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HP Print Quality

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I have an HP all-in-one 2610 printer. When printing, there is a line running through the text like the ink is low but the supply says I am fine...any clue? Celeste Stewart

Hmmn. It sounds as if something's going on with the ink cartridge. The heads may be clogged or dirty which could be leaving a trail of ink down the page. If you're using an off-brand ink cartridge, that could be part of the problem as well. HP printers are especially persnickety when it comes to generic ink cartridges. Let's look at some possibilities.

Clogged or Dirty Print Heads

Ink cartridges dispense ink through a print head found on the bottom of the ink cartridge. This print head can become clogged, partially clogged, or contaminated with debris. The preferred cleaning technique is to use the printer's built-in cleaning routine rather than wiping the print head with a cloth. For example, when wiping the cartridge, say with a Q-tip, fibers can be left behind, further adding to the problem. If you must wipe the cartridge or the print contacts, use lens cleaning tissue. Debris actually makes sense in your case as the debris would redirect ink and leave a trail.

To clean the print heads, press the menu/setup button followed by the right arrow. You're looking for either Tools or Maintenance (the wording varies depending on the exact model you have). Click OK or Enter and then look for the Clean Print Cartridges message. Once you see it, click OK or Enter to start the procedure. This uses ink and you may need to perform it several times before you see an improvement in ink quality.

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Defective Ink Cartridge

It's also possible that the ink cartridge is bad. If it's brand new, and the cleaning procedure doesn't work, then this could be the problem. Cheap ink refills and generic brands of cartridges use different formulas than original HP inks, so if you're using an off-brand, the ink itself may be causing problems.

Other Issues

Remove the ink cartridge and feel the heft of it in your hand. Does it feel full? Does it feel about the same weight as an empty one? It's possible that the software that "measures" ink levels is wrong and the cartridge may in fact be nearly empty.

The cartridge might not be aligned properly. Print a test page and see what the alignment tests say. To do this, press the menu/setup button and use the right arrow to find Print Reports. Confirm your choice by pressing Enter or OK. Use the right arrow to find Self-Test Report. Press Enter or OK and the printer will print a test page. Analyze the results, looking specifically for alignment or ink issues.

Is your computer an Open Invitation for HACKERS? Download free version of Sparktrust Inspector to identify vulnerabilities and problems on your computer (and even your WEBSITES)!

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What is PhotoBlack Ink?

My recently acquired HP Photosmart C6380 All-in One Printer has 5 inkjets. One is "Photo Black" and the other black. What is the difference between these two? When is Photo Black used?Celeste Stewart

HP Printers and Ink Cartridges

HP printers come in several different configurations as far as ink cartridges go. At one end of the scale, you have printers requiring just two cartridges: a black ink cartridge and a tri-color ink cartridge. In the middle are printers with four cartridges: black, cyan, yellow, and magenta. At the other end are printers like your HP PhotoSmart printer with five ink cartridges: black, cyan, yellow, magenta, and "photo black." HP also offers extremely high-end printers with eight ink cartridges.

The Difference between Black and Photo Black Inks

Before getting into the difference between the two types of inks, it's important to note that these two ink cartridges are not interchangeable. You can't use one in place of the other. The ink in each of these cartridges is different. With a black ink cartridge, the ink is black whereas the ink in a Photo Black cartridge is actually gray. If your printer uses HP Vivera

Which HP Black Ink Cartridge is used for what Purpose?

HP and other manufacturers offer printers with various print cartridge setups to address different printing needs. For users who primarily print documents that are heavy on text with the occasional need for photo and color printing, a printer with a black cartridge and a tri-color cartridge is fine. A tri-color cartridge has three chambers containing cyan, yellow, and magenta. When one of those colors is empty, the entire cartridge needs to be replaced, even if the other two chambers are full. The four cartridge printers allow users to replace individual colors as needed, thus eliminating waste. For example, if you tend to use yellow ink more than the other two colors, you can replace just the yellow cartridge.

Printers that include the Photo Black cartridge are ideal for users who want exceptional photographs. Photo Black ink, which is really gray, allows for deeper blacks in the shadows and better tonal balances overall in your photographs.

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