HP4 black pages

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Recently my HP LJ4 has been printing pages almost 100% black. (The
text is discernible with a lighter outline). The toner is all set,
not loose.
If I keep printing it usually improves, after one or two dark pages
then it's fine. Today it's up to three black pages and little
improvement.

Perhaps related, one of these pages jammed, and had to be yanked out
of the rear door.

Also possibly relevant; I don't leave it on continuously (the HP4 not
having a low power setting) maybe it needed to warm up or dry out
(it's pretty humid here). But over the last year since I bought it
this has not been a problem.
11 answers Last reply
More about black pages
  1. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >Recently my HP LJ4 has been printing pages almost 100% black. (The
    >text is discernible with a lighter outline). The toner is all set,
    >not loose.
    >If I keep printing it usually improves, after one or two dark pages
    >then it's fine. Today it's up to three black pages and little
    >improvement.
    >
    >Perhaps related, one of these pages jammed, and had to be yanked out
    >of the rear door.
    >
    >Also possibly relevant; I don't leave it on continuously (the HP4 not
    >having a low power setting) maybe it needed to warm up or dry out
    >(it's pretty humid here). But over the last year since I bought it
    >this has not been a problem.

    Alan
    Normally if the printer is printing a completely black page then the DC
    Controller has failed.
    Replacement of the DC Controller would be more expensive than buying a second
    hand HP LJ 4 (preferably a 4+).
    Tony
  2. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 05:29:25 -0000, Tony <> wrote:

    >Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >>Recently my HP LJ4 has been printing pages almost 100% black. (The
    >>text is discernible with a lighter outline). The toner is all set,
    >>not loose.
    >>If I keep printing it usually improves, after one or two dark pages
    >>then it's fine. Today it's up to three black pages and little
    >>improvement.
    >>
    >>Perhaps related, one of these pages jammed, and had to be yanked out
    >>of the rear door.
    >>
    >>Also possibly relevant; I don't leave it on continuously (the HP4 not
    >>having a low power setting) maybe it needed to warm up or dry out
    >>(it's pretty humid here). But over the last year since I bought it
    >>this has not been a problem.
    >
    >Alan
    >Normally if the printer is printing a completely black page then the DC
    >Controller has failed.
    >Replacement of the DC Controller would be more expensive than buying a second
    >hand HP LJ 4 (preferably a 4+).
    >Tony

    Thanks; but is this consistent with subsequent (after 1-3 pages)
    pages being okay?

    And even the black pages are not completely black; I can make out the
    text on top, at 100% black with a slightly lighter outline. Later
    pages have progressively lighter backgrounds.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 05:29:25 -0000, Tony <> wrote:
    >
    >>Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >>>Recently my HP LJ4 has been printing pages almost 100% black. (The
    >>>text is discernible with a lighter outline). The toner is all set,
    >>>not loose.
    >>>If I keep printing it usually improves, after one or two dark pages
    >>>then it's fine. Today it's up to three black pages and little
    >>>improvement.
    >>>
    >>>Perhaps related, one of these pages jammed, and had to be yanked out
    >>>of the rear door.
    >>>
    >>>Also possibly relevant; I don't leave it on continuously (the HP4 not
    >>>having a low power setting) maybe it needed to warm up or dry out
    >>>(it's pretty humid here). But over the last year since I bought it
    >>>this has not been a problem.
    >>
    >>Alan
    >>Normally if the printer is printing a completely black page then the DC
    >>Controller has failed.
    >>Replacement of the DC Controller would be more expensive than buying a second
    >>hand HP LJ 4 (preferably a 4+).
    >>Tony
    >
    >Thanks; but is this consistent with subsequent (after 1-3 pages)
    >pages being okay?
    >
    >And even the black pages are not completely black; I can make out the
    >text on top, at 100% black with a slightly lighter outline. Later
    >pages have progressively lighter backgrounds.

