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"Printer Output Quality Issues" Topic

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293 hits since 27 Sep 2016
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Mako11 Inactive Member27 Sep 2016 4:18 p.m. PST

Any ideas on the issue I'm having with my HP printer?

Used to print line charts, graphs, and black and white maps just fine.

They look great on the screen, but when I go to print them out, they appear as if the printer is out of ink, or the images are too faded to print, and I know that isn't the case.

I used the same printer with a desktop PC before, and they printed now. However, with the HP laptop I'm using, they won't print out at all, and it's not the ink, since the text at the bottom of the page prints out nice and dark, but the lines on the paper are ghostly images, to non-existent.

I've tried playing with different output settings, like making the ink volume heavy, and changing to various settings for the images too, e.g. graphics, photos, proof, etc., and nothing seems to work.

Also tried changing quality to best, and specifying or not, black ink only, with high quality or just the black ink cartridge.

Nothing works.

I'm using OEM HP inks, not refilled ones, and always have.

The only difference is not I'm using the HP laptop instead of a Compaq or HP PC.


Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2016 8:42 a.m. PST

First, I'd check that color cartridge. Sometimes what you think is black is really dark grey, so instead of printing it with black ink it prints lots of CMY, using the color cartridge. I know you fiddled with the "just the black" setting, but I'm not sure I trust it. If black prints fine but something else doesn't, even if you thought it was black, check the color cartridge.

It's also possible there's a problem with the color cartridge. If possible you should certainly try swapping it out.

An easier, cheaper thing to try is to get a slightly damp paper towel and wipe the nozzles on both cartridge. when you wipe the color cartridge you should certainly see the three colors. Sometimes, for reasons mysterious, a tiny – or not so tiny – drop of ink hangs under the nozzle and prevents it from shooting ink. Surface tension holds the drop there and anything you print just adds to the drop. This can become an intermittent thing, where you struggle to print a page, it finally works, it keeps working while you keep printing, but let it sit for half and hour and the drop reforms.

You mention that you're printing from a different computer. You should explore that a little and see if that's really the problem. Move the document to the other computer and try printing from there.

While you have the printer open look around for anything that doesn't belong – dust, a post-it, etc.

Good luck, and let us know what you find.

Mako11 Inactive Member29 Sep 2016 12:04 a.m. PST

Thanks for the tip.

The color cartridge is empty.

I've specified printing with the black ink cartridge only option, or not, and it doesn't seem to make a difference.

I do have a color cartridge, so will try installing that to see if it helps.

Sadly, the other computers are currently unserviceable.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 10:53 p.m. PST

Just a probably unwanted stray thought: refilling cartridges saves a lot of money. You can buy big pint-sized bottles of ink and refilling implements and be set for life. You can only fill each cartridge a few times before it starts misbehaving, and there is a learning curve. But cartridges are *so* expensive…

Micman Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2016 11:18 p.m. PST

See if there is another driver from HP. Are both computers using the same operating system and version of Office?

Mako11 Inactive Member30 Sep 2016 11:44 p.m. PST

No, the former one used XP.

This one is Windows 7.

I agree, they are expensive, so I usually try to get them from eBay for far less than retail.

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