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HP Photosmart C4380 All-in-One Series - Horizontal Streaks or Lines in the Printed Image

Issue

The All-in-One is working, but printed output shows streaks or lines. The lines are perpendicular to the direction the paper moved through the All-in-One and parallel to the movement of the cartridges during printing.
Figure : Defect with the direction the paper moved through the printer shown

Solution one: Make sure the paper is appropriate for the print job

  • Many papers have printing and non-printing sides. Load the paper with the printing side down.
  • Use the correct paper type for the project. For everyday documents, plain paper works well. For documents with dense printing, such as high-contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Advanced paper for the best results.
  • If these steps do not help, try a different paper. Ink might not bleed as easily on heavier paper. Paper that does not accept ink well is also prone to bleeding and smearing. HP designs its inks and papers to work together.

Solution two: Check the ink levels

Follow the steps to check ink levels.
note:
The ink-level information is an estimate only. The actual ink levels might be different from the estimate. If you have installed a refilled or remanufactured ink cartridge, or a cartridge that has been used in another printer, the ink-level indicator is inaccurate or unavailable.
  1. Make sure the printer is turned on and connected to the computer.
  2. To open the Printers and Faxes folder, click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Printers and Faxes, or click Start and click Printers and Faxes.
  3. Right-click the printer icon and select Printing Preferences.
  4. Click the Features tab and click Printer Services.
  5. The Toolbox opens. The ink levels appear on the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
Figure : Checking estimated ink levels
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.

Solution three: Check the print settings

Follow the steps to check the print settings.
  1. In the software that is being used to print from, click File, and then click Print.
    The Print window opens.
  2. Make sure that the appropriate product is selected, and then click Preferences.
    The Printing Preferences window opens.
  3. Click the Features tab.
    Options on the Features tab include the following:
    • Print quality: If the quality of the printouts is not as good as expected, try increasing the print quality. To print more quickly, try decreasing the print quality.
    • Paper type: Click the drop-down box. If one of the options matches the paper type exactly, click it rather than Automatic.
    • Size: Make sure the paper size matches the paper being used.

Solution four: Clean the print cartridges

Step one: Clean the print cartridge electrical contacts

Follow the steps to clean the print cartridge electrical contacts.
  1. Remove the print cartridge from the device.
  2. Clean the electrical contacts on the print cartridge cradle with a dry cotton swab.
  3. Carefully clean the electrical contacts on the print cartridge with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth.
      caution:
    To prevent damage to the electrical contacts, you should wipe the contacts only once. Do not wipe the ink nozzles on the print cartridges.

Step two: Clean the print cartridges using HP photosmart software

Follow the steps to clean the print cartridges using the HP photosmart software.
  1. Load letter, A4, or legal unused plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. On the computer, click Start and then click Programs.
  3. Click HP and then click HP Solution Center.
  4. In the HP Solution Center, click Settings, point to Print Settings, and then click Printer Toolbox.
  5. Click the Printer Services tab.
  6. Click Clean Print Cartridges and follow the onscreen instructions.

Solution three: Check for defects using a self test report

Step one: Print a self test report

To check whether the cartridges are in proper condition, print a self test page. This page provides useful information on several aspects of the device, 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.
    The product prints a self test report, which might indicate the source of the printing problem.

Step two: Note which cartridges printed which areas of the 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.
Note though that different combinations of print cartridges can be installed in the product, and different cartridge combinations print different 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 report no matter which cartridges are installed.
    Figure : Self test report layout (the patterns in each area may look slightly different on your page)
  1. Printed by the right cartridge
  2. Printed by the left cartridge

Step three: Check ink-level indicators

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.
    1. Open HP Solution Center.
    2. Click Settings.
    3. Click Printer Toolbox.
    note:
    The Printer Toolbox can also be opened from the Print Properties dialog box. In the Print Properties dialog box, select Printing Preferences, click the Features tab, and then click Printer Services.
  2. Click the Estimated Ink Levels tab.
    Figure : Estimated ink levels
    note:
    A cartridge might be running out of ink even if the graphic shows that there is ink remaining in the cartridge. 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.
    The ink levels provided are an estimate. When print cartridges are truly low on ink, printouts will be faded or streaked. As long as print quality is acceptable, there is no reason to replace print cartridges. Low ink warnings are provided for planning purposes only.

Step four: Look for defects

In general, if the product 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 the product, and different cartridge combinations print different self test report patterns. Your self test report might not look exactly like the pictures below.
Missing 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 your self test report shows streaked bars, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00313117) (in English).
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 (c00313147) (in English).
Missing colors
If any of the color bars is 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 colors
  1. All colors present - no problems
  2. Yellow missing - the tri-color cartridge is not functioning properly
If any of the bars is entirely missing, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00313147) (in English).
Ink smears
If the self test report shows smeared ink, clean your cartridges.
Figure : Smeared ink
If your self test report shows smeared ink, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00313140) (in English).

Step five: Service your product

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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