Top 7 Common Errors With HP Printers and Their Solutions

Hewlett Packard of HP for short is one of the most well-known of all the printer manufacturers in the world.

They have been developing, innovating and producing many of the most popular functions found in the printers being used by both individuals and businesses all over the globe. Whether you are talking about photo, invitations, cardstock, 3d, All-in-One, color inkjet or laserjet printers, HP makes one or more models.

Unfortunately, no matter how well Hewlett Packard makes its printers, there are always going to be errors that are commonly being reported by users that have been plagued by one or more issues.

In this article, we discuss the top 7 Common Errors with HP Printers and the recommended solutions for self-fixing the issue.

Top 7 Common Errors with HP Printers

Jamming Paper

One of the truly most annoying of all of the common errors that typically occur with HP printers has to be when the indication on the printer display says “paper jam”, remove the paper from drawer #XXX. This actually can be an indicator of a number of different problems that can cause this to happen. A paper jam generally means that the paper is moved through the printer stops inadvertently and it does not reach a specified part of the printer in a given amount of time.

Solutions – The very simple answer to this issue would be to simply open the paper drawer where the message on the operator panel says and remove the paper. When this does not solve the problem, the actual cause probably is the main feed roller is not pulling the paper from the tray and might need to be replaced or cleaned with alcohol. Note: when going to remove any paper that is stuck inside the printer, be sure you pull the paper in the direction that it is moving or you could cause more damage.

Part of the page did not fully print

When a typical HP laser printer is working properly you will normally expect to see crisp and clear print quality at all times. Unfortunately, there will come a time when you will start experiencing issues like missing print on parts of the page. With a laser printer, one of the main reasons why you might only get part of the print on some of the pages is that the toner might be starting to get low.

Solution – Since low toner in the cartridge is one of the leading causes of missing print, a simple and quick solution according to HP is to remove the toner cartridge and attempt to shake it and evenly distribute the toner that is still inside. Unless it is completely empty, you will likely extend the usage of the cartridge. If this does not fix the problem you will likely need to replay it with a new one.

Ghost image on the page

Ghosting is a unique printing issue that occurs on occasion when using either a color or monochrome laser printer, This ghost or lighter image that appears to have been printed on the same page or even on a subsequent page happens because either drum or transfer belt depending on whether you are using a monochrome or color laser printer does not get cleaned off in between prints and part or all of the images is then transferred a second time, albeit extremely light.

This situation normally will occur when the two consumable items (customer replaceable) reached a predetermined number of pages printed and are needing to be replaced soon. The solution to this issue would be to purchase the consumable item and replace the units and run another test page to see if it is cleared up.

Smeared toner on the page (laser type printer)

A laser printer (monochrome or color) uses a powder-like substance to create the desired image to be printed on a piece of paper as it feeds its way through the printer. Smearing or smudging can occur when the toner on the paper has been disturbed before it can be fused to the paper. This powder-like toner is a compound that is made up of a magnetic material and pigments. Using a special process the toner material to transfer in a specific pattern to the paper it is then passed through a fusing unit that uses a pressure roller and heating element combined to adhere to the full image.

Solution – There can be a number of causes for this disturbance of the toner before it can be fully stuck to the page. The most common cause is either defective fuser (possibly reached it page count limit) or the drum unit, each one is consumables and generally can be replaced by the user.

Error message on display 50.4

HP laser printers are relatively intelligent in that they have a built-in ability to sense when certain conditions exist and will put a message on the display portion of the operator panel. This message also referred to as an error message or code that will stand for a specific error condition within the printer. This code (50.4) can be looked up online (Google’d) or directly on, the companies website. This unique error code deals with the power supply and usually means that there is something going wrong.

Solution – There are things that you can do to check out the problem, start with unplugging it from any power strip or UPS (battery backup system) and plug it directly into the wall. If that does work then chances are your power strip or battery backup are bad. If that does not work, then you will need a new power supply or possibly the internal power board. You will need to seek help from a professional or contact HP online about getting it repaired.

Cannot locate the correct driver for your OS

Ever printer, including all of the HP branded printers require a piece of software to be loaded on your computer or device called a driver. This allows your devices OS to be able to talk to or communicate with your printer. Unfortunately, computer OS’s change more often than you probably replace your printer and that means you need to replace the software driver on your computer. While most OS maker’s (Microsoft and Apple) include a driver for many of the current printers, they don’t always update the list automatically.

Solutions – If you find yourself in this situation after purchasing your new printer and you go to set it up. There are a couple things you can do on your Windows OS based machine to find a suitable driver for your new printer. You have Windows do an update on the missing driver when you use the “add printer” functionality. It will go out and locate it and download it for you to install, The other way is to go out to and search the website for the driver that matches your devices OS. Once you have it downloaded you can go through the installation procedure prescribed by HP.

The printer is not pulling paper from the correct paper tray

Most HP printers have multiple sources for the paper to be loaded into the printer. This gives you the user many different options in what type and size of paper that you are able to use for your printing. Each of the sources is identified internally by the printer and software driver that is loaded on your devices. If you have a problem with the printer pulling paper from the wrong tray there is something that you can do.

Solution – When the printer appears to be pulling from the wrong tray, chances are it is because the print job and program used to create the document you want to print is telling the printer to pull the paper from a specific tray. You should look at the print setup for the page you are printing. It may be telling the printer to pull the paper from a different tray then you have your paper loaded in.

Author: Mario Gonzalez

LOCATION: Birmingham, Alabama
OCCUPATION: Technology Editor, Manufacturing Engineer, Design, mechanical components for electric vehicles
A little about me /        

Mario works at Balqon Corporation as Manufacturing Engineer in R&D facility in harbor city, California.

Throughout my career I’ve had the privilege to work in different industries such Hvac, Forging, medical and the Automotive, specifically on electric vehicles. Broad experience building mechanical components, using software’s such Catia V5, Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, as well as old systems such Autocad.

Specialties: Broad experience working with sheet metal, tooling design, especificaly forging tooling. Most 3D modeling softwares, also FEA simulating software such forge2009, also superforge.

Mario Gonzalez has been the technology editor at since 2017, where he's been covering the latest gadgets and scouring the internet for the greatest deals.

TECH INTERESTS: Smart Appliances, Home theater and audio, Deals, Apple news and products, How to Tech, Cell Phones

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *