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Printer does not print the "true" color

Posted on 2002-04-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a HP 855Cse. It has always printed very nice colors. I have been using it for B&W only for a half a year or so. But today I went to print a color document and discovered that it CANNOT print the true color RED! I ran it through several tests and it most definately prints all colors perfectly EXCEPT red. It is kind of a reddish brown shade.
My question of the experts is: Can the ink go bad? Can it mix in the cartridge? What other explanation can there be for such poor color reproduction in red?
The cartridge feels "light" (nesar empty) but I do not thin k it has been used all that much - Plus, it does print all other colors quite well...
Please help me here.

duvall
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Question by:duvall
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6980057
If it is not used the ink can dry up.  Try a new cartridge.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 6980084
Duvall,

the ink can dry as slink9 said, and also if the print cartridge is dirty, the red may be mixing in with a tiny bit of blue or black to make it more brown.  What I have told customers in the past with cartridges to save them, specially the color ones is if you are not using them, to put the cartridge in a plastic ziplock bag.  It will help preserve the ink longer than if it is in the printer.  If it feels light it may be either running out or dried out.  You can try to also clean the cartridge and then try again if you think it still has some life left.  Take a towel, one that won't leave any cloth behind if at all possible, and some rubbing alcohol and clean the cartridge as best you can.  Then see how it works.

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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Cokane
ID: 6980090
Get a bit of cloth and dab the nozzle of your colour cartridge - can you see any red???

If it has dried up then this should fix it. Otherwise you've probably run out of red ink!! As slink says - you'll need a new cartridge.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:frache
ID: 6980100

Printing Program ( "drivers") for HP contain test tools ...
Use this tools to check your printer ... look for blank ...



Start / Settings / Printer / select your printer / right click - properties - select tools or test ?

Good test ? bad test?

Something very important : cartrigde include printing system ...
It's could be a good thing to replace cartrigde ...

--------

Bad ink could be the program ... because to obtain red you add several colours ...
Did you use HP cartridge or compatible cartridge ?
Did you refill it with liquid ink ( bottle) ?
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6980107
Also keep in mind the fact that refilled cartridges never give the quality of OEM versions.  Is this a recycled or OEM cartridge?
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Author Comment

by:duvall
ID: 6980582
It is a HP cartridge.
It has all three colors that come from the tip if I touch it to a towel.
If I print all of the standard colors - ALL PRINT WELL EXCEPT THE RED!!!
It prints a perfect Blue, Green, Yellow, etc...
The red just has a tint of brown... and lacks the brightness I remember it having.
ANYTHING ELSE TO ADD GUYS???

duvall
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 6980961
have you tried running the clean cartridge function in hp's software?
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Author Comment

by:duvall
ID: 6980979
It is clean and the ink flows out properly. I've run all kinds of tests including printing at all three print speeds.

duvall
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6981305
TRY A NEW CARTRIDGE!!
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 6981371
slink9,  THAT'S WHAT I WAS JUST ABOUT TO SAY!!!
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6981482
Okay.  How many times will it take before it is done. though.
By the suggestion to try a new cartridge, I don't mean a refurb, either.  Get a brand new OEM cartridge from Staples, Office Depot, or some other office supply store and give it a shot.
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Author Comment

by:duvall
ID: 6981539
When I get a chance to buy one - I will. Maybe that will fix the problem BUT no-one has really answered the question... What is or could be the cause of the off-color? If I had a different papaer - I'd even like to try that. There has to be something... All three inks appear to come out correctly... And all fine but the red... Oh well...

duvall

I'll re-post when I get another cartridge installed...
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6981594
You have plenty of suggestions as to the reason for that.  You can view them as such, or not.  That would be up to you.  Does it matter if a new cartridge fixes it?
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 6981957
Duvall,

To answer your question in my opinion, You said you haven't used the color cartridge in a while.  I told you that perhapps it is dirty or old, and that some of the colors are running.  Which is a possibility.  Nextly I also said Cleaning it May help preventing it from running.  Which you have cleaned it I think?

Now my other opinion, if those didn't solve your problem or answer your questions, then just perhapps the ink is old or stale, and the red has gone bad.  Another thing, is if some of the ink on the print heads did not dry properly or leaked out and somehow got into the color red, could also have changed the red color and made it a little brown.  Only real way to resolve it is to dump the old cartridge, get a new one and make sure your printer's print heads are clean BEFORE you put the new cartridge in, otherwise it could contaminate your new cart.  I would suggest rubbing alcohol again, for the print heads.  Use a Q-Tip (Cotton Swabb) and dab it w/ alcohol, dont scrape.  Cuz you could leave cotton behind and affect the printer printing process in a different way.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6982044
Come on now, is that really an answer as to WHY it is happening?  Maybe you should fly over to his house and explain it in person.  That should help resolve this one, and get a few points for you in the process.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 6982182
slink9,

