HP 3600n Constantly Calibrating Fix

HP Color Laser Jet 3600n – Calibration Fix

My HP 3600n Printer: “Help. I’m constantly calibrating and turning me off and on isn’t working!”

(UPDATE: I’ve been told this fix also works for the HP LJ 3600s)

As luck would have it, last week all my toner cartridges ran out at the exact same time. You know exactly how wonderful this is when these things run about $150 each at Staples. (I use a local place and get refills for about $120). So I ordered all four colors (you can do the math cost wise).

Well the black was first to go and when we replaced it the printer restarted and wouldn’t exit startup calibration.

The printer kept running and running so we turned it off hoping that the next morning when we turned it on everything would be fixed – no such luck.

First I went online and looked for answers. One answer was to take the whole thing apart and clean the scanner lenses. Well after taking half the printer apart, I decided that wasn’t a great idea. Fortunately I was able to get everything back together and everything still worked – even the continuous calibrating issue.

I tried a few other things I found online, and after some experimentation, it looks like I fixed the issue completely. It’s only been a couple of days but I can completely turn off the printer and power it back on and everything is working as it should.

It looks like there were quite a few other folks who had similar problems.

Here’s what I did and some pictures I took so you can easily (hopefully) perform the same operation:

HP 3600n Instrument Cluster

HP 3600n Instrument Cluster

HP 3600n Memory Initialization

HP 3600n Memory Initialization

HP 3600n Maintenance Mode

HP 3600n Maintenance Mode

  1. Cycle power switch off then on.
  2. Immediately as the printer powers on and the memory is initializing on the display screen (see picture “HP 3600n Memory Initialization”), press and hold the “Down” Arrow until all three status lights are lit and you see two rows of asterisks (*) (see picture “HP 3600n Maintenance Mode”).
  3. Press the “Up” Arrow once.
  4. Press the “Menu” button once. This gets you into the maintenance screen and you will see “NVRAM INIT” on the Display Screen
  5. Press the “Down” Arrow once until “Skip Calibration” shows.
  6. Press the “Check Mark” Button once. A line of asterisks (*) will display under the words “Skip Calibration”. The printer will then finish initializing on it’s own at that point without calibrating.

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At this point you should be able to use your printer like normal but you may experience some pretty bad print quality.

Consequently you may need to perform a calibration.

Here’s how to perform a “Quick Calibration.”

Once the printer has finished initializing and is sitting in a ready state, perform the following:

  1. Press the “Check Mark” Button once.
  2. Press the “Down” Arrow button 2 times until you see “Configure Device.”
  3. Press the “Check Mark” Button once.
  4. Press the “Down” Arrow button 1 time until you see “Print Quality.”
  5. Press the “Check Mark” Button once.
  6. Press the “Down” Arrow button 5 times until you see “Quick Calibrate Now”
  7. Press the “Check Mark” Button once. The printer will now perform a “Quick Calibration.”

If everything goes well, you should get about a minute or so of calibration and then the printer should return to the ready state.

UPDATE: If things are still not printing well, you may want to try a Full Calibration. This is accomplished the same way as a Quick Calibration. The only change is as follows:

Step 6. Press the “Down” Arrow button 6 times until you see “Full Calibrate Now”

A Full Calibration should take about 2 Minutes Only.

Here are some other notes:

  • In the end, I replaced all the toner cartridges.
  • Replacing all the toner cartridges didn’t fix the constant calibration problem. Only after I performed the “Skip Calibration” process would the printer stop calibrating.
  • I highly recommend NOT trying to take apart your printer. There’s a good chance you will break something and you will really be stuck with a broken printer. I was an electronics technician in the Navy for 6 years and I realized after taking my printer apart that it was a huge mistake!

My honest opinion, it was replacing all the toner cartridges and performing the two procedures above that returned my printer to full “normal” high quality printing operations.

However, if you run into this problem, I would try these procedures before buying more toner cartridges. As I said before, those things are expensive. You may in the end have to buy a new printer if these procedures don’t work and you don’t want to add insult to injury by having 4 brand new but opened toner cartridges sitting in your office.

Finally, please feel free to comment below if you discover anything that could help someone else. By the way, I’m NOT some sort of Printer/IT guy and I don’t work for HP. (I own a small paper shredding company in San Diego if you’re interested.) If you have questions I can try to help but there’s probably not much I can do other than recommend the steps above. But you can always ask and I can always say I don’t know!

I hope this helps…

Best regards,


P.S. I’d love to see your comments below if this indeed helped fix your problem!

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124 Responses to “HP 3600n Constantly Calibrating Fix”

  1. Nancy VV January 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    This worked perfectly! The print quality was not an issue so I did not mess around with the quick calibration.

  2. Stephanie February 2, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    Thank you so much for your advice.
    Our work printer had come up with the change magenta cartridge alert and as I have done many before I changed the cartridge. The printer then started to callibrate continuously and no matter what I did it wouldn’t stop.
    After a few frustrating hours i found your solution and now have a printer thats going like a dream.

