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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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1,250 comments to HP Colour LaserJet Fading Fix

  • Carrie

    I’ve been debating on trying this for months and finally decided to take the plunge today and give it a shot. I started around 9AM and just printed my “let’s hope this worked” page. It turned out beautifully! Thanks so much for the thorough tutorial!

  • Worked just as advertised! Thanks for the great instructions!

  • Ken Hecker

    I’ve used Andrew’s wonderful instructions twice to correct the color on my HP 2605dn. Unfortunately I used somebody else’s instructions another time, and because no repair facility in Southern California would touch such an old printer, I had to send it to Wisconsin. UPS destroyed that printer, and refuses to make restitution. The moral of the story is use Andrew’s instructions, label the connectors as instructed, buy Andrew a beer, and then it is just a matter of getting the alignment just right when you put the black box back in. Knowing that might be required is the hard part.

  • Asad Bilal

    you are great man…it really worked…i spent a lot of money on my printer for color prints..but the shity technicians in field of technology are just stealing money from customers… but i did it my self… thanks once again…

  • Don Gingrich

    Looks like a well documented proceedure — I’ve worked as a site support engineer, so I’ve dissasembled and reassembled a few things in my time. Made the mistake of buying a cheap re-fill cartridge — can you say “dust injection?” The only thing that I may do differently is that I’ve always used 100% iso-propyl alcohol as a cleaning ajent when working on printers.

    But thanks for the detailed job.


  • Jef

    Thank you for spending the time to document this so thoroughly. It did work for me as well, the magenta is back…

  • Chris

    Thanks from the Netherlands !!!!!



  • Chris S

    This is the second time I’ve followed this procedure, so thank you for keeping this posted.

    This time, I also had toner running low, so when I was done I was getting the gray haze / fuzz / blotchiness all over each page. I replaced the remaining toner (black, yellow, and cyan) and it appears the third party black toner is pretty weak. The monkey demo has lost some contrast and the cleaning page is very light too, but the TEST bars look great.

  • Bill

    Great write up and instructions.

    Mine is working like new now. Had the faded red, bottom mirror had lots of dust on it, so bad I had to gently use a cotton swab with a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol on it. I was careful to only use this on the glass lens and not the plastic one.

    First time back together and no print, no color, etc. it spit out paper but no ink. Took it back apart and found the lens box not properly seated, close, but not right. Re-installed and just snugged down the three screws, re-assembled and all is great.

    Also noticed that all of the connectors are a different count, so no need to worry about putting the wrong one in, just patience and care.

    Thank you.

  • David

    Re this post:
    “From bill, 10 August 2014 at 21:38
    …. Has anyone tried taping cling-film, or some other transparent material, over the four horizontal slots behind the cartridges?”

    Yes – I have. After fixing my machine in December 2012 I put a sheet of clear Melinex film behind the cassettes and in front of the laser windows and there’s no sign of any adverse impact on the print quality. I tried it first with cling-film and even that hardly affected printing despite having a few wrinkles in it. The Melinex is stiff enough to just stand there flush against the metal surface without needing any fixing. I can’t tell if it really is stopping toner from entering the laser box, but it’s not doing any harm so I’ll just wait and see. It’s been there two years and printing is still ‘like new’.

    I’ve used Andrew’s excellent instructions to restore two of these machines to like-new performance. One I bought new in 2007 and the other a friend gave me after he got fed up with it and replaced it with an Oki laser printer.

  • Mags

    Hi, I followed the instructions and mine isn’t printing at all now, not even black which was printing fine, any idea where I went wrong? Thanks

    • dave

      Hi, I had the same problem the first time I dissambled the printer, it just printed blank pages, I had to dissasembled it again, check the conexion and put together again, and presto! the machine worked again!

  • Thunderbirds

    Thank you very much! Worked percfect!
    Greetings from Hungary! 🙂

  • Ken Hecker


    My problem is that although my color is back, and everything else looks great, there is an almost iridescent green “smear” that feathers out starting about .6 inches in from the right edge, and becomes solid by the time it gets to 1/8″ from the edge of the paper. This “smear” is over the image, which still appears with some color beneath it. It does not appear when printing plain black text, but when that text runs to the maximum width of the page (MS Word lets me actually have the letters run off the page, but the printer has a limit of about 1/8″), the text fades unevenly on the right, although not as far in as the green smear would go. I’m suspecting a slight misalignment of the optical box. I know I put the one bottom screw back in its place to hold the box. There was not a 2nd screw in the right-hand hole. Maybe I should play with that.

