Question about HP LaserJet 4 plus Printer

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I have a faint print image in the blank area of my paper.

My printer is a Laserjet 4. Something is dirty and needs cleaning to remove old toner from a dirty roller. I have extensively cleaned the black roller below the toner cartridge. Is there anything else?

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Probably a bad toner cartridge cleaning blade.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008


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Why printer doe not print test or any page? Get blank page

You have said that you tried cleaning your printer with wet tissue paper. I hope that you weren't using water, window cleaner (such as Windex) or something similar. Anytime that cleaning must be done, one should use rubbing alcohol (aka isopropyl alcohol). Using anything else can be damaging because it will linger in the printer longer instead of evaporating away quickly and that can lead to liquid damage to components that should never get wet, especially if you turn the printer on soon after the cleaning.

At this point, you could have several issues going on. Presuming that one or more parts got wet and thus shorted out when power was applied, you could have a problem with the high-voltage power supply, formatter board, laser unit, fusing assembly, or more. Since you have said that the paper now comes out blank, that indicates to me that there is either no image being drawn on the drum of the toner cartridge and/or there is no charging of the paper occurring when it passes over the charging roller.

To explain, a laser printer operates by charging the drum with the laser. Anywhere that the laser "writes" is positively charged and when the drum spins around, it picks up toner from the inside of the cartridge. While this is happening, the paper passes over that little foam roller (which is the charging roller) and accepts a uniforn negative charge covering the entire surface of the paper. In perfect time, the paper reaches the image drum where the intended image is transferred by the basic physics of electrical attraction. The paper continues through the printer to head to the fusing assembly. This is the hot part of the printer that actually melts the toner (which is nothing more than a very fine plastic powder) and bonds it to the paper.

Given this method of operation, if the laser unit is not working, then the image cannot be written to the drum and therefore there will be no transfer of toner to the drum and subsequently to the paper. If the laser is working but the charging roller is not being properly charged, then the same result of no image is most likely. If the problem is only the fusing assembly, then you would see whatever you printed but you would find that the image was easily removed by wiping it as it was not heated and bonded to the page.

To check whether the laser is working, you can send a test page to the printer and wait for the printer to start pulling the paper through. Once the paper is about halfway through the printing, open the printer and pull out the toner cartridge. There is a little door on the bottom that exposes the drum. See whether there is any toner on it that looks like what you were just trying to print. If so, the laser unit seems to be operational. If not, then you have a problem that will potentially be expensive to fix.

Further, if the image is on the drum but nothing is getting transferred to the paper, that would indicate that something is amiss with the charging roller. This foam roller is very easily compromised by oils from one's skin (let alone any sort of cleaning solution, even rubbing alcohol), so if you tried cleaning this, you probably made your problems worse by making it so that the roller would not hold a charge any longer.

Given the age of the Laserjet 4 series of printers, it is becoming harder to find parts, so while you can spend the money to get it repaired if you wish, I would suggest replacing it with a more modern printer. After all, there are other printers that are faster, more simply designed (meaning fewer parts to fail), and that have cartridges that last just as long (if not longer). As an example, when I finally upgraded from my Laserjet 4M Plus a few years ago, I replaced it with a Samsung ML-3312ND. That printer is just black and white like the Laserjet 4 series, has both USB and Ethernet ports for versatile functionality, and has built-in duplex capability (this allows printing on both sides of the page). The 3312 models have the option of using a cartridge that can print 5000 pages while their cousins, the ML-3712 models, can also use an even larger cartridge that can print 10,000 pages.

I hope all this helps!

May 19, 2014 | HP LaserJet 4 plus Printer

6 Answers

Belt is not cleaning of image

hmm..what belt are we referring to_..and is that image a line or an actual rendering of an image?

Oct 28, 2008 | HP Color LaserJet 2600n Printer

1 Answer

Printed copies have ghost images on them. I have never had this problem before., It looks like the image printed twice - once fine and then faint horizontal lines, sometimes some of the previously printed...

1) try doing a full clean from within the menu on the printer, or within the computer software
2) You need to perform a half test. Put a sheet of paper on the manual feeder and do a config page from the information menu on the printer. When the back edge of the paper enters the printer, quickly open the toner door to stop the printing. Now remove the toner cartridge and look at the image below. If the defect is present, then the toner cartridge is the problem 99% of the time. There is a slight possibility that during the conditioning stage of the print process the drum of the toner is not being fully discharged so when the next stage takes places part of the previous image gets put on the toner cartridge again. Very rare. If the defect is not present then the fuser has an issue.

