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HP LaserJet 4250 and 4350 Series Printers - Correcting Print-Quality Problems

This section helps you define print-quality problems and what to do to correct them. Often print- quality problems can be handled easily by making sure that the printer is properly maintained, using print media that meets HP specifications, or running a cleaning page.

Print-quality checklist

General print-quality problems can be solved by following the checklist below.

  • Check the printer driver to make sure that you are using the best available print quality option.

  • Try printing with one of the alternative printer drivers. The most recent printer drivers area available for download from http://www.hp.com/go/lj4250_software or http://www.hp.com/go/lj4350_software .

  • Clean the inside of the printer.

  • Check the paper type and quality.

  • Check to make sure that EconoMode is off in the software.

  • Troubleshoot general printing problems.

  • Install a new HP print cartridge, and then check the print quality again. (See the instructions provided with the print cartridge.)

If the page is totally blank (all white) check to make sure that the sealing tape is removed from the print cartridge and ensure that the print cartridge is installed correctly.Newer printers have been optimized to print characters more accurately. This might result in characters that look lighter or thinner than you are used to from your older printer. If the page is printing images darker than those from an older printer, and you want the images to match the older printer, make these changes in your printer driver: on the Finishing tab, select Print Quality , select Custom , click Details , and click the check box for Print Images Lighter .

Image defect examples

Use the examples in this image-defect table to determine which print-quality problem you are experiencing, and then see the corresponding reference pages to troubleshoot. These examples identify the most common print-quality problems. If you still have problems after trying the suggested remedies, contact HP Customer Support.

The examples below depict letter-size paper that has passed through the printer short-edge first. Sections describing the image defect and possible remedies exist below the image table.
Product illustrationProduct illustration
See Light print (partial page)
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See Light print (entire page)
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See Specks
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See Specks
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See Dropouts
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See Dropouts
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See Dropouts
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See Lines
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See Gray background
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See Toner smear
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See Loose toner
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See Repeating defects
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See Repeating image
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See Misformed characters
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See Page skew
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See Curl or wave
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See Wrinkles or creases
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See Vertical white lines
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See Tire tracks
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See White spots on black
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See Scattered lines .
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See Blurred print .
See Random image repetition (dark)
See Random image repetition (light)

Light print (partial page)

  1. Make sure that the print cartridge is fully installed.

  2. The toner level in the print cartridge might be low. Replace the print cartridge.

  3. The media might not meet HP specifications (for example, the paper is too moist or too rough).

  4. The printer might be due for maintenance. Check this by printing a copy of the supplies status page. If maintenance is due, order and install the printer maintenance kit.

Light print (entire page)

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  1. Make sure that the print cartridge is fully installed.

  2. Make sure that the EconoMode setting is turned off at the control panel and in the printer driver.

  3. Open the Configure Device menu at the printer control panel. Open the Print Quality submenu and increase the TONER DENSITY setting.

  4. Try using a different type of paper.

  5. The print cartridge might be almost empty. Replace the print cartridge.

Specks

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Specks might appear on a page after a jam has been cleared.

  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. Clean the inside of the printer and run a cleaning page to clean the fuser.

  3. Try using a different type of paper.

  4. Check the print cartridge for leaks. If the print cartridge is leaking, replace it.

Dropouts

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  1. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  2. If the paper is rough, and the toner easily rubs off, open the Configure Device menu at the printer control panel. Open the Print Quality submenu, select FUSER MODES , and then select the paper type you are using. Change the setting to HIGH 1 or HIGH 2, which helps the toner fuse more completely onto the paper.

  3. Try using a smoother paper.

Lines

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  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. Clean the inside of the printer and run a cleaning page to clean the fuser.

  3. Replace the print cartridge.

  4. The printer might be due for maintenance. Check this by printing a copy of the supplies status page. If maintenance is due, order and install the printer maintenance kit.

Gray background

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  1. Do not use paper that has already been run through the printer.

  2. Try using a different type of paper.

  3. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  4. Turn over the stack of paper in the tray. Also, try rotating the paper 180°.

  5. Open the Configure Device menu at the printer control panel. On the Print Quality submenu, increase the TONER DENSITY setting.

  6. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  7. Replace the print cartridge.

Toner smear

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  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. Try using a different type of paper.

  3. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  4. Clean the inside of the printer and run a cleaning page to clean the fuser.

  5. The printer might be due for maintenance. Check this by printing a copy of the supplies status page. If maintenance is due, order and install the printer maintenance kit.

  6. Replace the print cartridge.

Loose toner

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Loose toner, in this context, is defined as toner that can be rubbed off the page.

  1. If paper is heavy or rough, open the Configure Device menu at the printer control panel. On the Print Quality submenu, select FUSER MODES , and then select the paper type you are using. Change the setting to HIGH 1 or HIGH 2, which helps the toner fuse more completely onto the paper. (See Print Quality submenu .) You must also set the type of paper for the tray you are using.

  2. If you have observed a rougher texture on one side of your paper, try printing on the smoother side.

  3. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  4. Make sure that type and quality of the paper you are using meet HP specifications.

  5. The printer might be due for maintenance. Check this by printing a copy of the supplies status page. If maintenance is due, order and install the printer maintenance kit.

Repeating defects

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  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. If the distance between defects is 38 mm (1.5 inches), 55 mm (2.2 inches), or 94 mm (3.7 inches), the print cartridge might need to be replaced.

  3. Clean the inside of the printer and run a cleaning page to clean the fuser.

  4. The printer might be due for maintenance. Check this by printing a copy of the supplies status page. If maintenance is due, order and install the printer maintenance kit.

Repeating image

This type of defect might occur when using preprinted forms or a large quantity of narrow paper.

  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. Make sure that type and quality of the paper you are using meet HP specifications.

  3. The printer might be due for maintenance. Check this by printing a copy of the supplies status page. If maintenance is due, order and install the printer maintenance kit.

  4. If the distance between defects is 38 mm (1.5 inches), 55 mm (2.2 inches), or 94 mm (3.7 inches), the print cartridge might need to be replaced.

Misformed characters

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  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  3. The printer might be due for maintenance. Check this by printing a copy of the supplies status page. If maintenance is due, order and install the printer maintenance kit.

Page skew

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  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. Verify that there are no torn pieces of paper inside the printer.

  3. Make sure that paper is loaded correctly and that all adjustments have been made. Make sure that the guides in the tray are not too tight or too loose against the paper.

  4. Turn over the stack of paper in the tray. Also, try rotating the paper 180°.

  5. Make sure that the type and quality of the paper you are using meet HP specifications.

  6. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

Curl or wave

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  1. Turn over the stack of paper in the tray. Also, try rotating the paper 180°.

  2. Make sure that the type and quality of the paper you are using meet HP specifications.

  3. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  4. Try printing to a different output bin.

  5. If paper is lightweight and smooth, open the Configure Device menu at the printer control panel. On the Print Quality submenu, select FUSER MODES , and then select the paper type you are using. Change the setting to LOW , which helps reduce the heat in the fusing process. You must also set the type of paper for the tray you are using.

Wrinkles or creases

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  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  3. Turn over the stack of paper in the tray. Also, try rotating the paper 180°.

  4. Make sure that paper is loaded correctly and all adjustments have been made.

  5. Make sure that the type and quality of the paper you are using meet HP specifications.

  6. If envelopes are creasing, try storing envelopes so that they lie flat.

Vertical white lines

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  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. Make sure that the type and quality of the paper you are using meet HP specifications.

  3. Replace the print cartridge.

Tire tracks

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This defect typically occurs when the print cartridge has far exceeded its rated life of 10,000 (Q5942A) or 20,000 (Q5942X) pages. For example, if you are printing a very large quantity of pages with very little toner coverage.

  1. Replace the print cartridge.

  2. Reduce the number of pages that you print with very low toner coverage.

White spots on black

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  1. Print a few more pages to see if the problem corrects itself.

  2. Make sure that the type and quality of the paper you are using meet HP specifications.

  3. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  4. Replace the print cartridge.

Scattered lines

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  1. Make sure that the type and quality of the paper you are using meet HP specifications.

  2. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  3. Turn over the stack of paper in the tray. Also, try rotating the paper 180°.

  4. Open the Configure Device menu at the printer control panel. Open the Print Quality submenu and change the TONER DENSITY setting.

  5. Open the Configure Device menu at the printer control panel. On the Print Quality submenu, open OPTIMIZE and set LINE DETAIL=ON .

Blurred print

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  1. Make sure that the type and quality of the paper you are using meet HP specifications.

  2. Make sure that the environmental specifications for the printer are being met.

  3. Turn over the stack of paper in the tray. Also, try rotating the paper 180°.

  4. Do not use paper that already has been run through the printer.

  5. Decrease the toner density. Open the Configure Device menu at the printer control panel. Open the Print Quality submenu and change the TONER DENSITY setting.

  6. Open the Configure Device menu at the printer control panel. On the Print Quality submenu, open OPTIMIZE and set HIGH TRANSFER=ON .

Random image repetition

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If an image that appears at the top of the page (in solid black) repeats further down the page (in a gray field), the toner might not have been completely erased from the last job. (The repeated image might be lighter or darker than the field it appears in.)

  • Change the tone (darkness) of the field that the repeated image appears in.

  • Change the order in which the images are printed. For example, have the lighter image at the top of the page, and the darker image farther down the page.

  • From your software application, rotate the whole page 180° to print the lighter image first.

  • If the defect occurs later in a print job, turn the printer power off for 10 minutes, and then turn the printer power on to restart the print job.

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