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While they're generally very reliable, even in the most demanding of environments, HP printers are still problematic from time to time. And we all know printers fail at the most inopportune moments. For an IT support professional, it's critical to know how to fix the most common problems associated with these printers. I've identified 10 problems you can expect to run into most often when dealing with an HP printer, and I've included suggestions on fixing them.
Among the most common problems with any make of printer are paper jams. A printer will jam for any
1. Paper jam of reasons: It??™s dirty, the wrong paper type is being used, or the rollers on the printer that feed the paper through its pathway are worn down. While cleaning the printer periodically and using the correct paper type are easy fixes, roller replacement can be a difficult job depending on the model of HP printer. For some HP printers, the rollers are easily accessible, but you'll need to completely tear down other models to remove the rollers. Regardless of the cause, when removing a paper jam, always pull the paper in the direction of the paper path, because pulling it backwards can severely damage the printer.
Certain HP printers are more susceptible to paper jams than others. In my experience, any printer that holds the paper vertically and then pulls it down through the printer invariably ends up having paper jam problems. These models aren't designed for heavy use, but many organizations make use of them on individual systems and should be aware of this flaw. In addition, some people have trouble with the newer HP 4000 series printers' paper pickup rollers??”which is odd, because the older 4000 and 5000 series HP printers are considered rock solid and don't seem to have any trouble with their pickup rollers.
2 Some or all of the printing on the page is faded
A faded print image is normally the result of one of three conditions: The printer is getting low on toner, the print density is set too low, or Economode printing is turned on. For the last two settings, a printer self-test (typically a separate button on the printer) will show what the current settings are. If Economode is on, and users are complaining about how light the print is, turn it off and/or set the print density higher. If the toner is low, simply removing the cartridge and shaking it to redistribute the toner more evenly can temporarily resolve the problem until you can replace the cartridge.
Ghosting is a condition where the image prints properly, but a much lighter copy of the image also prints elsewhere. This can be due to a problem with the power outlet that is supplying power to the printer. Check the power outlet by plugging in a different printer to see if the same results occur. Ghosting can also be caused when consumable printer parts (such as the drum or imaging kit) are near the end of their life. All of the consumable parts in a printer are rated for a certain number of pages. Once a printer gets near that magic number, you'll need to replace those parts .
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