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Robert M.
Robert M., Consultant
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 9047
Experience:  30+ yrs. experience in NYC computer industry working with PC and networks, banks, brokerage, legal etc.
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I have an officejet pro 8500 - i had to replace a printhead

Customer Question

I have an officejet pro 8500 - i had to replace a printhead and since then i am having difficulty printing - the printer tries to align the printhead, but fails every time - how can i solve this problem
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  WesPCDr replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Wes, and I'll be assisting you today.

Expert:  WesPCDr replied 1 year ago.

To replace the printhead, order a new printhead from HP using this link:

Instructions to replace the printhead will come with the new parts.

Expert:  WesPCDr replied 1 year ago.

Let me know if you need additional help so I can assist further.
Also, please rate my answer below so based on your satisfaction.
Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi - yes - I have replaced the print head but each time i try to print the machine tries to align printheads and i get a message that printhead alignment has failed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it tells me to refer to documentation and i dont know where to go with that
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wes - are you there - apologies for my delay - I was not familiar with your system.
Expert:  WesPCDr replied 1 year ago.

The instructions I have are in Step 2 in this link:

Try to repeat the steps in Step 2 to fix the issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You keep telling me how I should replace the printhead. I have replaced the print head - there is a new printhead in the machine. my problem is that the machine tries to align the new printhead and that process keeps failing - i have cleaned printheads i have run print quality diagnostics and it tellsme to align printheads, but every time that process fails and it tells me to refer to documentation - i have no idea what documentation to refer to? can you help?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
as an aside - your link was for a 6500 and i have an 8500
Expert:  WesPCDr replied 1 year ago.

I will open the question so other experts can help.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok - thanks - i look forward to the help
Expert:  Robert M. replied 1 year ago.

The printheads should be easy to replace on that model. They are stand alone things that just pop in like an ink cartridge. Its hard to believe that you did anything wrong doing it but i would suggest looking at the instructions and/or the video on this page and doing it again

Can i ask why you replaced them in the first place? and if you still have the old ones which you might try putting back in.

It seems likely to me that either the printheads you got are defective or there was a different problem with the printer in the first place that you thought replacing the printheads would fix.

You might also check the ink cartridges. Especially if the printer was sitting unused for a long time waiting for the printheads. If the ink dried up than it has none to work with on the printhead alignment.

One last silly thing is to check whether the printer has paper in it. I have seen alignments fail for that reason because it wants to print out an alignment page.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok - thanks for all this.However, everything in the video are steps i have done - further more i have cleaned printheads, i have calibrated line feed etc etcthe old print head was replaced as it was not printing black and yellow - and the ink cartridges were new. having replaced the printhead i am able to print a page perfectly - but after each the printer goes through an alignment process and i get a message that print alignment failed and i need to refer to documentation.I dont kmow how to get the new print head aligned - if only that would happen it would work perfectly - i am sure.
Expert:  Robert M. replied 1 year ago.

This seems to be the main though not the only cause for the alignment failing after replacing the print heads. It seems a common problem on that model.

I pulled these instructions from a tech page on the hp website.

The foam padding under the print head slide rail had lifted slightly catching the underside of the print head, which in turn causes the alignment to fail.

Open the printer top cover and using your fingers press the foam down as hard as you can. Do this for the entire length of the slide rail. Close the top cover and restart the print head alignment sequence.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
wow - i just looked and it seems not to have been disturbed - but i have pushed it down and am trying again. will let you know
Expert:  Robert M. replied 1 year ago.

this page also has a whole range of things to try

The one that i would recommend is to just do the alignment from the printer menu rather than letting it try after printing. For some reason i seem to recall that it can sometimes do that one but not the other one and once its done it will stop trying to do it after every page.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
still not working - i have been through that video and everything on that page multiple times - still no resolution - i have tried alignment from menu on printer as well and still ghet same error message - this is driving me nuts - what else can i do?As an aside - the speckled page of multi-colored vertical and angled dashes on the web page you sent me is something that gets printed out every time - but i get only the very first row of printed vertical and angled dashes and the rest of the page is blank.
Expert:  Robert M. replied 1 year ago.

I think i am about to give up. We have tried everything i can find

the printheads may be bad or there may be another issue in the first place

have you got the original print heads ? You could try putting them back in and see if they can print the page

Once the page is printed you usually have to put it on the flat bed to scan so the printer can check its own alignment. But it doesnt look like it got that far.