HP 3600n Constantly Calibrating Fix

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

My HP 3600n Printer: "Help. I'm constantly calibrating!"

My HP 3600n Printer: “Help. I’m constantly calibrating!”

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:

  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.

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. 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!

Waiver of Liability

By using this HP 3600n Constantly Calibrating Fix to adjust your printer’s settings, you hereby agree to hold Mike Krauss and www.MikeKrauss.com harmless to any legal claims associated with use of this procedure.