Alignment Issues – HP Color Laserjet CP1210, CP1215, CP1510 Printer
The other day I was called out to work on an HP CP1215 color laserjet printer that was having alignment issues. After my initial onsite visit I was still stumped. I had an idea of what needed to be done but I had to consult the service manual and check into the firmware updates. I told the customer I had to do more research on the subject and would get back with them. Upon getting back to the office and doing some research I found that this has become a wide-spread problem. Once I did my research, went back onsite, and fixed the problem I thought I would take some time to write about the HP color laserjet CP120, 1215, and 1510 printer alignment issues. Hopefully in this article I will clear up some of the issues people are having with this problem.
How alignment works in HP Color Laserjet Printers
Periodically or when print cartridges are replaced HP color laserjet printers like the CP1210, 12115, and 1510 run a color calibration procedure to make sure all the colors are aligned properly. The printer prints off square blocks of each color and sensors inside or around the transfer belt assembly read the blocks and write the information to the DC controller. This stored information is known as the Color Plane Registration. Each time the machine does a calibration it updates this info. Sometimes on HP printers the information stored in the NVRAM on the DC controller that holds the color plane registration gets locked in and the new alignment values doesn’t overwrite the old. In cases where this happens a NVRAM reset is needed to clear out the old info so the printer can start over with a new set of values.
Troubleshooting Alignment Issues in the HP Color Laserjet CP1210, CP1215, CP1510 Printer
First thing to do when you have alignment issues on the HP color laserjet CP1210, CP1215, and CP1510 printers is to run a few calibrations from the print quality menu in the HP toolbox utility. After running a few calibrations if you don’t see any improvement check the printers firmware. Unsure where to do this, in the toolbox you can print off a configuration page from it or by pressing the resume button for 3 seconds on the printers control panel. Once you have the firmware information, found in the top left section of the configuration page, you can go to HP’s website and see if your firmware is up to date (version 20100201). I checked out the fixes for this version and the main one is Color Plane Registration issues. Run the firmware utility, being careful to follow all the instructions, and reprint the config page to verify the firmware update took. Once you verified the firmware update took you can try a few calibrations to see if it fixes your alignment issues. On my customers printer it didn’t. I had to perform a NVRAM next to fix the problem.
Perform an NVRAM initialization on the HP Color LaserJet CP1210 and CP1215 Series printer
1. Turn the product off.
2. Press and hold the Resume button.
3. Turn the product on, and continue holding the Resume button for at least 10 seconds, but not longer than 20 seconds. The Attention light will be lit.
4. Release the Resume button.
NOTE: If the Attention and either the Paper out light or the Ready light are lit, restart the
The Attention, Ready, and Resume lights cycle from front to back until the process is complete.
The product then enters the Ready state.
Perform an NVRAM initialization on the HP Color LaserJet CP1510 Series printer
1. Turn the product off.
2. Simultaneously press the Right arrow button and the X button. Keep these buttons depressed
as you turn the product on.
3. When Permanent storage init. appears on the display, release both buttons.
4. When the product has finished the NVRAM initialization, it returns to the Ready state.
OK hopefully that worked out. In my case it took me a few times for the NVRAM reset to take. The good thing about the config page is that it has square blocks on the sides and the lines at the bottom of the page to tell show if the color plane registration is off and color alignment issues really stand out in these areas if you have a problem. So after each reset and calibration you need to print off a configuration page to see if any difference has been made. After the second or third time I performed the NVRAM reset I finally saw a difference in the color alignment on the config page. While the machine still had color alignment issues they had changed so I knew I was on the right path to getting the problem resolved. After performing a few more calibrations. After four calibrations to be exact, the color alignment issues were finally gone and pictures and colored graphics were back the way they should.
Conclusion about Alignment Issues in the HP Color Laserjet CP1210, 1215, and 1510 Series Printers
Alright, hopefully that has helped people better understand what causes alignment issues in their color laserjets and what steps need to be taken to further troubleshoot and diagnose the problem. Third party or refurbished cartridges are best known causes for very pronounced alignment issues. If the toner cartridge is extremely bad it can result in extreme values to be written to the DC controller. Once this information is stored in the NVRAM it can be impossible to clear out unless a reset is performed. It seems that little corrections here and their are easily written, but once you get an extreme value stored in there the machine doesn’t know how to correct it. Laser scanner optics being out of alignment or the laser unit itself not being aligned can result in alignment issues. Also dirty or defective color plane registration sensors in the ITB could be another cause. Removing and checking these devices are best left to qualified technicians so if the above steps don’t resolve your issue it’s probably best to find a service manual or call a service repair company to further troubleshoot.
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