    I have to say that usually when the DC Controller fails completely then the
    output is totally and always black, maybe it is slowly dying. The problem is
    that your options are limited.
    If the Laser fails then normally the output will have no print at all and a
    Fuser failure will produce an error message or very different symptoms. I have
    never seen a toner cartridge fail and print all black (at least not with an HP
    Laserjet) and any other failure is more expensive than a replacement similarly
    aged printer. You could take the top cover off and ensure that all of the
    connectors are well seated inside the printer but I still believe that the most
    likely failure is the DC Controller (next most likely is a power supply, also
    expensive). I wish I had better news, if you need instructions on top cover
    removal I will happily post them.
    Tony
  4. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 09:10:23 -0000, Tony <> wrote:

    >Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >>On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 05:29:25 -0000, Tony <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >>>>Recently my HP LJ4 has been printing pages almost 100% black. (The
    >>>>text is discernible with a lighter outline). The toner is all set,
    >>>>not loose.
    >>>>If I keep printing it usually improves, after one or two dark pages
    >>>>then it's fine. Today it's up to three black pages and little
    >>>>improvement.

    >I have to say that usually when the DC Controller fails completely then the
    >output is totally and always black, maybe it is slowly dying. The problem is
    >that your options are limited.
    >If the Laser fails then normally the output will have no print at all

    So I'm hoping that it isn't the power supply; from what I can
    understand from the manual, if the DC controller dies a whole lot of
    systems fail. Also, the fact that after several prints the quality is
    good doesn't seem consistent with that.

    I tried with another toner cart; this also printed very dark at first
    and then improved; though not as bad as the original. Can't
    definitively say it's not the cart as it's not factory fresh (an
    opened, almost empty, one I'd stashed away months ago).

    Is there a way to directly test the DC controller?

    Around here it's not easy to find used lasers of any quality, and
    transport is a problem, I have to hand carry a long way, so replacing
    is not an easy option.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 09:10:23 -0000, Tony <> wrote:
    >
    >>Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >>>On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 05:29:25 -0000, Tony <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >>>>>Recently my HP LJ4 has been printing pages almost 100% black. (The
    >>>>>text is discernible with a lighter outline). The toner is all set,
    >>>>>not loose.
    >>>>>If I keep printing it usually improves, after one or two dark pages
    >>>>>then it's fine. Today it's up to three black pages and little
    >>>>>improvement.
    >
    >>I have to say that usually when the DC Controller fails completely then the
    >>output is totally and always black, maybe it is slowly dying. The problem is
    >>that your options are limited.
    >>If the Laser fails then normally the output will have no print at all
    >
    >So I'm hoping that it isn't the power supply; from what I can
    >understand from the manual, if the DC controller dies a whole lot of
    >systems fail. Also, the fact that after several prints the quality is
    >good doesn't seem consistent with that.
    >
    >I tried with another toner cart; this also printed very dark at first
    >and then improved; though not as bad as the original. Can't
    >definitively say it's not the cart as it's not factory fresh (an
    >opened, almost empty, one I'd stashed away months ago).
    >
    >Is there a way to directly test the DC controller?
    >
    >Around here it's not easy to find used lasers of any quality, and
    >transport is a problem, I have to hand carry a long way, so replacing
    >is not an easy option.

    Not sure what to suggest, best way to confirm the cause is to swap parts from
    another known good printer. Obviously that is difficult in this case.
    You can eliminate the formatter by doing an engine test - as follows
    Open the multipurpose tray, look inside and up to the right and you will see a
    small button - pressing this should produce a page of black lines, they should
    be sharp and clear. If this "consistently" works OK then the formatter is
    faulty (very unlikely with the symptoms you have described).
    If you are sure that the Toner cartridge is not the problem (again, very
    unlikely that it would fail in this manner) then you have only two likely
    causes -
    1. DC Controller
    2. High Voltage Power supply

    DC controller failure does not always produce other symptoms and the symptoms
    it does produce can gradually appear (like any electronic failure).
    As suggested previously it may be worth making sure that the internal
    connectors are making good contact, remove the top cover and unplug/reconnect
    the connectors you can see.
    Tony
  6. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Have you tested it with a different Toner cartridge??

