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HP Deskjet 9300 - Troubleshooting General Printing Problems

Introduction

This document provides solutions to common printing problems, such as paper jams and poor print quality. If the printer is not operating properly and these suggestions do not solve the problem, try to print a diagnostic page, and then contact HP Customer Support.

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Power cannot be turned on

  • Make sure the power cord is connected.

  • Make sure the removable panel on the back of the printer is tightly pushed into the slot, and that the knob is in the lock position.

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Printer is not responding (nothing prints)

  • Check the power. Make sure the power cord is connected firmly to the printer and to a working outlet, and that the printer is turned on. The Power light on the front panel of the printer should be lit.

NOTE: If printing is attempted while the printer is turned off, an alert message should appear on the computer screen. If the printer is off and no message appears, the printer setup might be incorrect. To correct this, reinstall the printer software.
  • Check the cables. Make sure the printer cable is firmly connected between the printer and the computer.

  • Check the rear panel knob. Make sure the rear panel is correctly installed and the knob is in the lock position. The printer will not function until the knob is in the lock position.

  • Check the printer setup. Make sure the HP Deskjet printer is selected as the current or default printer, and that Pause Printing is not selected in the Printer menu.

  • Be patient. Complex documents containing many fonts, graphics, and/or color photos take longer to begin printing. If the Power light is blinking, the printer is processing information.

  • Check the paper. Make sure paper is loaded correctly in the tray, and that the paper is not jammed in the printer.

  • Check the print cartridges. Make sure that the black and color print cartridges are properly installed, and that the printer's access cover is closed. (The print cartridge light flashes if the print cartridges are not installed correctly.)

  • Try printing a sample page. Turn the printer off and then back on. Press the Resume button and release it when the Resume light starts to blink.

    If the sample page prints, the problem is not in the printer.

  • Try printing from other software applications to see if the problem recurs.

  • Try printing a generic Windows test page. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers (Windows NT 4.0, 98, Me, and 2000) or Printers and Faxes (Windows XP). Right-click the Printer icon and select Properties. Click the General tab, and then click Print Test Page.

    If the test page prints and the printer previously worked with the same software application, try printing another file using the application. If this file prints, the file that would not print might be damaged. Try printing a backup copy of the file. If none of the above solutions works, the problem is likely caused by the software application's inability to properly interpret print settings. Check the Readme file on the Starter CD for known software conflicts. Otherwise, check the software application manual, or call the application manufacturer to get more specific help.

    If the test page does not print, make sure the correct port (USB, LPTx) is selected and that the printer is connected directly to the computer. If the printer is connected to a switch box, make sure the correct switch is selected. When printing the test page, the printer Power light should flash. If the Power light does not flash, print a diagnostic page.

  • Check the network setup, and make sure the printer is properly set up in the network environment.

  • Check the Chooser (Mac OS 8.6 and 9.x only). Make sure the printer software is installed and the printer is selected. The printer version should be visible on the left panel of the Chooser. Click the Printer icon: the printer name should appear in the right panel of the Chooser. Select the printer name.

  • Check the USB port. Unplug the printer from the USB port, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in. If that does not help, try plugging the printer into another USB port.

  • Check the condition of the cable. Check the cable to the printer for damage or fraying, and replace the cable if needed.

  • Uninstall the printer software and run the setup program again. Be sure to turn on the printer's power and connect only the cable selected during installation when prompted to do so.

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Paper feed problem

  • Make sure there is no paper jam.

  • Check that paper is loaded correctly. Make sure the paper width and length adjusters fit snugly against the left and bottom edges of the paper stack.

  • Check the paper type. Some paper types are not suitable for use with the printer.

  • Make sure to only load one type of paper at a time.

  • Make sure there is sufficient paper in the tray.

  • If none of the above solutions works, print a diagnostic page.

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Paper skew problem

If paper is twisting as it feeds or margins appear crooked, make sure the bottom and side paper guides are pressed gently against the paper.

