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

Before we begin, make sure to unplug the printer and any connected wires. To be extra safe, turn the power switch to 'off.'
  • 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

Agree! ^^ If I’d stuck with the more expensive HP toner rather than looking to save some money, I’d have saved time by not having to mess with this.

Seykick - Reply

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.
  • 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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Place the printer so that the right side is on the ground. 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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Remove the indicated Phillips M3 screw from the left side of the printer
  • 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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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.
  • 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.

See steps 10 and 11 below for the right side panel. I found it much easier to remove the entire side (side panel and bottom side piece) at once than to remove just the bottom piece first. It also avoids risking breaking any of the tabs from the bottom piece that are wedged up under the side panel. If doing this again, I’d just loosen all the tabs for both the bottom piece AND the side piece (inside the unit, near where the toner cartridges slide into place) and THEN remove the entire side. Hope that helps.

Seykick - Reply

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.
  • 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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Release the tab fasteners on the left side cover
  • Release the tab fasteners on the left side cover

Note: This is on the inside of the printer. While it’s lying on its side, open the front door (where you put/remove the toner cartridges) and you’ll see these tabs on the left side (which is currently at the top).

Seykick - Reply

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.
  • 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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Rotate the device so it rests on its back.
  • 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.

It’s kind of obvious here, but before you set it on its back, remove the paper feed tray extension from the top back. :)

Seykick - Reply

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. 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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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.
  • 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.

By releasing the tabs from the bottom piece and the side piece (from the inside tabs), the entire side comes off together much easier than trying to remove just the bottom piece first. I think this would have worked easier for the left side, too, and not risk snapping any of those tabs on the bottom piece.

Seykick - Reply

Place the device right side up once again.
  • Place the device right side up once again.

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

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With the screws removed, lift the back cover from the bottom and remove from the printer. With the screws removed, lift the back cover from the bottom and remove from the printer.
  • With the screws removed, lift the back cover from the bottom and remove from the printer.

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

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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.
  • 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.

The purple wires are the most difficult here. I found I was able to pry most of them a little by getting a fingernail in between the bottom (back) side of the plug and the receptacle. Getting this even just a little loose helped ease the tension from pulling on the wires. For some, I just had to pull the wires but tried to grab as close to the base as possible and pull firmly but gently. Do be careful not to press against the capacitors (the little round tube things in the lower right of the circuit board in the purple wires picture). Just be careful in this step and proceed carefully. You don’t want to pull any of the wires out of the connectors!

Seykick - Reply

Also, the bottom row is only three connectors. The two yellow boxes on the left are actually one bigger connection.

On my model, there is also a white connection receiver left of those on the board where the white outline is on the board in this picture. There aren’t any wires to connect to it, but it can be confusing during reassembly if you have that extra port there.

Seykick - Reply

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

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Depress the indicated tabs and remove the corner wiring harness from the circuit board assembly.
  • Depress the indicated tabs and remove the corner wiring harness from the circuit board assembly.

There are actually three tabs on this piece. The arrows here don’t really point to the right places. The top arrow is right, but the bottom arrow, the tab is farther over to the right where that little notch is, just above that screw. The third mirrors that one at the top of the piece, outside of the picture.

Seykick - Reply

Slide the top wiring harness to the left and remove it from the circuit board assembly. Slide the top wiring harness to the left and remove it from the circuit board assembly.
  • Slide the top wiring harness to the left and remove it from the circuit board assembly.

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Remove the eleven indicated Phillips M3 screws from the circuit board assembly.
  • Remove the eleven indicated Phillips M3 screws from the circuit board assembly.

In the upper left corner (not shown in the image; where the left-most arrow is pointing), that screw is sideways or horizontal as you’re looking at it. It’s on the little leg from the unit. The rest, you look at the top of the screws from this view.

Seykick - Reply

Remove the circuit board assembly from the printer, being cautious of the wires and cables, Remove the circuit board assembly from the printer, being cautious of the wires and cables,
  • Remove the circuit board assembly from the printer, being cautious of the wires and cables,

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Remove the two ribbon cables gently from the optical sub-assembly.
  • 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.

Just like with the reassembly (where you can connect the cables before putting the sub-assembly fully back in place), you can remove the sub-assembly screws first and then remove the ribbon cables as your take the sub-assembly part-way out if you prefer. You might find that easier.

Seykick - Reply

Tilt the printer forward and remove the Phillips screw with a lock-washer from the bottom area of the printer.
  • 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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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.
  • 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.

When you reassemble it, be sure to note this, from George Fish.

The Optical Sub-Assembly (OSA) is a real bear to situate properly.

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.

Seykick - Reply

Place the optical sub-assembly with the side that was facing you down. Remove the indicated black screw.
  • 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.

To get the spring out easily and without damaging it, you can take a paper clip, unbend it a little, and hook it on the spring on the right side and pull it off gently while keeping the lever in place with your finger. Pretty easy with the paper clip (or a wire, needle, pin, etc.).

Seykick - Reply

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.
  • 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.

The little parts shown in the third picture are accessed by lifting up (or out) the plastic piece that swings - the one the spring was attached to in step 24. That just lifts straight out and you can clean these little things on both sides and top and then put the plastic piece back in easy enough. Just clarifying where they are located / how to find them.

Seykick - Reply

Finish with a light blast of compressed air on all of the surfaces you cleaned.
  • 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.

If your compressed air shoots out a bit of liquid in the process (a common thing with compressed air), you probably want to give another pass over with the cotton or lens cloth to get as much of the moisture removed. At least now you know it is really clean!

Seykick - Reply

Oh, and give it a few minutes before starting to reassemble. Withe the compressed air, it is cold. This may cause a little condensation as the parts go cold quick, then take a bit to warm up. Just use the cotton or cloth to get the condensation off. After a few minutes, that should stop and you can reassemble.

Seykick - Reply

Reassembly tip: Reconnect the two ribbon cables to the optical sub-assembly before putting the assembly in and attaching it. You can connect the bottom one with the unit about half-way in, the the top one with the unit slid in a little bit. Then you can put the whole thing in place and re-install the screws. Connecting the ribbon cables first makes it much easier to get them reconnected.

Seykick - Reply

When you reassemble it, be sure to note this, from George Fish.

The Optical Sub-Assembly (OSA) is a real bear to situate properly.

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.

Seykick - Reply

Conclusion

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

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Jay Miley

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11 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

OMG I wish I’d seen these comments at the end before I reassembled! I’m going to copy and paste your tip up above in the instructions because I reassembled and got very clean printing but ghost imaging. So, I’m going to try your trip to position it properly and see if that works. Thanks!

Seykick -

Thanks for the guide!

Tony Tyfting - Reply

Excellent Guide! My 2600n hasn't printed like this in years! Thank you. Thank you.

Ges Resource - Reply

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