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HP Color LaserJet 2820 and 2840 AiO Series Products - Paper Path Troubleshooting

Media jams occur in the device

Occasionally, paper or other print media can become jammed during a print job. Some causes include the following events:

  • The input trays are loaded improperly or overfilled, or the media guides are not set properly.

  • Optional tray 2 is removed during a print job.

  • The top cover is opened during a print job.

  • Too many sheets have accumulated in an output area, or sheets are blocking an output area. The top output bin should contain no more than 125 sheets. With the rear output door, pages should be removed as soon as they exit the device.

  • The print media that is being used does not meet HP specifications.

  • The media is damaged or has foreign objects attached to it, such as staples or paper clips.

  • The environment in which the print media was stored is too humid or too dry.

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Tips to avoid media jams

  • Verify that the input tray is not overfilled. The input tray capacity varies depending on the type of print media.

  • Verify that the media guides are properly adjusted.

  • Check that the input tray is securely in place.

  • Do not add print media into the input tray while the device is printing.

  • Use only HP-recommended media types and sizes.

  • Do not let print media stack up in the output bin. The print media type and the amount of toner used affect the output bin capacity.

  • Check the power connection. Make sure that the power cord is firmly connected to both the device and the power supply box. Plug the power cord into a grounded AC power outlet.

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Where to look for jams

Jams can occur in these locations:

  • Inside the device-under the imaging drum or along the internal paper path

  • In output areas-either the top output bin or the rear output door

  • In the automatic document feeder (ADF)

Find and remove the jam by using the instructions on the following pages. If the location of the jam is not obvious, first look inside the device.

Loose toner might remain in the device after a jam. This problem typically resolves itself after a few sheets have been printed.

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To clear a media jam inside the device

CAUTION: Media jams might result in loose toner on the page. If toner gets on the clothing, wipe the toner off with a clean cloth, wash the items in cold water, and air dry. Using hot water or heat from a dryer will set the toner in the fabric. If there is any toner on the hands, wash them in cold water.

Do not use a sharp object, such as a pencil or scissors, to remove jammed media.

  1. On the back of the device, open the rear-output door, and then push down the fuser levers.

    Figure 1: Open the Rear-output Door

    Releasing the fuser levers relieves tension on the device rollers, which allows to remove the jammed pages.

  2. Push the scanner-release button to open the scanner assembly.

    Figure 2: Push the scanner-release button

  3. Open the top cover, and then remove the image drum and set it aside.

    Figure 3: Open the Top cover

  4. With both hands, grasp the side of the media that is most visible (this includes the middle), and carefully pull it free from the device.

    Figure 4: Remove the media

  5. After removing the jammed media, replace the image drum, and close the top cover and the scanner assembly.

    Figure 5: Replace the image Drum

  6. Close the rear output door to return the fuser levers to their original upward position.

    After clearing the media jam, might need to turn the device off, and then turn it on again.

    NOTE: When adding new media, remove all of the media from the input tray, straighten the stack after adding the new media, place the stack in the tray, and then adjust the media guides.

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To clear output area jams

If the media has jammed where it exits the device, complete the following steps.

CAUTION: Do not use a sharp object, such as a pencil or scissors, to remove jammed media.
  1. On the back of the device, open the rear-output door, and then push down the fuser levers.

    Figure 6: Open the Rear-output Door

    Releasing the fuser levers relieves tension on the device rollers, which allows to remove the jammed pages.

  2. Grasp the leading edge of the media and pull the media out through the output bin.

    Figure 7: Remove the Media

  3. Return the fuser levers to their original upward position, and then close the rear-output door.

    NOTE: If the device is turned off before clearing the media jam, turn it on again, and then restart the printing or copying job.

If the jam is too far into the device to remove, might have to remove the fuser. To do so, complete the following steps.

  1. Turn off the device, and then disconnect the power cable.

  2. Rotate the locks on the fuser to the unlocked position.

    Figure 8: Rotate the locks

  3. Grasp the fuser handle and pull the fuser assembly from the device.

    Figure 9: Pull the Fuser assembly

    CAUTION: The parts on the internal surface of the fuser are very hot. To avoid from heat, do not touch those parts.
  4. Using both hands, slowly and steadily remove any print media from inside the device. Then, carefully reinsert the fuser and secure the locks.