    Dewaine

    Tony wrote:

    > Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    > >On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 09:10:23 -0000, Tony <> wrote:
    > >
    > >>Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    > >>>On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 05:29:25 -0000, Tony <> wrote:
    > >>>
    > >>>>Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    > >>>>>Recently my HP LJ4 has been printing pages almost 100% black. (The
    > >>>>>text is discernible with a lighter outline). The toner is all set,
    > >>>>>not loose.
    > >>>>>If I keep printing it usually improves, after one or two dark pages
    > >>>>>then it's fine. Today it's up to three black pages and little
    > >>>>>improvement.
    > >
    > >>I have to say that usually when the DC Controller fails completely then the
    > >>output is totally and always black, maybe it is slowly dying. The problem is
    > >>that your options are limited.
    > >>If the Laser fails then normally the output will have no print at all
    > >
    > >So I'm hoping that it isn't the power supply; from what I can
    > >understand from the manual, if the DC controller dies a whole lot of
    > >systems fail. Also, the fact that after several prints the quality is
    > >good doesn't seem consistent with that.
    > >
    > >I tried with another toner cart; this also printed very dark at first
    > >and then improved; though not as bad as the original. Can't
    > >definitively say it's not the cart as it's not factory fresh (an
    > >opened, almost empty, one I'd stashed away months ago).
    > >
    > >Is there a way to directly test the DC controller?
    > >
    > >Around here it's not easy to find used lasers of any quality, and
    > >transport is a problem, I have to hand carry a long way, so replacing
    > >is not an easy option.
    >
    > Not sure what to suggest, best way to confirm the cause is to swap parts from
    > another known good printer. Obviously that is difficult in this case.
    > You can eliminate the formatter by doing an engine test - as follows
    > Open the multipurpose tray, look inside and up to the right and you will see a
    > small button - pressing this should produce a page of black lines, they should
    > be sharp and clear. If this "consistently" works OK then the formatter is
    > faulty (very unlikely with the symptoms you have described).
    > If you are sure that the Toner cartridge is not the problem (again, very
    > unlikely that it would fail in this manner) then you have only two likely
    > causes -
    > 1. DC Controller
    > 2. High Voltage Power supply
    >
    > DC controller failure does not always produce other symptoms and the symptoms
    > it does produce can gradually appear (like any electronic failure).
    > As suggested previously it may be worth making sure that the internal
    > connectors are making good contact, remove the top cover and unplug/reconnect
    > the connectors you can see.
    > Tony
  7. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Thu, 04 Aug 2005 02:48:53 GMT, Dewaine Chan <"dchanNOSPAM"@NOSPAM
    PLZZZnc.rr.com> wrote:

    >Have you tested it with a different Toner cartridge??

    Yes, almost the same. But it wasn't a new one so that's not
    definitive.

    I have found if I leave the printer on that after a few black/very
    dark pages it gets back to almost perfect.


    >
    >Dewaine
    >
    >Tony wrote:
    >
    >> Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >> >On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 09:10:23 -0000, Tony <> wrote:
    >> >
    >> >>Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >> >>>On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 05:29:25 -0000, Tony <> wrote:
    >> >>>
    >> >>>>Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >> >>>>>Recently my HP LJ4 has been printing pages almost 100% black. (The
    >> >>>>>text is discernible with a lighter outline). The toner is all set,
    >> >>>>>not loose.
    >> >>>>>If I keep printing it usually improves, after one or two dark pages
    >> >>>>>then it's fine. Today it's up to three black pages and little
    >> >>>>>improvement.
    >> >
    >> >>I have to say that usually when the DC Controller fails completely then the
    >> >>output is totally and always black, maybe it is slowly dying. The problem is
    >> >>that your options are limited.
    >> >>If the Laser fails then normally the output will have no print at all
    >> >
    >> >So I'm hoping that it isn't the power supply; from what I can
    >> >understand from the manual, if the DC controller dies a whole lot of
    >> >systems fail. Also, the fact that after several prints the quality is
    >> >good doesn't seem consistent with that.
    >> >
    >> >I tried with another toner cart; this also printed very dark at first
    >> >and then improved; though not as bad as the original. Can't
    >> >definitively say it's not the cart as it's not factory fresh (an
    >> >opened, almost empty, one I'd stashed away months ago).
    >> >
    >> >Is there a way to directly test the DC controller?
    >> >
    >> >Around here it's not easy to find used lasers of any quality, and
    >> >transport is a problem, I have to hand carry a long way, so replacing
    >> >is not an easy option.
    >>
    >> Not sure what to suggest, best way to confirm the cause is to swap parts from
    >> another known good printer. Obviously that is difficult in this case.
    >> You can eliminate the formatter by doing an engine test - as follows
    >> Open the multipurpose tray, look inside and up to the right and you will see a
    >> small button - pressing this should produce a page of black lines, they should
    >> be sharp and clear. If this "consistently" works OK then the formatter is
    >> faulty (very unlikely with the symptoms you have described).
    >> If you are sure that the Toner cartridge is not the problem (again, very
    >> unlikely that it would fail in this manner) then you have only two likely
    >> causes -
    >> 1. DC Controller
    >> 2. High Voltage Power supply
    >>
    >> DC controller failure does not always produce other symptoms and the symptoms
    >> it does produce can gradually appear (like any electronic failure).
    >> As suggested previously it may be worth making sure that the internal
    >> connectors are making good contact, remove the top cover and unplug/reconnect
    >> the connectors you can see.
    >> Tony
  8. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Thu, 4 Aug 2005 07:41:23 UTC, Alan <none@none.com> wrote:

