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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

  • Nik

    Thanks for the write-up, worked great!!!

  • Betta

    Thanks, it worked, really thanks!

  • Sandzus

    Everything was ok until last lenses cleaning. Now I have a blank pages coming out 🙁 and I dont know where is the problem 🙁

  • Ben

    Anyone know if this fix will work for HP CP2025? I have badly faded printout now and don’t know if it is from worn out refilled print cartridges or something else such as what is discussed here. My total page count from this printer is around 5000 and roughly half and half between color and text.

  • Dalverian, Very likely a misaligned box, but do a test page first. The TEST button is on the top left corner of the back circuit board. It will print a page with the four colours lined up across the page. This is a good way to check the general quality. Then do the Calibration mode a couple of times, (Menu/System Setup/Print Quality/Calibrate Colour) and test page again, to check progress after each calibration.

    Now, if the whole page is coming out covered in red, it’s possibly an issue with the toner cartridge itself. Open the door and look at the black plastic sheet on the inside of the door. Any toner on there? If so, your cartridge is leaking (possibly due to age) and that’s transferring the colour onto your prints.

  • Dalverian

    Thank you for this tutorial.
    It came apart nicely. and put back together with great ease. However. Instead of faded colors as described, it now has a red haze over it. It just seems the entire image is too red.
    Any reason for that? Did I mis align the thing?

  • Ken Hecker

    Ah, you can’t fool me. I’m a Python fan. I saw them at the Hollywood Bowl. I like SPAM (Specially Prepared American Meat). Thank you Hormel.

  • Ken Hecker

    Andrew, have you been sharing those pints with your readers? This last comment made no sense at all. Maybe they’ve been sniffing the toner.

    Ken in Fullerton, CA USA

  • Adam

    Very good guide+++++. If you dont have a label printer just use a black thin marker pen and put stripes on one of the purple cables and the same number on the circuit board. I also left the stupid plastic cable carrier off….bit naughty!!!
    The print quality was as good as new…
    I cleaned the other lenses with the cotton bud also as seen in other videos.
    I tip my hat to you sir+++++

  • moh sam


    I have same problem with my cm1312nfi , the strange thing that demo page is excellent quality but the print and copy function is faded , any idea?

  • Peter Brimacombe

    great stuff! I cleaned the plastic mirrors behind the toner cartridges and it did make some difference but I think I would rather buy a new printer.

    • Ken Hecker

      Peter, cleaning the mirrors behind the toner cartridges is just part of the process. No wonder you aren’t impressed with the results. There are other mirrors that need to be cleaned, as Andrew instructed. These are protected by a quartz coating so are hard to damage. I guess those who are willing to do this entire process are as impressed by this printer (in my case the HP 2605dn) as I am, that anything is worth keeping it running, despite the cost of ownership.


  • Anne

    Tried this again still getting error 59.9 the fan spins once then there is a click and it stops. Please anyone help, it appears something is stuck ….

  • Reuben Barajas

    Second time I´m using this guide, I want to contribute with this, no only clean the mirrors, but all the plastics prisms inside, there are at least 12 prisms, 3 for each color, today my printer works like new.

  • Ernie in California

    I created a PAINT image from 4 colors: red,yellow,green,and blue to match the toner cartridges. Then I printed it. The red looks like light orange, yellow and green a bit light, blue appears ok. I followed the instructions and with a couple of bumps along the way, I managed to finally print again. I cleaned the lenses and the mirrors inside. I had a lint free cloth and used sunshine to check for dust. The printout of the PAINT image was so bright and had pure colors. My wife thanks you. She is a realtor and uses the printouts for flyers at open houses.

  • Tony McCLung

    This is great! I am adding this URL that someone did on Youtube in Fast motion. I believe that having both yours and this would be of great help to those endeavoring to do so.
    Thanks again!

  • Gary Bainbridge

    I’ve received it, but the existing toner is still going. I’ll report when I’ve actually changed it and tried a few printouts.

  • Gary Bainbridge

    Which ones have you tried? I’ve always used genuine HP cartridges, but they’ve got so expensive I’m willing to try something else. I’ve ordered compatible cartridges from CartridgeSave ( They have good reviews so I’ll see how they fair. Gary.

  • Steve

    Slightly off topic but can anyone recommend a supplier of remanufactured cartridges for this printer in the UK? SO many to to choose from & the last set I bought weren’t great.

  • leif

    i got a error 50,7 when i try to start the laser 2650dn. do you have a idea of what i can be

  • HRS

    Thanks for this!!

    It took some time, of course, but my LaserJet 2605dn now prints as if it were brand-new. No problems at all with the very thorough instructions.

    Two suggestions to make things easier:

    * Instead of a label maker, I just used hand-written 3M Post-it Flags, which can wrap around the wire bundles, with the adhesive on the flags holding them together.

    * I was able to avoid unbundling the wire harness from the black plaster holder in step 12. You can just gently push the plastic holder away from the chassis to get at the various screws to remove the circuit board. Then, when reassembling, carefully slide the circuit board under the black plastic holder, and put the screws back in.

  • Steve Kemp

    I last did this with great success in December 2011 (my last comment is near the bottom of Page 13). Making a filter got me to November 2014 which is pretty good. The red had faded again by then and I have just got around to repeating the process. I took an hour now this time, as I said before the connectors are all different no. of ways and so cannot easily be mixed up. One calibration cycle had it printing with brilliant reds again. My Top Tips 1: Take care reseating the optical box (the lever underneath needs to go through the panel in the right spot), 2: Be gentle with the purple wires, 3: Make the filter. Many thanks, I’ll buy you another beer.

  • Shirley

    Just finished. I didn’t have trouble with the cables, but sure had my share of trouble getting the right side-panel and bottom to go back on. I used both Andrew’s instructions AND the ones provided by HP … I did appreciate that HP’s figures showed where all the screws were and provided arrows for where/how to PULL to remove the black cable holders, etc. The first printout is beautiful, so this did the trick. Thank You! HOWEVER, I had just purchased all but one new toner cartridge. After reinstalling them, two of those almost-new cartridges show as nearly empty in the display window. I read another comment of someone else who experienced the same thing yesterday before starting the repair, but now I can’t find it again amongst the 1000+ comments. Can anyone advise? I’m assuming the printer just isn’t getting an accurate “status” of the cartridges, as I can’t imagine that removing, reinstalling, and re-calibrating would use-up nearly all of a previously full cartridge. Anyone?

  • Ken Hecker

    So Paul, did it work? Sounds like you were close enough after getting the fan to work that a recalibration probably did the trick.

  • Paul Heneghan

    I tried cleaning the easy-to-get-at perspex lenses (visible after removing toner cartridges) first – it changed the colour of the monkey from washed out yellow to a more vibrant yellow. Then I dismantled the printer and cleaned the mirrors in the optical block – that changed the colour of the monkey to a reddy-orange.

    I also had Error 57, Fan error after reassmbly. Turned out to be a badly seated connector (the largest one) – needs a surprising amount of force applied at both ends to get it to seat properly, and it’s hard to see what you’re doing as it’s partially obscured by other connectors.

  • Ken Andersen

    Followed your instructions without a hitch. I was surprised by what I thought was not much dust on the mirrors, but
    cleaning them sure did the trick! Many thanks for this. I can print red again!!

  • Parko

    holy crap it worked! great instructions, although there were a few plastic tabs that i had to find to get things apart.

  • richard v

    did the full instructions – by the way superb documentation. Printer demo sheets are as pristine now as if it just came off the assembly line.
    Thank you for posting.

  • Berni

    1000 GRACIAS AMIGO, mi impresora volvió a la vida.


  • Ken Hecker


    I tried finding a printer repair facility in the LA (USA) area, and nobody would touch it (HP 2605dn) because they couldn’t get replacement parts. I did find a company halfway across the country who can fix them, but UPS destroyed my original printer on the way there. Still trying to get satisfaction on that one. I would only trust Andrew’s technique, as when I followed someone else’s instructions, it didn’t work. Glad Andrew’s instructions worked for you. I think he tells you all you need to know to get it right, and if something’s a bit out of whack, you can fix it quickly. The HP 2600 series are great color laser printers.

  • Great! I bought a second hand HP Laserjet Colour Printer 2600n at a throw away from a company but it’s colour prints were faded just like you described. I was planning to the printer repairers until I saw your post yesterday. Today I followed your instructions and worked on the printer and wow!it is working perfect. Thank you very much.

  • Ken Hecker

    I think we all want to keep our HP Color Laserjets running, not because we’re too cheap to buy a new modern laser printer, but because these are the best printers you can buy (if you could buy them). I bought a 3rd drawer base for my HP 2605dn a year ago, and it is so great to be able to burn through 500 pages without a second thought. All I had to do was place the HP on top of the 3rd drawer base, and the printer knew exactly what to do.

  • Kevin

    I just finished this for the second time. Both times worked like a charm. Before I did it this time I had the same grey background others have reported. I also some color streaking that appeared to be coming from the image belt. Then I realized that long ago I had set the supplies override and all my toners were extremely low. I just finished the above procedure and cleaned everything I could and replaced all toner cartridges. YEEHAW!!!! It’s printing like when it was new. Beautiful prints again. I thought I was going to have to buy a new printer. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

  • Chris

    I have the same problem as Barry above I just finished my second cleanup in less than 3 months and I still have a faded picture, my toner are all good I did the calibration, what else can it be ? It’s ma softly the cyan that seems pale and the toner is brand new and an original HP product.

