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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 23599
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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5520 hp installed new cartridges, cleaned print heads,

Customer Question

5520 hp installed new cartridges, cleaned print heads, installed a 2ND NEW HP cartridge. Error message is: unable to allign.. as my copy for alligning is in blue.. so allignment fails everytime.
JA: Can you guesstimate how old your HP is? And just to clarify, what's the exact model?
Customer: 2 yrs - found receipt - no longer on warranty 5520 HP
JA: What kind of computer are you printing from (Mac or PC)? What Operating System (OS) are you running?
Customer: Cxo42
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: HP Lptop
JA: The printer expert is ready to answer your printer question. Is there anything else you want him to know?
Customer: This occurred immediately after inserting NEW HP printer cartridges.. while alligning printer. Now error says "allignment has failed" -
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Printers
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Not really - have had bad experiences with that process in past..
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
But I can easily do what it is to get this fix..... once given instructions.
I believe I may have tried everything these past two days.. gone thru a stack of paper, and probably 50% of the NEW HP Cartirdges.
Expert:  Nathan replied 7 months ago.

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble with this but I'll do my best to help you.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is anyone going to contact me?
Expert:  Nathan replied 7 months ago.

Yes, please give me a few moments to send a detailed answer.

I do apologize for the delay, but when you send multiple messages they can get lost/delayed.

Expert:  Nathan replied 7 months ago.

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head (or the logic board that controls it). The alignment will not function properly until all nozzles are responding and firing.

You can try going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function repeatedly, up to 5 times total, testing after each. If successful, then you can do the alignment after.

If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning as a next step.

I have to caution you up front though that the manual cleaning process is messy and time consuming. It also has a low chance of success, if you see no improvement at all from the automated cleaning. It is most likely a hardware failure (bad head) which the cleaning can’t fix, as printheads are a wear item and do fail with time/use.

Realistically, it’s probably time for a new printer. As this is a 2012 model printer, it is well past its 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising. This model had some significant design flaws in the printhead components and often didn't even last a year or two for many users.

While it can be fixed, it is not worthwhile to do so. You would have to, at a minimum, replace the printhead, which costs about $85; if the logic board is bad you’re looking at $200-250. For $80-100 you can replace the entire machine with a brand new model, with current technology and a fresh warranty, which makes more sense than buying the new part for an older printer.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, if you wish. Let me know how the built in cleaning function works, and I’ll guide you through the manual steps next, or I can recommend replacement options if you prefer.

Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Nathan;l thanks, ***** ***** run the clean print heads 5 times.. and see.. I only use this not so much.. it seems to me that suddenness of this combined with the fact that now for some reason it says "allignmnet failed"... when I place the copy in it for scanning.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
What I can't understand is that it prints IN BLACK ON THE HEADER OF THE PRINT QUALITY DIAGNOSTIC IN BLACK.. but when it prints the Black column (and Cyan etc) it only prints a few sketchy lines...
I am thinking the NEW print cartridge probably was a bit much..
Expert:  Nathan replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for trying,

the header is likely coming out ok because it's using only the top row of the nozzles, but later on down the page the spacing comes out such that some bad nozzles should be firing but aren't.

Expert:  Nathan replied 7 months ago.

Do you need more help with this?

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