  5. Reconnect the power cable, and then turn on the device.

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Media jams occur in the automatic document feeder (ADF)

Occasionally, media becomes jammed during a copy, scan, or fax job.

There will be notification of a media jam by the Doc feeder jam Clear, Reload message that appears on the device control-panel display. Possible problems include the following:

  • The ADF input tray is loaded incorrectly or is too full.

  • The media does not meet HP specifications, such as those for size or type.

  • The media is not of good quality. If it is not free of cuts, nicks, tears, spots, loose particles, dust, wrinkles, voids, staples, paper clips and curled or bent edges, replace it.

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To clear a media jam from the automatic document feeder (ADF)

  1. Open the ADF cover.

    Figure 10: Open the ADF Cover

    NOTE: Verify that any shipping tape inside the ADF has been removed.
  2. Remove the jam cleanout part. Using both hands, lift up on the two handles until the part unsnaps. Rotate and lift out the cleanout part and set it aside.

    Figure 11: Remove the Jam cleanout part

  3. Lifting the green lever, rotate the pick mechanism until it stays open.

    Figure 12: Lift the Green Lever

  4. Gently try to remove the page without tearing it. If there is resistance, go to the next step.

    Figure 13: Remove the Media

  5. Open the ADF lid and gently loosen the media by using both hands. Be careful that the ADF input tray does not fall off while the ADF lid is open.

    Figure 14: Open the ADF Lid

  6. When the media is free, gently pull it out in the direction shown.

    Figure 15: Remove the Media

  7. Close the lid to the flatbed scanner.

    Figure 16: Close the Lid

  8. Lower the green lever.

    Figure 17: Lower the Green Lever

  9. Reinstall the cleanout part by inserting it as shown. Push down on the two tabs until the part snaps into place. Install the cleanout part correctly, because future jamming might occur if the cleanout part is not replaced correctly.

    Figure 18: Reinstall the cleanout part

  10. Close the ADF lid.

    Figure 19: Close the ADF Lid

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Print quality problems

Occasionally, might encounter problems with print quality. The information in the following sections helps to identify and resolve these issues.

Improving print quality

Use the print-quality settings to prevent print-quality problems.

Understanding print-quality settings

Print-quality settings affect how light or dark the print is on the page and the style in which the graphics are printed. Also use the print-quality settings to optimize the print quality for a specific media type.

Change the settings in the device properties to accommodate the types of jobs.

To temporarily change print-quality settings

To change the print-quality settings only for the current software program, open the properties through the Print Setup menu in the program.

To change print-quality settings for all future jobs

NOTE: For Macintosh instructions, see the device user guide for more information.

For Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Windows Me:

  1. In the Windows system tray, click Start , select Settings , and then click Printers .

  2. Right-click the device icon.

  3. Click Properties (in Microsoft Windows 2000, click Printing Preferences ).

  4. Change the settings, and click OK .

For Microsoft Windows XP (corporate version):

  1. In the Windows system tray, click Start , and then click Printers and Faxes .

  2. Right-click the device icon.

  3. Click Properties , or click Printing Preferences .

  4. Change the settings, and click OK .

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Identifying and correcting print defects

Use the checklist and print-quality issues charts in this section to solve print-quality problems.

Print-quality checklist

General print-quality problems can be solved by using the following checklist:

  1. Make sure that the paper or print media that meets specifications. Generally, smoother paper provides better results.

    Some paper reams are marked with an arrow on the label that indicates the smooth side of the paper. Make sure that is printing on the side indicated.

  2. If using a special print media such as labels, transparencies, glossy, or letterhead, ensure that they are printed by type.

  3. Print a Configuration page and Supplies Status page at the device.

    • Check the Supplies Status page to see if any supplies are low or empty. No information is provided for non-HP print cartridges.

    • If the pages do not print correctly, the problem is with the hardware.

      To determine the hardware problem, lightly press the switch in the upper left corner of the open multipurpose tray, toward the rear of the device frame, with at least three sheets of paper in the multipurpose tray. The device should print a sheet with horizontal lines of all four colors. If one or more colors are missing, inspect the device imaging system. If all colors are printed, troubleshoot for a formatter issue.

  4. Print a Demo page from HP Toolbox. If the page prints, the problem is with the printer driver. Try printing from the other printer driver. For example, if using the PCL 6 printer driver, print from the PS printer driver.

    • Use the Add Printer Wizard in the Printers (or Printers and Faxes in Microsoft Windows XP) dialog box to install the PS driver.