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Paper is jammed in the printer

NOTE: To clear the printer of jammed paper, open the access cover and pull the paper towards the front of the printer. If the jammed paper is difficult to reach, turn the panel knob at the back of the printer, remove the panel, pull out the jammed paper, and replace the panel. If this still does not clear the jam, lift up the output tray, and remove the jammed paper from the main paper tray.

Tips for avoiding paper jams

  • Make sure nothing blocks the paper path.

  • Do not use media that is damaged, curled, or wrinkled. Avoid paper with cutouts or perforations, or paper that is heavily textured or embossed.

  • Load only one paper type at a time into any of the trays.

  • Except when using manual feed, load the paper print-side down with the right edge of the paper aligned against the right edge of the tray.

  • Do not load more than 150 sheets (or 19 mm-height stack) of paper or 15 envelopes into the main tray at one time. Load only one sheet of paper into the manual feed tray.

  • Always use paper that conforms with HP printer specifications.

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A blank page is ejected

  • Make sure the protective tape has been removed from the ink nozzles on the print cartridges.

  • Check for an empty print cartridge. If a blank page prints while attempting to print black text, the black print cartridge might be empty. Check the printer LEDs to make sure they are not on. If needed, replace the empty black print cartridge and try again.

  • Check the printer setup. Make sure the printer is selected as the current or default printer.

  • Check for conflicts with port-sharing devices. When using a parallel cable, make sure the printer is connected directly to the parallel port. Do not share the port with other devices, such as Zip drives or other printers.

  • Check whether the printer is shared. If it is, make sure the network is functioning properly.

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Poor print quality

NOTE: Open the top cover if there could be a print cartridge problem. The inside top case includes icons showing cartridge problems: if there is a problem, the yellow arrow on the cartridge cradle points to the icon that indicates the problem.

Printout is faded or colors are dull

  • Check the Print Quality setting. The Fast option uses less ink and prints at a faster rate, which is good for printing drafts. To achieve better colored printout, select Normal or Best quality in the printer driver.

  • Check the Paper Type setting. When printing on transparencies or other special paper types, select the corresponding paper type in the printer driver.

  • Check the type of paper in the printer. Some paper types are not suitable for use with the printer.

  • Check the print cartridges for low ink or clogs:

    • Whenever print quality deteriorates, clean the print cartridges and then print a test page.

    • Make sure all the lines on the test page are connected and printed properly. If the lines are broken, the print cartridge is probably out of ink, and should be replaced. If the cartridge was replaced recently, however, it is probably defective.

Colors are bleeding into each other

  • Check the Print Quality setting. Some Paper Type settings (such as Transparency) and Print Quality settings (such as Best) require more ink than others. Choose different print settings in the printer driver. Also, be sure to select the correct paper type in the printer driver.

  • Check the Paper Type setting. Some paper types are not suitable for use with the printer.

  • Avoid using refilled print cartridges. HP does not recommend or support refilled print cartridges. Refilling processes and the use of incompatible inks might disrupt the intricate printing system, potentially reducing print quality and even damaging the printer.

When printing on photo paper and transparency film, refer to the following:
  • Make sure the paper is inserted print-side down when loaded from the front manual feed tray or main paper tray.

  • Make sure the paper is inserted print-side up when loaded from the rear manual feed.

  • Use only HP Inkjet Transparency Films approved for the printer.

Ink is smearing onto white (blank) areas

  • The printout needs time to dry. When printing documents that use a lot of ink, be sure to allow the document more time to dry before handling it. This is especially true for transparencies. Check immediately after printing whether smearing occurs in the printout. If needed, increase the amount of dry time in the printer driver.

  • Some types of paper do not accept ink well, which causes the ink to dry more slowly and results in smearing.

  • The page is wrinkling with too much ink. Color documents with rich, blended colors can use excess ink, which wrinkles the page during printing and causes smearing. Try using the Normal or Fast Print Quality setting to reduce ink, or use HP Premium Paper designed for inkjet printing of vivid color documents.

