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HP7680 prints narrow blank (white) lines in 3 specific parts of each printed page


Greetings, most esteemed experts!

My HP7680 inkjet printer prints narrow blank (white) lines in 3 specific parts of each printed page. It appears to happen in the same 3 parts of each page printed.

- I installed new ink cartridges
- I verified that the paper I’m using is the standard inkjet paper that I always use
- In the tools section of the printer setup menu, I ran the “Clean Printhead”, “Align Printer”, and “Calibrate Linefeed” options
- In reading the printer’s manual, it seems to imply that the printheads could be the problem.
- So, I manually cleaned the printhead contacts
- When I print the self-test diagnostics page, it shows printhead health to be “Good” for both. One of them was installed in January of 2009, and the other was installed March of 2008.

My next step would be to replace the printheads altogether, but since that’s moderately expensive, I wanted to get your advice first.

Thank you for your help!

DaveSlash
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Dave Ford
Asked:
Dave Ford
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2 Solutions
 
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Almost all of the HP inkjets have a clear plastic band with black lines on it, running parallel to the carriage rod(s) that the printer uses to sense its position.  Small drops of ink on it will cause it to skip.  Try cleaning both sides of it with Q-Tips and 409 or Windex; but, be careful not to pop it loose.
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nobusCommented:
if the lines are vertical, the above may help
if the lines are horizontal, it can be a line feeding problem - do you hear any noise ?
does the paper feed ok? nothing sticking on the paperfeed rollers ?
clean them anyway -and test
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Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

Thank you, DavisMcCarn. I'll try that tonight when I get home.

Nobus, the lines are horizontal (when printing in portrait mode). I don't hear any odd noises when printing, and the paper appears to feed ok. To my knowlegde, there's nothing sticking on the paperfeed rollers, but I'll check that tonight.

I'll get back to you all romorrow. Thanks for your help!

-- DaveSlash
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Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

Greetings!

I cleaned the clear plastic band with a Q-tip. (It was pretty dirty.) Also, I checked for anything sticking to the paperfeed rollers but there doesn't appear to be anything stuck.

Unfortunately, the printer still prints the blank lines on the output. I'll attach a scan of the output so you can see what I'm talking about.

Do you have any other ideas?

Thanks in advance!
DaveSlash
 printed output from my hp 7680
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nobusCommented:
it seems an hiccup in the paper feed system to me
try updating the driver from here :  http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareCategory?product=2512009&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&lang=en&cc=us&submit=Go%20»

**note : you have to select the proper OS first
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
I hate to say it; but, I have a horrible feeling it is a problem in the memory on the logic board.  The paper is feeding correctly and the blank lines are just plain missing dots.  They're too far apart to be a printhead problem, too.
What happens if you print a test page or a page of text?
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Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

nobus, thanks for the suggestion. I'm downloading the updated drive right now. I'll let you know how it works.

DavisMcCarn, I tend to agree with you I printed the test pages, and they look fine. I'll attach the scans to this post.
 test page 1 test page 2
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
I was actually interested in what you got when you printed the test page from printer properties and if you print simple text documents.
It could be a renderring propblem in the software you used to make that ad; maybe a problem in the drivers renderring engine; but, I think you'll find it's in the printer.
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Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

Ok, I've now printed the test page from printer properties. I'll attach that here. Thanks for all your help!

 printer test page 3
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Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

Interestingly, I also printed another document in color, and I notice that the only parts of that document that seem to "skip" are the black parts. (see attached scan)
 color output with only black parts missing
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Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Here's a plain text document:
 plain text document
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nobusCommented:
did you update the driver yet?
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
HP says to go thruough the cleaning and alignment process; but, the missing rows of dots are not uniformly spaced!  On the test page, they appear at .5, 1.5, 3.4, 5.25, and 7.85 inches AND it is not a paper feed problem.
I'd try some plain paper from a brand new unopened ream, then the cleaning and alignment; but, If that doesn't get it, the printer's logic board is sick.
Here is the procedure: https://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01957673&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=bg&destPage=document 
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Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

nobus: Yes, I did updated the driver.

DavidMcCarn: Tonight, I'll try some plain paper from a new ream aong witht he cleaning and alignment.

Since it appears to have something to do with printing in black (vs. color), if the above suggestion doesn't work, I'll go ahead and replace the black print-head.

Thank you both for your help. If you ever make it to Southern California, I have a six-pack of homebrew for both of you.

Regards,
DaveSlash
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nobusCommented:
can't wait...but it's a bit far for me
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Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

Greetings!

I tried some plain paper from a brand new unopened ream (along with the cleaning and alignment), and the resulting printed plain-text page looks the same. The “blank-lines” are still there.

So, if our theory is correct, then the internals of the printer are “sick”. I could replace the print-heads, but I suppose that’s not guaranteed to work, either.

Of course, now comes the inevitable decision of whether to get the current printer fixed or just buy a new one. As a long-term technical guy, I tend to feel like it’s not an option to “give up” when solving some technical problem. But, I also know (as pointed out by my wife ... who really wants to print stuff) that sometimes it’s best to cut your losses.

So, I guess I’ll get a price on print-heads and new printers at lunch-time today and make a decision.

Thanks for all your help!

DaveSlash
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nobusCommented:
tx for feedback
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Hey; I just did some quick parts checking and you need to check the HP P/N on the label (C8189A, C8189AR, CB038A); but, good logic PCA's for that printer are as little as $15! http://cgi.ebay.com/HP-Officejet-L7580-L7590-Main-Board-C8189-80001-60001-/250817318779?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a65e08f7b
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