  • Ken Hecker

    Andrew, I’ve followed your instructions once before, and the results were amazing. And yes, I bought you a beer 🙂 This time I was using an HP 2605dn that I got from a dealer in off-lease printers. It seems they do repair work, but the man in charge didn’t even know about dusty mirrors. So for all I know, this present printer was already halfway there (as in needing the mirrors cleaned) when I got it. The color did finally go, and I followed your instructions. I find that the flat mirrors, not the curved ones, are what gets dirty. I also realized, having done vacuum deposition coating in my youth, that those glass mirrors had to have an over-coat of SiO2 (quartz). Using a Q-tip (aka cotton swab), it is impossible to scratch the coating. So the color came back, but now I find something I can’t understand. When I run a plain text page through the printer, everything looks great, but when I print out a dense color print through, that extends almost to the maximum printable margin, there is a smear of light green over the detail, which is still there. I’ve tried several Calibration cycles, and cleaned the transfer belt. The Calibrations seem to have moved the smear off the side a bit, but mostly it’s still there. Could I have not seated the optical box correctly? The smear is only on the right side, and only about .75cm in width.

    Your thoughts?

    Ken Hecker
    Fullerton, CA USA

    • christin

      Yesterday I took my printer apart and cleaned the mirrors like the tutorial says. Now my reds are perfect, but the right side of my paper about 1″ in from the edge is faded out to the right so that you see nothing past 1/2″. The left side prints perfect, is this what your problem is?

      • Ken Hecker


        My problem is that although my color is back, and everything else looks great, there is an almost iridescent green “smear” that feathers out starting about .6 inches in from the right edge, and becomes solid by the time it gets to 1/8? from the edge of the paper. This “smear” is over the image, which still appears with some color beneath it. It does not appear when printing plain black text, but when that text runs to the maximum width of the page (MS Word lets me actually have the letters run off the page, but the printer has a limit of about 1/8?), the text fades unevenly on the right, although not as far in as the green smear would go. I’m suspecting a slight misalignment of the optical box. I know I put the one bottom screw back in its place to hold the box. There was not a 2nd screw in the right-hand hole. Maybe I should play with that.

        • Ken Hecker

          Okay, I found my answer. When you replace the optical box in the printer, as Andrew noted, you have to be delicate. Don’t tighten the three screws (or four) too much. Just snug. I’m sure there are only two or three threads in the metal frame of the printer to accept those screws. It could be one of these screw’s threads got worn a bit, and didn’t give me a good solid feel when it was tight. Also make sure you are using the three (3) LONG screws, which have separate lock and flat washers captured on them (the rest of the screws are one piece including the washer). The optical box should hang from the top slot evenly. Again, make sure you put the bottom screw (in the hole with the thin metal cover) in the same spot you took it out. I thought maybe I had stripped out the threads in the left bottom hole, and so put the screw in the right hole. I ran the test that is initiated with that TEST button Andrew pointed out. The lines only reached a couple inches across the page, the yellow being longest. And a test image printed with the right side of the page yellow, and the red very concentrated on the left. Even the black text was all over the place. Obviously there was a reason they only used one screw on the bottom. That’s when I switched the bottom screw (possibly a bit stripped) with one of the top screws. (NOTE: If you have two screws on the bottom, one may be even longer than the other. The hole in the optical box casting is deeper on the right side). I buttoned up the printer, ran the TEST, and the lines all went the whole width of the page. Feeling I’d licked it, I ran my most critical page, and the colors were all out of alignment. Ran a Calibration, and now things are perfect again. My green smear is no more. So christin I’d say you may have the optical box a bit out of alignment. I am thinking that Calibration can only do so much, will do wonders if you get things close.

          I’m buying you another beer, Andrew.

          Ken in Fullerton, CA USA

          • I had the problem that it did not print on the right side after cleanng.
            I could not face stripping it all out again so I tried just removing the back panel. Then I could see the top two screws in the optical box. I slackened these slightly and then gently levered the box from side to side with a large screwdriver. Now it prints across the full page.
            If you try this do not forget to remove the power cord; there are some high voltages in the back there 🙁

  • Kostas

    2nd time i go through this…thanks you so much…gonna use the air intake filter myself too


  • Hunter

    Both yellow and red mirrors were dusty. Now it prints like normal after cleaning. Thank you!!!

  • JosePrimera

    It worked for me! Thanks!

