Incorrect colours being printed on an HP LaserJet 3600
Question: When is a FACTORY RESET not a factory reset?
Answer: When you’re dealing with an HP printer.
One of my wretched HP Color LaserJet 3600 printers was annoying me today after it started printing specific pale shades of colours completely incorrectly. In printouts of photos, this showed up as blotches of an odd colour where it shouldn’t be, usually magenta in the middle of some pale green or blue.
If there’s one thing that will get a teacher calling you faster than a printer cartridge running out, it’s when their photos don’t print out right. I ruled out any driver or software problem, as the colour sample prints that you get from the printer menu itself were also showing up problems. Here’s the swatches from overview page:
If you’re paying attention, you’ve probably already spotted the odd shades in the top-right of each group. Here’s what page 15 looks like. All of these are supposed to be a shade of blue:
I tried the usual tricks of power-cycling, performing a factory reset from the printer menu, and even pulling the formatter board and reseating it, as per some guidance from the HP forums. Nothing helped, but I soon discovered it was the factory reset option that had been my downfall.
You see, on an HP printer, FACTORY RESET doesn’t mean ‘reset everything to how it was at the factory’. All it does it reset the configuration options to their defaults. True, they were at their defaults when the printer left the factory, but there are a lot of other internal variables that won’t be reset to how they were at the factory if you rely on this procedure. For that, you need the mystical COLD RESET.
To perform a cold reset:
- Power off the printer.
- Hold down the green GO button, and power the printer on. Keep holding until all three control panel LEDs are lit up and stay lit.
- Press the down arrow until you get to COLD RESET, then press the green GO button.
The printer will then reset everything, including the JetDirect card, and spend a few minutes (longer than usual) performing a calibration. My problem went away after that.
Thanks, HP! As usual, your dedication to obscure, hard-to-locate functionality does you proud.