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w7global
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HP Deskjet 990cse Printing Pink and Lines

Deskjet 990cse
Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit)

Hello.  I have loved my old HP Deskjet 990cse for many years, but lately I cannot get color printing to work correctly.  Sometimes it gets a little better, but always it reverts to printing mostly in pinkish hues.  If I run a cleaner sheet through the printer, it seems to fix the problem, but after a short time it goes back to the same issue.  I have ran the printer's cleaning functions many times.  Similarly, sometimes this helps a little, but it goes right back to pink.  Even if I start getting colors back, usually here are horizontal lines in the print.  I have followed other steps I saw online to soak the ink cartridge in hot water to clean it, and I've wiped down the ink cartridge cradle.  Same result...helped a little and then back to printing pink.

I really don't know what else to do at this point and hope someone can help me pinpoint the actual problem here...and that it's fixable.

Thanks!

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HP Deskjet 990cse Printing Pink and Lines

@w7global

 

Welcome to HP support community.

 

Clean the HP Inkjet print cartridges

  1. Grasp the top of the black HP Inkjet print cartridge.

  2. Dip a clean cotton swab into distilled water and squeeze any excess water from the swab.

  3. Clean the face and edges of the print cartridge as shown. Do not wipe the nozzle plate (see Figure 3.)

    Figure : Cleaning the print cartridge

    1.  

      Image: Cleaning the print cartridge

      Do not clean
    2. Clean

       CAUTION: 

    Be careful not to touch the ink nozzles on the bottom of the print cartridge or the copper contacts on the back of the print carriage. Touching these parts of the HP Inkjet print cartridge can result in clogs, ink failure, or bad electrical connection.

  4. Hold the HP Inkjet print cartridge up to the light and inspect for fibers on the face and edges. If fibers are still present, repeat Steps 2 and 3.

  5. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 with the Tri-Color HP Inkjet print cartridge using a clean, moistened cotton swab to avoid any contamination.

Clean the HP Inkjet print cartridge cradle

  1. Assume an eye-level position with the HP Deskjet 900c series printer.

  2. Locate the cradle that held the HP Inkjet print cartridges.

  3. Using clean, moistened swabs, wipe the underside of each wall of the carriage where fibers may collect and come in contact with the paper (see Figure 4). Repeat until no ink residue is seen on a clean swab.

    Figure : Cleaning the print cartridge cradle

    Image: Clean the carriage

You can refer this HP document for more assistance:- Click here

 

I hope that helps.

To thank me for my efforts to help you, please mark my post as an accepted solution so that it benefits several others.

Cheers.

Sandytechy20
I am an HP Employee

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w7global
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HP Deskjet 990cse Printing Pink and Lines

Hello and thanks for the response.  Actually, those are the cleaning steps I mentioned having already tried.  Like using the cleaning sheet, it helped a little at first, but then the printer goes right back to behaving the same say.  And this happens on different, brand-new cartridges.  Note: if it's any help, when color DOES print to any degree, there tend to be small horizontal lines running through it.  Everything black prints just fine.

Thanks!

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HP Deskjet 990cse Printing Pink and Lines

The symptoms you describe could be caused by very old cartridges or third party cartridges that were not refilled properly.  You can verify the cartridge is at fault by gently blotting the nozzles on a damp tissue.  A good cartridge will show a strong blot of cyan, magenta and yellow.  Likely yours will have only a weak smudge or cyan and yellow with a strong blot of magenta.

 

Please check the dates on the cartridges as shown in the document here. Based on your description I would expect they may be five years or more out of date, even if they are new in the box.

 

 

If the cartridges are years past their warranty date I would suggest replacing it with a recent cartridge.  You have already tried soaking the cartridge (should be done for ten minutes in hot water), there is another thing you could try:  get an old sock that you do not mind ruining.  Put the cartridge in the toes end of the sock with the nozzles pointing toward the toes.  Go outside in an open area and spin the cartridge around your head rapidly for about fifteen seconds.  Wipe any ink residue from the nozzles with a damp lint-free tissue (a clean coffee filter works well for this).  Put the cartridge back in the printer and run a series of cleaning cycles from the front panel as follows:

  • Turn on the printer and wait for things to settle.
  • Press and hold the power button.
  • While holding the power button press and release the X button twice.
  • Release the power button.

The above will run the printer's built-in cleaning cycle.  More aggressive cleaning can be done by pressing the formfeed button once (more aggressive) or twice (most aggressive) before releasing the power button.