  • Fred

    Excellent post. I too had the color fading problem. With your excellent post, I had the confidence to proceed. Your instructions and pictures were very clear. 2 hours of dis-assembly/assembly + a couple of re-calibrations and my 2605dn prints like new. Wow! But I will comment, that whatever engineering team designed this printer clearly made no accommodations for future service. After this repair, replacing the fuser (or anything else, for that matter) will be very easy by comparison.
    Many thanks.

  • Charlie S.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Just cleaned mine, took about 2 hours (first time). My printer is now printing like new. Thanks again!

  • Thanks to you’re perfect description i just manages to disasemble and clean my HP color lasterjet 1600 in just 1½ hours and it is now as good as new!! Thank you very much!

  • Paul

    Worked like a charm! The 2605dn is printing reds again and my kids have no more excuses on why they aren’t finishing their homework. Thanks mate, enjoy your beer!

  • Crimitorii

    Thanks again, will now buy you a beer (what about the kids though?)
    Anyway, just did it all a second time – getting easier – only took a leisurely hour. Red is back.

  • Peter R.

    Hello Andrew after I followed your instruction, which was very helpful, and I recalibrated the printer it printed only very fading hardly visible test page. Do you have any suggestion what went wrong?

  • Schule

    Thanks, It worked! Here is a comparison image:

  • Pablo

    Thank you so much for this! I just got an used printer and thought my money was wasted when it printed faded pictures, but thanks to your guide I was able to fix it myself!
    Your guide was extremely helpfull!
    Greetings from Argentina!

  • Robert

    worked out great! thanks a lot!

  • bill

    Thanks John,

    I agree, but a piece of (optically near perfect) material taped over the horizontal slots could be easily cleaned, just by removing the cartridges! Any ideas? What about cling-foil, or those stiff transparent plastic sheets often used as the front covers of bound documents?

    Cheers, Bill

    • bill

      PS Is there any reason for NOT taping something over the slots? E.g. Could it interfere with the paper path, or get very hot and catch fire, …?

  • John McCulloch

    Those horizontal slots are part of the light-path and thus critical to the performance of the thing. Any cover would need to be optically near perfect. However, if you did this, the dust would collect there and similarly affect the performance. What is really needed is to blow clean air into the light-box so a slight positive pressure is maintained inside and air-flow is outward through all the slots and other openings. That way no dust could get inside. How to do this – well, there’s the rub!

  • bill

    Dear Andrew

    Have you any suggestions as to how to avoid dust getting into the laser/scanner assembly? (I’ve added an air filter but that doesn’t seem to help much.) Has anyone tried taping cling-film, or some other transparent material, over the four horizontal slots behind the cartridges?

    Cheers, Bill

  • Chip

    My problem with the HP Color LaserJet 2600n seemed to be the reverse of this — most of my pages were being printed with a reddish tint through the middle. At first, I thought some of the toner was running out, but then I noticed that the outside edges looked fine, and toner wouldn’t be that discriminating.

    So I went through this process….and now I have more reddish tint than before, as it extends more to the left of the page.

  • john

    I just finished putting it back together again, and recalibrated. When printing in grayscale it looks great, but when I print in color, I get just about a full page of cyan. I rechecked all cables and pins, but can’t find out what’s the cause.


  • Cindy

    @Francis Covington

    I will try this today! Thank you 🙂

  • RE: Will not print anything.

    OK guys, I know you are frustrated right now. After just finishing mine up for the third time, I have gotten pretty good at this. There are four things I would check. First, check all of the plugs on the small circuit board The one on the back right as you look at the printer from the back). Take them out, and make sure no pins are bent (if so, straighten them with a small pointed knife. Second, the ribbon connectors can be difficult plug in (However, they need to be all of the way in and seated firmly), and they may not be in facing the right way (metal to metal), and or may need cleaning. Take an eraser and lightly rub the silver contacts to remove carbon, and if the ends are bent, straighten them before you plug them in. Oh, and especially pay particular attention that the cables are plugged into the black box you removed and cleaned. Three, There is a ribbon cable at the top of the main circuit board and several connectors, (this is the Big board on the left side of the printer) check those to make certain that they are connected and seated properly. Lastly, check the thin purple wires that you had to move, and make certain that one did not break away from the connection. Those wires are thin and easily damaged.

  • Cindy

    I did everything as shown but now it’s not printing at all! Not even a tiny smear nothing :/ what should I do now? Anyone with the same problem?

