blurs, or missing patterns.
    • If the alignment page printed correctly, stop troubleshooting.
    • If the alignment failed or the alignment page did not print correctly, continue to the next solution.
Service or replace your HP product if you completed all preceding steps.
To see if your product is still under warranty, go to the warranty check website http://www.support.hp.com/checkwarranty. Contact HP Support to schedule a repair or replacement. If you are in Asia Pacific, Contact HP Support to find a local service center in your area.
Repair fees might apply for out-of-warranty products.

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