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HP LaserJet 4000, 4050, 4100, 4200, and 4300 Series Printers - Diagnosing and Repairing Abnormal Printer Noises

Document Number: bpl12433

NOTE: This document does not currently address the troubleshooting for the multi-function components of an MFP model.

Printer noises coming from the HP LaserJet 4000,4050, 4100, 4200 or 4300 series printers can be described as high-pitched or ultrasonic sounds such as ringing, humming, or whining. Other descriptors include squeaks, groans, moans, rubbing, clicking, fluttering, or rattle.

Noises can be caused by a number of things, some of which may not be addressed in this document. This document deals strictly with the isolation and potential resolution of known noises through troubleshooting.

NOTE: Feed/separation roller groan may be associated with a 13.1 error message.

Normal noises

Fans will come on during power up, printing, and will stay on for a short time after printing. On the HP LaserJet 4100 series printers, the fan will turn on and the main motor will rotate periodically while in Power-Save mode or Ready mode.

During printing, it is not uncommon for a high-pitched, ultrasonic whine to be noticed by those individuals with extremely good hearing or audio augmenting devices such as head-sets, hearing aids, etc.

The laser scanner will produce a sound similar to that of a vacuum or a jet engine powering up, sort of a whooshing sound that increases in pitch.

NOTE: At low levels, this is normal. It can become too loud, indicating that it may need replacement.

Instructions

Noises can be difficult to isolate. Noises are very subjective and awkward to describe, therefore, user descriptors can differ and the only accurate way to determine the origin of a noise is to isolate the issue using the following troubleshooting, in order.

Troubleshooting:
Additional information:
1. Does the noise occur during power-up?
1.1. Check that any installed accessories and consumables (duplexer, envelope feeder, fuser, or toner cartridge, etc.) are installed correctly by reseating them and then power-cycling (unless performed during a previous step).
If the noise does not go away, remove the accessories and consumables, one at a time, to determine if the noise is associated with one, or a combination more than one, of them.
1.2. If the noise goes away with the toner cartridge removed (or the fuser, or the transfer roller), it will need to be replaced.
1.3. If the noise does not go away with the toner cartridge removed, remove the transfer roller. If the noise goes away with the transfer roller removed, it will need to be replaced. If the toner cartridge is near the end of its expected life (6,000 pages for standard cartridges, 10,000 for extended use cartridges), the consumer will be responsible for replacing it.
1.4. If the noise does not go away with the transfer roller removed, then the noise may be associated with an internal component.
1.5. If the noise still hasn’t been resolved, please refer to number 7 in the troubleshooting column.
2. Remove the printer from any UPS (uninterrupted power supplies) or power strips and plug directly into an outlet.
2.1. If the printer is plugged into a UPS, a beeping or whistling noise may be coming from the UPS. Plug the printer directly into a wall outlet to eliminate the possibility of power issues caused by other power devices.
3. Is the printer able to print?
3.1. If the printer is unable to print, did a paper jam occur, and then the noise? Paper jams can keep the printer’s internal components from moving, creating unusual noises.
3.2. If there is a paper jam, where is the leading edge (the edge of the paper that entered the printer first) located?
3.3. Does the jam (and noise) occur in the same location, each time? If so, is it related to a particular tray?
3.4. Attempt to print an event log (view it on the printer display, if unable to print), making note of the error codes listed.
4. Was a consumable recently replaced?
4.1. If a consumable was recently replaced, it could be improperly installed or defective.
4.2. Open the Top Cover, remove the toner cartridge, turn the printer off, and then back on again. If the noise still occurs, the Toner Cartridge and Transfer Roller can be eliminated as the source of the sound.
4.3. Exchange the consumable with a known good or new consumable, preferably the HP brand to determine if the noise was associated with the consumable.
5. Was an error displayed on the printer when the issue occurred?
5.1. Error codes can also be a clue to the source of the noise. Make note of the error code to use for future troubleshooting.
6. Does the noise occur during power-up?
6.1. Check that any installed accessories and consumables (duplexer, envelope feeder, fuser, or toner cartridge, etc.) are installed correctly by reseating them, turning the printer off, and then turning the printer back on again (unless performed during a previous step). If the noise does not go away, remove the accessories and consumables, one at a time, to determine if the noise is associated with one, or a combination more than one, of them.
6.2. If the noise goes away with the toner cartridge removed (or the fuser, or the transfer roller), it will need to be replaced. If the toner cartridge is near the end of its expected life (200,000 pages), the consumer is responsible for replacing it.
6.3. If the noise does not go away with the transfer roller removed, then the noise may be associated with an internal component.
6.4 If the noise still hasn’t been resolved, please refer to Step 8 in the troubleshooting column.
7. Does the noise occur during printing?
7.1. Print to the top output to isolate a squeaking sound.
7.1.1. If the printer squeaks, open the rear door and print.
7.1.2. If the squeak disappears or lessens considerably when printing to the rear output, then replace the delivery assembly. Verify that the issue has been corrected by printing a test job to the rear output.
7.2. Print from Tray 1 to determine if the sound is coming from there.
7.2.1. Continue with the next step if the sound is not produced when using Tray 1.
7.3. Print from Tray 2 to determine if the sound is coming from there.
7.4. If the sound originates in Tray 2, then continue troubleshooting with Step 7.5 to continue isolating the sound.
7.4.1. If the sound does not originate from Tray 2, print from Tray 3.
7.4.2. If the sound originates in Tray 3 and/or 4, then repeat the steps in sections 4.0 through 6.0.
7.4.3. If the sound does not originate in Tray 3, then contact Hewlett-Packard for additional support.
7.5. Visually inspect the feed/separation rollers for Tray 2.
7.6. If the sound continues, exchange the feed/separation rollers in Tray 3 (if possible), with the rollers from Tray 2 (Click here for additional assistance with exchanging the rollers).
7.7. If the sound follows the rollers, then print a Configuration page. The consumer will need to order the maintenance kit if the page count on the Configuration page is close to 200,000 pages and install maintenance kit. Click here for additional information about printing a Configuration page .
7.8. If the sound does not follow the rollers, and was not resolved by the previous troubleshooting steps, then the pick assemblies for the trays in question will need to be replaced.
8. Noise still unresolved.
8.1. Contact HP Support for further assistance.