  • Bill

    Got some time to work on the printer again today. After pulling off the back panel and checking the connectors, I reapplied power and the fan error was resolved (none of the connectors were obviously unseated, but one of them must have been). Ran the calibration a few times and then printed the test page to discover that the right side of the page was not being printed correctly, so I physically re-aligned the optical box. Was very pleased to be able to reach what was needed without having to remove the boards. Got the box to give a nice little clunk as it slid into the right alignment, something to ensure in the future for users looking to clean their mirrors. Put it back on power, calibrated a few more times again, and then got a beautiful printout of the self test/configuration page in full color and all the way across the page.
    Many thanks for the how-to on cleaning the mirrors, as it definitely cleared up the problem.

  • Perigrine

    Looking at the back, up in the top left corner, there are two wires leading to a fan motor that are easily caught and pulled when removing the long trunking. Check that they are intact.

  • anne

    followed instructions, but i have error 59.9 when i try start the printer – everything is connect any one help me please!!

  • @ Bill: If it’s a new error, it’s very possible that one of the cables was not correctly connected before you put it back together. I’d double-check that to see if it resolves the issue.

  • Bill

    my son and I had a great father son time doing this.

    when we tried to calibrate, we got error 57, Fan error.

    any suggestions? the manuals just say call service.

  • Barry

    I also have the ‘grey’ background, which I assumed was the black toner getting onto the copy.

  • Ken Hecker

    As far as the filter that is optional to add to the bottom of the printer, some of the dust that gets on the mirrors is bound to be environmental (I work in a very dusty room, you should see my intake screens on my computer), but also there is the toner dust that falls on the two mirrors facing up. Is that the magenta and the cyan? I know the magenta mirror is on the bottom, and magenta is always the first problem you’ll see. As far as a black problem, where the blacks are too light, it might either be that you need to take out the black cartridge and give it that old rolling shake move (illustrated on the cartridge for initial use). Then again you might have to play with the two screws on the bottom of the computer that hold and adjust the optical box. I only have one screw, but when I first put things back together this last time there was a smearing problem, but a slight tweak of the bottom screw, and a recalibration and it was perfect. If all else fails (or before all else fails), check the readout that is the default on the LCD screen, and make sure your printer has black toner in it. If you’ve disabled the feature (if you can call it that) that stops printing when the printer THINKS it is out of black, you have to be ready in case you do run out.

  • Norman

    I have used this on our 2605 DTN more than once over several years & it make s a HUGE difference. Of course getting the box n straight & snug, & running calibration is necessary. My current issue is that while colors are printing great I have a very light gray background being printed over the entire page. Before cleaning this gray was a “medium” as well as the rest of the colors being off.
    Anyone got thoughts n the gray background?

  • Melissa

    God bless you! Thank you!

    My printer was printing every single page faded. It looked horrible. I went through your process to clean the mirrors, you have great notes and pictures, by the way. It was very easy to follow your instructions.

    Now my printouts look like they came from a brand new printer. They are bright and vivid. No more faded printing for me.

    I also took your suggestion and covered the vent with a filter type material and cut two slats in it for the plastic fins that stick out.

  • jon

    Wow, I had this same problem, the blue didn’t work well. I did everything here and nothing worked. The problem ended up being that I never removed the packing strip in the blue toner, there was a small piece of plastic in there causing the blue to not always print (maybe the roller would stick).

  • Ahmed Radhwan

    That is really brilliant !!

    The quality of colors was shit before I made these steps. Now it is printing like brand new one.

  • Grace

    It worked!

    ‘nough said.

    Thank you so much.
    I’ve bookmarked the page in the event the magenta acts up again.

  • Perigrine

    There are also three lenses and the front surface of the laser in the light path and dust on any of these can contribute to fading. If dust got on one, it will be on the rest – it gets everywhere! Clean everything in the light path!

  • Ken Hecker

    Barry, there are two mirrors for each color (see steps 20 &21). One is a curved mirror, and there is a related long skinny flat mirror. I believe dust on either one can cause the problem. You can be fairly aggressive in cleaning the flat mirror, as it has something like a SiO2 (quartz) coating that can take a beating.

  • Ken Hecker

    The calibration step is very important. If the printer seems to be printing, but colors are not even across the page, then you probably need to re-seat the optical box. Even a bit of unevenness in the tightening of the three (or maybe four) screws can cause problems. These screws can be reached without taking the whole thing apart. Run a test page (using the Test button Andrew shows), and see if everything looks close. The lines should run all the way across the page. If so, run another Calibration. I went from “oh,oh” to success after the second Calibration.

  • Barry

    My HP 2605 was giving the ‘washed out‘ printing especially on red and blue so when I read this I thought I would do the ‘fix’. When eventually I got to the mirrors I found they looked perfectly clean! I did go over then with cotton buds but no dust came off. I reassembled the printer and unfortunately it is still the same ‘washed out’ red and blue.
    The post on how to do this job is excellent and very clear to follow, but I just want to point out that it might not be a fix and there is obviously other reasons which can cause this problem.

  • Perigrine

    My second time doing this job. Started at 11 am, printed healthy test page at 1:25 pm. Only problem – had great difficulty reseating the back panel – had to take off the other lower beige piece with the lifting handles, (right-hand when looking from the front). Beer money on its way!

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