 

If after all this there are still repeating lines through each color block I would suggest cleaning the cartridge and printer electrical contacts as shown in the document here.

Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------V

If my answer was helpful please click the "Thumbs Up" to say "Thank You"----------V

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w7global
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HP Deskjet 990cse Printing Pink and Lines

The cartridges I've been using came from HP directly and are definitely OEM original.  The one installed right now expires May 2020.  When I install a new cartridge, what's been happening is that it works okay for a little while and then colors start going mostly pink again.

 

I guess, to rule out the seemingly very unlikely possibility that I've had more than one defective brand-new cartridge straight from HP, I'll try another new one and see if the same thing happens again.

 

But, given what I've gone through so far with cartridges, can you think of anything else in the printer itself that could be causing this sort of thing?

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HP Deskjet 990cse Printing Pink and Lines

OK, let's assume the cartridges are not at fault, at least when first installed.  It is possible that after perhaps twenty years there has been a buildup of ink in the service station area, blocking the wipers that keep the nozzles clean and the caps that keep the printhead from drying out.

 

Before you risk another cartridge please do the following: 

  • Turn on the printer and open the lid.  Remove the cartridges and set them aside. 
  • Next, without turning off the printer unplug the cables from the printer, both the USB cable and the power cord.
  • Set the printer on several layers of newspaper.  Things may get messy, it may be best to do this outside or in a garage.  If you move the printer keep it level, do not turn it on its side or end while moving.
  • Move the carriage (that holds the cartridges) to the left to be out of the way.
  • With a flashlight inspect the service area on the right side of the printer.  It is normal for there to be ink in this area, but if the ink reaches the level of the capping station (the rectangular looking rubber caps that will be moved toward the back of the service station) you may need to clean things.  to clean this area gather a few supplies - a few disposable plastic spoons to scoop out the mounds of ink, some Q-tips to clean the capping station and some paper towels and a plastic bag to dispose of the mess.  Carefully scoop the globs of ink residue out of the service station and put them in the plastic bag.  Do not dribble this on carpet, clothing or the desktop!  This does not need to be completely clean, just the major amount if there is a buildup.  Once the area has been cleaned out a bit dampen the q-tips and use them to clean out the capping stations.  Be careful not to dislodge the capping stations from their holders.  Also, pay attention to the encoder strip just above the carriage rod.  This strip has many thousand small lines used to determine the carriage position.  Be careful to NOT get ink on this area.

Once you have cleaned out the service station return the cartridges to the printer and try printing.  It may take a few cleaning cycles.

 

Note that the printer should always be connected to a live power outlet.  Using an outlet switch or other external switches to turn off power to the printer can allow the cartridges to dry out if they have not properly parked.  The printer automatically goes into a very low power state when idle.  It is best to just leave them plugged in and turned on at all times and let the printer's automatic power-saving state kick in.

Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------V

If my answer was helpful please click the "Thumbs Up" to say "Thank You"----------V

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w7global
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HP Deskjet 990cse Printing Pink and Lines

Okay, last night I got into the printer and saw all the ink down in the right-side service area.  It was not near the level of the rectangular caps you mentioned.  I still scooped out a big glob and then used the Q-tips to clean the caps.

 

After I did that I printed a page with a mostly-blue logo (blue has probably been the most problematic color).  It did print blue with some faint lines but not too bad.  Today I just printed another page with blue text, and now it's back to printing pink again.

 

It's the same thing that happens every time.  It's okay and then it goes back to printing pink.

 

I'm going to try another new cartridge shortly just to try and rule that out (again).  But I know I've already experienced this with at least 2 brand-new OEM cartridges.  The dumb things are so expensive I hate wasting them....

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w7global
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HP Deskjet 990cse Printing Pink and Lines

I haven't changed the cartridge yet.  So far today it seems to be getting a little better.  I printed another 3-page document and the colors worked this time, including shades of blue.  There were still some faint pinkish lines in parts of it, but much better than it's been doing.

 

I'm going to keep watching this and see if it gets better...and if it stays that way.

 

Thanks!

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w7global
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HP Deskjet 990cse Printing Pink and Lines

As a general update, the printer is "kind of" working.  If it sits and doesn't print for a while, it tends to descend back into printing pink.  If I run a cleaning cycle and print a little more often, the colors can get noticeably better.  It's never really "sharp" anymore, always with faint lines in the print.  (Note that I still haven't actually changed the print cartridge again.)  The issue remains only with colors; black is fine.

I suppose by now I should just get a new printer, but I've really always loved this one and wish I could just get it to print like it used to....

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