  3. RD February 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Thanks for that – worked a treat. I had just spent 200 on replacing parts when the calibration started and didnt’ end. So I too would have been a bit peeved if I then had to buy a new printer.

    Thanks again

  4. Eurobum February 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Thanks Mike. I works (2/4/2011)

  5. ChadQ February 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    I had a customer with this problem and the solution provided here is a great workaround but what actually ended up fixing the problem was pulling out the packing strips from two recently replaced toner cartridges. 😉

    • Mike February 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

      Leaving the packing strips in would definitely lead to problems!

      • David October 1, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

        Hi Mike,
        I was excited to try the “fix” that you recommended for the calibration problem but have had no success after 5-6 attempts. I go through all of the steps and get exactly the same responses on the screen that you describe but when I am done the machine continues with the dreaded calibration recycling. Beside using a hammer and TNT do you have any other suggestions?
        PS. All of the cartridges are low so I’m wondering if that adds to the problem.

  6. Bless You February 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Thank you sooooo much! This has worked my nerve for two whole days, and now I don’t have the problem! Thank you so much!

  7. Paul February 17, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    Your method got me printing again, but, it is printing ONLY Cyan and black. In fact the entire page is covered in Cyan. I tried the quick calibration and now doing a full calibration. It’s stuck on full calibration again. Darn…. Thanks anyway, looks like I have another issue.

    • Mike February 17, 2011 at 2:36 am #

      Hey Paul, Did you start getting the “stuck in calibration” after replacing one or more of the cartridges. I know mine started after replacing the black cartridge. Just a thought, but I would try removing a cartridge at a time and then try the entire procedure again. I have no idea if this will work and it may take some messing around with the settings in order to bypass one or more of the cartridges. Or you might want to try replacing the new cartridges with an older one (I know I have a bunch old cartridges laying around). Let me know if this is of any help. – Mike

  8. Paul February 17, 2011 at 3:44 am #

    Thanks for the tips Mike – I was just going to write back to say that I got mine fixed. I had just replaced the Cyan cartridge when the printer went into the never ending calibration mode. I went through the steps above and got it to print, but it printed in ALL Cyan and black. I replaced the Cyan with yet another Cyan and the calibration process started all over again, never ending. Then I put back the original Cyan, went through the process above, doing the quick calibration, and it was working as good as it was before I replaced the cyan cartridge originally (which wasn’t great). Then I printed four rectangles, one of each of the cartridge colors, cyan, yellow, magenta, and black. I noticed that not only was the cyan light but so was the YELLOW! I replaced the yellow cartridge AND put one of the Cyan cartridges back in and it finished the calibration completely. Works great now. Without the process above I may never have figured this out. Thanks again!!
    PS – I two am a computer tech…

    • Mike February 17, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      Hey Paul, I’m glad it worked out. As you indicated, I think this problem becomes worse (or appears worse) when multiple cartridges start running out at the same time. Thanks for your input – Mike

      • kelly November 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

        I do the first two steps but nothing happens when I press the up arrow once. or when I press the Menu button.

        I don’t get the Maintenance screen???

        Press the up arrow once.
        4.Press the Menu button once. This gets you into the maintenance screen and you will see “NVRAM INIT” on the Display Screen

        • Mike November 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

          Hi Kelly,

          In step 2, are you getting all 3 “Status Lights” to come on along with the 2 full rows of asterisks as seen in the 3rd picture captioned “HP 3600n Maintenance Mode”?

          Remember, as soon as you cycle the power off and then on, you have to press and hold the down arrow. If I remember correctly, this has to be done immediately!


  9. Raja March 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Hi MIke. I did the same what you mentioned to solve this issue. But I got the printout in bad quality. I restarted the printer, again it is calibrating? can you help me to solve the problem. My printer is HP Laser Jet color 3600n and all the cartridges are new and original bought in HP showroom


    • Mike March 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

      Hi Raja. I ran into the same situation with my printer. After I performed the first part (stopping the constant calibration problem), my print quality was horrible – everything was coming out red. I tried messing around with the color levels manually but it didn’t help at all.

      That’s when I ran the “Quick Calibration” on the menu screen.

      Most likely you are going to have to run the entire procedure again to stop the constant calibration. Then continue onto the second part of performing the “Quick Calibration” – 7 steps.

      Once done, print a page off and see how everything looks. You should be good to go at this point and then you can turn the printer on and off as needed.

      Let us know if this helps.

      – Mike

  10. Ben March 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Your tip worked perfectly. I’ve broken the endless calibration cycle. However, my color printouts all have an ugly yellowish tinge, even after running the quick calibration. All my cartridges are new and HP. Any ideas? Many thanks

    • Mike March 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

      Hey Ben,

      My first thought would be to perform a “Full Calibration.” It’s the same process as performing the “Quick Calibrate Now” but all you have to do his hit the Down Arrow button 6 times instead of 5 times (Step #6).

      If that still doesn’t work, I would slap an old yellow cartridge in and perform the calibration process again. The printer may not allow you to do this since we would assume the old toner cartridge is empty. There is an override in the menu. So open the Menu; Configure Device; System Setup; Replace Supplies (down arrow 9 times); Override at Out. I’m guessing this will allow the printer to function even if a toner cartridge is empty. I would then put the new yellow toner back in and perform the calibration. Hopefully this “un-stucks” the printer.

      If no luck, there is a “Restore Factory Settings” option: Menu; Configure Device; Resets; Restore Factory Resets. After performing this, I would run a calibration again.

      Finally, you may have a bad yellow toner cartridge. The only way to find out is to go buy another. Either you will be printing beautifully or you won’t. However, we all know this is an expensive test to run.

      However, I suspect the problem has more to do with calibration than with a faulty toner cartridge.

      Let me know how this works out.



  11. MR.I April 5, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    .. it’s working perfectly,
    you’ve save my day of this anoyin’ printer…
    after a year passed with calibrating problem … just needs a minute to fix…

    thank you very much…

  12. Tom from france April 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Hello Mike . Thanks for your tip. Now i can use this printer. But perhaps someone can help me again, I have a misalignent with cyan color (near 1mm).

    • Mike July 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

      Hi Tom, Did you get the alignment fixed? Did you try the calibration?



  13. Neil April 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    Mike – Thanks SO MUCH for the tip. I had all 4 cartidges running out near the same time. Following your procedure fixed everything.

    On two prior occassions, I had endless calibration when changing just one cartridge. Each time I bought a 2nd new cartidge to test and still had problems. What actually “fixed” things those times (after several on/off and in/out w/the cartidges) was printing a document, which seemed to “jolt” the printer out of calibration (however, the first several prints I sent during calibration didn’t print…it’s still a mystery why it eventually started working those prior times).

  14. Rhonda May 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    You saved the day! Spent a frustrating evening trying to fix this problem, googled some solutions and slogged through the HP website to no avail. Next morning, when I’d all but given up, I found your solution. I am a techno-phobe of the first order, but your instructions were SO clear and the photos helped too. Thanks so much–I thought I was going to have to replace the beast!

  15. judz June 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Thax mr mike for this helping stuff, it really helped me

  16. Shari June 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Awesome! Your advice worked & I had almost ordered a used replacement printer (had just ordered cartridges)!!!! THANKS!

  17. Dennis Butcher June 16, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    Ditto Rhonda’s comments above. Spent some time fishing around for some reasonable idea’s to the 54.17 print error code I was getting. Tried all types of cleaning to no avail. Found your Calibration Fix and it worked flawlessly. Quick calibration also worked and printing is as good as it has ever been.

    U Da’ Man…. Thanks again Mike and my wife thanks you twice!!

    • Mike July 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

      Hi Dennis – Glad I could help.

  18. Bonnie Burn July 10, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    You are wonderful! Thank you for your practical, easy to follow steps & visuals.
    Situation was: I’ve been printing stuff off an on for several hours on my 3600n printer and I decided to cancel a print job, like I usually do. And when it just stopped printing my requests, I did a configuration print out. It said I had a “LAN Errof – Loss of Carrier.” Well after 45 min of googling and feeling quite overwhelmed & intimidated… I told myself to look one more time on google to see if anyone would talk “plain language” and actually be helpful instead of impressed with their own techy malarchy. Eureka! I found your information. I found I would email you if you saved the day & you did…so I am! I decided to take the path of least resistance & replace the yellow cartridge. Note; it was saying it was low…like the printer usually states in such a status. When I replaced the cartridge I caliberated for quite some time. If I hadn’t read your information I think I would have started punching some of the printer buttons out of exasperation…but, I kept my hands off. And… Yeah…it stopped calibrating and I decided to test it on printing out the instructions you had provided… and life is A-Okay now. Thank you for being so kind and actually taking pictures, writing superb instructions!! I am going to keep your site under my Favorites! Thanks so much Mike!!

  19. Bonnie Burn July 10, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    Well… grrr.. it printed once great… now… when I print.. just the “Ready” light is on and it doesn’t print. I went through your steps on initializing and the Red, “Attention” light went on. So…now I’m trying to figure out what that means. I do use my printer a lot and it has been making a lot of shriek noises after I’ve been printing for 15 minutes. It may be telling me it’s just too tired…. ?? I think I’m going to call it a night… I’ll check tomorrow to see if you had a chance to reply… and if it works tomorrow, I’ll let you know. Thanks Mike, Bonnie

    • Mike July 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

      Hey Bonnie, it sounds like you are using your printer quite a bit and there’s no amount of setting resets we could do in order to fix noises or just a worn out printer.

      Although I use my printer a fair amount, I don’t think I’ve ever printed for 15 minutes straight. My guess is that your printer is about to give up the ghost and it might be time to get a more robust printer considering your use.

      I went to the HP website for the 3600n and the recommended number of pages is 1,000 to 3,000 per month (that’s 2 to 6 reams of paper). 15 minutes of printing is about 255 pages. That’s approximately 9 to 26% of your recommended number of monthly pages!

      I’ve looked into getting a multipurpose high volume printer and copier for my office but I just don’t have enough volume to justify the lease. You may be close to that point. The leases on these things include service and toner if I remember correctly. It might be worth investigating and it might even save you money and time when you consider your HP toner costs and print time.

      Hope this helps,


  20. Anja July 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Hey Mike,
    thanks so much for all this information, it saved us 400€. Better than any HP support homepage!!
    Dankeschön from Germany!

  21. Anja July 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    ok, the printer does it all over again. starts calibrating for ever each time I turn it on. then I go through the whole procedure again (skip calibration) and it stops. But the printing quality was always good. Do you have any idea what to do?
    thx so much,

    • Mike July 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

      Hi Anja,

      Did you perform the “quick calibration” steps above? That’s the second set of 7 steps.

      My suspicion is that the reason why the printer starts malfunctioning like this in the first place is because one of the printer cartridges does require calibration – even if it appears that the print quality is good. But, for some strange reason, the printer gets stuck in this constant calibration loop.

      Also, if you just swapped out a printer cartridge, there could be a possibility that the new toner cartridge is bad. Try throwing in an old cartridge and running the whole procedure again including the “quick calibration.” The printer may not let you do this since the toner cartridge is already empty – but it’s worth a try. There is also a setting in the menu to bypass the empty toner cartridge error which basically will allow you print with no toner in the cartridges. If you’re having no luck and need to know how to bypass the empty cartridge warning, let me know and I’ll go figure out the step-by-step procedure.

      Let us know what happens.

      Your friend,


      • Anja September 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

        Hey Mike,

        sorry that I’m answering just now but I didn’t have any old cartridges to try out what happens after exchanging the cartridges. I did quick each and every time, then sometimes full calibration, then I bypassed the empty toner cartidge error thing and reactivated it again… And now – I don’t know why – the printer runs correctly. I guess it’s because I did the full calibration thing a few times and at some point the printer stopped this never ending calibration procedure.

        Thank you so much , it really helped us a lot!!


        • Mike September 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

          Hi Anja,

          I’m glad your perseverance paid off and it eventually worked out.

          Have a great day!


  22. Darius August 12, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    :-) It worked like a charm… thanks a bunch. I sure hope that next restart won’t start the calibration loop all over again.

    Thanks again, have a nice day!

  23. alan September 7, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Thanks mike, I just had one variation to do on mine, that was to hold down both arrow keys on start up, then the 2 rows of stars appeared, i pressed the menu button once , this brought up the initvram and then i stopped the calibration.
    Best Regards to all fellow sufferers!

    • Mike September 20, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      Thanks for your input Alan. I’m wondering if you have a different model. It may be useful to others who encounter the same thing.

  24. Bonny September 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Thanks Mr Mike!

    it worked but when i switch off and restart the printer , it again hangs to calibrating…

    will I always use to the same thing to work?


    • Mike September 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

      Hi Bonny. The calibration is the problem. Getting past the constantly calibrating problem is only part of the fix. Make sure you perform a full calibration. If you still have problems, you might actually have a bad toner cartridge.

  25. James Hope September 9, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    Mike – Genious – HP online help was usless!

  26. Steve P. September 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Mike, I’ve done about 2 hours of research on-line, until I came upon your 2 minute solution. I can now print! Thank you……

    Although I can print, the underlying problem is still there. I feel that the sensors need cleaning, since only half of the page prints cyan. Do you know how, or where I can find instructions on how to do that?

    Thanks again…..

    • Mike September 20, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

      Hey Steve,

      Make sure you get a good calibration once you get past the constant calibration loop. That’s the second part of the process. When I went through my problem, the magenta was really screwed up.

      If you have an old cyan cartridge, I would try putting that back in and performing the whole sequence. There is a way to bypass the low toner warning on the cartridges in order to get them to print a few more pages.

      I highly suggest you not try taking this beast apart. Trust me, the sensors are in no way accessible.

      I have a document destruction business so things are pretty dusty around here. In this environment, if it ever would be required, my sensors should need cleaning. But I haven’t had a problem since I performed this procedure.

      Let us know how it works out.



  27. Angelo October 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Hey Mike. I found your solution some time ago and it worked like charm, but never got to thank you :)

    Anyway, today the printer started calibrating again. I followed the same steps but guess what: I can’t get in the nvram menu. I’ve done it a few times in the past, but now nothing. I managed to get in a ‘cold reset’ menu somehow, but nowhere the ‘skip calibration’ part. I press up and menu and nothing happens for a few secs until I can start again.

    What would be your suggestion? New cartridges?

  28. Angelo October 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Me again. I solved the problem, I wasn’t doing the process correctly. Silly me 😛

    Thanks again for the solution, you’ve saved me!

  29. Roldan Camarse October 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Thanks a lot for your help. Your tip really stopped the printer from doing a constant Calibration. I just made myself a reminder to do a calibration on it once a month.

  30. Barbara October 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Thank you so much! I’m preparing for a digital photography camp and MUST have my printer working. You save me. Thanks for taking the time to post these very clear directions.

  31. Teddy November 2, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Mike, dear !

    after I left the 3600n to cool down for a week or so, I came back, and looked for help on internet,; finding this page it was a revelation for me: first I took couple of chances, realized the yellow is low, too. I replaced it and went on your disciples steps till I was able to print a yellowish-black copy of these instructions.Then I did print your great instructions for the second time and the printed copy came out perfect.Shouldn’t I pray for you, from now on !?
    Yes, you’ll be in my prayers all the times.

    thanks ! fr. Ted

    • Mike November 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

      Hi Fr. Ted,

      Lord knows I need all the prayers I can get… So I gladly accept!

      Your friend,


  32. Mike November 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    A friend of ours from New Zealand said that this process worked for his HP LJ 3600s.

  33. PennyA November 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm #


    I was thrilled to find your instructions to this printer delimna – however, I cannot restore my print quality — all the black print (black was the cartridge replacement that started this madness) is pale to the point of ilegibility!?! I have completed the additional steps said to address this problem; and after reading all of the comments above, also went back through everything, and selected “Full Calibration” — but all that did was restart the marp o.O

    This was a refurbished cartridge, but that’s what we have run in this printer, for years, without any sort of problem — until today *which, as is the way of the wacky world, is the day before a major deadline*. Is there ANY other wisdom you can shed on this puzzling situation?

    With many thanks!
    – penny

    • Mike November 8, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

      Hi Penny,

      I would try performing a “Full Calibration.” This is performed exactly the same as a quick calibration, but in step 6, press the down arrow one more time (total of 6 times) and press the “Check Mark” button when you see “Full Calibrate Now”.

      I’m going to put together a checklist for overriding the automatic toner cartridge “out” function for testing if you have a bad toner cartridge. It also can be used for getting that last little bit out of your toner cartridges.

      Let us know how the Full Calibration works.



  34. PennyA November 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Alas, I had already tried advancing to the Full Cal – but it did the same thing it did upon changing the cartridge: it just KEPT ON Calibrating :-\

    I just got back from town (picked up a new HP cartridge at Staples) and *presto!* the printer works like a dream. I will difinitely keep up with this thread, in case this happens again.

    Thanks for the quick response — I was SO afraid of not being ready for tomorrow, I had to take the plunge and get a new one. I suppose I was “due” for a bum cartridge — the timing just really stunk :-)

    Thanks, again!
    – penny

    • Mike November 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

      Penny…. If you’re up for it, I would be interested to see what happens if you put the bad toner cartridge back in. If you get the calibrating issue again, then hopefully you can get a refund. If it works, it’s a bummer that you had to buy a new cartridge, but at least you won’t have to go through the hassle of getting a refund.



  35. PennyA November 9, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    …okay, took a break in the endless printing to try the 1st cartridge of the day, again — still went into Calibrating loop (?) Ran through the ‘fixes’ again, and was able to cease the Calibrating, but the print quality was, again, AWFUL.

    I also re-read the comments preceeding my saga; and one struck me as notable — I wonder if it is possible that a portion of the ‘strip’ that you pull out before inserting the cartridge is still in there (?) This only came to me, because when I installed the new, new cartridge this afternoon, it seemed like the protective strip was noticeably LONGER than what came out of the cartridge from earlier in the day 😕

    It seems like all of this has resulted in more questions than answers; but I SO appreciate your help and follow up on this! I have bookmarked your site :)

    All the best!
    – penny
    *the weary printer – ha!*

    • Mike December 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

      Hey Penny,

      A portion of the protective strip remaining in the cartridge would certainly be a problem! And in fact, that strip is very long.

      Hopefully you got the “new, new” cartridge working.

      Thanks for your contribution,


  36. Pasta Pobass December 6, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    I am bad with computer and its devices. I never format a computer by myself. Not even to change the power supply or installing the ram or hard disk myself. Everything is done by my technician and I even asked them to install every single thing that I need before hand it to me. This is also the first time that I am trying to learn how to change the laser printer cartridges for my new printer by myself. However, I am happy that I am still able to learn through the internet. After all, it is not as difficult as I though it would be. I enjoy reading your post and please continue to post. Thanks a lot.

  37. scooterlover December 6, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    Greetings everybody,

    I don’t have the stuck-on-calibiration problem. Yet I’m suffering from a more annoying one.

    Every now and then and as the printer is printing in HIGH QUALITY…all of a sudden colors start to break down in images into a full shade of red covering almost all the image area.

    MOst surprisingly, the problem MAY vanish in a day or two and appear once again some other time. Changing the color profile helped once but never after…

    Installed…uninstalled the driver…the same outcome. The printer is shared over the network but oftenly printed on by a workgroup computer.

    Any help?

    • Mike December 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      I use my HP over a small network and we get consistent printing on all computers.

      My only suggestion would be to reset the printer to its factory default and then try to perform a quick calibration (second part of the above procedure).

      I’ve rarely found that messing with drivers will help with print quality or much of anything other than getting your computer to talk (nicely) with the printer. Once they are talking, it’s usually up to the printer to make nice and give quality output :-)

      Let us know how it works out.


  38. scooterlover December 7, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Thanx mike.

    I made a factory reset..calibration took much longer (didn’t wnat to interrupt) only to tell me that I need a black cartridge. I’ll check out after I unstall the new one

  39. erooms December 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Thanks for the fix Mike!

    You mentioned “As luck would have it, last week all my toner cartridges ran out at the exact same time.”

    I found a fix for this on another website. If you print more often in Black & White only with occasional Color use, you can change the Print Mode to “Mostly Black”.

    On my printer, HP Color LaserJet 3600n, this option can be found by pressing Menu, Configure Device, System Setup, Color/Black Mix, Mostly Black Pages.

    Hope this helps!

  40. IT Tech January 10, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Thanks so much for this.Your fix works, Genius!

  41. Tyty January 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    Thnak you so much. Your instruction abov help me to solve the problem to istall my new tonners.
    Thank again.

  42. Eugene January 26, 2012 at 4:45 am #

    Thank you very much.. You save my day…
    Your tip works perpectly to me.

  43. davus January 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    worked like a charm! you rule!

  44. manuel February 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    nice aport, but my printer says that its full of paper, what do y should do

  45. sajid February 6, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    big thaink,s

  46. Stu Gautz April 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Or you can take out the board at the back and plug it back in. No tools required.

  47. cheapest printer ink cartridges May 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Thank you so much for giving such a neat contribution here!!!

  48. Carole Hayes June 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    It worked, it worked, IT WORKED!!!

    THANK you for figuring this out!

  49. Jennifer July 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Worked perfect. You’re a genius!

  50. Md.firoj uddin August 30, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    Hi,I have problem of my hp color laser jet-3600 printer,RUNNING CALIBARTING
    pls tel me ,how it sloved ?

  51. Wajid September 10, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    Excellent! it works well, but when asked to full calliberate; it again goes for long calliberation! please tell further.

    Anyhow, I can print, following your instruction each time when I start.

  52. Jane September 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Thanx Mike – it seems to have worked – except when I did the full calibration – it ran for over 7 minutes… The normally good quality has been compromised… This all happened when my assistant changed one cartridge. I had the cartridge monitor set to override so I get every last drop of toner… and thgouth that might have been the issue – but it seems others have had the same problem without that added factor… I love this printer – hope I don’t have to get a new one – like my tech told me to do :).
    Thanx again.

    • Mike September 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

      Howdy Jane,

      I’ve also messed with the settings on my printer to get every last “drop” of toner out of these cartridges. I’ve even gone as far as using the do-it-yourself refill kits trying to save money on toner. For all this effort, although I’ve saved a lot of “mula” on toner, the quality of my printing is in the dumps! I think this is a great printer but there is something to be said (as much as I hate saying it) for using the “from the factory” HP toner cartridges and restoring factory settings when it comes down to print quality.

      For the most part, high quality is not of ultimate importance for most of my printing needs.

      However, having to go to Kinkos a few times for high quality prints is just as expensive as new HP Toner Cartridges. I believe I see new HP Toner in my immediate future :-(

      In any event, I’m glad this was able to help!

      Best regards,


  53. Charles L. Dunn September 19, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    Thanks very much. These directions were the most precise and easy to ofllow I have come across since using the computer. I paid ASK and their instructions were all off and led me to open new cartridges that were not necessary. I am eternally grateful

  54. Jane September 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Hi Mike… as it turns out – the quality is atrocious… and not really useable. I have just set it back to factory defaults – and it is still blurry and the colours are faded on the right side of the page… I think I am hooped…
    …AND I just put in all new cartridges… ugh! what a waste of money.

    • Mike September 22, 2012 at 12:30 am #

      Hey Jane,

      Sorry your printer just isn’t behaving…

      There is one more thing you may want to try before you throw your printer and all those new toner cartridges out. Have you ever replaced your printers fuser?

      I’ve replaced two in the life of my printer. The last one I purchased I got off Amazon and paid $183.49… And that included shipping.

      So the question is: Cut your loses and go buy a new printer; or, Dish out another $183.49 to get this printer going.

      If you’ve already replace the fuser recently, it looks like there is only one option… Unfortunately :-(

      Here’s the link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hewlett-Packard-Color-Laserjet-RM1-2763-020/dp/B003493ENE

      Good luck!


  55. Roberto October 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    hello, mike I have the same problem with my printer, I did wht you suggested and work only with the quick calibration, because in full calibration mode gave me the same error, but when I tried to print everything come out yellow and black, where goes other color everything comes yellow, what should I do for that, and the error persist at less that I skip the process, thank you

  56. Roberto October 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Hey, I fix the problem of the error changing the toners for new ones now calibrate it ok, but the problem with the yellow color in the print test that I made persist, even if is only text and the font is in white now is printing the white font in yellow, I hope you or someone know what can I do, thank you.

  57. rebecca November 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    thank you so much!!! this helped our office today!! toook a few times for me to get into the maintenance mode but finally did it!

  58. Navin November 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Thanks. Worked like a charm on my 3600n. It got stuck in calibrating mode after I changed my Black ink cartridge. I had 4 generic brand cartridges in it, and it worked fine. But my replacement is a HP Original. And this started the problem -so go figure!

    The print quality after your fix is great, so I have not bothered to calibrate.

    By the way, I did make a small donation via Paypal. Your tip was much appreciated.

  59. jennifer November 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Thank you Mike. This tip helped me a lot and I was able to resolve our printer issues by quick calibration. I do however have another issue, at present, I have to recalibrate our printer daily in order to print in color. It has become part of my daily routine but I am sure that isn’t normal. Do you have any suggestions?

  60. Louis December 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Hi, thanx for this tip!
    Another one for removing the calibration error is disasemble the printer from the back, in the middle of the printer you will find a black box containing the laser mirrors.
    Clean the mirrors, and the square mirrors on the two motors in the box. There will be dust and goo on them. After cleaning you can enjoy the printer without endless calibration.

    • Mike February 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

      Hey Louis,

      I disassembled my printer trying to find laser mirrors and it was a less than exciting adventure. I was just happy to get it back together! I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re very good at that sort of thing.

  61. Dino February 18, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Hi Mike,
    your fix working fine and everthing is printing well.

    Is der any Option to hold this Status? I have to do your fix sometimes twices a day.

    Any idea?

    • Dino February 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

      and when i start to print more than a few pages then the result is everytime jam.

      • Mike February 18, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

        I’m not sure a bad toner cartridge would cause constant paper jams but what do I know. If the jam is occurring at the same spot right as it passes the same toner cartridge… Perhaps the cartridge is the issue. Where the jam is taking place is where I would look first. Perhaps some rollers need a little cleaning.

    • Mike February 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      Our HP 3600n doesn’t go into this calibration loop just to make our lives difficult… There is usually something wrong causing this calibration. The usual suspect is the most recently replaced toner cartridge. So there are two choices: Replace the misbehaving toner cartridge (and rerun the procedure) or deal with the misbehaving toner cartridge. The choice boils down to whether or not the cost of a new toner cartridge exceeds the pain of constantly messing with the printer in order to get it to work.

  62. Tom March 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    I have a 3600dn and I can get to the menu but I don’t have the skip calibration option. At least I can’t find it. I can find quick calibration and full calibration.

    Any ideas?

  63. Tom March 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Never Mind! Found it

  64. Diane March 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Thanks for the tip – now it just keeps initializing. Not sure what to do. Any suggestions? I read all the comments and did not find anything about this added problem.

  65. santosh April 10, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Thanks a bunch it works fine.
    U have saved lot of time

  66. Kees May 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    It worked, you made my day.

    Thank you


  67. Tina June 10, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Thanks for sharing!

  68. Alicia June 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    Just wanted to say thank you! After replacing the Cyan toner cartridge in my printer today the 54.17 error code came up. I’m not sure why? But I thought it was because the toner was generic.

    I looked the code up online and found your page, followed the directions above and now it’s working and the print quality came out great.

    Thanks Again!!!!

  69. Christer estberg June 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Hej Mike!

    This is the 2nd time I help my friend the organist with his HP CLJ-3600 when he changes cassetts and can´t come out of the calibration mode. I belive that this depends on a very cheep exchanges of cassettes.

    Thanks from Sweden/South Scandnavia!

    Mr Southmill

  70. Taco July 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Even my mother understood this guide, thanks. Saved me quite a hassle!

  71. ADIL August 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    it works perfectly thanks

  72. hasan September 1, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Thanks bro.. it worked..

  73. RF September 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    You are the man! I spent 3 days trying to fix the problem with no success. Your solution worked for me!

  74. rahimuddin October 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm #


  75. Mike Wilson October 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    This has taken care of the continuous calibration but it will not print Magenta now.

    • John June 1, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

      Try replacing the magenta cartridge.

  76. Andre Grenier November 22, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Thank you so much Mike. I was lucky enough to find your post in a couple of minutes. My HP 3600n kept calibrating and would not stop no matter what I did. I followed your quick steps and we are back in business.

  77. andrew November 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    I had to use this trick to stop the continuous calibration but since that time (several months) the color has been off. The unit will quick calibrate but not ever complete a full calibration.

    I decided to mess with it some more today and tried the ‘cold boot’ reset described at this page – http://angrytechnician.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/incorrect-colours-being-printed-on-an-hp-laserjet-3600/ – hold the check button down while powering on, when all three LEDS are lit, release and press the down arrow until you see ‘cold reset,’ press the check mark again to reset the printer.

    I should note that I was not having the same color errors as this guy. The RGB print outs looked basically normal to me.

    After performing the cold reset and restarting, the printer went back into it’s continuous calibration and I used Mike’s technique to stop it. Then I performed a quick calibration and printed the test print I had been using. The colors were much, much better.

    I thought I would post is here since Mike’s page is where everybody with this printer eventually winds up.

  78. shahid December 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Dear Sirs

    i am facing the problem during my 3600dn color laser printer all cartridges are full but calibrating still on so please let me give us the advice how i will stop this situation so that my printer work regular


  79. Angie LeBaron January 29, 2014 at 2:02 am #

    Thank you! It did work for me. I really appreciate the tutorial! Much indebted. I will keep my fingers crossed it stays this way! You Rock!

  80. Conor March 30, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Perfect fixed printer first time. Could not find this fix anywhere else.

