Question about HP PSC 950xi All-In-One InkJet Printer

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Keeps wanting me to align cartridges and won't print document

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My Hp c309 all in one printer keeps saying alignment failed. I recently changed all the ink cartridges and it shows that all are full but alignment STILL keeps failing... if I start to print something, it...

Regarding your recent inquiry about the HP 564 cartridge error ("Alignment Failed") which is preventing printing to your HP printer, please perform the following steps to see if the issue can be corrected....

NOTE: For "incorrect cartridge / "missing or damaged" error messages, please attempt to bypass the error message by selecting \'Ok\' on the printer several times. NOTE: You may also need to load the FULL printer driver versions from HP\'s website; once installed you should be able to bypass error messages via the various alert / windows prompts. Additional corrective action suggestions are provided below.


1) If you received an "Unauthorized ink", "non-HP ink", "counterfeit ink" or similar message, you can simply ignore/dismiss these messages by pressing \'OK\' once for each cartridge, so that the printer resumes its normal operation. If you do not have the full printer driver version installed it is possible that you may not be able to see the cartridge error bypass option - you may need to install the complete printer driver version for your computer\'s operating system. Receiving these kinds of ongoing alert messages is COMPLETELY NORMAL when using refilled ink cartridges. Refer to NOTE 2 below for more information. Refilling the ink cartridges does not include reprogramming of the ink cartridges, so this will not be a factor:

2) Remove ink cartridge and inspect cartridge\'s smart chip surface (i.e. gold contacts) - check for scratches or ink residue. See pictures of cartridge chips at following link for reference (see \'Abnormal Cartridge Errors\'):

- Replace cartridge if suspected damaged.

3) Perform Tap 41 PRINTHEAD Health Diagnostics Test (menu access varies by printer model, refer to HP printer diagnostics document, page 45, to view normal display messages, )

1. Turn ON the printer.

2. Press and Hold the "Print Photos" & "Red Eye Removal" buttons.

3. Release both buttons - screen should display "Enter Special Key Combo"

4. Press and release in sequence the "Red Eye Removal", "Print Photos", and then "Red Eye Removal"

5. Scroll through the menu by pressing the right arrow button until the display says \'Special Reports\'.

6. Select Ok, then press the arrow button until the \'print-mech button tap\' menu is displayed.

7. Select Ok (Code = 0 will be displayed); click and hold Right Arrow until \'code = 41\' is displayed.

8. Select Ok. The test page prints. If not, repeat steps 2-7 and enter \'code = 43\', select Ok.

9. Check the 4th line at the top of the printed report; an electrically good/stable PRINTHEAD \'Pen Status\' will state "Pen Status: Pen OK".........if any other message is displayed then the PRINTHEAD may have failed and may need to be replaced (as available). It is suggested to perform the \'Printer Reset\' procedure below to rule out printer firmware related problem.

a. If Step 2. does not allow service menu access, then press the \'Return\' and \'Home\' keys simultaneously so the Engineering Menu is displayed [or depress the \'Return\' button four (4) times]

b. Select Service Menu. Use arrow keys to advance to the Special Reports Menu. Select OK. Perform steps 6-9.

NOTE: The Tap 10 extended self-test print may also be initiated via \'code = 10\' (use to verify ink nozzle/jetting performance for each color).

premature of the PRINTHEAD has nothing to do with refilled ink cartridges; the PRINTHEAD assembly is a separate electronic unit in which the cartridges plug into and feed ink into. Refer to NOTE below.

4) Replace ink cartridge with a new HP ink cartridge to completely rule out the ink cartridge as the cause of failure.

5) To rule out printer/cartridge connectivity (assembly interface/connection) issues please ensure you have followed all steps on the Inkjet411 support page - this includes PRINTHEAD removal and thorough cleaning of the electrical surfaces on the PRINTHEAD and on the CARRIAGE ASSEMBLY:

a. Remove all 4/5 ink cartridges, then remove the internal PRINTHEAD and thoroughly clean rear electrical contacts and carriage electrical contacts. Inspect ink foam ports to see if they are \'wet with ink\'...this will confirm whether ink is being pulled into the PRINTHEAD or not. If the ink foam ports are completely dry (no significant amount of ink present when blotted with a paper towel, etc.), then the PRINTHEAD is likely considered too dry to support proper ink flow and subsequent printing operations. Refer to PRINTHEAD removal process at (link down below) or at the following Inkjet411 link to provide general guidance:

6) If after thorough electrical contact cleaning the problem persists, you may need to replace the PRINTHEAD ASSEMBLY (i.e. get from HP or Amazon), however, as a last ditch effort, you might want to perform a hot water flush on the PRINTHEAD:

a. Remove all ink cartridges from the printer.

b. Remove the printhead - in most cases you will need to pull up on the lever at right side of carriage assembly to unlock the printhead. Lift printhead straight up to remove.

c. Over a sink, run warm tap water directly into the 4 (or 5) ink ports for approximately 2 minutes - this will effectively saturate the foam ports and blow ink out/thru the nozzle plate bottom.

d. Using a lint-free towel, remove water from rear/bottom electrical contacts. Ensure printhead electrical contacts and exposed surfaces are fully dry.

e. Install the printhead into the printer. You may observe a "Replace Printhead message" so you will need to cycle printer power by turning printer off and then on to clear the error.

f. Install ink cartridges and retest printer. You should observe a New PRINTHEAD alert message followed by an approx. 4-minute preparation countdown prompt.

g. If permissible, activate the \'Clean Printhead\'. This can be done from the printer\'s control panel or software printer driver (for example, by selecting \'Tools\' - \'Clean Printhead\', or similar).

h. If you have reached this point of the troubleshooting and all the previous troubleshooting steps did not work, then the printhead is likely damaged or at end of life* and may need to be replaced.

NOTE: On some HP printer models it may be difficult to remove the PRINTHEAD assembly, consult your User\'s Guide for specific instructions.

7) If this does not remedy the problem, then you may have a defective PRINTHEAD in the printer (worst case scenario), unrelated to the refilled cartridges.**



However, if you observe missing colors or poor image quality then air may have been accidentally ingested into the ink lines between the cartridge(s) and PRINTHEAD. To recover from this problem, you will have to run the "Clean Printhead" procedure 1-2 times to recover the ink system. Watch the video on the HP support page which describes some of the common issues you may encounter with refilled ink cartridges. This type of problem is common and completely recoverable.

NOTE 1: The HP 564 printer models have an electronic PRINTHEAD within the base of the carriage assembly (responsible for pulling ink from the 4 (or 5) ink cartridges and then firing the ink droplets onto the paper) - these will eventually fail depending on print usage type and printer duty cycle (i.e. rated for ~8,000 printed pages over life, but the consumer average is typically closer ~5,000 pages). The printhead is replaceable and can be ordered directly from For information on how the PRINTHEAD functions, please watch the following video:

**Typically the printhead should not reach it\'s end-of-life until after a minimum of 8 or more complete sets of cartridge changes; officejet models typically have a higher print page throughput average, but this is not always the case. While some printheads may last 15,000+ pages others may only last 3000 pages, actual results will vary. The printhead will eventually fail in time due to an internal micro-electronics failure, due to the following leading factors: general customer print usage and printer care, printer duty cycle (i.e. # pages printed per month), printing frequency (i.e. time between each print job), print mode (i.e. draft vs. normal) and content printed (i.e. photos vs plain pages) and color mode (black and white only vs. color/greyscale printing).

Paper types used (i.e. plain paper, photo papers & matte/heavy bond papers) and paper edge curl (i.e. duration in printer and/or exposure to low relative humidity) can also quickly lead to ********* printhead failures due to physical \'head strikes\' of the paper edges making repeated contact with the printhead nozzle plate surfaces.


CAUTION: the use of compatible/clone cartridges (i.e. sold thru the internet from overseas) are known to be problematic and may cause printer errors and permanent PRINTHEAD damage (due to incompatible ink formulations). We do NOT suggest refilling these types of ink cartridges.....refilling of HP 564 original/genuine ink cartridges is only suggested!

HP 564 Ink Refilling Services & Additional Cautions:


If you need to purchase a new ink cartridge(s) and are trying to cut costs, we suggest you try a remanufactured ink cartridge from as their ink cartridges typically have the lowest cost in the USA, have a high reliability rating, come with a 1-year warranty and provide free shipping for all orders above $20.