    > On Thu, 04 Aug 2005 02:48:53 GMT, Dewaine Chan <"dchanNOSPAM"@NOSPAM
    > PLZZZnc.rr.com> wrote:
    >
    > >Have you tested it with a different Toner cartridge??
    >
    > Yes, almost the same. But it wasn't a new one so that's not
    > definitive.
    >
    > I have found if I leave the printer on that after a few black/very
    > dark pages it gets back to almost perfect.

    I'm wondering if the transfer roller has deteriorated, and doesn't work
    properly when cold. Easy to replace (30 secs) but means finding
    another...any printers you can borrow one from?
    --
    Bob Eager
    begin a new life...take up Extreme Ironing!
  9. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On 4 Aug 2005 08:22:07 GMT, "Bob Eager" <rde42@spamcop.net> wrote:

    >On Thu, 4 Aug 2005 07:41:23 UTC, Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
    >
    >> On Thu, 04 Aug 2005 02:48:53 GMT, Dewaine Chan <"dchanNOSPAM"@NOSPAM
    >> PLZZZnc.rr.com> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Have you tested it with a different Toner cartridge??
    >>
    >> Yes, almost the same. But it wasn't a new one so that's not
    >> definitive.
    >>
    >> I have found if I leave the printer on that after a few black/very
    >> dark pages it gets back to almost perfect.
    >
    >I'm wondering if the transfer roller has deteriorated, and doesn't work
    >properly when cold. Easy to replace (30 secs) but means finding
    >another...any printers you can borrow one from?

    No free parts I'm afraid, I work from home, this is my one and only
    laser.
    The sudden onset of this (perfect one day, black the next) seems
    unlikely to be a "deterioration" problem, which I'd expect to appear
    more gradually.

    Elsewhere I have the suggestion of a damaged electrical contact; I'll
    see if I can check that out over the weekend.

    Just when I was feeling smug over my "indestructible workhorse" ....
  10. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Fri, 5 Aug 2005 07:19:55 UTC, Alan <none@none.com> wrote:

    > No free parts I'm afraid, I work from home, this is my one and only
    > laser.
    > The sudden onset of this (perfect one day, black the next) seems
    > unlikely to be a "deterioration" problem, which I'd expect to appear
    > more gradually.

    Sorry, must have confused you with someone who had taken one out of
    storage!

    --
    Bob Eager
    begin a new life...take up Extreme Ironing!
  11. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Thu, 04 Aug 2005 02:48:53 GMT, Dewaine Chan <"dchanNOSPAM"@NOSPAM
    PLZZZnc.rr.com> wrote:

    >Have you tested it with a different Toner cartridge??
    >
    >Dewaine

    >> >I tried with another toner cart; this also printed very dark at first
    >> >and then improved; though not as bad as the original. Can't
    >> >definitively say it's not the cart as it's not factory fresh (an
    >> >opened, almost empty, one I'd stashed away months ago).
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