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HP Customer Support - Knowledge Base

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  • Information

    Web services (e.g. ePrint) stop working?  Digital certification might have expired. Update your printer’s firmware

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    Important Printer Firmware Security Update:

    HP was recently made aware of a vulnerability in certain InkJet and LaserJet printers by a third-party researcher. HP has updates available for download to address the vulnerability. You can download and install the update from the HP Software/Drivers page for your printer model. Details and more information are available in the Security Bulletin.

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    Audio or sound issues? Try our automated HP Audio check!

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    Fix and resolve Windows 10 update issue on HP Computer or Printer. Click here

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    Create an HP account today!

     Connect with HP support faster, manage all of your devices in one place, view warranty information and more. Learn more​

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HP Color LaserJet Pro M254 Printers - Fixing Poor Print Quality

This document is for HP Color LaserJet Pro M254dn, M254dw, and M254nw printers.
The quality of a printed document is not as expected. The procedures in this document should help with print quality problems such as smeared, fuzzy, dark, or faded print, and loose, partially missing, or scattered toner.

Step 1: Use genuine HP toner cartridges

HP recommends that you use genuine HP ink or toner supplies. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP or refilled cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the steps in this document might not resolve the issue. To check the authenticity of your cartridges, go to the HP anti-counterfeit webpage (in English).
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
Print another page. If using genuine HP toner cartridges did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

Step 2: Check the paper

The quality and type of paper can affect the print job. Follow these guidelines to make sure the paper is appropriate. If it is not, load an appropriate paper type.
  • Use paper designed for HP LaserJet printers. Do not use paper designed only for inkjet printers.
  • Do not use paper that is too rough. Smoother paper might result in better print quality.
After loading appropriate paper in the tray, print another page. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Check the toner levels

Check the estimated toner levels from the printer control panel
note:
The toner supply level and the percentage of toner cartridge life remaining provide estimates for planning purposes only. When the toner level is low, consider having a replacement toner cartridge available. You do not need to replace toner cartridges until the print quality becomes unacceptable.
  • HP Color LaserJet Pro M254dw: From the home screen on the printer control panel, touch Supplies.
    The Supplies Status screen displays estimated remaining toner levels.
    Figure : Estimated ink levels on a touchscreen control panel
    Estimated ink levels
  • HP Color LaserJet Pro M254dn and M254nw: On the printer control panel, press OK.
    The control panel displays estimated remaining toner levels.
    Figure : Estimated ink levels on a 2-line LCD control panel
    Estimated ink levels
  • If the toner cartridge is not low, skip to the step to check the EconoMode setting.
  • If the toner cartridge is low, continue to the next step to replace the toner cartridge.

Step 4: Replace a low or empty toner cartridge

If the toner cartridge is critically low or empty, replace it.
note:
The printer in these images might not look exactly like your printer, but the steps are the same.
  1. Open the front door.
    Figure : Opening the front door
    Image: Open front door
  2. Grasp the blue handle on the toner cartridge drawer, and thenpull out the drawer.
    Figure : Pulling out the toner cartridge drawer
    Image: Pull out cartridge drawer
  3. Grasp the handle on the toner cartridge, and then pull thetoner cartridge straight up to remove it.
    Figure : Removing the toner cartridge
    Image: Remove toner cartridge
  4. Remove the new toner cartridge package from the box, andthen pull the release tab on the packaging.
    Figure : Pulling the release tab on the packaging
    Image: Pull the release tab
  5. Remove the toner cartridge.
      caution:
    Do not touch the imaging drum on the bottom of the tonercartridge. Fingerprints on the imaging drum can cause print qualityproblems.
    Figure : Do not touch the imaging drum
    Image: Do not touch the imaging drum
    Figure : Removing the toner cartridge from the packaging
    Image: Remove the toner cartridge from the packaging
  6. Grasp both ends of the toner cartridge, and then gently rock the toner cartridge back and forth to distribute the toner.
    Figure : Gently rocking the toner cartridge back and forth
    Image: Gently rock the toner cartridge back and forth
  7. Insert the new toner cartridge into the drawer. Make sure thatthe color chip on the cartridge matches the color chip on thedrawer.
    Figure : Inserting the toner cartridge into the printer
    Image: Insert the toner cartridge.
  8. Push the toner cartridge drawer into the printer.
    Figure : Pushing the toner cartridge drawer into the printer
    Image: Push in toner cartridge drawer
  9. Close the front door.
    Figure : Closing the toner cartridge drawer
    Image: Close the cartridge drawer
Print another page. If replacing the toner cartridge did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

Step 5: Check the EconoMode setting

EconoMode is a print setting that uses less toner. However, using EconoMode can reduce print quality. If the entire page is too dark or too light, the EconoMode setting might be enabled.
note:
HP does not recommend the full-time use of EconoMode. If EconoMode is used full time, the toner supply might outlast the mechanical parts in the toner cartridge.
Print another page. If turning off the EconoMode setting did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

Step 6: Check print settings

Sometimes the print settings can affect print quality. Check the print settings to make sure they are appropriate for your print job.
Print another page. If changing the print settings did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.
Print another page. If printing a cleaning page did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

Step 8: Inspect the toner cartridges

Examine the toner cartridge imaging drums and memory chips for damage.
  1. Open the front door.
    Figure : Opening the front door
    Image: Open front door
  2. Grasp the blue handle on the toner cartridge drawer, and then pull out the drawer.
    Figure : Pulling out the toner cartridge drawer
    Image: Pull out cartridge drawer
  3. Grasp the handle on the toner cartridge, and then pull the toner cartridge straight up to remove it.
    Figure : Removing the toner cartridge
    Image: Remove toner cartridge
  4. Examine the memory chip for damage.
    Figure : Location of the memory chip
    Location of the memory chip
    • If the memory chip is damaged, refer to the previous steps in this document to replace the toner cartridge.
    • If the memory chip is not damaged, continue with these steps.
  5. Examine the surface of the imaging drum.
      caution:
    Do not touch the imaging drum. Fingerprints on the imaging drum can cause print quality problems.
    Figure : Location of the imaging drum
    Location of the imaging drum
    • If you see any scratches, fingerprints, or other damage on the imaging drum, refer to the previous steps in this document to replace the toner cartridge.
    • If the imaging drum is not damaged, continue with these steps.
  6. Insert the new toner cartridge into the drawer. Make sure that the color chip on the cartridge matches the color chip on the drawer.
    Figure : Inserting the toner cartridge into the printer
    Image: Insert the toner cartridge.
  7. Repeat these steps for the other toner cartridges.
  8. Push the toner cartridge drawer into the printer.
    Figure : Pushing the toner cartridge drawer into the printer
    Image: Push in toner cartridge drawer
  9. Close the front door.
    Figure : Closing the toner cartridge drawer
    Image: Close the cartridge drawer
Print another page. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 9: Service the printer

Service or replace your HP product if the issue persists after completing all the preceding steps.
Go to Contact HP Customer Support to schedule a product repair or replacement. If you are in Asia Pacific, you will be directed to a local service center in your area.
To confirm your warranty status, go to HP Product Warranty Check. Repair fees might apply for out-of-warranty products.
note:
Keep a print sample that shows the problem. If the printer, imaging drum, or toner cartridges are replaced under warranty, the support agent might request the print sample.

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