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Ghosting, repeated images on LaserJet 4, 4Plus, 5

"Ghosting" or repeated images are print defects characterized by lighter versions of text or print repeated down the page. On LaserJet 4, 4-Plus, and 5 printers, this can sometimes be corrected by adjusting the Toner Density level under the printer's Configuration Menu.  Sometimes people install a new fuser and see ghosting and automatically assume the new fuser is bad, when in actuality, it is just bonding the toner differently and the Density setting needs to be lowered.

The other two possible remedies for this problem would be to replace the fuser or toner, as these are the only two assemblies that can cause repeated image defects.

The reason turning the toner density down can help eliminate this problem is because many toner cartridges for these printers print darker than OEM (genuine HP cartridges). This isn't a bad thing. Blacker blacks give the print better contrast and the text is more readable. If you had a page printed with a higher contrast next to a page print with less contrast the text seems to stand out better on the page with higher contrast. However the density may be so high that the fuser can't melt all of the toner into the paper resulting in ghosting. This is typically noticeable only on the first few pages out, after which the fuser grows a little hotter and the ghosted images go away.

The Laserjet 4, 4-Plus, and 5 use the 92298A and 92298X toner cartridges. Some toner remanufacturers put stickers on these recommending to turn down the toner density. The default factory setting is a toner Density level of 3. We recommend lowering the toner density level to 1 if you are getting repeated images.

As previously mentioned the only two assemblies in these models that can cause ghosting are the fuser and toner. If turning the toner density down doesn't help, you may have a bad toner cartridge or your fuser might be worn out. Try swapping these if you have spares or do a Halfway Test to determine which one is causing the problem.

To adjust this Density setting:

1. Press the "ON LINE" button to take the printer "Offline."

2. Next, press the "MENU" button repeatedly until you reach the "Configuration" menu.

3. Then press the "ITEM" button repeatedly until you see the words "DENSITY =" as shown below.

4. Now press the + / - button to adjust the value from 3 to 1.  Then press the Select button and watch for an asterisk to appear on the the screen ; which means the new setting has been saved.

5.  Now you can press the menu button to escape out of the Configuration menu , and then print a few test pages to see if you notice an improvement with the Density level lowered.

Click here to purchase a replacement fuser / maintenance kit for the LaserJet 4, 4Plus , or 5.