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HP Color LaserJet CM1015 MFP and CM1017 MFP Series Printers - Print Quality Problems

Print quality problems

This document help identify and resolve print-quality issues.

NOTE: The following print-quality tests might require the MFP to be connected to a test PC. If connecting by USB, use the installer on the software CD. When prompted, choose the Complete Install option so that HP ToolboxFX is installed. For a network connection, use the Add Printer option in the Printers and Faxes dialog. Use the CM1015/1017mfp print driver from the software CD.
CAUTION: Connecting the USB cable to the MFP before installing the software on the test PC can result in an unstable PC/printer environment.

Identifying and correcting print defects

Use the checklist and print-quality issues charts given below to solve print-quality problems.

Print-quality checklist

Resolve general print-quality problems by using this checklist:

  1. Ensure the paper or print media used meets specifications. Generally, smoother paper provides better results. Click here to download the HP LaserJet Print Media Guide from http://www.hp.com/support/ljpaperguide

  2. When using a special print media such as labels, transparencies, glossy, or letterhead, ensure that the correct media size and type is selected.

  3. Remove any toner build-up and run a cleaning page.

  4. Print a Configuration page and Supplies Status page at the MFP.

    • Check the Supplies Status page to verify that supplies are not low or empty. No information is provided for non-HP print cartridges.

    • If the Configuration and Supplies Status pages do not print correctly, the problem might be with the hardware.

      To determine the hardware problem, first load at least three sheets of paper in tray 2. Then lightly press the engine test switch located behind the small door (secured with a screw) on the rear panel. 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.

  5. Print a Demo page from the HP ToolboxFX. If the page prints, the problem is with the printer driver. Try printing from the other printer driver. For example, when using the PCL 6 printer driver, print from the HP postscript level 3 printer driver.

    Use the Add Printer Wizard in the Printers folder in Microsoft Windows XP dialog box to install the HP postscript level 3 emulation printer driver.

  6. Try printing from a different program. If the page prints correctly, the problem is with the program from which the printing was done.

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

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

    • If the problem is affecting only pages printed in color, click here to see Solve issues with printing color documents.

General print-quality issues

The following examples depict letter-size paper that has passed through the MFP short edge first. These examples illustrate problems that could affect all of the pages that printed, whether it is color printing or black only. These topics 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. When using non-HP print cartridges, no messages appear on the control panel or in the HP ToolboxFX.
Replace any low print cartridges.
Print the Supplies Status page to check the remaining life.
If none of the print cartridges 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.
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. See the HP ToolboxFX online help.
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 MFPs.
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 MFPs.
Vertical streaks or bands appear on the page.
One or more print cartridges might be low or defective. If non-HP print cartridges are used, no messages appear on the control panel or in the HP ToolboxFX.
Replace any low print cartridges.
The amount of background toner shading becomes unacceptable.
Replace any low print cartridges.
Use a different paper with a lighter basis weight.
Very dry (low humidity) conditions can increase the amount of background shading.
Check the MFP environment.
One or more print cartridges might be low. If non-HP print cartridges are used, no messages appear on the control panel or in the HP ToolboxFX.
Replace any low print cartridges.
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 toner smears easily when touched.
The MFP is not set to print on the desired type of media.
In the printer driver, select the Paper tab and set Type is to match the desired type of media. Print speed might be slower when using heavy paper.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use media that meets HP specifications.
The fuser is damaged.
Replace the fuser.
Marks repeatedly appear at even intervals on the printed side of the page.
A print cartridge might have a problem.
To determine which cartridge has a problem, print the PQ diagnostics page from HP ToolboxFX.
Internal parts might have toner on them.
The problem typically corrects itself after a few more pages.
The paper path might need cleaning.
Clean the MFP through HP ToolboxFX.
The fuser might be damaged or dirty.
Clean the MFP through HP ToolboxFX.
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.
The paper path might need cleaning.
Clean the MFP through HP ToolboxFX.
The fuser might be damaged or dirty.
Clean the MFP through HP ToolboxFX.
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 MFPs.
If characters are incorrectly formed so that they produce a wavy effect, the laser scanner might need service.
Verify that the problem also occurs on the Configuration page. If so, replace the whole MFP.
The printed page is curled or wavy.
The MFP is not set to print on the desired type of media.
In the printer driver, select the Paper tab and set Type is to match the desired type of paper. Print speed might be slower when using heavy paper.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper, such as high-quality paper that is intended for color laser MFPs.
Both high temperature and humidity can cause paper curl.
Check the MFP 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.
The paper path might be skewing the media.
Inspect the ETB for obvious damage, and replace it if necessary. If the error persists, replace the whole MFP.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper, such as high-quality paper that is intended for color laser MFPs.
The printed page contains wrinkles or creases.
The media might be loaded incorrectly.
Verify that the media is loaded correctly and that the media guides are not too tight or too loose against the stack.
Turn over the stack of paper in the input tray, or try rotating the paper 180o degrees in the input tray.
The fuser might be damaged.
Replace the fuser.
The media might not meet HP specifications.
Use a different paper, such as high-quality paper that is intended for color laser MFPs.
Toner appears around the printed characters.
The media might be loaded incorrectly.
Turn over the stack of paper in the tray.
The area around the MFP might be too warm or too humid.
Move the MFP to a location with better environmental conditions.
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 MFPs.
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 180o degrees to print the lighter image first.
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.
The fuser might be contaminated.
Run the MPF cleaning utility from HP ToolboxFX.

Solve issues with printing color documents

This table below 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.
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 MFPs.
The MFP might be operating in excessively humid conditions.
Verify that the MFP environment is within humidity specifications.
One or more print cartridges might be low. When using non-HP print cartridges, no messages appear on the control panel or in the HP ToolboxFX.
Replace any low print cartridges.
A color is printing inconsistently after loading a new print cartridge.
Another print cartridge might be low. When using a non-HP print cartridge, it might be low or empty but no indication is received.
Remove the print cartridge for the color that is printing inconsistently and reinstall it.
The control panel is set for override.
Replace low or empty print cartridges.
Media might not meet specifications.
Consult the media specifications table.
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 MFP output.
Select Screen Match in the Color tab of the printer driver.
One or more print cartridges could be low.
Replace print cartridges.
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 MFPs.
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 MFPs. Generally, smoother media produces better the results.
An improper fuser mode is selected.
Select the proper paper type, such as heavy, glossy rough, or card stock. Also inspect the fuser film for damage, and replace the fuser if damage is found.
The finish on the printed or copied color page has light colored spots
The media may have been bent when loaded, or the ETB may be damaged.
Load new paper and reprint or copy the document.
If the problem persists, look for dents or damage to the ETB and replace it if necessary.

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