Introduction

Over time, the laser toner leaks into the scanning element and can interfere with the printer's ability to produce consistent color. To repair this, we first must disassemble the printer to reach the scanning element, and then clean the optics so the printer produces color as it was meant to.

The first time I did this repair it was with guidance from the pdf attached to the first reply in this thread

Image 1/1: First, let's establish what part of the printer is what so that we can communicate clearly throughout the guide. The red square is the front and the orange square is the top. After those, we have left (yellow), and right (green). The back is opposite the front and the bottom is opposite the top.
  • Before we begin, make sure to unplug the printer and any connected wires. To be extra safe, turn the power switch to 'off.'

  • First, let's establish what part of the printer is what so that we can communicate clearly throughout the guide. The red square is the front and the orange square is the top. After those, we have left (yellow), and right (green). The back is opposite the front and the bottom is opposite the top.

This printer requires genuine HP toner cartridges. If you don't believe me, knock yourself out with the cheapies and you will be knocking at this iFixit guide before too long. You will get a lot of toner blowing out of the cartridges, all over the inside of the printer and the paper tray. Pretty soon your printouts will have color streaks on them. I didn't believe it until it happened to me. After using only genuine HP toner for years I finally bought two sets of knockoffs and my printer was nearly destroyed. After tearing it down again and cleaning all the blown-by toner from everywhere, I'm back in business. This is a great guide. Now where IS that ice cream truck?

George Fish - Reply

Image 1/3: Open the front door and remove the toner cartridges. Image 2/3: Set the cartridges aside for later. To keep them clean, place them in a bag or closed box. Image 3/3: Set the cartridges aside for later. To keep them clean, place them in a bag or closed box.
  • Laser printers often have loose toner, a very fine and vibrant powder that will invade everything you don't want it to. I did my disassembly outside

  • Open the front door and remove the toner cartridges.

  • Set the cartridges aside for later. To keep them clean, place them in a bag or closed box.

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Image 1/2: Remove the paper tray from the bottom of the printer. Image 2/2: Remove the paper tray from the bottom of the printer.
  • Place the printer so that the right side is on the ground.

  • Remove the paper tray from the bottom of the printer.

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Image 1/1: In this photo, the paper tray is still in the printer. On your device, the tray should already be set aside.
  • Remove the indicated Phillips M3 screw from the left side of the printer

  • In this photo, the paper tray is still in the printer. On your device, the tray should already be set aside.

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Image 1/2: Some of the press tabs are hard to reach with a finger. If needed, gently press in the tab with a screwdriver until it releases. Image 2/2: Some of the press tabs are hard to reach with a finger. If needed, gently press in the tab with a screwdriver until it releases.
  • Release the tabs as indicated in the example by lifting or pressing them as needed.

  • Some of the press tabs are hard to reach with a finger. If needed, gently press in the tab with a screwdriver until it releases.

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Image 1/2: If it feels like something is holding the cover in place, there probably is. Go back and look for additional tabs, as I may have missed listing some of them. This applies to any item removal in this guide. Image 2/2: If it feels like something is holding the cover in place, there probably is. Go back and look for additional tabs, as I may have missed listing some of them. This applies to any item removal in this guide.
  • Lift and remove the left base cover

  • If it feels like something is holding the cover in place, there probably is. Go back and look for additional tabs, as I may have missed listing some of them. This applies to any item removal in this guide.

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Image 1/1:
  • Release the tab fasteners on the left side cover

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Image 1/3: If it feels like something is holding the cover in place, there probably is. Image 2/3: When reassembling, you have to mate the three noted tabs/slots, even though they do not snap in place. Image 3/3: When reassembling, you have to mate the three noted tabs/slots, even though they do not snap in place.
  • Lift and remove the left cover

  • If it feels like something is holding the cover in place, there probably is.

  • When reassembling, you have to mate the three noted tabs/slots, even though they do not snap in place.

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Image 1/1: Unscrew and remove the two Phillips M3 screws as indicated from the right side covers.
  • Rotate the device so it rests on its back.

  • Unscrew and remove the two Phillips M3 screws as indicated from the right side covers.

  • Most of the screws in this printer are identical - the ones that are different will be noted as such.

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Image 1/3: Some of these tabs are inside the printer, so you will need to open the door and look along the right side. Image 2/3: Some of these tabs are inside the printer, so you will need to open the door and look along the right side. Image 3/3: Some of these tabs are inside the printer, so you will need to open the door and look along the right side.
  • Release tabs on the right base cover and right cover.

  • Some of these tabs are inside the printer, so you will need to open the door and look along the right side.

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Image 1/3: If it feels like something is holding the cover in place, there probably is. Image 2/3: When reassembling, you have to mate the three noted tabs/slots, even though they do not snap in place. Image 3/3: When reassembling, you have to mate the three noted tabs/slots, even though they do not snap in place.
  • Remove the right base cover and right cover from the printer.

  • If it feels like something is holding the cover in place, there probably is.

  • When reassembling, you have to mate the three noted tabs/slots, even though they do not snap in place.

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Image 1/1: Remove the nine indicated Phillips M3 screws from the back plate.
  • Place the device right side up once again.

  • Remove the nine indicated Phillips M3 screws from the back plate.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • With the screws removed, lift the back cover from the bottom and remove from the printer.

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Image 1/1:
  • During the next two steps, do not unplug any of the connections in the example boxed in orange.

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Image 1/2: Remove the ribbon cable by pulling directly along the cable. Image 2/2: Remove the white connector by pressing down on the tab and pulling out.
  • Carefully and gently handle the wires and cables in the printer. They may break or bend, rendering your printer inoperable.

  • Remove the ribbon cable by pulling directly along the cable.