  • Alex

    I have a HP Color LaserJet CM1017 MFP. I had a lot of yellow when I printed. Now it’s resolved. Thx a lot !!!!


    Alex from Switzerland

  • Dan

    Amazing! I picked up a 2600n at the thrift shop for $8 because it wasn’t printing red…2 hours and this webpage later everything is working perfect and when I double checked, the magenta cartridge was 100% FULL! Thanks for the great writeup!

  • Marc Covey

    any chance you would know why mine is not printing anything at all now? no errors just all the pages come out blank. not even a spot on the page.

    • Cindy

      That just happened to me too 🙁 did you find any solution?

      • Carlos

        I had the same problem: not printing anything at all after laser box cleaning. I’ve seen a youtube video warning about the importance of not touching the 2 rotating squares between the mirrows (, 20:45″). I’ve to check that in my printer, but have to disassemble it again.

        • Carlos

          I’ve dissassembled my printer yestterday and realized that both rotating polygonal mirrors where dissaligned. I rotate them manually following the above video indications, reassembled again the printer and … it works!!!!

  • Joe

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your diagnosis and excellent instructions were dead-on accurate. Fixing this made me the hero of the day, but the kudos go to you.

  • Marye

    Thank you so much…we did everything you said and now it works like brand new!! The monkey from the demo page looks alive!!

  • Raymond

    Thank you for this. It was exactly what we needed fixed. Your steps are very detailed and accurate. It took me two hours, taking my time to label the connectors and get wiring in the cable tray clean. Thanks!

  • Larry

    Thanks a lot. Took about an hour getting it apart. I got the optic box open and was dissapointed as everything already looked very clean. Swabbed everything and the swabs were barely showing any dirt.

    Then I got out an LED flashlight and the red mirrors showed a definite film in places and could see it clean away as I swabbed. So there was dirt there I couldn’t see with my normal desk lighting. I tried red and blue LED lights as well – the red light showed a bit that the white light hadn’t. Swabs still look clean but actually seeing the dirt go away made me feal better.

  • DoctorJ

    sorry I cannot get past step 13 pulling out the black plastic trays that hold all the wires. I got the small on on the left out but the top and right side (from the back) don’t want to release. I am sure there is a trick but I can’t get it.
    Thanks! I will happily donate to your site if this works!!
    DoctorJ in NYC

    • Pippi

      Re: removing the black plastic trays. I got stuck at this same step (Step 13) and was about to give up when I figured it out. Step 13 says to pull the black plastic trays to the side. On my printer that applied to the long black plastic tray across the top of the back panel – if you slip it left it pops out. BUT, FIRST I had to take out the black plastic tray on the right side (when facing the back), and that had a totally different removal process: two little whatchamacallits (locking tabs??) that you had to depress before it popped straight out. One whatchamacallit was on the bottom side, the other one on top of the bottom section that extends to the left.

      Two other things: my left side panel (when facing the front) didn’t come off in two separate pieces; the beige and grey pieces were connected and I had to take them both off at once. Furthermore, in order to take it off I had to have the front panel open (the one that swings down for toner cartridge access), since part of the left panel slides underneath the front panel.

      Other than that, and the fact that I screwed up the alignment by rotating my squares in the optical box and had to redo the whole thing all over again, this process worked perfectly, and I’m sooooo grateful! Thanks Andrew, beer coming your way!


  • Hannibal Lecter

    Hello Andrew. Just a quick note to let you know you saved me a printer replacement and I am deeply grateful!



  • aifa saleem

    I did the this evening also the training operates like a attractiveness 🙂

    Happy to get located the very useful website adn happy for the family driving this

    Thank-you Reeves-Hall household out-of Austria!

  • Hakan

    Lifesaver for sure!

    I did this tonight and it works like a charm 🙂

    Very happy to have found this very useful webpage and grateful towards the family behind it

    Thank you Reeves-Hall family from Sweden!

  • Thomas

    Thank you! Worked perfect!

  • Fachri

    Dear AndrewRH..

    wow this is the greatest atsolution bro…I followed your directions and bammmm…red color is back..thanks alot


  • Aaron

    Awesome, thanks for posting this… I was a bit upset, just spent $350 for a full set of carts and magenta is not working at all…. life saver! Thanks…

    • Aaron

      Update. Did mine this morning, took about 90 leisurely minutes. I was actually surprise – the magenta mirror was dirty, but not that dirty. It doesn’t seem to take much. Thanks again for the “help”, its always nice to have a guide the first time.

  • Heather

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome!

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