hehe....I said it was my opinion.  And secondly if he doesnt get it, he doesnt get it....what can we say?
I'll let you fly out over there and get the points! and you can show him! ok?! :)
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6982420
It sounded good to me.  My suggestion to just try a new cartridge sounded pretty good and would work for most.  For some, you have to drill a few holes and pour it in.
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Author Comment

by:duvall
ID: 6988295
I'm sorry you guys have taken the attutude you have on this question. It's such a shame because behavior like this kind of takes away from the fact that so many people DO get so much out of this website! I have basiclly taught myself everything I know about computers FROM THIS WEBSITE and from guys just like you (and I know slink9 has answered questions for me before). Why do you have to attack me for just trying to get a understanding of what has occured here? Sure I could pop in a new cartridge and move on but I personally wanted to understand what had occured and if I could help prevent it from happening again in the future.
I did in fact buy a new cartridge and it has restored the proper RED color. I put the old one in and it is MUCH MORE BROWN in shade! So the cartridge is indeed bad - I just don't know why it is bad... Maybe HP can offer some advice on the situation since you guys only want to make fun of me for wanting to know.
When reading the answers above - I had thought that Wakeup was actually the only person to take the time to give several scinerios and should be awarded the points - Then Slink9 attacked him for his answer... I just do not understand the behavior. If you no longer have the desire or patience to participate here at EE - maybe you should give it a break. I guess I'm kind of dissapointed in how this turned out.
I know it is only 50 points, but I do want to properly award the points - So I will take a couple of days to think about the answers and will then choose who I think gave the best answer or the one that directed me to a solution.
Thanks for participating in my question - all of you!!!
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Mindphaser
ID: 6988431
Hi all
======

Thanks to everybody here who is helping out out with good advice. I wouldn't know any better myself.

duvall

I know our folks are tough sometimes. They tried to help you fix the problem and apparently didn't really see:

>>My question of the experts is: Can the ink go bad? Can it mix in the cartridge? What other explanation
can there be for such poor color reproduction in red?

And when they found out that you didn't go with their suggested solution, they started making fun ... So the problem here is, you asked for an explanation, they gave you a solution, typical case of misunderstanding!
I think you found your own answer in you rlast comment:

>>Maybe HP can offer some advice on the situation

Your problem doesn't seem to be technical, but more a chemical one. I suggest you send your old cartridge to HP (if you want to spend the money), tell them what happened, ask them for an explanation and I'm sure they will offer you a refund.
And if you think these folks need some recognition, I will gladly split the points for you. If you think they didn't help at all, we can talk about a refund, too.

How about that solution?

Don't accept this comment as an answer!

** Mindphaser - Community Support Moderator **

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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:bruno
ID: 6988632
duvall,

I think your Q was answered in slink's first comment.

>>but I personally wanted to understand what had occured and if I could help prevent it from happening
again in the future

slink said "If it is not used the ink can dry up."


that was most likely your problem.  When the ink isn't used, it can dry up inside the cartridge, and not print properly anymore.  What happened was probably that the red dried up, but the other colors were still fine.  The fix is to get a new cartridge.

I agree with Mindphase, this was a simple misunderstanding.  

You might want to try printing in color at least every month to keep the ink flowing to try and prevent this from happening again.



BRUNO

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Author Comment

by:duvall
ID: 6991039
Thank You all for your attempt to answer my question!!!
I have to refuse to award the points here. Here is the reason I gave to "community support" - which I will paste here for you to read.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I TAKE THIS WEBSITE AND THE PROCEEDURES VERY SERIOUSLY! I CANNOT JUSTIFY AWARDING POINTS JUST TO GET THE QUESTION CLOSED OR TO GIVE THEM TO THE PERSON WHO GOT THE CLOSEST - YOU EITHER ANSWERED THE QUESTION OR NOT - SIMPLE AS THAT. I MAY HAVE GIVEN THE POINTS TO SLINK9 IF HE HADN'T GOT SO CARRIED AWAY AND POKED FUN AT THE ISSUE (BASED ON THE FACT THAT OTHER EXPERTS THOUGHT HE DID THE BEST AT ANSWERING THE QUESTION). THIS IS JUST HOW I FEEL... SORRY!

I DO HOPE YOU WILL NOT TAKE THIS PERSONAL AND BOYCOTT FUTURE QUESTIONS FROM ME - I REALLY ONLY WANT WHAT IS FAIR FOR ALL INVOLVED...