  5. Try printing from a different program. If the page prints correctly, the problem is with the program.

  6. Restart the computer and the device and try printing again. If the problem is not resolved, choose one of these options:

    • If the problem is with the engine print and paper path, perform an engine test.

    • If the problem is affecting all printed pages, see General print quality issues.

    • If the problem is affecting only pages printed in color, see Solving issues with color documents.

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General print quality issues

The following examples depict letter-size paper that has passed through the device short edge first. These examples illustrate problems that would affect all of the pages that print, whether printing in color or in black only. The topics that follow list the typical cause and solution for each of these examples.

Problem
Cause
Solution
Print is light or faded.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use media that meets HP specifications.
One or more print cartridges might be low. If the Cartridge is other than HP, messages will not appear on the device control panel or in HP Toolbox.
Replace any low print cartridges.
If the Cartridge is other than HP, messages will not appear on the device control panel or in HP Toolbox.
If none of the print cartridges or the imaging drum is low or empty, remove the print cartridges one at a time and inspect the toner roller in each to see if the roller is damaged. If so, replace the print cartridge.
The imaging drum might be low or damaged.
Print the Supplies Status page to check the remaining life, and verify that the imaging drum has not been exposed to light for a long period of time. Replace the imaging drum if it is low or damaged.
The device might not be calibrated correctly.
Calibrate the device.
If the light printing is on the left side of the page, the carousel might be dislocated.
Verify that the print-cartridge carousel drive teeth are aligned correctly. If the teeth are aligned correctly, replace the print-cartridge carousel.
Toner specks appear.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use media that meets HP specifications.
The paper path might need cleaning.
Clean the paper path.
Dropouts appear.
A single sheet of print media might be defective.
Try reprinting the job.
The moisture content of the paper is uneven or the paper has moist spots on its surface.
Try different paper, such as high quality paper that is intended for color laser printers.
The paper lot is flawed. The manufacturing processes can cause some areas to reject toner.
Try different paper, such as high quality paper that is intended for color laser printers.
The imaging drum might be defective.
Replace the imaging drum.
Vertical streaks or bands appear on the page.
One or more print cartridges might be low or defective. If the Cartridge is other than HP, messages will not appear on the device control panel or in HP Toolbox.
Replace any low print cartridges.
If the error occurs during copy jobs only, the scanner glass of the ADF window might be dirty.
Clean the scanner glass and the ADF window.
The imaging drum might be low.
Replace the imaging drum.
The amount of background toner shading becomes unacceptable.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper with a lighter basis weight.
Very dry (low humidity) conditions can increase the amount of background shading.
Check the device environment.
One or more print cartridges might be low. If the Cartridge is other than HP, messages will not appear on the device control panel or in HP Toolbox.
Replace any low print cartridges.
The imaging drum might be low.
Replace the imaging drum.
Toner smears appear on the media.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use media that meets HP specifications.
If toner smears appear on the leading edge of the paper, the media guides are dirty, or debris has accumulated in the print path.
Clean the media guides and the paper path.
The imaging drum might be low.
Replace the imaging drum.
Media might be jammed in the imaging drum.
Complete the following steps to clear the jam:
  1. Remove the imaging drum from the device.

  2. Rotate the black dial (jam clearance door lock), located on the top, left-hand side of the imaging drum, counterclockwise.

  3. Lift upward to open the black jam clearance door near the green handle on the top of the imaging drum.

  4. Lift upward to open the black jam clearance door near the green handle on the top of the imaging drum.

    NOTE: Do not touch the white sleeve in the imaging drum when removing the media, as fingerprints will cause print quality issues. If necessary, use a lint-free cloth to gently wipe any fingerprints off the white sleeve.
  5. Close the jam clearance door, and then rotate the locking mechanism clockwise.

  6. Reinstall the imaging drum in the device.

The toner smears easily when touched.
The device is not set to print on the type of media.
In the printer driver, select the Paper tab and set Type is to match the type of media. Print speed might be slower if heavy paper is used.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use media that meets HP specifications.
The paper path might need cleaning.
Clean the device.
If the error persists, verify that the fuser is working correctly. If it is not working correctly, replace the fuser. If the error still persists, replace the DC controller.
Marks repeatedly appear at even intervals on the printed side of the page.
The device is not set to print on the type of media.
In the printer driver, select the Paper tab and set Type is to match the type of paper. Print speed might be slower if heavy paper is used.
Internal parts might have toner on them.
The problem typically corrects itself after a few more pages. Run a cleaning page through the device.
The paper path might need cleaning.
Run a cleaning page through the device.
The imaging drum might be low.
Replace the imaging drum.
The fuser might be damaged.
Replace the fuser.
Marks repeatedly appear at even intervals on the unprinted side of the page.
Internal parts might have toner on them.
The problem typically corrects itself after a few more pages. Run a cleaning page through the device.
The paper path might need cleaning.
Run a cleaning page through the device.
The imaging drum might be low.
Replace the imaging drum.
The fuser might be damaged.
Replace the fuser.
The printed page contains misformed characters.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper, such as high quality paper that is intended for color laser printers.
If characters are incorrectly formed so that they produce a wavy effect, the laser/scanner assembly might need service.
Verify that the problem also occurs on the Configuration page. If so, replace the laser/scanner assembly.
The printed page is curled or wavy.
The device is not set to print on the type of media.
In the printer driver, select the Paper tab and set Type is to match the type of paper. Print speed might be slower if heavy paper is used.
The paper path is curling the media.
Open the rear output door to print to the straight-through paper path.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper, such as high quality paper that is intended for color laser printers.
Both high temperature and humidity can cause paper curl.
Check the device environment.
Text or graphics are skewed on the printed page.
The media might be loaded incorrectly.
Make sure that the paper or other print media is loaded correctly and that the media guides are not too tight or too loose against the stack.
If the error occurs using either tray 1 or optional tray 2, the paper path might be obstructed.
Remove any media jammed in the paper path.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper, such as high quality paper that is intended for color laser printers.
The laser scanner might be incorrectly seated in the device.
Verify that the laser/scanner assembly is correctly seated.
The printed page contains wrinkles or creases.
The media might be loaded incorrectly.
Turn over the stack of paper in the input tray, or try rotating the paper 180° in the input tray.
Verify that the media is loaded correctly and that the media guides are not too tight or too loose against the stack.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper, such as high quality paper that is intended for color laser printers.
The paper path is curling the media.
Open the rear output door to print to the straight-through paper path.
Toner appears around the printed characters.
The media might be loaded incorrectly.
Turn over the stack of paper in the tray.
If large amounts of toner have scattered around the characters, the paper might have high resistivity.
Use a different paper, such as high quality paper that is intended for color laser printers.
The device might not be calibrated correctly.
Calibrate the device.
An image that appears at the top of the page (in solid black) repeats farther down the page (in a gray field).
Software settings might affect image printing.
In the software program, change the tone (darkness) of the field in which the repeated image appears.
In the software program, rotate the whole page 180° to print the lighter image first.
The device is not set to print on the type of media.
In the printer driver, select the Paper tab and set Type is to match the type of paper. Print speed might be slower if heavy paper is used.
The order of images printed might affect printing.
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.
A power surge might have affected the device.
If the defect occurs later in a print job, turn the device off for 10 minutes, and then turn on the device to restart the print job.

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Solving issues with color documents

This section describes issues that can occur when printing in color.

Problem
Cause
Solution
Only black is printing when the document should be printing in color.
Color mode is not selected in the program or printer driver.
Select color mode instead of grayscale mode.
The correct printer driver might not be selected in the program.
Select the correct printer driver.
The device might not be correctly configured.
  1. To determine if a hardware problem exists, lightly press the switch in the upper left corner of the open multipurpose tray, toward the rear of the device frame, with at least three sheets of paper in the multipurpose tray. The device should print a sheet with horizontal lines of all four colors. If one or more colors are missing, inspect the device imaging system. If all colors are printed, inspect the formatter.

