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Smudgy, Faint Printouts

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#1 debodun


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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:08 PM

Since I only would use a printer 2 or 3 times a year, which would be better - a laser or ink jet? I have an old HP LaserJet 4 which I obtained as a used item, but even with a new cartridge, the print quality is faded and smudgy. The roller on the toner cartridge is covered with soot, which I suspect is because it sat for so long between uses.

Any other advice on printers? Thanks.

Edited by debodun, 07 July 2012 - 01:09 PM.

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#2 rotor123


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Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:41 PM

Those LJ4s are workhorses. And Yes for B&W printouts Lasers are better. Inkjets tend to have printhead clogs when not used for stretches of time.

When you say new cartridge, Do you mean sealed in the BOX from HP, or do you mean a refilled cartridge?

I ask because the posted image looks like a well used cartridge.
One reason I say that is that the green drum should be clean and uniform in color.

This is from Lexmark but worth reading http://support.lexmark.com/index?page=content&id=SO2426&locale=en&userlocale=EN_US

Open the shutter and examine the photoconductor drum. The photoconductor drum is the green (sometimes blue) roller inside the photoconductor unit (B in the image below). There is a black plastic shutter/door (A) covering the drum. Caution! The photoconductor drum is sensitive to light, especially sunlight. Do not expose it to light any longer than is necessary.


Inspect the photoconductor drum for any toner or dust.

If the drum is not clean, try cleaning it with a dry lint-free cloth or tissue. Caution: Avoid using a paper towel as that may cause tiny scratches to appear on the drum. Also avoid touching the drum with your fingers as that can leave a permanent fingerprint on the drum.


Gray backgrounds are caused by failed drum wiper blades which don't clean the residue toner off the drum.

Re: HP Laserjet 4 Print Quality Question by custom_basses (12/30/06 9:20 AM) reply + / -
Thanks for your help. Regarding the gray backtrounds, Moe I think that you are right on target -- it looks like the drum wiper blades may indeed be a problem, as the drum has small amounts of stray toner distributed evenly across it.

Thanks also for the information regarding drill and fill operators. I agree, drilling and filling won't cure any problems isn't related to insufficent toner. In my case it seems that the drum wiper blades in the Xerox cartridge may have worn out before the toner was used up, and that either a new HP cartridge or a proper re-man would be my best bet.

Can anyone offer an opinion regarding new HP vs. new Xerox cartridges? My wiper blade problem is with a Xerox cartridge that was purchased new. I've never observed this problem with the HP cartridges, but I have to admit, I haven't used enough cartridges during my printer's lifespan to establish a sound opinion about the cartridge manufacturers. In this case, it would seem that the Xerox cartridge wore out prematurely, which is disappointing.


Edited by rotor123, 08 July 2012 - 02:45 PM.

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