HP P3005 – Light Print – Formatter Issue.

A few months ago I serviced a HP LaserJet P3005 for a third party company. While servicing the machine for a paper jam issue I noticed that it was printing extremely light and every time I turned it off and back on, upon reboot  it gave me an 11.XX internal clock error. The internal clock error was pretty simple. That’s the formatter board.

The light print, though, threw me for a loop. The machine had an OEM cartridge, toner density all the way up, and not in toner save mode. The customer said it was always like that so they had no issue with it. I told them that to fix the clock error they would have to replace the formatter and possible either the ECU or formatter to fix the light print.

Fast forward a few months and I get a call from this company that the machine now locks up periodically and they have to reboot it for it to work again. After convincing them it was time to replace the formatter I went ahead and performed the replacement procedure. Once I was done and printed off a few test prints the image was dark again like it should be.

I’ve seen lots of formatter issues with this machine but this was the first where it produced light print as a symptom so I thought I would share this experience with you. I didn’t perform a NVRAM initialization earlier because the customer had no issue with the light print but if you run into this issue and the customer is complaining this would be the next step after replacing the cartridge, doing an engine test, cleaning the laser optics, and checking the control panel print quality settings.

Make sure you print a config page before performing a NVRAM RESET or formatter and ECU replacement. Some information might be lost. After you perform this action let the machine sit at a ready state for 5 minutes without usage.  Make sure the communication cables are unplugged, then reboot and let it sit for another 5 minutes. Then reboot again and plug everything back in. Information stored on the boards should be written to the board you replaced from the other board, if the procedure was done correctly. Never replace these boards at the same time.


1. Turn the machine on. When the memory count starts hold down the down button till all 3 lights stay lit.

2.  Press the up button

3. Press the menu button. The display should read SKIP DISK LOAD

4. Press the up button till NVRAM INIT is highlighted

5. Press the Check button and the NVRAM initialization will take place and continue the power sequence.

HP LaserJet P3005 (non-network) Formatter Q7847-61006
HP LaserJet P3005 (network version) Formatter Q7848-61006

Kevin Gumpp is a certified printer technician and freelance writer for Market Point. If you have a question regarding this topic or have any other printer repair related questions or topics for which you would like more information, please send an email to maryp@marketpoint.com.

2 thoughts on “HP P3005 – Light Print – Formatter Issue.

  1. Pingback: Dark Shadow Background on Printed Pages | Market Point's Tech Support Blog

  2. Thanks for that info… I have seen this problem, and know one knew how to fix it. Now I know. Thank you for the great info.

    Ed Jones
    D & K Business Systems, Inc.


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