  • Remove the white connector by pressing down on the tab and pulling out.

  • Pull the purple wire connectors directly out. You do not need to mark which cable goes where, as they are all unique sizes.

  • Remove the white connector by pressing down on the tab and pulling out.

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Image 1/2: Remove the final two wires by pulling them straight out. Image 2/2: Remove the final two wires by pulling them straight out.
  • Remove the four ribbon cables gently from the right edge of the circuit board assembly.

  • Remove the final two wires by pulling them straight out.

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Image 1/1:
  • Unwind the cables from the black harness on the top and right edges of the circuit board assembly.

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Image 1/1:
  • Depress the indicated tabs and remove the corner wiring harness from the circuit board assembly.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Slide the top wiring harness to the left and remove it from the circuit board assembly.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the eleven indicated Phillips M3 screws from the circuit board assembly.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the circuit board assembly from the printer, being cautious of the wires and cables,

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Image 1/1: These ribbon cables are hard to replace.  If you are having trouble, try asking someone with smaller hands!  Be gentle, ribbon cables are not the most robust connectors.
  • Remove the two ribbon cables gently from the optical sub-assembly.

  • These ribbon cables are hard to replace. If you are having trouble, try asking someone with smaller hands! Be gentle, ribbon cables are not the most robust connectors.

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Image 1/1: The lock-washer is attached to the screw, so you do not need to worry about losing it.
  • Tilt the printer forward and remove the Phillips screw with a lock-washer from the bottom area of the printer.

  • The lock-washer is attached to the screw, so you do not need to worry about losing it.

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Image 1/2: Remove the optical sub-assembly, this is what you need to repair. Image 2/2: Remove the optical sub-assembly, this is what you need to repair.
  • Set the printer back down and remove two more Phillips screws with integrated lock-washers, which releases the optical sub-assembly.

  • Remove the optical sub-assembly, this is what you need to repair.

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Image 1/2: Remove the indicated black screw. Image 2/2: Unhook and save the indicated spring.
  • Place the optical sub-assembly with the side that was facing you down.

  • Remove the indicated black screw.

  • Unhook and save the indicated spring.

  • Remove the top plate from the optical sub-assembly.

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Image 1/3: Using a clean cotton swab or lens brush, GENTLY clean the visible sides of every clear or reflective surface you can find. Image 2/3: Do not scratch or rub the optics, use a brushing motion instead. Image 3/3: For more details on what you are doing and why, refer to the document mentioned in the introduction.
  • These are lenses, mirrors, and sensors used by the printer to determine how it is printing. Any damage will affect the quality of printing.

  • Using a clean cotton swab or lens brush, GENTLY clean the visible sides of every clear or reflective surface you can find.

  • Do not scratch or rub the optics, use a brushing motion instead.

  • For more details on what you are doing and why, refer to the document mentioned in the introduction.

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Image 1/1: Your printer should now be fully functional! Except for the part where it is disassembled.
  • Finish with a light blast of compressed air on all of the surfaces you cleaned.

  • Your printer should now be fully functional! Except for the part where it is disassembled.

  • To reassemble your device, repeat these steps in reverse order.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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Jay Miley

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8 Comments

Takes 2-3 hours to disassemble and reassemble for a first timer but it worked really well!

And in the end all it cost me was my time.

Many thanks!

Jon Rousseau - Reply

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with this guide.

Since I had the machine apart I took the time to clean every area I could get to that is within the paper path.

It took me 6 hrs. to complete the job; but it did not work.

The printer indicated an Error Code 51.21.

So I did the job over again.

I had been fooled by the two ribbons that connect to the optical sub-assembly that by design rub up against the right side of the box, even when disconnected.

My second servicing took me about three hours.

Thank you.

I have a normal working color printer again, and did not have to buy saved the cost of parts and labor by using your guide for restoration.

John Knapp - Reply

Hi there - In step # 23, am I missing the right screw or is there really just one Phillips screw with a lock-washer?

R. Douleh - Reply

R. Douleh- the manufacturer did not put a screw on the right side for some reason.

sdelong25 - Reply

This really is, without doubt, the best set of do-it-yourself instructions I have seen in my 45+ years working in the IT industry.

I didn't see any dust in the area to be cleaned, so I am a little mystified as to what the cause was. I got the missing magenta colour working but despite running the process twice I could not get yellow to work properly. I only use it for printing letters and spreadsheets, so I can live without that.

Thanks again

Paul Roussell - Reply

I had the "no printing of the red colors" problem and found this post. There was very little (no?) dust found inside the optical sub assembly upon my cleaning. After re assembly I had an issue with no toner printing at all. I think this may have been from the optical sub assembly not being fully seated against the case. Of course, I did reseat every cable as well so that could have been the cause. I Just finished my repair. All colors print and they look vibrant. Many thanks to you! What a wonderful post.

John B. - Reply

The Optical Sub-Assembly (OSA) is a real bear to situate properly. The first time I did this procedure (from a different online source), I failed to seat the OSA correctly and the colors printed fine on one side and blurry on the other side. I had to completely disassemble the printer again and seat the blasted thing correctly. I recently had problems with printing and toner blow-by, so I decided to do the same repair again. And this time, even knowing the problems I had last time, STILL failed to seat the OSA correctly! So now I'm using this excellent tutorial to tear the printer down a 4th time! Before I remove the OSA, I'll use some thickness gages to see where I went wrong, and for everyone to absolutely know that the thing is aligned properly. Be back soon!

George Fish - Reply

The OSA has two screws on top and one underneath. The key to seating the thing properly is to hold the upper right side in so that the unit doesn't rock from left to right. Once you have that stabilized, put the screw in on the upper right. Then the left side, then the bottom.

George Fish - Reply

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