  • Check for excess ink buildup on the print cartridge, and clean the cartridges if needed.

Ink is not filling the text or graphics completely

  • Check the print cartridges:

    • The print cartridges might be running out of ink. Check the printer LEDs to make sure they are not on. Replace any low or empty print cartridges, then try again.

    • Clean the print cartridges whenever print quality noticeably decreases.

    • If the print cartridges have poor contact, try removing and reinstalling them, making sure to snap them firmly into place.

  • Check the paper type. Some paper types are not suitable for use with the printer.

  • If none of the above solutions works, try printing in Best mode.

Text is jagged at the edges (not smooth)

  • Check the type of font chosen. Some software programs offer custom fonts that have jagged edges when enlarged or printed. Use TrueType fonts to help ensure that the printer can print smooth fonts. When selecting a font, look for the TrueType icon.

  • When working with bitmapped text images, note that such images might have jagged edges when skewed, enlarged, or printed. Use TrueType fonts to help ensure that the printer can print smooth fonts. When selecting a font, look for the TrueType icon.

  • Check the paper type. Paper that is heavily textured or does not accept ink well can cause graphics and text to print poorly.

  • If none of the above solutions works, the problem is likely a conflict related to the software application being used to print. Check the Readme file on the Starter CD for known software conflicts. Otherwise, check the software application manual, or call the software manufacturer for more specific help.

Something on the page is missing or incorrect

  • The margin settings might be incorrect. Make sure the margin settings for the document do not exceed the printable area of the printer.

  • Color print settings might be incorrect. Grayscale might be selected in the printer driver.

  • The incorrect printer might be selected. Make sure the correct printer is selected as the current or default printer.

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Unexpected results

Text or graphics are cut off at page edges

  • Check the page orientation setting, and make sure the orientation selected is correct for the document.

  • Check the margin settings, and make sure margin settings for the document do not exceed the printable area of the printer.

  • Make sure the content fits on the page:

    • Content that is cut off might fall outside the printable area. Or, the size of the document may be larger than the paper in the main paper tray.

    • Use the built-in print preview feature to check the document before printing. Check the graphics in the document to make sure that their current size (scale) fits within the printable area of the printer.

    • If the layout of the document fits on a paper size supported by the printer, then load that paper size. Make sure to select the correct page orientation.

    • Sometimes software applications allow selection of print modes that scale the document to fit the paper size currently selected.

  • Make sure the paper is loaded correctly. Make sure the paper width and length adjusters fit snugly against the left and bottom edges of the paper stack. Also, make sure that the correct paper orientation is selected.

  • If none of the above solutions worked, the problem is likely a conflict related to the software package. Check the readme file on the Starter CD for known software conflicts. Otherwise, check the software program manual or call the software manufacturer to get more specific help for this problem.

Placement of the text or graphics is incorrect

  • Check the paper size and orientation settings. Make sure the paper size and page orientation selected in the software program match the settings in the printer driver.

  • Make sure the paper is loaded correctly. If everything on the page is slanted or skewed, make sure the paper width and length guides fit snugly against the left and bottom edges of the paper stack and that there are no more than 150 sheets of paper loaded in the main paper tray.

  • Check the margin settings. If the text or graphics are cut off at the edges of the page, make sure the margin settings for the document do not exceed the printable area of the printer.

Meaningless characters are printed

  • Check the cable connection. A common cause for nonsense characters is a poor cable connection between the printer and computer.

  • The wrong printer might be selected. Check to make sure the printer is selected as the current or default printer.

  • The document file might be damaged. This happens occasionally. If it is possible to print other documents from the same software package, try to print using a backup copy of your document.

  • Check for conflicts with port-sharing devices. If using a parallel cable, make sure the printer is connected directly to the parallel port. Do not share the port with other devices such as a Zip drive or other printers.

  • The system might need to be restarted. Turn the printer and computer off, wait a few seconds, turn them both back on, and then try printing again.

