It is a massive pain but a solution that worked for me is to run a 'clean' after every card stock sheet. I know it's wicked awful but it actually worked and I had to run 100 times (one for each good color card stock) First put plain paper in tray 2 Next Hit left arrow until you get to 'system service' and press green check Next then go to 'clean' and press check Now it should print a clean image without ghosting
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Run a half test. While printing a few pages, open the cover, pull out the toner and look down at the paper. If you see the ghost images replace the toner. If you don't see the ghost images, replace the fuser.
Using the left and right arrow buttons on the printer select the main menu 'service' press the green tick button in the middle of the arrows and now you are in the service menu press the right arrow once and you should see 'cleaning mode', press the green tick once and your printer should clean itself. If you are still getting ghosting you might need a new toner or maybe a service.
Yes, It sounds like a ghosting issue. Several components can cause a ghosting issue. The distance between the first occurance(the one on purpose) and the second occurance(ghost image) can determine the part of the machine causing the image problem
56.6mm - Fuser
54.5mm - Transfer Belt
75.4mm - Drum unit (1 of toner carts)
You are most likely correct. this is called fuser offsetting, to check it out, stop the paper being printed MID CYCLE open the front door just when you think the paper is behind it..., pull the paper off the transfer belt. Is the ghost there? Probably not, and if it isnt, then it is your fuser. I can lead you to a reputable supplier. You can buy QUALITY rebuilt fusers with great warranties at prices well less than new OEM.
I ran the hp toolbox "cleaning" mode too and it did not help the problem at all. I still have a dark smear concentrated in the middle of the page, and ghost images repeated lighter all the way down the page.