Top 10 HP printing problems and how to fix them

While HP printers are regarded for their dependability, they do require assistance from time to time. This article provides a top ten list that you may use to troubleshoot any HP printer, from the common paper jam to the perplexing 50.4 error.

HP printers are normally highly reliable, although they do have issues from time to time, even in the most demanding of conditions. And we all know that printers break down at the most inconvenient times. It’s vital for an IT support expert to understand how to fix the most common problems with these printers. I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 issues you’re likely to encounter when working with an HP printer, along with solutions.

1. Paper jams

Paper jams are one of the most prevalent issues with any printer. A printer might jam for a number of reasons: it’s dusty, you’re using the wrong paper type, or the rollers that feed the paper through the printer’s route are worn out. While cleaning the printer and using the correct paper type are simple repairs, roller replacement, depending on the HP printer model, might be a challenging task. The rollers are easily accessible on certain HP printers, but you’ll have to totally disassemble others to get to them. Regardless of the source, always pull the paper in the direction of the paper path while removing a paper jam, as pulling it backward can seriously harm the printer.

Paper jams are more common in some HP printers than in others. Any printer that holds the paper vertically and then pushes it down through the printer, in my experience, invariably has paper jam problems. Although these models aren’t intended for widespread usage, many businesses use them on ad hoc systems and should be aware of this problem. Furthermore, some users are having issues with the paper pickup rollers on the newer HP 4000 series printers, which is strange given the earlier HP 4000 and 5000 series printers are considered rock strong and don’t appear to have any issues with their pickup rollers.

2. The printing on the page is faded in some or all places.

One of three things can cause a faded print image: the printer running out of toner, the print density is set too low, or Economode printing is enabled. A printer self-test (usually a separate button on the printer) will reveal what the current settings are for the last two settings. Turn off Economode and/or increase the print density if consumers are complaining about how light the print is. If the toner is low, merely removing the cartridge and shaking it to disseminate the toner more evenly might replace the problem temporarily until the cartridge can be replaced.

3. Ghosting

When a picture prints properly, but a much lighter replica of the image prints elsewhere, this is known as ghosting. This could be caused by a problem with the power outlet that feeds the printer. Check the power outlet by connecting in another printer to see if the same thing happens. When consumable printer elements (such as the drum or imaging kit) reach the end of their useful life, ghosting can occur. A printer’s consumable parts are all rated for a specific number of pages. To eradicate ghosting, you’ll need to replace those parts as the printer gets close to that magic number.

4. The toner smears or does not adhere to the paper.

There are a few potential issues if words and images come off the paper as a hand runs across them. To begin with, the fuser assembly could be damaged or nearing the end of its useful life. The fuser assembly must be replaced as a solution. Fuser assembly repair is normally not recommended because the fuser is a consumable printer part that is not worth the time or effort to repair. Second, the toner cartridge could be malfunctioning, leaking an excessive time of toner at once. The solution in a black-and-white laser printer is to replace the toner cartridge. Only replace the cartridge that is causing the problem in a colour laser printer. Finally, there’s a chance that some toner has leaked in the printer. If that’s the case, you’ll have to clear it out.

5. A 50.4 error notice appears on the printer

The 50.4 error message on some newer HP LaserJet printers suggests a power supply problem. If the printer is attached to a UPS, disconnect it off or disconnect it from a power strip and plug it into a wall outlet directly. A laser printer should never be hooked into a UPS because the surges of power required by the printer to keep the fuser assembly warm can destroy the UPS. If it doesn’t work, make sure that all of the printer’s components are properly seated.

6. Unable to locate a driver for a certain operating system

New drivers for your existing printers will need to be loaded as new operating systems are released. Not all printers have drivers for all operating systems. It’s best to review the printer handbook in these circumstances to see which printers the drivers will simulate. While this emulation does not work all of the printer’s features, it does support basic printing. Most HP printers, for example, will print with the HP LaserJet II driver, albeit some features, such as duplexing, will not work.

7. The printer is not printing from the paper tray that it should be.

To correct this particular error, look in two areas. Examine the printing PC first, and then the printer. If the application is set to print to the wrong paper tray, you can correct it within the application by going to Printer Properties and looking for the Tray Selection source. Make the paper sizes in the printer’s control panel to see whether they match what’s in the paper trays.

8. Rather than picking up one sheet of paper from the manual feed tray, the printer scoops up the entire tray.

The pad that separates the sheets of paper is most likely worn out and needs to be replaced. You can obtain and install a replacement pad without having to send the printer in for service. It’s also conceivable that humidity has made the paper damp. Before inserting the paper into the printer, make sure it is correctly stored and “fanned.”

9. The printer is displaying an error code of 79.

A problem with the network print server that services the printer can result in a 79 error. To solve a 79 error, open the Printer folder from the Print server’s Start menu and make sure no jobs are waiting. A failure of a printer add-on component, such as a MIO card or a RAM module, might also cause a 79 error. To determine which module is at fault, all add-ons should be removed and then reinstalled one at a time into the printer.

10. Trouble printing onto envelopes

For laser printers, envelopes can cause a slew of problems. Choose envelopes that are similar in weight and thickness to 20-pound paper. Also, make sure the envelope’s adhesive can survive the heat generated by the fuser in order to maintain the printing on the sheet. If you don’t, the envelopes will be sealed when they come out of the printer. If your envelopes are wrinkled when they come out of the printer, they may be too stiff for the paper path. Instead, open the printer’s back door and let them exit there.

HP printers are often considered as some of the most reliable in the business. They are, nevertheless, susceptible to failure, just like any other piece of IT equipment. And it appears that the newer printers are unable to tolerate the same level of abuse as the older machines. Expect more troubleshooting calls regarding the problems I’ve detailed if you work on newer-model HP printers in a paper-intensive setting. Regardless of the age of your HP printer, this guide to frequent printing problems will fix you in swiftly diagnosing and resolving the problem.

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