(this is from the community support question I posted)
Mindphaser
I went ahead and graded and closed this question BEFORE I actually went to the other question to see what you had written. Even though I do agree with you about it being a misunderstanding - I do not agree that ANYBODY answered my question even remotely. I do not care about the points but I can not justify giving the points to any of the experts - I will let YOU decide and do with the points as YOU SEE FIT. Do not ask me to do this - cause if you do, I will give them to the last guy (bear'something) who joined in and advised me to give the points to slink9 - since he (bear'something) obviously was being the most sincere. I refuse to award them to the other two guys since 1) They did not answer the question and 2) They carried on the way they did. As I said - YOU PLEASE deal with it for me. Divide them up or whatever... Burn them, I really just do not want to make the call. I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE THIS A LOT!!! And I am not asking for the points back... I'm not trying to get something for free...

duvall
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:rin1010
ID: 6991531

duvall,

I've encountered that same problem on a few occasions
with HP cartridges. After manual and automatic cleaning
and changing color profiles and other troubleshooting,
it would still print the red as a shade of brown.

The cause appears to be the age of the ink. It always occurred
on older cartridges, even when occasionally (but not often) used.
The red ink would be a dark orange or some brownish shade.
(Not sure whether prolonged inactivity contributes to the change
but that would also relate to age of the color cartridge.)

Some color correction can be obtained through the association of
Color Profiles in the properties of HP's Color Management setup
but the thing with the red ink turning darker happened too often.
(Also remember a color problem when the management setting
was stuck on manual with no profile loaded but other colors
and it fixed those but still not the brown ink problem.)

Was more convinced it was the age of the ink after someone again had the
same problem with an HP... She too hadn't printed anything in color for a while.
Suggested changing the color cartridge. She had two new unopened cartridges
that were bought a couple of years earlier. Opened and installed one and the
red printed brown. Installed the other new one... same results.
Just sitting, the red ink in the new cartridges turned brown.

HP and other makers advise against using alcohol for cleaning,
suggesting water instead, preferably distilled. But it wasn't that the
nozzles were clogged nor that the ink was dried and/or mixing...
The red ink had merely turned brown. Don't know if this is
what you're experiencing but saw it and wanted to comment.

Another thing to mention (fwiw) which may be chemically related...
I notice after a few hours that the reds (which come out brown)
fade back to a brighter shade of red on the paper after it sets awhile.
But a fresh cartridge (or one with an unexpired date) should do red
as your new one is and just including some observations about
that HP DeskJet red ink turning brown with age.
 
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 6991652
Duvall,  

Sorry for the "Attitude" that was shown.  I am sorry if I did anything to offend you.  That was not my intention.  I knew the underlying of your question and tried to answer the question you asked:

-->My question of the experts is: Can the ink go bad? Can it mix in the cartridge? What other explanation
can there be for such poor color reproduction in red?
The cartridge feels "light" (nesar empty) but I do not thin k it has been used all that much - Plus,
-->it does print all other colors quite well...

You didn't ask for a solution persay....just can ink go bad?  yes.  
Can it mix in the cartridge?  No not on the inside but the outside yes.

And according to my other comments will be my explanation and my opinion on why the cartridge is producing bad red.  Your answer will never be known unless you send it to HP for an answer.  So whoever said to try a new cartridge that definitely doesnt answer your question.  The red has not dried up since it is printing brown.  However it seems to have either mixed or has gone bad.  If it dried up, it would not have printed brown.  Orange and Blue= brown.  in order to make orange you need red yellow and blue.
0
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 6991656
Duvall,

Another thing.  I dont need the points and I know you plan to not make the decision on who gets it and I respect that decision.  So if you guys decide to delete the question or whatever go ahead, however I still think that "Some" of the ideas and comments are good for future reference for others.
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6991803
Don't delete the question.  Just refund the points.  I hit the nail on the head here along with others.
If my comments offended you, I am sorry.  There are no stupid questions, although some of the answers are stupid.  Believe it or not, you were given plenty of good reasons before you said nobody ahd answered the actual question (which is the reason for my response).  Take it however you want.  As was once said in one of the questions, some things are meant to be thought, and not actually written.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:bruno
ID: 6991825
Where's Netminder?  this deserves a split between every participating expert...LOL...

j/k....glad that the misunderstanding has been cleared up at least!



BRUNO
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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
Mindphaser earned 0 total points
ID: 6991858
Since duvall is leaving it to me ...

This question has value worth to be saved.

As I already mentioned, duvall's question (to ask HP to shed some light on this phenomenon) is the best solution in this case.

I will refund the points and move this to PAQ.

Thanks everybody for helping out.

Bruno: Netminder is my teacher, so a little bit respect please :-)

** Mindphaser - Community Support Moderator **


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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:bruno
ID: 6991968
>>Bruno: Netminder is my teacher, so a little bit respect please :-)


LOL.....So SORRY for you....  ;-)  NM LOVES splits!!


BRUNO
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