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Fixing Print Quality Problems for the HP Officejet 7500A (E910a and E910c) Wide Format e-All-in-One Printer Series

Issue

The quality of the printout or printed image is not as expected.
Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
note:
Some of these solutions require the full HP software. If you did not install the full software when you installed your printer, click here to go to the software and drivers page, and then download and install the full feature software.

Solution one: Use genuine HP 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.

Solution two: Check the paper

Follow these guidelines to make sure that the paper you are using is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the printer with an appropriate paper type.
  • Load the paper print side down in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides, such as photo paper and envelopes. Usually, the smoother side is the "print side," and sometimes the non-print side has a logo of the paper manufacturer on it.
  • Do not use wrinkled or curled paper. Use only clean, wrinkle-free paper.
    Do not use wrinkled paper
  • Use the correct paper type for your project.
    • For everyday text documents, plain paper with ColorLok technology works well. Paper with ColorLok technology is industry-standard paper that works well with HP ink.
      ColorLok logo
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photos, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for best results.
    • Some paper might not absorb ink as well as others. If your prints smear easily, make sure you are using a recommended paper.
  • Store photo paper in its original packaging inside a resealable plastic bag. Store the paper on a flat surface in a cool, dry place. Load 10-20 sheets of photo paper only when you are ready to print, and then put the unused paper back in the packaging.
  • Try using a different paper. This determines if the problem is related to the paper.
note:
Inappropriate paper usually causes vertical streaks in printouts (or if the problem occurs on a copy, dirty scanner glass usually causes the issue). Do not replace cartridges to fix vertical streaks.
Examples of horizontal streaks and vertical streaks in printout
Figure : Horizontal streaks in printout
Image: Horizontal streaks in printout
Follow the troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks, or other print quality issues besides vertical streaks.
Figure : Vertical streaks in printout
Image: Vertical streaks in printout
Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document, or search for a document that covers this issue.
Try printing again after trying the preceding guidelines.

Solution three: Check the print settings

Follow these steps to check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for your print job.

Step one: Check the print quality settings

  1. Open the HP Toolbox.
    • Windows XP: Click Start, click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP printer, and then click the icon for your HP printer ().
    • Windows Vista: Click the Windows icon (), click Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP printer, and then click the icon for your HP printer ().
    • Windows 7: Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP printer, and then click the icon for your HP printer ().
    note:
    You can also open the HP printer software from your computer desktop: double-click the icon for your HP printer ().
  2. Double-click Printer Actions, and then double-click Set Preferences. The Printing Preferences dialog box opens.
  3. Click the Paper/Quality tab.
  4. Under Paper Source, select Tray 1.
  5. Review these options, and then make any necessary changes.
    • Paper sizes: Make sure that the selected option matches your paper size.
    • Media: If one of the options matches your paper type exactly, select that option.
    • Quality Settings: If you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, increase the print quality. To print more quickly, decrease the print quality.
  6. Click OK, and then close the HP Toolbox.

Step two: Check the Print in Grayscale setting

  1. Open the HP Toolbox.
    • Windows XP: Click Start, click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP printer, and then click the icon for your HP printer ().
    • Windows Vista: Click the Windows icon (), click Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP printer, and then click the icon for your HP printer ().
    • Windows 7: Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP printer, and then click the icon for your HP printer ().
    note:
    You can also open the HP printer software from your computer desktop: double-click the icon for your HP printer ().
  2. Double-click Printer Actions, and then double-click Set Preferences. The Printing Preferences dialog box opens.
  3. Click the Paper/Quality tab.
  4. Click Advanced. The Advanced Options window opens.
  5. Under Printer Features, make sure that Print in Grayscale is set to Off.
  6. Click OK, and then click OK again to return to your document.
  7. Try to print the document again.

Solution four: Check ink levels, and then replace low or empty cartridges

Follow these steps to check the ink levels on your printer, and then replace low or empty cartridges according to the results.
note:
Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When an indicator shows low ink levels, consider having a replacement ink cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace ink cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.

Step one: Check the ink levels

  1. On the home page, touch the Right Arrow () to display the second navigation screen.
  2. Touch the Ink Status icon (). The Estimated Ink Levels screen displays with gauges for all four ink colors.
    • If the ink-level graphic shows low or empty cartridges, and you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, replace the cartridges now.
    • If the ink-level graphic shows full cartridges, you do not need to replace the cartridges yet. Continue to the next solution.

Step two: Replace the cartridges

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage stops moving before proceeding.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press in the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then pull it up and out to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge from its slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from its slot
      caution:
    Do not lift the gray latch handle on the carriage. Doing so can result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing problems. The latch must remain down to install the cartridges correctly.
  4. On the replacement cartridge, pull the orange pull tab straight back to remove the plastic wrap.
    Figure : Remove the plastic wrap
    Image: Remove the plastic wrap
  5. Twist the orange cap counterclockwise to snap it off the cartridge.
    Figure : Remove the orange cap
    Image: Remove the orange cap from a cartridge
  6. With the cartridge contacts facing the printhead, slide the cartridge into the empty slot, and then press down on the cartridge until it snaps firmly into place.
    Figure : Install the cartridge
    Image: Install the cartridge
  7. Repeat these steps for each cartridge that you want to replace.
  8. Close the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the right side of the printer.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door

Step three: Align the printer

If the printer alignment does not start automatically, follow these steps to align the printer.
  1. Load letter or A4, unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. On the home page, touch the Right Arrow () to display the second navigation screen.
  3. Touch the Setup icon (). The Setup Menu displays.
  4. Touch the Down Arrow (), and then touch Tools.
  5. Touch Align Printhead. The printer aligns the printhead, and then prints out an alignment page.

Solution five: Print and evaluate a print quality report and troubleshoot defects

Follow these steps to print, and then evaluate a print quality report.

Step one: Print a print quality report

  1. Load letter or A4, unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow () to display the second navigation screen.
  3. Touch the Setup icon (). The Setup Menu displays.
  4. Touch the Down Arrow (), and then touch Reports.
  5. Touch Print Quality Report. The print quality report prints.
    Figure : Example of a print quality report
    Image of a print quality report

Step two: Check the print quality report for defects

In general, if the printer and its cartridges are working correctly, all the color bars should be present, unstreaked, and uniform in color across the width of the page. The black text on the page should not show ink streaks.
Use this table for examples of defects that can exist on the print quality report. These examples are not inclusive, but tend to represent the most common issues.
Examples of defects on the print quality report
Defect
Example
Large font text is ragged on one end
Image: Ragged large text
Irregularly streaked or faded color bars
Image: Irregular streaked or faded color bars
Ragged color bars
Image: Ragged color bars
The color bars are streaked with another color
Image: Streaked color bars
The color blocks have regular white streaks
Image: White streaks in the color bars
Jagged alignment patterns
Image: Jagged alignment patterns
  • If you see no defects on the print quality report, the print mechanism and ink supplies work correctly. If printouts are still unsatisfactory, try these general print quality guidelines, and then do not continue the troubleshooting steps in the remainder of this document:
    • Make sure that the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Images that are enlarged too much might appear fuzzy or blurry.
    • If the problem is confined to a band near the edge of a printout, use the software you installed with the printer, or another software program to rotate the image 180°. The problem might not appear on the other end of the printout.
  • If you see one or more of these defects on the print quality report, continue to the next steps.

Step three: Make sure that the cartridges are properly vented

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press in the tab on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then pull it up and out to remove it from its slot.
    • If the error message mentions a specific cartridge, locate that cartridge, and then remove it from the carriage, and then continue with the next step.
    • If the error message does not mention a specific cartridge, remove all the cartridges, one at a time, and then continue with the next step.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge from the slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from the slot
  4. Examine the vent area on each cartridge, above the HP logo on the top of the cartridge.
    Figure : Vent area on the top of the cartridge
    Image: Vent area on the top of the cartridge
  5. If the cartridge still has the orange pull-tab attached, pull to remove it.
    Figure : Orange pull tab
    Image: Orange pull tab.
  6. If the vent is clogged, use a straight pin to gently remove excess adhesive from the vent.
      Figure : Clean the clogged vent with a pin
      Image: Clean the clogged vent with a pin.
    1. Clogged vent
    2. With a straight pin, gently remove excess adhesive from the vent
    3. Unclogged vent
  7. With the nozzle and contacts facing down, slide the cartridge into its slot. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks into place.
    note:
    Make sure that each cartridge is installed in the correct slot. Match the shape of the icon and the color of the cartridge with the slot that has the same shaped icon and color.
    Figure : Reinstall the cartridge
    Image: Reinsert the cartridge
  8. Repeat these steps to inspect the vents on each of the cartridges.
  9. Make sure that each cartridge is firmly in place in its slot. Run your finger along the top of the cartridges to feel for any that are protruding, and if any are, press down firmly until each cartridge snaps into place.
  10. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
  11. Try the print job again.