Please let us know if the error condition persists. For any additional questions please contact us directly:

-Thank you

Aug 18, 2014 | Office Equipment & Supplies

1 Answer

My lexmark X4650 printer keeps giving me blurred copies. How do I fix?

It could be that your cartridges are not aligned. Please follow the steps below to fix your problem:
  1. From the printer operator panel, press the Setup button.
  2. Go to Maintenance.
  3. Select Align Cartridges. Your printer will then print a page to align your cartridges.
  4. After the test page is printed, try to print a document again to verify that the problem is fixed.
Should you still need assistance, please leave a comment to my response and I'll get back to you. Should this resolves your problem, your rating will be greatly appreciated.

Oct 19, 2011 | Lexmark X4650 InkJet Printer

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ADJUST THE COLOR AND PRINT SPEED You may need to adjust the color and print speed. CHECK THE LEVEL OF INK IN THE PRINT CARTRIDGES 1 From the Finder desktop, double-click the Lexmark X5400 Series folder. 2 Double-click the Lexmark X5400 Series Utility icon. 3 From the Maintenance tab, check the ink levels of the cartridges. If an exclamation point (!) appears on a cartridge, the ink level is low. Install a new cartridge. Improving print quality These are possible solutions. Try one or more of the following: CHECK PAPER • Use the appropriate paper for the document. If you are printing photos or other high-quality images, for best results use Lexmark Photo Paper or Lexmark PerfectFinish Photo Paper. Do not use Lexmark Premium Photo Paper. Your print cartridges are not compatible with this type of paper. • Use a paper that is a heavier weight or bright white. CHECK PRINT CARTRIDGES If the document still does not have the print quality you want, follow these steps: 1 Align the print cartridges. For more information, see "Aligning print cartridges" on page. If print quality has not improved, continue to step 2. 2 Clean the print cartridge nozzles. For more information, see "Cleaning the print cartridge nozzles" . If print quality has not improved, continue to step 3. 3 Remove and reinsert the print cartridges. For more information, see "Removing a used print cartridge" on and "Installing print cartridges" . If print quality has not improved, continue to step 4. 4 Wipe the print nozzles and contacts. For more information, see "Wiping the print cartridge nozzles and contacts". If print quality is still not satisfactory, replace the print cartridges. For more information, see "Ordering print cartridges". CHECK PRINT CARTRIDGES If the document still does not have the print quality you want, follow these steps: 1 Align the print cartridges. For more information, see "Aligning print cartridges" on page 124. If print quality has not improved, continue to step 2. 2 Clean the print cartridge nozzles. For more information, see "Cleaning the print cartridge nozzles" . If print quality has not improved, continue to step 3. 3 Remove and reinsert the print cartridges. For more information, see "Removing a used print cartridge" and "Installing print cartridges" If print quality has not improved, continue to step 4. 4 Wipe the print nozzles and contacts. For more information, see "Wiping the print cartridge nozzles and contacts"
If print quality is still not satisfactory, replace the print cartridges. For more information, see "Ordering print

Nov 10, 2010 | Lexmark X5495 All-in-One &USB...

3 Answers

My HP Officejet 4500 keeps telling my to align my printer cartridges and I have done it several times. After I align them and print something it requires me to align them again.

Try removing the cartridges, closing the printer, and disconnect the power. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, then hook up the power, wait until it stops making noises, the reinstall the cartridges, black first, then color, and if the alignment comes up again, press cancel. This should remove the error.

Sep 30, 2010 | HP OfficeJet 6110 All-In-One InkJet...

1 Answer

Hp C4280 keeps wanting to print an alignment page every time I turn it on. I inserted new inkjet cartridges and printed the alignment 3 times and it looks great.

Place the alignment sheet as below on the scanner glass :

Lift the product lid, and then place the alignment page face down on the scanner glass, aligned with the right front corner of the scanner glass.

For more information about this issue, check this link

Jun 30, 2010 | Office Equipment & Supplies

3 Answers

Printer problems

Re-install your HP driver software
Down load and run HP's Software Cleanup Utility.
Please read the instructions first.
Download here:

Nov 19, 2007 | HP PSC 2210 All-In-One InkJet Printer

1 Answer

Align Print Cartridges

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Nov 19, 2007 | HP PSC 2410 All-In-One InkJet Printer

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