Question
Reply
 
Top Student
Alex_B
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎01-11-2012
Message 1 of 9 (7,840 Views)
Accepted Solution

HP Photosmart All-in-One C309a error message 'Alignment failed' even after cleaning printhead, etc

About 3 weeks ago, prior to getting above error msg, a large black ink blob appeared on my printed sheet of paper.  This occurred for several sheets afterward, but kept diminishing in amount.  I continued to print & eventually all traces of ink were gone.  2 days ago, I got an error msg about 'loading plain white paper...' , but the paper tray had plain white paper in it.  I removed the paper, straightened it and replaced it. Subsequent to this, the 'Alignment failed' msg appeared.  I have gone through all steps in HP online info about dealing with 'Alignment failure', including cleaning printhead (fair amount of ink was on it), checking cartridge vents, etc.  My question is:  If I have 4 used up colored inks and a brand new black ink installed, is the alignment being affected by the old cartridges?  A msg about this appeared on the Control Panel, giving the option to proceed with old cartridges, or install new ones, but warning that it 'may not permit completion of.....'  if old ones were not replaced.  Do I need to replace these color cartridges or is there likely another problem, i.e.  printhead damaged?

Grad Student
LidNe
Posts: 223
Member Since: ‎11-10-2010
Message 2 of 9 (7,833 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart All-in-One C309a error message 'Alignment failed' even after cleaning printhead, e

You will need to have sufficient ink levels in all colors to align sucessfully - don't bother to clean the printhead anymore for this problem if you know you are out of any of the other inks. I'm not sure what the effect of printing long term without some of the ink colors might be, but the printhead is continuing to try to print with those colors even if there is no ink. This can cause slow printing, because the printhead would otherwise overheat.

 

I'm not sure what to say about the ink blob - has that been resolved at this point? 

I work on HP's behalf.
Top Student
Alex_B
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎01-11-2012
Message 3 of 9 (7,830 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart All-in-One C309a error message 'Alignment failed' even after cleaning printhead, e

Prior to the alignment msg, there was no trace of problem ink spots on my prints.

 

I have been printing for months without the colored ink (but with the colored ink cartridges still installed), replacing only the black ink cartridge each time it runs out.  Has this possibly caused major damage to the printhead which is now preventing proper alignment?

Grad Student
LidNe
Posts: 223
Member Since: ‎11-10-2010
Message 4 of 9 (7,827 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart All-in-One C309a error message 'Alignment failed' even after cleaning printhead, e

I don't know about major damage to the printhead, but I don't think it was designed to operate without some of the inks. I don't see why this would cause the ink blob issue either. In any case, it definitely won't align properly if you are out of any of the colors. To align, it has to print an alignment sheet, which has several different colors, and then it scans that sheet and tries to adjust to the patterns it finds on the sheet. If not all the colors are there, you get an 'alignment failure' message.

I work on HP's behalf.
Top Student
Alex_B
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎01-11-2012
Message 5 of 9 (7,813 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart All-in-One C309a error message 'Alignment failed' even after cleaning printhead, e

Got 'load plain white paper...' error msg again when I turned on printer today.  I installed the 4 new cartridges I had purchased to replace the old ones (includes photo black, cyan, magenta & yellow).  I already had a new regular black ink cartridge installed.  Got 'Aligning cartridges' msg while alignment was proceeding.  Alignment page printed with only pink and black, even though blue and yellow were installed.   Got error msg again 'Alignment failed'.  I pressed OK to continue, then printed a page with the colors black, cyan, magenta & yellow.  Only the black and magenta came out.  What problem do you think I have now?

Grad Student
LidNe
Posts: 223
Member Since: ‎11-10-2010
Message 6 of 9 (7,791 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart All-in-One C309a error message 'Alignment failed' even after cleaning printhead, e

Okay, you've installed new inks, but now aren't seeing blue or yellow in your printouts. One thing to check is the cartridge venting - take a look at solution 2 this in document: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01641815&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&product=3795314&tmp... - make sure all your cartridges look as if the vent is open.

 

If the vents are open, then your printhead is either damaged or clogged. Try another printhead cleaning. That will use ink, but it may be the best way to recover the printhead. 

 

If normal printhead cleaning does not work, there is kind of an unofficial solution posted here: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Other-Printing-Questions/HP-6500-Office-jet-E709a-Black-printer-cartrid... - scroll down to the green 'solved' area. Several people seem to have found this hot water soak helpful.

 

Good luck!

I work on HP's behalf.
Top Student
Alex_B
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎01-11-2012
Message 7 of 9 (7,767 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart All-in-One C309a error message 'Alignment failed' even after cleaning printhead, e

Checked venting & there were no problems, so tried the unofficial solution of placing printhead in very hot water.  Ran 1 more cleaning via Setup/Tools on the printer and it finally aligned successfully.  I waited a while to reply because I wanted to see if the printer would keep on working, and it has!!

 

Thanks a lot.  I'm happy I can keep this printer !

 

 

tql Student
Student
tql
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎12-03-2013
Message 8 of 9 (2,990 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart All-in-One C309a error message 'Alignment failed' even after cleaning printhead, e

Thanks for your idea to clean the printhead in hot water.

How do you remove the printheads ?

Thanks

 

HP Support Agent
Gemini02
Posts: 5,988
Member Since: ‎09-03-2013
Message 9 of 9 (2,968 Views)

Re: HP Photosmart All-in-One C309a error message 'Alignment failed' even after cleaning printhead, e

Hi tql

 

I understand you want to know how to remove the printhead.

 

I have included a document on how to remove the printhead.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&dlc=en&docname=c01794817&lc=en&product=3737195&tmp...

 

Here is a document for cleaning the contacts on the printhead.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&dlc=en&docname=c01808170&lc=en&jumpid=reg_r1002_us...

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

Please click “Accept as Solution ” if you feel my post solved your issue, it will help others find the solution.
Click the “Kudos Thumbs Up" on the right to say “Thanks” for helping!



Gemini02
I work on behalf of HP
† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation