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HP Colour LaserJet Fading Fix

HP 2605dn: Washed-out colours before cleaned mirrorsHP 2605dn: Beautiful colours after cleaning the mirrors inside the printerThe Problem Illustrated (and incentive to fix it):

Here is a “before” and an “after” set of photos. Notice how the “before” image appears washed out and with a distinctive green tint. What magenta (red) there is in the photo is concentrated in the middle; the edges are even more green. The “after” image looks, well, wonderful.

Some Background and The Usual Warnings

My HP Color LaserJet 2605dnMy HP Color LaserJet 2605dn printer is about 16 months old. A few months ago, I noticed that the pictures it printed started looking washed out. I tried changing the magenta cartridge, for all photos seemed to have a green cast. That did absolutely nothing. I figured as much, as the “HP Easy Printer Care” program, and the printer’s internal web pages, said there were several hundred pages left to go on all my cartridges. Updating the firmware also failed to fix the problem. Resetting the printer to its default settings also accomplished little. I tried recalibrating the printer (see step 24, below) to no avail. NOTE: try this first yourself just in case it is the problem with your printer – will save you all the trouble in steps 1 to 23! Thankfully, an Internet search turned up an article on FixYa that described the problem exactly. A Google search on “2605 faded colors” also shows articles about it at HP’s website (you’ll have to look at the cached versions of the pages as it seems you need to log in to HP in order to see the actual articles). Don Thompson wrote a wonderful article on fixing this issue which he put on the HP support forum; I have obtained his permission to include it here in this article – its what I followed all those years ago to fix my printer for the first time.

>> Fading Red Tones on Color LaserJet 2600s by Don Thompson 2007

An example of how an image is "written" onto the photoreceptive drum in a laser printer. In real life, the electrons are far smaller than the beam and lose their charge in clusters, but have been enlarged here to one electron per pixel for clarity of operation.

An example of how an image is "written" onto the photoreceptive drum in a laser printer.

The problem is this: dust on the ‘beam alignment lenses (mirrors)‘ which are buried deep within the printer – the dust prevents the laser light reflecting off of them properly and thus toner is not collected up and put onto your printout. If you attempt this repair feat, then:

  1. Make sure your warranty is up;
  2. Try cleaning the plastic reflectors behind each toner cartridge first (see Kevin’s comment below)
  3. Try recalibrating the printer (see step 24, below)
  4. Consider calling HP and asking them about any service notes on this problem
    • rumour has it there is one which may get you a free replacement printer
    • update on 4 Mar 2008: confirmed with HP support in UK that they will pickup, fix and return your printer (or a refurbished one) free
    • update on 10 Nov 2008: be sure to tell HP you are calling for the “fading” fix
    • call 0870-8422339, choose option 2 and then 3, and state your printer serial number
    • or, call cheaper on 01344-36000 then ask for technical support for printers
    • (thanks to Say No To 0870 for the cheaper phone number!)
  5. Set aside several hours without screaming kids around;
  6. Be confident in your technical abilities;
  7. Don’t rush; and,
  8. Be very observant of where things are before taking them out.

I took photos at each step of this process for two reasons:

  1. to put them on this page to aid you; and,
  2. to refer to them when putting the printer back together to make sure everything was as it should be.

Be Warned:

  1. You may screw something up and be left with a non-functioning printer. e.g. you might pull a bit too much on a wire and it breaks;
  2. There are high-voltages inside the printer – You must unplug the printer from the mains before starting any work on the printer; and,
  3. You undertake all this at your own risk.
  4. I did this on my 2605dn (twice!) and I only hazard a wild guess that it will work on similar models (like 2600, 2605n, 2605dtn, …)

(Gosh, you think I grew up in North America or something – over here in Europe we just get stuck into things and damn the consequences!)

Elapsed Time:

I started at 15h30 and got to the optical box at 17h16 — just under two hours; but I was taking photos along the way. Reassembly started right after cleaning at 17h30 and finished about an hour later (I took a break for dinner and putting my kids in the bath and to bed), so this is approximate.


  1. Clear space on a desk and give yourself some room to work;
  2. Send your young kids to grandma’s (older ones can stay but only if they promise to help);
  3. Ask your wife/husband/partner to make you a lovely cup of tea.

Tools needed:

A Phillips screwdriver (the one with the cross-shaped end) Philips screwdrivers
A pair of pincers to grab screws that are a bit too tucked away to grab with your fingers Pincers
A label maker; I have a Brother PT-65 P-touch “Home & Hobby” Brother PT-65 P-touch label maker
Scissors (to cut your labels to a tiny size, to fit on the cable connectors) Scissors
Cotton swabs (“Q-tips”) Cotton swabs

Before You Start:

Please ensure you have tried the other things listed above first! Perhaps a quick clean of the plastic reflectorsbehind each toner cartridge is all you need.

Disassembly and Cleaning:

Step 1:

Rear of HP Color LaserJet 2605dnUnplug printer from the mains and detach your USB or Ethernet cable; take out the paper tray and all the cartridges (this makes the printer lighter and easier to handle).

Step 2:

HP 2605dn: paper tray coverHP 2605dn: paper holder trayTurn the printer around to look at its back. Remove the paper tray cover at the bottom and the paper holder tray at the top. Both just pull off.

Step 3:

HP 2605dn: screws to undo to remove back panel and circuit boardUndo the screws on the back panel, including the one just below the USB and Ethernet ports. Put these screws into their own pile (later you will have another pile for all the screws you take out of the inner panel. Its a handy trick to help you ensure you put back all the screws you take out.

Step 4:

HP 2605dn: tilting back panel to removePull the back panel off gently by holding it at the bottom and tilting it out and up.

Step 5:

HP 2605dn: photo of circuit board in back of printerTake a photo of the circuit board and wiring — you’ll want to refer to it when putting things back together, just to be sure you have done it all correctly!

Step 6:

HP 2605dn: pull right-hand side panel offHP 2605dn: right-hand side under the coverPull the right-hand side (as looking at printer from front) panel off, again it tilts upwards – note the way it slots and clips in (the middle plastic guide at the top of the panel). Remember that for when it comes time to slide it back on later. Gawk at the wonders of the printer. The reason for taking this panel off was to make it easier to pull out the wires from the back later; and because if you’re dismantling the printer, you might as well see how the whole thing looks naked. 🙂

Step 7:

HP 2605dn: undo screw on left-hand sideHP 2605dn: pull left-hand side beige panel piece offStart taking off the cover of the left-hand side by first undoing the screw that is recessed in the handle/indentation at the bottom of the left-hand side’s panel. Then, pull the beige panel piece off, leaving the larger, grey panel piece for now.

Step 8:

HP 2605dn: pull left-hand side grey panel piece offHP 2605dn: photo of circuit board on left side of printerOkay, now take off that grey panel piece by tilting it up and sliding it off (it has the same mechanism as the other side). Gawk again at the wonders of your printer. This is the high-voltage side. If you didn’t unplug your printer as I told you to, then you will be now convulsing on the floor and sporting a new hairdo.

Step 9:

HP 2605dn: make labels for all the cables to identify their connectorSquint when really close to the circuit board on the back of your printer and you will see that each cable goes into a connector that is labelled something like “J106”. You will soon be taking these cables out and later you will want to put them back in – at the same place! So, print out labels which you can attach to the cables. My label maker let me print out super-small letters and on two lines. You want small labels because the connectors are not that big. Here’s what I printed out (the ? or Enter or Return key is used to tell the label maker to go to the next line): J106 J104 J103 J102 J101? J108 J107 J105 J110 (My label maker wouldn’t let me print out any more than that in one go; so, being lazy, I didn’t bother labeling the very last cable connector). Then, use scissors to cut each connector name out.

Step 10:

HP 2605dn: label each cable connectorNow, pull each cable connector out, one at at time, and put the correct label onto it. Note that the purple cables are attached to a plastic block (some black, some white) which is pushed into a plastic holder, like a small box – think of a baseball with purple strings sitting snugly in a glove. Pull firmly on the purple cables (perhaps wiggling slightly side to side) near to where they go into the plastic block, this should remove the block from its plastic holder. Do not use tools, for fear of pulling out individual cables, or worse, pulling off the outter plastic box, instead of the block in which the purple cables are (as Piper, in the comments below, did).

Step 11:

HP 2605dn: close-up of data cable at top-left of back panel’s circuit boardHP 2605dn: pull off data cables and unscrew the hidden screwCarefully detach the data cables, too, and unthread them from the plastic holder (you will soon be taking off the plastic holders). The data cables to the circuit board on the right side of the back panel also pull out quite easily and reveal a hidden screw! I didn’t bother labelling these as the data cables all stayed in the right order when disconnected.

Step 12:

HP 2605dn: cable tray at top of back panelGently pull out all the cables from the two black cable trays. You’ll see that there are three layers of cables: thicker power cables in their own clips, and two bunches of thinner purple cables with some zip fasteners around them every so often. Its a bit of a (un-)weaving exercise…

Step 13:

HP 2605dn: pull out the cable trays at top of back panelPull the empty trays to the side to unfasten them and then take them out completely – be sure no stray wire gets snagged by them!

Step 14:

HP 2605dn: unscrew at left side of back panelHP 2605dn: unscrew at bottom of back panelUnscrew the back panel – no need to undo the two circuit boards themselves – they are both attached to a larger metal panel. Note that there is one screw that is in horizontally on the top-left (this is why you took off the side panel!). Note that your printer may not have the extra memory card inserted as I have in mine (see picture).

Step 15:

HP 2605dn: pull out the back panel with the circuit boardsPull out the back panel with the two circuit boards on it. Be sure that no cable is snagged, or left attached.

Step 16:

HP 2605dn: optical box behind the back panel circuit boardsAh-ha! There it is! That is the optical box we’ve been working so hard to find! Three more screws and we’ll have it…

Step 17:

HP 2605dn: shinny metal screw covers on bottom of printerHP 2605dn: screw reveal beneath shinny metal cover on bottomOkay, you found the two screws holding the optical box at the top; but where is the third screw that I mentioned? Tip: tip the printer so you look at the bottom of it, where the paper tray usually goes. See them? Two shinny plates. They bend when you pinch them with your fingers. Now, on my printer there was a screw beneath just one of them. Feel lucky? Which one will you take off? Were you lucky? Or maybe your printer has a screw underneath both… The screw holds the bottom part of the optical box. Take out the third (and maybe forth) screw.

Step 18:

HP 2605dn: remove data cables from optical boxGently lift up the optical box and remove the pair of data cables that go to it. Again, I didn’t bother labeling these as they stayed in the same position/order and wouldn’t get muddled up when I reassembled everything.

Step 19:

HP 2605dn: unscrew optical box coverPull out the optical box and undo the screw that is in the middle of it. Be careful – there’s a spring in the box. Take off the cover and…

Step 20:

HP 2605dn: inside the optical boxHP 2605dn: close-up of one of the mirrors inside the optical boxHP 2605dn: clean the mirrorsAt last! There are the filthy mirrors that are the cause of this nightmare. If only HP has seen fit to seal this optical box then none of this would have been necessary… Okay, that wasn’t really a step, it was just some soap-boxing. Here is the real step 20: Clean the mirrors using dry cotton swabs!

Step 21:

HP 2605dn: optical box showing circuit boards (back of lasers)HP 2605dn: lasers inside optical boxHP 2605dn: look, clean mirrorsGawk at the wizardry of the optical box, its lasers and your nice shiny mirrors. Play with the flaps that cover the laser openings — don’t loose that spring which is between the flap mechanism that covers the laser diodes and the optical box.

Step 22:

HP 2605dn: close-up of reassembled cable trays with cablesReverse everything and put it all back together again. Simple. Ha! Be sure that you seat the optical box back exactly right – ie. don’t leave it loose! HP 2605dn: reassembled back panel and cablesPutting those cables back in the plastic trays is the most challenging. Just remember to put the two bundles of purple wires in first (the largest bunch, which splits at the right side to go up and down, should be at the very back of the tray; the other bunch on top of it; and finally the power cables should fit into their special holders at the very edge of the trays). HP 2605dn: close-up of reassembled data cable at top-left of back panel’s circuit boardNote carefully how to feed the data cable around the tray at the left side. Double check that you haven’t pinched any cables around corners, etc. Did you use up all the screws? I sure hope so, otherwise you’ll have to undo everything to find out where you missed them…

Step 23:

Underside of the printer; note the black grill on top left - that's the air intake for the fan.

Underside of the printer; note the black grill on top left - that's the air intake for the fan.

(optional) On the first anniversary of this page, and my second go at cleaning the mirrors (yup, they got dirty enough in the one year to warrant going through this lot all again), I decided to slap on a homemade air filter to the fan intake. Make sure you don’t have the paper tray installed; and then tip the machine onto its front, so that you are looking at the underside of it. You’ll see a black grill or grate.

Vaccuum cleaner bag cut to fit over the grill, so it acts as an air filter.

Vaccuum cleaner bag cut to fit over the grill, so it acts as an air filter.

Get yourself a vacuum cleaner bag and cut it to fit over that grate. Use some cellotape to stick it in place. You may very well have to do as I did and cut little slits in the bag so it fits over the silly extruding bits of plastic. If I haven’t already said it, I’ll say it now: this printer is over engineered! Now tip the printer back to its normal position and install the paper tray.

Step 24:

HP 2605dn: force a recalibration via printer’s web serverRe-load the ink cartridges; paper and plug everything back in. You must now recalibrate the printer (this aligns all the lasers so the colours match up and don’t give you a blurry photo print). You can navigate your way through the printer’s front panel menu to force a calibration:

  • Press the check mark key (screen shows “Main Menu – Reports”)
  • Press right arrow key (“Main Menu – System Setup” shown)
  • Press the check mark key (“System Setup – Language” is now shown)
  • Press the right arrow key twice (“System Setup – Print Quality” is shown)
  • Press the check mark key twice (“Calibrate Color – Calibrate Now”)
  • Press the check mark key (“Press [v] to calibrate now”)
  • Press the check mark key (calibration begins)

Alternatively, you can use the printer’s built-in web server over the Ethernet port to force an immediate recalibration (sorry, don’t know what you do via USB).

Step 25:

p1680281-large.JPG(optional) Unconnected Connectors and An Interesting Button… HP 2605dn: Output when press Test buttonWhile you had the covers off and the circuit boards exposed, did you notice that there are a few unconnected connectors and a “test” button? One connector is “IOT” and the other is “MCPU Writer”. After I reassembled and plugged everything in, I pressed the “test” button. I got a boring printout of colour lines.

Step 26:

Please leave a comment below to say if this page helped you; or, if any steps were unclear. Happy colour printing!

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1,249 comments to HP Colour LaserJet Fading Fix

  • Sue

    Many, many thanks Robert Andrew for your time and effort to create these instructions to share. All came apart and put back together or so I thought. When I switched the printer back on the door open message came on and no matter what I do, it won’t believe that the door is not open. Has anyone had this problem or does anyone know what the problem is. I have checked that all the cables that I unplugged were plugged back in properly. So I am at a loss to as to what to do next!

  • Thank you
    Thank you
    Thank you
    My 2600n is reborn 🙂

  • Simon

    Your web information is great, I have suffered this problem for 12 months and just had HP support kick me round the block – it is a progressive failure and the moment i saw your “before and after pictures” i just knew i had found the answer. I’m going to discuss with HP and go for a replacement. Many thanks and i will advise the outcome

  • Robert

    A note to Piper (above) who pulled out the whole connector. Now that you know how to take the thing apart, why not just order that circuit board from HP and replace it? Much cheaper than a new printer, particularly is you’re sitting on all that toner. Either that, or pull the circuit board, take it to someone who does repairs and see if they can solder the connector back in.

  • Robert

    Thanks very much for the instructions. It worked perfectly. Two points that my help others:

    My first test print (after the cleaning) was clearly not calibrated, so I ran the calibration routine. It was still somewhat off, so I ran it again. It took running calibration three times to get it dead on. The effect of calibration seems to be cumulative, so repeat as needed.

    Secondly, I forgot to confirm this before putting it all back together, but it seems to me that the purple wire connectors on the right side circuit board might be left in place if the data connectors are removed, the circuit board dismounted and simply swung up and out of the way. I could be wrong — but it might be worth a try. Those connectors are tough to get out. I used a small flat bladed screwdriver to gently pry them loose, one side at a time. Pulling on the wire bundle seemed risky. Use a strong light and your best reading glasses to see where the male part ends and the (board mounted) female part begins.

    Some people have mentioned the light gray background (where white ought to be). This is a known problem with this printer. I forget what they call it at HP. Try running the cleaning routine a couple of times. If that fails, call HP. Ours was replaced out of warranty for this problem.

    Again, thanks! I love the web!

  • Karl von Felten

    I thank you for your gide how to clean the mirrors. After 2 days of searing Internet in German and French i found your howto. So i followed jour document and 2 hours later i had again photos in good quality on my printer. Sorry for my english.

    Thank You

    Karl from France

  • Thanks for the pints everyone!

    I have emphasized “Fading” in the instructions, above, now. Thanks Steve.

    Please be sure to add comments so everyone can share their success stories on solving this annoying issue! Be sure to mention where in the world you live, in case HP practices differ country-by-country.

    There are plenty of other places on my website (like the travel and kids outings sections) which may inspire you, too. And, of course, you can buy me a pint for them, too! 🙂


  • I’d like to thank Andrew for this page.

    My 2605 was suffering the same problems, but the HP number listed above did the job, and now I am waiting for my printer to be replaced with a re-con model. I am an amateur photographer, and I use my printer to get a printed feel for the quality of my work, and this problem was getting me down.

    Here are a few tips.

    When you contact HP and have given them your serial number, they will tell you the printer (if it is) is out of warranty. Do not worry at this point, simply tell them you know and continue.

    When they ask you what is wrong tell them your printouts are FADING. Fading is the key word, because on the HP system, once they put that symptom in, it informs the operator that the problem can be resolved under warranty.

    I was then asked to to a configuration print (from the reports menu on the printer) and a check was done on firmware version. I was asked to upgrade to the latest firmware.

    I did that, and another configuration printout, and then asked if the problem remained – it did. I was then asked to confirm I had tried to replace the toner (I had) and that I had used genuine HP supplies (I had).

    They then organised a replacement for the printer.

    Dead easy.

    Enjoy your pint Andrew, it was worth every penny.



  • Dave

    Figured out the “Jam in Tray 2” error – i did not plug in connector 107 completely so the pickup motor was not engaging.

    Finally works but I do have the gray haze when printing. Any info on why the haze happens?

  • Dave

    Thanks for the detailed instructions. All seemed to be going well but after I finished I now have a “Jam in tray 2” error. It seems the paper pickup is not working. I have checked and rechecked the wires and all seem right, but something is not right.
    Any ideas will be welcome.

  • Boos

    Thanks for the great info.
    I tryed it twice already.
    But now I have a other problem. The rightside of the paper dos not calibrate correctly. Do you know how ik can solve this problem?
    This problem started after the cleaning of the mirrors. Did I do something wrong?

  • Piotr

    I now have the following message in the display: Door Open. I also don’t hear the printer starting up, only a few “ticks” when we power on the printer. where have I got wrong??? Can You help me to solve this problem.

  • Angus

    Basically Andrew is a minor deity for publishing this on the web. I couldn’t get anywhere with Dabs or HP (the phrase “merchantable quality” does spring to mind).

    It took me three hours, but a lot of that was looking for tools misappropriated by my son, kicking doors and muttering expletives. All seems to be working well now.


  • Dale

    By the way, in Canada HP doesn’t acknowledge the problem but will give you credit to upgrade printers.

  • Dale

    A great article on repairing the magenta problem. I had to go through the exercise twice. The first time the magenta was great but I was getting a poor image of the black in the centre of the page.
    I figured I didn’t get something positioned right so took it all apart a second time. I also used some compressed air in a can to blow any excess dust from the imaging box. Everything looks great. It needed to be recalibrated in order to re-align the colours but that did the trick.
    Thanks for the step by step solution.

  • Peter

    Thanks for your information.

    My enquiry call to HP in Australia got routed to a Call Centre in India. Initially hp admitted to a fault in the magenta cartridge and advised me to put new cartridges in, so I spent AUD 500.- for new cartridges. The symptoms persisted after the replacement of the cartridge. After another call explaining the failure of the new cartridges, I got a quote for a replacement printer for AUD 680.-. Case Reference is 2603580420. The printer is approximately 18 months old and has only printed 5000 pages. The printer is rated at 10 pages a minute. So, 5000 pages divided by 10 pages per minute makes a lifetime of 500 minutes or just under 10 hours. What a great product, its is much better than the after sales service HP provides. This is obviously a design fault and I can’t see any reason why I should spend another AUD 680.- for the same piece of crap, which I now know will, in a few months time, have a dirty mirror and the same problem again. I presume that many more people will be experiencing this problem in the near future as their printers approach an age of two years.

    I might give hp in Indiastralia another call and mention what I have learned from this article, otherwise I will follow your procedure and try to re-surrect it.

    Failing this, anybody interested in the cartridges? one set is new, the other is 15% used, will dispose of them cheaply.



  • Luis

    Thank you very much for sharing!

    i personally own an 2600n and found your article investigating about the error im getting on my printer. Its not a “dusty” matter, more of a malfunctioning cyan toner i believe, but your post might come in handy in the near future… thanks! 🙂


    Luis S.

  • cor

    I also had a problem with the magenta
    I live in the netherlands
    when i phoned hp they gave me a choice and the cheapest one was to phone with a mechanic and if that solved the problem i have to pay 35 euro
    I said no thank you i look further and than i founded this webpage
    I have done everything the way you said it most be done and i have just printed my first page and the quality is fantastic

    thank you

  • Sorry to hear about your woes, Piper. I have, at least, updated step 10 as you suggested. Thanks. And let us know how you resolved your unfortunate situation.

  • Piper

    Thank you for posting your instructions. It would have gone well except I didn’t understand how to unplug the purple cables. It might be helpful to some other person in the future if you add a note in step 10. I was afraid to pull on the wires as I thought it would pull the wires out directly. Instead I used pliers and pulled out the black box that is directly connected to the circuit boards. Big mistake. It made it impossible to get two of them back on later as I had bent the pins taking them off. I would send a picture to you so that you could attach it to this step but I can’t see a place to attach a file. It may be helpful if you attach a picture of what exactly should be left in place and what is unplugged. Obviously this was my first attempt ever of taking apart one of these machines. I will know in the future but if some other unfortunate person that purchased one of these pieces of garbage can be helped by this extra information then at least some good has come out of my mistake. Unfortunately I am now sitting here with over $600 in toner cartridges, a very heavy piece of garbage and a dilemma as to whether or not to buy another one just to use the toner! Thank you for posting the information and trying to help everyone.

  • All I can say is that it works perfect now. It is actually easy if you just go step by step. Nothing missing.

    Great Job and Thank You.

  • Followed through with this procedure and everything is now working 100% with beautiful color!!! I think the problem with the alignment could be caused by too vigorously cleaning the mirrors and slightly moving the mirror?? I was very careful not to do this and the alignment did not go out.

  • Hi everyone, I’ve got a printer with the same problem…. I’ll try ringing HP as I don’t want to wreck the printer….. if all else fail though I will have to… what did some of you do differently that caused the printer to no align correctly, as it worked with some and not with others?

  • Thanks Tim M. Glad to hear your printer is all better!

    I have updated step 19 as you suggested.

    Yes, you can put a DIMM memory stick into the HP (I did): See the manual on page 168 (or page 180 of 228 in the pdf reader). It says, in part, “DIMMs are available in 32, 64, and 128 MB for a maximum of 192 MB”.

    That is, put in only 128MB (maximum) DIMM. I have no idea what happens if you put in a bigger one.

  • Tim

    Thank you for the instructions. I was able to go through the whole process in about 2 hours. I did not even have to label the connectors, because they seemed to have different qty’s of pins and wires on each connector. And it worked!
    I suggest that you mention the spring also in step #19 (not only step # 21), so that people are aware early on, that they should not lose it. And when putting the optical box back on the printer, a little bit of patience is helpful in trying to get it exactly in place.
    One of my minor problems was having an extra screw while reassembling the back panel. The thin white data cable on the left side (from the rear) must have been in front of one of the holes when I first attempted reassembly. On this same side, I had trouble with getting the wires out of the tray that lead from this side to the top. When I reassembled, I did not force them back in, but left them lose. It did not seem to be in the way of anything outside the tray.
    Another minor problem was getting the side panels back on. The left side (from the front) does not want to totally engage in the middle front; there is a gap of about 1/16 inch more than there should be, just in the middle.
    By the way, what type of memory can be added?
    I have some old desktop memory laying around somewhere, is it possible that any of it would work, or that it really makes much difference for a home printer?

    Thanks again,
    Tim M.
    Palmdale, CA USA

  • Eric GROSS

    Great !!!!
    Thanks to your detailed instructions, I have now a brand new printer !!!
    Just went perfectly from A to Z and colors are now back to normal.
    Thanks again for taking the time to prepare and post these instructions on the web
    Smallfield, UK

  • Connie

    Thanks for the great instructions! After following the steps you outlined, its printing normally again but now it’s also printing a light greyish background on every print! It covers the entire page and is pretty noticeable. Would you happen to know how to fix this as well? It wasn’t happening before the fix so we’re wondering if it’s because we a) forgot to pull out the toner before the fix or b) messed something else up during the cleaning. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

  • Elaine Brown

    Thanks for proving my suspicion that it is a design flaw causing my faded magenta, and not ‘User Deficiency’ as HP tried to tell me today. Before I found your site, my enquiry call to HP in Australia got routed to a Call Centre in India and it will be 24-28 hours before they can email me the name & address of a service tech who could examine my printer. What special tools do I need to attempt this cleanup myself? Printer is under 2 years old and has done only 691 pages. I’m frigging ROPABLE about the waste of money this lemon represents but if I can have a go at fixing it myself, I’ll give it a try. Also where do I find the mythical ‘Service Note’ that others say they have used as the basis of getting their printer replaced even if out of warranty, and who would I call to start that process? All guidance sincerely appreciated. Elaine in Newhaven, VIC (Phillip Island where the penguins don’t need colour print but the rest of us do!)

  • Well, the problem came back again, all the while the calibration was not quite right anyway. I finally got ahold of HP after 3 tries of as many months, and eventually they told me “no service note”, and “no exchange”. So, knowing that when you purchase HP products from Costco it is HP that gets them back when they are returned and Costco does not eat the liability, I’ve ordered another HP from Costco, and will return it before the three month return period expires, which will get me through the bulk of our busy printing season. I will never buy another HP product, our HP Pavillion Notebook suffered the infamous melting hinge problem for which HP would also not accept liability. I know customer service is generally a thing of the past from most large manufacturers these days, and HP certainly does a great job of proving that true. But more importantly both the 2605 and the Pavillion suffered obvious design flaws that became the liability of the consumer rather than HP accepting or admiting to it.


    Dear sir,

    thanks for great technical support.
    this is very vary helpfull & usefull

    one more time thanks

    G-3 ,B-WING,
    ph: +912225298800

  • Kathie

    I thought I was reaching when I did a search for the magenta loss problem. This is so great. I took apart my machine and cleaned all mirrors put it back together and the magenta works but I have the same problems as some of the others that it’s out of calibration. Those that got replacement printers, are any of you from the US?

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. This exact problem started with my printer just past its 1 year warranty. They wanted to charge me for replacement of a refurbished printer so i took no action. Reading this i have just called them again and one is now coming free. I run a charity – i can’t thank you enough!

  • Frits Jense

    We’ve cleaned the printer following the procedure.
    We now have the following message in the display: Door Open. We also don’t hear the printer starting up, only a few “ticks” when we power on the printer. where have we got wrong???

  • My wife noticed this issue while printing out fliers for her design company. Their logo is light pink and the magenta issue is more noticeable the lighter the magenta is.

    I called HP this morning and they were less than accommodating in helping me out of warranty with this issue. They offered to provide me a list of authorized local repair shops I could have it cleaned at or give me a trade-up credit. Neither is particularly acceptable.

    I agree with Andrew’s comment in step 20 that HP should seal the “optical box” to prevent this. It seems like a design defect. I don’t think it’s a simple issue of something that broke before it should have.

    I’m going to call back again and see if I have any better luck.

  • Tom

    Hi Andrew,

    The refurbished replacement printer arrived this morning and I immediately loaded it up with my toner cartridges (HP have you remove these and your paper before replacement). Print quality was immediately back to normal! Hopefully the problem is permanently fixed, or HP will be replacing it again a year from now!

    Physically, the unit looks in “as new” condition – certainly better than the one it is replacing, which was a little dusty and worn.

  • Bronger en Netty

    From the Netherlands, Delfzijl, thank you very much for the description en the screens of your site! It’s amazing, it really worked out!

  • That is great news , Tom. I am glad to hear that HP finally gave in – too bad you had to hassle them a bit to do it, though. It would be good to hear from you or others on the quality from the refurbished printer that you receive.

  • Tom

    Today is 30th May 2008 and I’ve just called HP. I used the cheaper phone number and asked for printer support. The lady who answered took my serial number and said the machine was out of warranty and it would cost £22 to continue, so I mentioned that I’d read on the Internet that it was a known issue and that HP were dealing with it even outside warranty.

    She took my details and created a case for me, then checked for the service note. Sure enough, the printer is being replaced next working day with a refurbished unit (I don’t care, so long as it prints magenta!).

    Thank you very much for the extremely helpful information!

  • My printer is calibrating as I write this. I was also amazed that there was very little dirt on the mirrors. If I were to do this again, I may try cleaning the windows via the slots at the back of the toner cartridge bay first, as they seemed the dirtiest and they are part of that assembly and I assume the mirrors shoot the image through them.

    As the connectors on the board are unique, you don’t really need to label them, you can’t plug the wrong ones back in except for the two ribbon cables on the mirror box.

    Now I have an alignment problem that numerous recalibrations does not fix, so it looks like another problem to seek a fix for.

    Thanks for the helpful information though.

  • Cary

    I envy you guys out there. We have a 2605dn in our Shanghai, China office that’s doing the exact same thing.

    A trip to HP “Gold” service center says the scanner assy is toast and wants 3710 RMB (about 450 USD) to repair it.

    Does anyone have a bulletin from HP about this defect?

  • Martyn

    Fantastic! I have had the faded magenta problem. Printer is out of warrenty. Just spoke to HP and they are sending a courier tomorrow with a replacement printer!. Just make sure you get them to check their support updates. Excellent service HP, thanks to you:)

  • Sorry to hear of your problems with alignment, Paul. I would recommend running the realignment…but it sounds like you did that. I suggest you give HP a ring to tell them about your problem with the fading as they do have the free exchange program in place for it.

  • Paul

    We have 2 at work that is doing exactly this. One of them does not print Magenta at all!!

    I followed your steps exactly and now the Magenta is printing great so thank you for that, but I now have another problem. All the colours – Yellow, Cyan & Magenta are printing slightly out of line compared to the black toner. By this I mean when I print a Supplies Status the Black horizontal line which indicates how much toner is left prints exactly in the box but the other 3 colours are about 5mm to the right and 3mm down. What have I done or what can be done to realign these colours. I have calibrated several times but to no avail. Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Roger

    Thanks very much for the help,now my printer is printing great .

  • Hi D.Djafri — I tried all test prints. I tried some printouts from various sources and at one point seemed convinced that it was just photos from my camera (it appeared that test prints from, for example, were okay). However, I decided that enough was enough. I had nothing left to loose. There’s just nothing that will clean those internal mirrors, if fading is your problem – especially if it is the magenta colour (since its mirror seems to get the dirtiest). I would recommend you call HP and get them to go through your problem with you and see if they offer to swap out your printer for you.

  • D. Djafri

    Hi, thanks for your info,
    But did you TEST PRINT(internal printer test print) the printer BEFORE and after it’s washed out?

    My printer seems OK if you use the PRINTER internal test print, BUT it seems washed out when I print from photoshop. Is yourproblem like this ??? Thanks..

  • Thank You! I followed your directions and wham bam the printer now prints red again.

    You saved me a great deal of time and money. It took me about 2.5 hours but I was going really slow so I didn’t mess anything up.

    Thanks again,


  • I am sorry to hear that your printer isn’t working.

    The spring is attached to the inside of the optical box and at the other end to a plastic flap that keeps the laser diodes covered when they are not in use.

    Look at this picture from step 20 and you’ll see the removed flap (with spring attached to it) at the top of the picture. The flap was taken off of the optical box; it fits in along the part of the optical box at the bottom of the picture.

    I’ve updated the main article to help make this point – thanks!

    • christin

      Andrew, I did all steps as you listed with much ease and the red is now working great. However, about 1″ into the right side column it begins to fade out so that 1/2″ to the edge, nothing prints. Do you know what it is? I labeled everything.

  • camille

    Thought I sent this already…

    Thank you, your directions are great!

    What spring?

    The problem I had was that the paper would run through but with only partial print, or none.

    Unfortunately, when I got to the optical box, the sensors were clean.

    Also unfortunately, when I put it back together (with all parts) it didn’t work. Yuk.

    Thanks anyway.

  • camille

    Great instructions!

    My problem was that no printing came out on the pages, or only half the sheet, with half tones.

    What spring?

    Unfortunately, after all that, the optical sensors were already clean (not the problem) and when I got it back together–with all the parts–it didn’t work at all. Yuk!

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