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HP Officejet Pro 251dw, 276dw, and 8600 Printer Series - An 'Alignment Unsuccessful' Error Message Displays on the All-in-One

This document is for the HP Officejet Pro 251dw, 276dw, and 8600 printers.

After installing a new printhead, the alignment page prints, but an 'Alignment Unsuccessful' error message displays on the product control panel.

Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.

Solution one: Use genuine HP cartridges

HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the following solutions might not resolve your print quality issue.

To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper.

If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.

  1. Go to HP SureSupply .

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.

Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.

Which cartridges you use might depend on your country/region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer using HP SureSupply.

  1. Go to HP SureSupply .

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.

NOTE: For the United States only, go to the HP Home & Home Office Store .

Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.

Solution two: Check the ink levels and replace depleted cartridges

Follow these steps to check the ink levels, and then replace depleted cartridges.

Step one: Check the ink levels

Choose one of the following methods to check the estimated ink levels in the cartridges.

Method one: Check the ink levels from the product control panel

Follow these steps to check the ink levels from the product control panel.

  1. On the printer control panel, touch the Ink Level icon () or ().

    NOTE: The Ink Level icon that displays on your control panel differs depending on your printer model.

    A graphic of the estimated ink levels for each cartridge displays on the control panel.

    Figure 1: Estimated ink levels displayed on the printer control panel

    Graphic: Estimated ink levels displayed on printer control panel
  2. Identify any cartridges that are low or empty, and then continue to the next step.

  • If the ink-level graphic shows any depleted cartridges, and you are dissatisfied with the quality of the printouts, continue to the next step to replace the depleted cartridges.

  • If the ink-level graphic does not show any depleted cartridges, you do not need to replace the cartridges yet. Continue to the next solution.

Method two: Check the ink levels from the HP software on the computer

Follow these steps to check the estimated ink levels from the HP software on the computer.

  1. Open the HP software:

    • Windows XP

      Click Start (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().

    • Windows Vista

      Click the Windows icon (), click Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().

    • Windows 7

      Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP product, and then click the icon for your HP product ().

    NOTE: You can also open the HP software from your computer desktop; double-click the icon for your HP product ().

    The HP software window opens.

  2. In the HP software window, under the Shopping Resources heading, click Estimated Ink Levels.

    The HP Toolbox opens and displays a graphic of the estimated ink levels for each cartridge.

    Figure 2: Estimated ink levels

    Graphic: Estimated ink levels displayed in the Toolbox
  • If the ink-level graphic shows any depleted cartridges, and you are dissatisfied with the quality of the printouts, continue to the next step to replace the depleted cartridges.

  • If the ink-level graphic does not show any depleted cartridges, you do not need to replace the cartridges yet. Continue to the next solution.

Step two: Replace the depleted cartridges

Follow these steps to replace any depleted cartridges, and then try printing again.

Video of replacing a cartridge

The following video demonstrates how to replace cartridges.

If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube Non-HP site .

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.

  2. Slip your fingers into the slot on the left side of the printer, and then pull forward to open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the left side of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.

    Figure 3: Open the cartridge access door

    Image: Open the cartridge access door
    1 - Slot for opening the cartridge access door
  3. Push in on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you to remove it from its slot.

    Figure 4: Remove the cartridge from its slot

    Image: Remove the cartridge from its slot.
  4. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging.

  5. Hold the cartridge so that the cartridge contacts are facing toward the printer.

  6. Slide the new cartridge into its slot, and then gently push it forward until it clicks into place.

    NOTE: Make sure that the colored dot on the cartridge label matches the colored dot on the slot.

    Figure 5: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot

    Image: Insert the cartridge into its color-coded slot.
    CAUTION: Do not lift the latch handle on the carriage to insert cartridges. Doing so could cause the printhead or cartridges to be incorrectly seated, which could damage the print mechanism and cause printing problems.
  7. Repeat these steps for other cartridges, if necessary.

  8. Close the cartridge access door.

  9. Wait until the warm-up sequence finishes and your printer is quiet before you proceed.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Make sure that the paper type is appropriate and then try the alignment process again

When aligning the printhead, you must load unused, plain white paper in the product, otherwise an error might occur. Follow these steps to make sure that you are using the appropriate type of paper, and then try aligning the printhead again.

