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HP Photosmart C4200 All-in-One Series - Streaks or Lines in Printed Output

Issue
The printer is working, but printed output shows streaks or lines. The lines are perpendicular to the direction the paper moved through the printer (and parallel to the movement of the cartridges during printing).
Figure : Defect, with the direction the paper moved through the printer indicated
Solution
Perform the following steps to solve this issue:
  note:
If you have installed a refilled or remanufactured print cartridge, or a cartridge that has been used in another printer, the ink level indicator will be inaccurate or unavailable.
  1. Open the Printer Toolbox. There are two ways to do this:
    • Open HP Solution Center, select the Settings menu, then the Print Settings submenu, and finally the Printer Toolbox.
    • Open Printers and Faxes in the Windows Control Panel, then right-click your printer icon and choose Properties. Click Printing Preferences. Click the Services tab, then the Service This Device icon.
  2. The Printer Toolbox opens. Click the Estimated Ink Level tab. A cartridge may be running out of ink even if the graphic shows ink remaining (see the note at the start of this section). Lines or streaks always appear in printouts when the cartridges begin to run out of ink. Replace print cartridges that are out of ink or low on ink.
    Figure : Estimated ink levels
Visit HP SureSupply to check ink or toner cartridge compatibility or purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies.
  1. If necessary, select your country/region.
    Figure : Country/region selector
    Selecting your country/region
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to order new supplies or check cartridge compatibility with your printer.
You can also purchase genuine HP cartridges and supplies from other retailers.
  1. In the program being used for printing, click File, and then click Print.
    The Print window opens.
  2. Make sure the appropriate product is selected, and then click Preferences or Properties.
    The Preferences/Properties window opens.
  3. Click the Printing Shortcuts tab.
    Consider modifying some or all of the options in the Printing Shortcuts menu to increase print quality.
    • Print quality: If the quality of the printouts is not acceptable, try increasing the print quality. To print more quickly, try decreasing the print quality.
    • Paper type: If one of the options matches the paper type exactly, select it instead of Automatic.
    • Paper size: Make sure that this option matches the paper loaded in the product.
    To see additional options, click the Advanced tab, and then click Advanced Features.
    The Advanced Features window opens. Consider changing the following option:
    Ink volume: Adjust the amount of ink that prints on a page. For lighter images (less ink), drag the slider to the left. For darker images (more ink), drag the slider to the right. The lighter the ink volume, the more quickly the printout dries.
If printed pages are missing lines or dots, or if they contain ink streaks, the print cartridges might be low on ink or might need to be cleaned. If the print cartridges are not low on ink, follow these steps to clean the print cartridges automatically.
  1. In the software program from which you are trying to print, click File, and then click Print. The Print window opens.
  2. Click the Properties button, and then click the Services tab.
  3. Click the Service This Device icon to open the toolbox.
  4. On the Services tab, click the Clean the Print Cartridges icon, and then follow the onscreen instructions. Up to three levels of cleaning are available. Discard or recycle the page that prints.
Step four: Print a Self test report
To check whether the product is operating correctly, print a self-test report. This report provides useful information on several aspects of the product, including the print cartridges.
  1. Load letter, A4, or legal unused plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press and hold the Cancel button (), and then press the Start Copy Color button ().
  3. Release both buttons. The product prints a self-test report.
You must identify which cartridge printed which part of the Self test report, so that if you find defects on the page, you will know which cartridge is the problem.
However, you can install different combinations of print cartridges in your printer, and different cartridge combinations print different Self test report patterns. Your Self test report may not look exactly like the picture below, but the right and left cartridges will print in the same areas of the page no matter which cartridges are installed.
    Figure : Self test report layout
  1. Printed by the left cartridge
  2. Printed by the right cartridge
In general, if the printer and print cartridges are working properly, the patterns (which look like grids of lines) should contain few or no missing lines. None of the colors should be missing and the colors of the blocks at the bottom of the page should match the labels below each block. Also, there should be no streaks of ink on the report.
  note:
You can install different combinations of print cartridges in your printer, and different cartridge combinations print different self-test page patterns. Your self-test page might not look exactly like the pictures below.
Missing lines or streaked bars
If a pattern shows more than a few missing lines, or a bar is streaked, that print cartridge is not functioning properly.
Figure : The left cartridge shows missing lines and a streaked bar - the cartridge is not functioning properly
If the Self test report page shows missing lines or streaked bars, click here to continue troubleshooting.
Color mix
The color blocks at the bottom of the self-test report are printed by the tri-color (left-side) cartridge only. These blocks have labels describing the color they should be. If the color of any of the blocks does not match its label, the left-side cartridge is not functioning properly.
Figure : The color of one of the left cartridge bars is very different from the color on the cartridge label - the cartridge is not functioning properly
If one or more of the color blocks does not match its label, click here to continue troubleshooting.
Missing colors
If any of the color patterns or bars are entirely missing, the cartridge is not functioning properly.
  note:
If you are printing in reserve mode, without all the cartridges installed, the patterns associated with the missing cartridge will also be missing.
Figure : Missing color - the yellow pattern and bar is missing from example 2 below
If any of the patterns or bars are entirely missing, click here to continue troubleshooting.
Ink smears
If the self-test report shows smeared ink, you might need to clean your cartridges.
Figure : Smeared ink
If the self-test report shows smeared ink, click here to continue troubleshooting.
If no defects appear on the diagnostic page, the cartridges and product are probably working correctly. Click here to continue troubleshooting (c00635950) (in English).

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