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HP Deskjet 3300, 3400, 3500, 3700, and 3900 Series Printers - Horizontal Streaks or Lines in the Printed Image

Issue

The product is working, but the printout shows streaks or lines. The lines are perpendicular to the direction the paper moved through the product and parallel to the movement of the cartridges during printing.

Figure 1: Streaks or lines in the printout, with the direction the paper moved through the product shown with the arrow

Solution one: Make sure the paper is appropriate for the print job

  • Many papers have printing and non-printing sides. Load the paper with the printing side down.

  • Use the correct paper type for the project. For everyday documents, plain paper works well. For documents with dense printing, such as high-contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Advanced paper for the best results.

  • If these steps do not help, try a different paper. Ink might not bleed as easily on heavier paper. Paper that does not accept ink well is also prone to bleeding and smearing. HP designs its inks and papers to work together.

Solution two: Check the ink levels

NOTE: Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When you receive a low-ink warning message, consider having a replacement cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays.

The Ink Status window appears each time the product prints a file. The window automatically displays the approximate ink level of each print cartridge. To close the Ink Status window, click Close.

Figure 2: Ink Status Window

A cartridge might be running out of ink even if the graphic shows ink remaining. Lines or streaks always appear in printouts when the cartridges begin to run out of ink. Replace print cartridges that are out of ink or low on ink.

If this feature is not be available in your operating environment, it is likely that it was turned off, or the product was installed via the Microsoft Add Printer option.

If you previously chose not to show the Ink Status window but now want it to appear when you print, follow these steps:
  1. Depending on your operating system, do one of the following to display the printers installed on the computer:

    • Windows 2000: Click Start , click Settings, and then click Printers.

    • Windows XP: Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.

  2. Right-click the icon representing the product, and then click Properties. The printer Properties dialog box appears.

  3. Click the Device Settings tab.

  4. For Display Ink Status Window, click On, and then click OK.

NOTE: If you have installed a refilled or remanufactured print cartridge, or a cartridge that has been used in another product, the ink status window will be inaccurate or unavailable.

Solution three: Check the print settings

  1. In the program being used for printing, click File, and then click Print.

    The Print window opens.

  2. Make sure the appropriate product is selected, and then click Preferences or Properties.

    The Preferences/Properties window opens.

  3. Click the Printing Shortcuts tab.

    Consider modifying some or all of the options in the Printing Shortcuts menu to increase print quality.

    • Print quality: If the quality of the printouts is not acceptable, try increasing the print quality. To print more quickly, try decreasing the print quality.

    • Paper type: If one of the options matches the paper type exactly, select it instead of Automatic.

    • Paper size: Make sure that this option matches the paper loaded in the product.

    To see additional options, click the Advanced tab, and then click Advanced Features.

    The Advanced Features window opens. Consider changing the following option:

    Ink volume: Adjust the amount of ink that prints on a page. For lighter images (less ink), drag the slider to the left. For darker images (more ink), drag the slider to the right. The lighter the ink volume, the more quickly the printout dries.

Solution four: Check for defects using a diagnostic page

Follow these steps to print a diagnostic page and review it for potential defects.

Step one: Print a diagnostic page

  1. Press and hold the power button ().

    Figure 3: Power button

  2. Raise and lower the product cover four times.

    Figure 4: Raise product cover

    Figure 5: Lower product cover

  3. Release the power button (), and the self-test page prints.

Step two: Note which cartridges printed which areas of the diagnostic page

  • The black bar at the top of the self-test page is printed by the right (black) print cartridge.

  • The colored bars are printed by the left (tri-color) print cartridge.

Step three: Check for defects using a diagnostic page

In general, if the product and print cartridges are working correctly, the bars should be solid and unstreaked. Also, the colors of the bars should be approximately the same as the color dots on the print cartridge label.

NOTE: Do not compare the colors on your diagnostic page to the colors on this Web page. Unless your monitor is calibrated, the colors will not be correct. Instead, compare the colors on the page to the colors dots on the print cartridge label. While the color dots may not be perfectly accurate, they are likely to be more accurate than the colors on the monitor.

Missing lines or streaked bars

If a bar is streaked, that print cartridge is not functioning correctly. If ink levels are low, the color bars will often be streaked.

Figure 6: Streaked color bar indicates that the tri-color cartridge is not functioning correctly

If your self-test page shows streaked bars, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00313117) (in English).

Color mix

If any of the colors of the bars are very different from the color dots on the cartridge label, the cartridge is not functioning correctly.

Figure 7: One of the bar colors is very different from the color dot on the cartridge - the tri-color cartridge is not functioning correctly

If your self-test page shows colors that are very different from the colors on the cartridge label, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00313147) (in English).

Missing colors

If any of the color bars is entirely missing, the cartridge is not functioning correctly.

Figure 8: Missing colors

If any of the bars is entirely missing, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00313147) (in English).

Ink smears

If the self-test page shows smeared ink, you may need to clean your cartridges.

Figure 9: Smeared ink

If your self-test page shows smeared ink, click here to continue troubleshooting (c00313140) (in English).

Step four: Continue troubleshooting

If no defects appear on the diagnostic page, the cartridges and product are probably working correctly. Click here to continue troubleshooting (c00211601) (in English).

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