Wrong fonts are printed

  • Fonts might be used incorrectly in the document. Make sure to correctly apply the chosen font. For example, in a paint program place the words in the desired size; do not enlarge by dragging and sizing.

  • Make sure the font is available on the computer. The fonts used in the document might not match the fonts currently available in the Windows system, or the type of font used is not designed to be printed. See if the font that is printing incorrectly is available in the software program's font selection box, and see if it is a TrueType font (recommended).

  • The wrong printer might be selected. Check to make sure the right printer is selected as the current or default printer.

  • If none of the above solutions worked, the problem is likely a conflict related to the software package. Check the readme file on the Starter CD for known software conflicts. Otherwise, check the software program manual or call the software manufacturer to get more specific help for this problem.

Colors are different than they should be

  • When colors are completely wrong (for example, when green prints as blue or yellow), the color cartridge might have run out of one or more colors of ink. To check the ink levels of the print cartridges in Windows, go to the Toolbox (if installed on the system). To open the Toolbox, click Start, point to Programs, hp deskjet 9300 series, and then click hp deskjet 9300 series Toolbox.

    After printing a test page, clean the print cartridges if necessary.

  • Colors are gray or are the correct color but the wrong shade:

    • If colors are printing in shades of gray, the Print in Grayscale checkbox is probably selected in the printer driver. For color printing, uncheck the Print in Grayscale checkbox on the Color tab.

    • If the hue or tone of color is shifted, the wrong setting might be selected in the printer driver. Select the Color tab and make sure the color sliders are centered.

  • Check the paper type. Colored paper might cause the mismatch in the printout. Try printing on plain white paper.

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Slow printing

To enhance the performance of the printer, check the following:

  • Use an IEEE-1284 parallel cable to enable bidirectional communication.

  • Check the system configuration:

    • See “Printer specifications” for minimum system requirements.

    • There might be insufficient hard disk space in the system For printing on 11 x 17 inch paper, it is recommended to have at least 50 MB of additional free hard disk space in the system. If printing graphics-intensive or photographic image files, make sure to have enough (more than 50 MB) additional hard disk space.

    • There might be insufficient virtual memory in the system. Increase the size of the system’s virtual memory.

  • Check the port and cable settings (Windows 98/Me only):

    • If using a parallel connection, try switching to a USB connection.

    • The port setting configuration in the system is not set to ECP See the manual that comes with the computer for information on how to change your port setting or contact the computer manufacturer.

  • A print cartridge might be low on ink. Check the printer LEDs to make sure they are not on. Replace any low or empty print cartridges, then try to print again.

Printer lights blink

NOTE: The Power light blinks when printing. This is normal. The Power light blinks 2-on, 1-off when a print job is being cancelled.
When you see this...
The problem is likely caused by...
Power light on and Resume light blinks
  • The printer is out of paper
  • The paper needs to be ejected
  • There is a paper size or type mismatch
  • The printer is no longer receiving data
  • The printer is waiting for the page to dry before printing the next page
  • Manual Duplex is waiting for user’s action
  • There is a media size mismatch
Power light on and Print Cartridge light blinks
  • Incompatible cartridge
  • Incorrect installation
  • Print cartridge damaged or not usable
See the print cartridge packaging to ensure that the print cartridge is designed for your printer model.
Power and Print Cartridge lights on
  • Low or out of ink
Replace any low or empty print cartridges, then try to print again.
Power and Resume lights blink
The movement of the print cartridge might be blocked. Turn the printer off and open the printer's top cover to check the following:
  • Remove any packing materials from the printer.
  • Check for paper that has crumpled and jammed in the printer. Remove the excess paper, then clear the paper jam from the rollers.
When there are no obstructions, turn the printer off, then on again.
Resume light blinks
There is a paper jam or paper motor stall.
All lights blink
Turn the printer off, then on again. If all the lights still blink, remove the printer's power plug from the wall outlet to completely cut off the power supply. If the problem persists, the problem is likely caused by a failure in the printer. Contact the HP Customer Support Center.

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