May 04, 2011 | HP LaserJet 2420 Printer

1 Answer

16 toner low

A laser printer needs toner to print, when this runs out the printer will print either blank or very faint images.
You need to replace the toner cartridge with a new one or a re-manufactured toner cartridges. Re-manufactured toner cartridges are cheaper than new toner cartridges for your model printer.

You can get a few more prints out of your toner cartridge by removing the toner cartridge from the printer and giving it a few horizontal shakes then place it back into the printer.

Feb 03, 2011 | HP LaserJet 4 plus Printer

1 Answer

The Magenta colour on my 2605dn is no longer coming out properly (very faint). The cartridge was replaced by made no difference. All other cartridge colours work fine. Tried cleaning and calibrating but...

A faded magenta on this model is probably a dirty scanner mirror.
The printer design puts a fan in an area that blows magenta toner directly at the laser scanner.
The more toner on the mirror, the more faded the print.
You will need to remove the scanner and clean it.

Nov 02, 2010 | HP Color LaserJet 2600n Printer

1 Answer

Hp color laserjet 2600n is printing lighter on one side of paper. Where light is also printing shadows down paper of letters at top.

First of all you may have 1 or 2 things going on here. First of all the HP2600 series is prone to having the laser optics get toner dust on them which causes light prints usually on on side or the other. If your light print on one side is on black and all the colors then it may be the fusing unit. Another indicator of the fuser being the cause is the double imaging.....meaning something that is printed at the top of the page gets re-printed farther down the page. Does any of the print, especially on the double image/light side rub off? If so then it is definately the fuser. In case you don't know the fusing unit is the part that heats up and "fuses" the toner onto the paper. It is located right where the paper exits the machine. You can try a test for a fuser problem by printing something then shutting the printer off before the paper starts to exit the printer. Open up the printer and look at the sheet being printed. Is it light on the one side before it goes thru the fuser? If so then you need to clean the laser optics. If it is not lighter then this will prove the fuser is the cause. You can find the fuser units all over the net and they are easy to swap out. As far as the laser optics go you can try the basic cleaning yourself by removing the 4 toner cartridges. Behind these units you will see kind of a large black box with 4 evenly spaced "slots" running from side to side. Inside these slots is a plastic lens that the laser beam goes thru on it's way to the toner cartridges. Just take a cue tip/cotton swab and clean these 4 slots. Once clean just re-install the toners and test to see if the print quality issue is improved. Sometimes the whole laser box assembly must be removed, dis-assembled and cleaned. I recommend you hire someone to do this as it can get a bit much if you do not have experience with these machines.
Good Luck and Thank You for using Fixya.

Sep 10, 2010 | HP Color LaserJet 2600n Printer

1 Answer

Printed page has a blank stripe through the centre. Have changed toner cartridge and same result. I understood the imaging drum is built in to the toner cartridge. Any suggestions? The printer is quite...

Remove the toner and look in the area above where the drum sits, there is either a glass that needs wiping or a shutter that may not be opening all the way. That opening is where the laser image is sent to the drum. Use a mirror if you can't see the area very well.

Jan 10, 2010 | HP LaserJet 4L Printer

1 Answer

Printer hp laserjet p2015n

laser unit mirror is dirty clean it than solve it

May 29, 2009 | HP LaserJet P2015dn Printer

1 Answer

Printing Problem

Image defects on LJ printers are usually the toner cart. or the fuser:

This is the test to determine toner or fuser issue.
Print a test page
When you hear the paper feed into the machine open the top to stop the machine
Remove the toner cart.
You should be able to see the page with printing on it. (This is before the page hits the fuser)
If you can see the image Defect on the page the problem is most likely the cartridge but NOT the fuser.
If the page is clean the problem is most likely the fuser.
Hope this helps

Mar 17, 2009 | HP LaserJet 4250n Printer

1 Answer

HP 3030 Printer

Check the toner cartridge. When they get old, they may leak. Also you mentioned double printing. do you mean ghost images on the same sheet? That would point to the toner also. If the toner is not the problem, it may be the fuser. They get toner on them and when the fuser roll turns, it deposits images on the paper.

Feb 07, 2009 | HP LaserJet 3030 All-In-One Printer

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