What To Do When the Image has Shifted when Printing from an HP LaserJet

Every once in a while I will get called about, or notice while I am onsite at a customer location, an issue with an HP LaserJet printer where the image on the page has shifted to the right, or to the left, or up, or down.  Simply put, it’s not printing where it should be!

It’s pretty easy to spot this when you print the configuration page. The rectangular border around the edges will not be centered on the page. In theory, if you fold the paper in the corners on the box, the lines should line up with each other.

There’s a pretty easy fix
HP has built a Set Registration  feature into the Print Quality menu. If you have problems locating this feature or are unsure if your machine has it, print a Menu Map in the Information menu. Typically, the Set Registration feature is found in the Config Device menu, in the sub menu, Print Quality.

  1. Print the test page found in the Set Registration menu to get a demo page that has a border. This will show how centered your image is and provide instructions on how to adjust the top and side edges, if needed.
  2. Follow the instructions to adjust and print the test page again to verify your setting changes. This procedure might take a few tries to get it lined up.
  3. After you have gotten it to the position you want, exit out of the menu and turn the machine off then back on.
  4. Print the config page again and a few documents from your computer to verify the settings have properly been saved in the machine.

Most of the time, this fixes the problem. If the problem persists, then the next step would be to try a cold reset or Permanent NVRAM Storage Initialization (see below for instructions) to clear corrupt data that might be stored in the formatter or DC Controller.

Print a config page prior to performing these two steps as vital information like page counts, network settings, and user settings will be erased and will need to be reprogrammed.

NVRAM initialization instructions:

  • Turn the machine off
  • Reset the printer
    • Regular Reset – Simultaneously press and hold the Cancel button and the right arrow button, and then turn on the product.
    • Super Reset – Simultaneously press and hold the Cancel button and the left arrow button, and then turn on the product.
  • Wait until the message Permanent Storage Init appears and then release the Cancel and right arrow buttons.

Kevin Gumpp is a certified printer technician and freelance writer for Market Point. Market Point is a HP PartsOne Partner selling HP printer parts. 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.

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