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Procedures

Removing separation rollers

  1. Remove the tray. Open the door on the left, inside front of the tray.

    Figure 1: Separation rollers

    NOTE: The separation rollers are inside the paper trays.
  2. Release the latch and lift the cover inside the tray.

  3. Pinch the release at the left side of the roller and slide it off the shaft.

  4. Replace new roller by sliding it on the shaft. Replace the cover.
    CAUTION: Be sure that the roller slides on fully and clicks into place. Be sure to close cover completely by pressing until it snaps into place.
  5. Continue with the next section to remove and replace the feed roller.

Removing feed rollers

  1. Move the printer to the edge of the work area for access to the feed roller area.

    NOTE: The following procedure is the same for all HP LaserJet 4000 series printers; there are two rollers for the HP LaserJet 4000T and 4000TN and one roller for the HP LaserJet 4000 and 4000N.

    Figure 2: Paper feed rollers (HP LaserJet 4000T/4000TN shown)

  2. Remove the tray(s) from the feeder. The Paper Feed Rollers are inside the feeder.

  3. Pinch the release at the left side of the roller and slide it off the shaft.

  4. Line up the new roller with the flat part of the axle. Slide the roller onto the axle and rotate until it locks into place.

  5. Continue with the next section to reset the maintenance page count.

Printing a Configuration page

  1. Press the MENU key until the Information Menu appears in the printer display.

  2. Press the ITEM key until Print Configuration appears in the printer display.

  3. Press the SELECT key until Printing Configuration appears in the printer display. The Configuration page should print out now.

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Reseating or replacing transfer roller

The Transfer Roller assembly may be lifted or unseated. Use the following procedures to check and reseat the Transfer Roller:

CAUTION: To avoid damaging the Transfer Roller, never touch the Transfer Roller with bare hands.
  1. Put on lint free gloves if available to help avoid touching the black rubber part of the Transfer Roller with bare hands.

  2. Turn the printer so the front is facing you.

  3. Open the Top Cover, remove the Toner Cartridge and inspect the Transfer Roller. The Transfer Roller is underneath the Toner Cartridge. The blue gear on the left end of the Transfer Roller should deflect approximately .25 to .375 of an inch when depressed, and it should snap back into place when released.

    Figure 3: Transfer Roller

    CAUTION: Do not touch the black rubber part of the roller. Skin oils on the roller can cause problems with print quality.
  4. If the Transfer Roller is not seated, gently press down on the ends until it snaps into place.

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Contact HP

If the issue is unresolved, contact HP support and provide the following information:

  • Document number: bpl12433 was used for troubleshooting.

  • Problem Description: (Provide the applicable questions and answers)

  • When did the errors begin? Had something changed when this issue(s) started occurring?

  • Does the noise reoccur after replacing the transfer roller, separation roller, toner cartridge, and/or fuser?

  • Does the noise occur during power-up? Did the noise occur after the printer was directly plugged into a wall socket?

  • Is the printer able to print? Does the noise occur during printing?

  • Was a consumable (for example, toner cartridge) recently replaced?

  • Was an error displayed on the printer when the noise occurred?

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