Step four: Clean the printhead

Follow these steps to run a utility to clean the printhead.
  1. On the home page, touch the Right Arrow () to display the second navigation screen.
  2. Touch the Setup icon (). The Setup Menu displays.
  3. Touch the Down Arrow (), and then touch Tools.
  4. Touch Clean Printhead. The printer cleans the printhead, and then prints out a test page.
    • If the print quality on the test page is satisfactory, touch No to return to the current print job.
    • If the print quality on the test page is not satisfactory, touch Yes to perform a secondary cleaning of the printhead.

Step five: Align the printhead

Follow these steps to align the printhead
  1. On the home page, touch the Right Arrow () to display the second navigation screen.
  2. Touch the Setup icon (). The Setup Menu displays.
  3. Touch the Down Arrow (), and then touch Tools.
  4. Touch Align Printhead. The printer aligns the printhead, and then prints out an alignment page.

Solution six: Update the printer firmware

Firmware is software that is embedded in the printer hardware. There might be a newer version of the firmware that will resolve your issue. Choose the method to update to the most current firmware.

Solution seven: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all of the troubleshooting steps and the issue persists, follow these steps to replace the printhead.
If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, you can purchase a new one online. Click the link, and then look for the HP Parts Store. If the HP Parts Store is not available, contact your local HP sales office. The new printhead assembly comes with cleaning materials.
If you have not already replaced the printer's old cartridges with new ones, replace any that are low on ink to avoid possible damage to the new printhead assembly.

Step one: Load paper in the input tray

  1. Raise the output tray.
    Figure : Raise the output tray.
    Image: Raise the output tray
  2. Slide the paper width guide to its outermost position.
  3. Insert a stack of Letter or A4-size paper stack into the input tray with the short edge forward and the print side down.
  4. Position the stack of paper against the right side of the input tray, and then slide the stack forward until it stops.
  5. Adjust the paper width guide so that it rests against the stack of paper. Do not push the guides in so tightly that they bind against the paper.
      Figure : Load the paper tray
      Image: Load the paper tray
    1. Slide the paper forward until it stops
    2. Adjust the paper width guide
  6. Lower the output tray.

Step two: Remove the old printhead

  caution:
Do not remove the cartridges until you have the replacement printhead assembly available.
  1. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage stops moving before proceeding.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  2. Press in the tab on the front of each cartridge, and then pull it out and up to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge
  3. Lift the gray latch on the carriage.
    Figure : Lift the gray latch
    Image: Lift the gray latch
  4. Remove the old printhead from the carriage.
    Figure : Remove the old printhead
    Image: Remove the old printhead

Step three: Install the new printhead

  1. Remove the new printhead from its packaging.
    Figure : Remove the new printhead
    Image: Remove the new printhead from its packaging
  2. Hold the printhead upright, with the color-coded icons facing up.
    Figure : Hold the printhead upright
    Image: Hold the new printhead upright
  3. Lower the printhead into the printer so that the purple and green blocks on the printhead align with the purple and green blocks on the carriage.
    Figure : Insert the printhead
    Image: Insert the new printhead
  4. Slowly lower the gray latch until it rests securely on the carriage.
    Figure : Lower the gray latch
    Image: Lower the gray latch

Step four: Install the cartridges

Choose one of these options for installing the cartridges in the new printhead.
  • If you replaced all the cartridges in Solution six, continue to Option one: Reinstall the existing cartridges.
  • If you did not replace all the cartridges, continue to Option two: Install new cartridges to replace the old cartridges and avoid possible damage to the new printhead.

Solution eight: Service the printer

note:
Keep a print sample that shows the problem. If the ink cartridges, printhead, or printer is replaced under warranty, the support agent will request the print sample. If the printer is returned to HP, the print sample must be returned with the printer. Place the sample in the output tray when you package your printer for shipping.
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.

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