Step one: Make sure that the paper type is appropriate

Follow these steps to make sure that you are using the appropriate type of paper.

  1. Remove all the paper from the tray.

  2. Make sure that the paper is clean, unused, plain white, and letter or A4 size paper.

    NOTE: Colored paper, or paper that has already been printed on, even on the other side, can cause alignment to fail.

Step two: Reload the paper

When you are sure that you are using the appropriate paper type, follow these steps to reload the paper in the product.

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  1. Grasp the handle on the front of the input tray, and then pull the tray towards you to open it.

    Figure 6: Pull out the input tray

    Graphic: Pull out the input tray
  2. Slide the paper width guides out as far as possible.

  3. Remove all paper from the paper tray.

  4. Inspect and remove any foam or tape packaging materials in the paper tray.

  5. Insert a stack of unused, plain white paper (with the print-side down) in the center of the tray.

    Figure 7: Load paper into the tray

    Illustration of loading paper into the paper tray
    CAUTION: Do not load any paper above the solid red lines on the sides of the tray. Do not use torn, wrinkled, perforated, wet, or folded paper. Make sure to remove all paper clips and staples before loading the paper.

    Figure 8: Stack label height

    Image: Solid red lines on the sides of the tray
  6. Slide the paper guides in so that they rest against the edges of the paper, and then insert the tray into the product and push it forward until it clicks into place.

    Figure 9: Slide the paper guides in and reinsert the tray into the product

    Graphic: Slide the paper guide in and then insert the tray into the product
  7. Pull out the tray extender on the output tray.

    Figure 10: Pull out the tray extender on the output tray

    Graphic: Pull out the tray extender

Step three: Try to align the printhead again

Follow these steps to align the printhead from the product control panel.

  1. From the home screen on the product control panel, touch the Right Arrow () to display additional options.

  2. Touch Setup (). The Setup Menu displays.

  3. Touch Tools. The Tools Menu displays.

  4. Touch Align Printhead. The product prints an alignment page.

    NOTE: Wait two to three minutes for the product to complete the alignment process and print the alignment page.

    Figure 11: Example alignment page

    Image: Example alignment page
  5. After the product prints the alignment page, touch OK to return to the home screen.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Run the automatic printhead cleaning process, and then try to align the printhead again

Follow these steps to run the automatic printhead cleaning process, and then try to align the printhead again.

Step one: Run the automatic printhead cleaning process

Follow these steps to run the automatic printhead cleaning process from the product control panel.

  1. From the home screen on the HP product control panel, touch the Right Arrow () to display additional options.

  2. Touch Setup (). The Setup Menu displays.

  3. Touch Tools. The Tools Menu displays.

  4. Touch Clean Printhead. The product cleans the printhead.

    NOTE: The automatic printhead cleaning process might take several minutes to complete.
  5. After the cleaning process is complete, touch OK on the product control panel to return to the home screen.

Step two: Try to align the printhead again

Follow these steps to align the printhead from the product control panel.

  1. From the home screen on the product control panel, touch the Right Arrow () to display additional options.

  2. Touch Setup (). The Setup Menu displays.

  3. Touch Tools. The Tools Menu displays.

  4. Touch Align Printhead. The product prints an alignment page.

    NOTE: Wait two to three minutes for the product to complete the alignment process and print the alignment page.

    Figure 12: Example alignment page

    Image: Example alignment page
  5. After the product prints the alignment page, touch OK to return to the home screen.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all of the troubleshooting steps and are still experiencing a problem, contact HP to replace the printhead.

If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Service the All-in-One

Contacting HP for service in Asia Pacific.

If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, you may need further assistance from HP to remedy your concern.

Please contact HP using one of the options found at Contact HP to obtain service.

Contacting HP for service in all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.

If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, service the product.

Determine if your product is in warranty or out of warranty. If you need help determining your product’s warranty status, go to HP’s Warranty Check Tool .

  • If your product is in warranty, Contact HP to obtain service.

  • If your product is out of warranty, Contact HP to find an authorized service provider or to setup service (fees might apply).

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