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Top 10 problems with HP printers and their solutions

Despite being reliable printing machines and despite your best efforts, HP printers often do not function properly. Why? There can be various reasons why HP printers are not working properly and are displaying error messages. Here are 10 common HP printer problems and their solutions.

Toner smears or does not set on the page

Check the fuser. If it is reaching the end, replace it. If you do not know how to replace a fuser, consult your HP printer stand manual that originally came with the HP printer setup kit. Sometimes the fuser displays a Clean Fuser Inlet message. It is a clear indication that the fuser needs cleaning. Open the front door of your HP printer. Check if you see a blue brush inside (there must be one). Pull the toner cartridge out of the printer so that it reaches the fuser inlet assembly.

The assembly is located on top of the black toner cartridge port. Take out the blue brush and clean the assembly. The cleaning procedure is designed for an HP Color LaserJet 5500 printer. If you have a different printer, see its manual. If it is not the fuser, the toner cartridge may be defective or near the end. Also in that case, you will need to replace it. If the toner is not defective or nearing its end, clean the toner cartridge assembly.

Paper jams

Paper jams are the most common printer problem, not just with HP printers, but with all makes and models of printers. Paper jam can occur due to a number of reasons, from torn pieces of paper, wrong paper tray selected, wrong paper type selected, loose paper roller, dust lint, etc. Look carefully inside the paper tray and the recording paper exit. If there are pieces of paper stuck inside, remove them. Verify that the paper tray has the correct type of paper found on the printer’s control panel.

If it is different, the printer will experience a paper jam problem. Make sure the paper type matches that of the printer properties. If not, correct it. Also, make sure the printer prints to the right paper tray. Otherwise, a paper jam will occur. If the roller appears to be loose, carefully tighten it. If the roller looks shiny, it may need a replacement. Also, never pull the paper in the opposite direction. Always pull it in the direction of the paper path.

Windows sends print jobs to the wrong printer

Occurs when Windows selects a default printer on its own. If you are using Windows 7, click the Start button and point to Devices and Printers. You will see multiple printers listed under Printers and Faxes. Right-click the desired printer and click Set as Default Printer. If prompted, confirm the action and exit Devices and Printers. Restart your computer and printer. Try a printed page and check again. Windows should print to the correct printer.

If you are using Windows XP, click the Start button and select Control Panel. Double-click Hardware and Sound and then Printers. Find the printer you want to set as the default, right-click, and then select Set As Default Printer.

The spooler service stops working

This is again a common problem with HP printers. To get rid of this problem, click the Start button and point to Run. When in the Run dialog, type ‘services.msc’ (without quotes) and hit Enter. This will take you to the Services window. On the right side, find Print Spooler, right-click and select Restart. When prompted, confirm the action and exit the Services window. If prompted, restart your computer. When you’re done, try a print page.

50.4 error message

The error message indicates a power supply problem and usually occurs when your printer’s power cord is plugged into a power strip or the UPS. To get rid of this error message, connect the printer directly to an electrical outlet.

Prints are too light, have smudges

Often times, a printer starts printing in low light or smudges when the ink / toner cartridge is dry or clogged. Remove the ink / toner cartridge. Take a soft cloth and soak it in hot water or alcohol. Now rub the soft cloth gently against the print head. Also, rub it under the printer nozzle. It will soften the ink and allow the printer to print properly. Put the ink cartridge back in place. Print a test page and check again.

Error message 69.x

This shows a temporary failure in your printing device. For this message to go away, you simply need to turn off the printer, wait 10-15 seconds, and then turn it on. This will reset the settings and get your printer working again. In case the message continues to appear, turn off the printer and the computer, and then turn them on.

Error message 10

The error indicates a consumables memory error. Depending on your HP printer model, the error can occur due to various reasons. To solve the problem, turn off the printer and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Wait 10-15 seconds before reconnecting the printer. When you’re done, plug the printer back into the power outlet, turn it on, and allow it to warm up properly. When done, print a test page and check again. Your printer should start working fine now. There may also be a problem with your printer’s memory. Replace your memory card.

No more text fits on the page

You may want your print page to have a large amount of text, but your printer’s default settings may not allow you to do so. Sometimes you can also have trouble shrinking text on a sheet. To get rid of this problem, go to Printer Properties in Control Panel. Change the printer settings to accommodate more pages for each sheet. For example, click the drop-down menu under Pages per sheet and posters and select it to 2 or 3 as desired per page. Click on the ok button. Settings may vary depending on your printer model. Check your HP printer support manual for the correct settings.

Wireless printer problems

Wireless printers are ideal for home or office use. However, they can’t beat wired printers when it comes to speed. Wireless printer users often face printer slowness issues. To make sure your wireless printer runs at decent speed, use a unique channel number on your router. Also, place your printer near your Wi-Fi router. Keep devices like cordless phones and security alarms away from your wireless router. These devices create electrical interference and slow down the printer.

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