  81. David July 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm #


    Thanks for this post! I am a Tier 3 tech support contractor and printer maintenance instructor and your post has been quite helpful. I do get calls on this issue from field techs with this issue on the 3600/3800 series printers. I also wanted to let you know that the message came back after the tech performed this initially, but it was a few days later. I remember the LaserJet 4600 had a reset that involved opening the front cover and pressing the engine test button for 20 seconds. That would reset the calibration values and improve print quality if the calibration was unsuccessful.

  82. Brian November 14, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    Hello Mike,
    I searched for some other issues but your page came up so I though I make my voice heard to see if you or anyone knows how to fix this issue. I have a HP3600N (networked) which was working perfectly until my AT&T 2WIRE burned out and I replaced it with AT&T NetGear Modem / router, now every morning I have to re-start my printer otherwise it prints black and white.
    Thank you ,

  83. Jim December 23, 2014 at 3:49 am #

    Hi Mike,
    Found your page and found it quite useful. It didn’t fix my problem. My log had many 54.0C.03 errors in it. If I ran a Printer Quality check both the magenta and yellow faded from left to right. Turns out the optics had to be cleaned.

    The laser scanner is in two banks. Black and Yellow, Cyan and Magenta. Both the Yellow and Magenta optics have a mirror which faces up so dust gets in and collects on those mirrors.

    This is not for the faint of heart, but it isn’t too terrible. Here is the link to the manual.


    I removed the fuser, lower cassette, ETB, and all the toner cartridges first.

    Follow the instructions to remove the “Laser/scanner assembly”.

    Maker sure to remove all the components they list.

    To clean the optics, remove one screw from the front, there are four clips around the outside of the cover. It doesn’t take much to unclip them. Be careful not to let the spring loaded shutters fall out. Use a lint free wipe (or QTip) to wipe the dust off the optics. DO NOT get fingerprints on anything. Make sure you don’t leave any fibers behind. I also did not use isopropyl or any cleaners.

    Put the cover back on and make sure the shutter levers spring up and down. Reassemble. The only “trick” is make sure the link to the power switch is in place before engaging the rear snaps.

    Follow the instructions above to skip calibration and then run a full calibration.

    Good Luck

    • Jim December 23, 2014 at 3:59 am #

      Scrolled up and read your notes… a couple of things when disconnecting the “DC controller PCA” The power cable (the larger wires) connectors have releases on them, push the tab towards the connector and pull gently. All the other connectors are just pull.

      Grab firmly near the connectors, try to make sure you are pulling all the wires evenly. Wiggle a VERY small amount while pulling firmly. DO NOT yank.

      When putting the flat cables in, line the silver tabs up with the wires in the connector. Push and wiggle a very little, the cable will slide in a little bit each wiggle. Push until it is seated and square. Be careful to make sure the entire cable starts into the connector before pushing, you do not want to fold or bend a corner.

  84. Maria W January 9, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

    Thanks it worked. However the next day turning it back on the problem was there again. So I followed your directions again and it is now working fine, I just can not turn off the printer.

  85. Meredith Jones January 14, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

    I am glad I came across this post. We are having issues with our 3600n. It will print in three different kinds of color: it will print a faded black (no grays; no color); it will print a good black (grays, but no color); it will print beautifully in color. It seems as though it changes after any type of calibration is done. If I come in and it is not printing in color, I will do a quick calibrate, and about 75% of the time, that fixes it temporarily. Sometimes, I have to do the quick calibrate more than once. We have tried full calibrations multiple times, new cartridges, etc. Any thoughts? Will your fix keep it from calibrating at all, or just upon start-up?

    Thanks so much in advance!

  86. Dennis Stefan January 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    I have been using different methods to correct the problem of continual re calibration. YOUR METHOD WORKED PERFECT. LOVE YOU LOTS

  87. laserdealer April 9, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

    What worked for me was swapping out the belt unit with another parts machine. The transfer belt unit is used in calibration I was told by a copier technician. When this was switched, it quit calibrating continuously.


  88. Roberto May 21, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    Obrigado por perder seu tempo em auxilio de outras pessoas.

  89. John June 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    Does this have to be done every time you turn on the printer, or just once?

  90. John June 2, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    Question answered: You have to do this every time you turn on the printer, otherwise it goes into continuous calibration. This started after I replaced a couple of toner cartridges. Maybe there’s something wrong with one or more of them–they were remanufactured ‘hp compatible’ cartridges.

  91. Singh July 13, 2015 at 9:36 am #

    Have the 3600n . It just does not print with the same sharpness it used to . Tried factory reset, quick and full calibration. Got better, but not as it used to be …sharp and vibrant !
    Any suggestions ?

    • Mike July 13, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

      Did your printer just start acting up after replacing a toner cartridge? I’ve found that HP brand toner cartridges work the best. Re-manufactured or refilled cartridges work poorly.

      If you have a lot of miles on your printer, it could be that it’s just getting old. My original 3600n just wasn’t what it used to be after many years of service (6+ years in a light to moderate office setting) no matter what I did… New HP toner cartridges and fusers couldn’t bring it back to what it was.

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