  2. Print a Configuration page. If no color appears on the Configuration page, replace the imaging drum.

One or more colors are not printing, or are inaccurate.
Sealing tape might be on the print cartridges.
Verify that the sealing tape has been completely removed from the print cartridges.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper, such as high quality paper that is intended for color laser printers.
The device might be operating in excessively humid conditions.
Verify that the device environment is within humidity specifications.
One or more print cartridges might be low. If the Cartridge is other than HP, messages will not appear on the device control panel or in HP Toolbox.
Replace any low print cartridges.
A color is printing inconsistently after loading a new print cartridge.
Another print cartridge might be low. If the Cartridge is other than HP, messages will not appear on the device control panel or in HP Toolbox.
Check the control-panel display or HP Toolbox to see if a print cartridge is low, and replace it if necessary.
Print cartridges might be incorrectly installed.
Remove the print cartridge for the color that is printing inconsistently and reinstall it.
The device might have calibrated incorrectly after installed a print cartridge.
Calibrate the device.
The colors on the printed page do not match the colors as they appear on the screen.
The colors on the computer monitor might differ from the device output.
Select Screen Match in the Color tab of the printer driver.
The printer driver might affect color printing.
Try printing from a different program or one of the other printer drivers. For example, if using the PCL 6 printer driver, try the PS printer driver.
If extremely light colors or extremely dark colors on screen are not printing, the software program might interpret extremely light colors as white or extremely dark colors as black.
If possible, avoid using extremely light or extremely dark colors.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper, such as high quality paper that is intended for color laser printers.
The finish on the printed color page is inconsistent.
The media might be too rough.
Use a smooth paper or print media, such as a high-quality paper that is made for color laser printers. Generally, smoother media produces better the results.

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Media-handling problems

Use the information in this section when the device experiences media-handling problems.

Print-media guidelines

  • For best results, make sure that the paper is of good quality, and free of cuts, nicks, tears, spots, loose particles, dust, wrinkles, voids, staples, and curled or bent edges.

  • For best-quality color printing, use a smooth type of paper. Generally, smoother media produces better results.

  • If unsure what type of paper loaded (such as bond or recycled), check the label on the package of paper.

    CAUTION: Do not use media that is designed for Inkjet printers only. Use media that is designed for color LaserJet printers.
  • Do not use letterhead paper that is printed with low-temperature inks, such as those used in some types of thermography.

  • Do not use raised or embossed letterhead.

  • The device uses heat and pressure to fuse toner to the paper. Make sure that any colored paper or preprinted forms use inks that are compatible with this fusing temperature (210°C or 410°F for 0.2 second).

    CAUTION: Failure to follow these guidelines could cause jams or damage to the device.

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Solving print-media problems

The following problems with paper cause print quality deviations, jamming, or even damage to the device.

Problem
Cause
Solution
Poor print quality or toner adhesion
The paper is too moist, too rough, too heavy or too smooth, or it is embossed or from a faulty paper lot.
Try another kind of paper, between 100 and 250 Sheffield, 4 to 6% moisture content.
Dropouts, jamming, or curl
The paper has been stored incorrectly.
Store paper flat in its moisture-proof wrapping.
The paper has variability from one side to the other.
Turn the paper over.
Excessive curl
The paper is too moist, has the wrong grain direction, or is of short-grain construction
Open the rear output bin, or use long grain paper.
The paper varies from side-to-side.
Turn the paper over.
Jamming, damage to device
The paper has cutouts or perforations.
Use paper that is free of cutouts or perforations.
Problems with feeding
The paper has ragged edges.
Use high-quality paper that is made for color laser printers.
The paper varies from side-to-side.
Turn the paper over.
The paper is too moist, too rough, too heavy or too smooth, has the wrong grain direction, or is of short-grain construction or it is embossed or from a faulty paper lot.
Try another kind of paper, between 100 and 250 Sheffield, 4 to 6% moisture content.
Open the rear output bin, or use long grain paper.
Print is skewed (crooked).
The media guides might be incorrectly adjusted.
Remove all media from the input tray, straighten the stack, and then load the media in the input tray again. Adjust the media guides to the width and length of the media.
If the error occurs using either tray 1 or optional tray 2, the paper path might be obstructed
Remove any media jammed in the paper path.
More than one sheet feeds at one time.
The media tray might be overloaded.
Remove some of the media from the tray.
The media might be wrinkled, folded, or damaged.
Verify that the media is not wrinkled, folded, or damaged. Try printing on media from a new or different package.
Device does not pull media from the media input tray.
The device might be in manual feed mode.
  • If Manual feed appears on the device control-panel display, press Enter to print the job.

  • Verify that the device is not in manual feed mode and print the job again.

The pickup roller might be dirty or damaged.
Clean or replace the pickup roller.
The paper-length adjustment control in tray 2 (HP Color LaserJet 2840 all-in-one only) is set at a length that is greater than the media size.
Adjust the paper-length adjustment control to the correct length.

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