Print or Copy Quality, toner

How to Remove Repetitive Image Defects from an HP Toner Cartridge

Often when removing the toner cartridge for a paper jam,  shaking it to get a few more prints or removing it while performing printer maintenance the toner stirs up and a small bit of toner or even a speck of unknown material will adhere to the charge roller inside the cartridge.  This causes a small dot to appear on all of your prints.  These dots are all “in-line” and have identical spacing.  HP calls this a repetitive image defect.

All HP all-in-one laser printer toner cartridges are affected and this problem can arise.  Once this happens you really have nothing to lose but to try this fix.  It is definitely worth a try as you would have to replace the  cartridge if you didn’t want a dot on all of your documents.   The cost for these cartridges are quite expensive.    If you just purchased the cartridge you can try to have it replaced under warranty.  NOTE:  When removing the toner cartridge for whatever reason, never set the cartridge upside down.  Place it right side up.  Always set it down gently.

How to tell if it is the Charge Roller Causing the Issue
You will know it is caused by the Charge Roller by understanding the image defect ruler.  The spacing on most laser printers will be 37.7mm or 1.5 inches between each dot.

Primary Charging Roller Repetitive Defects
Primary Charging Roller Repetitive Defects
Primary Charging Roller
Primary Charging Roller

How to Fix It

What you will need
You will need a Q-Tip,  writing pen and a flashlight.
Also you will need a sample of the print job with the image defect.
Q-Tips      Pen   Flashlight

Line up the defect page, centering it with the charge roller on the toner cartridge.
Line up the defect page, centering it with the charge roller on the toner cartridge. The Charging Roller is visible through the shutter slit. This is where the laser unit directs the beam to create the Image.
Mark the toner cartridge following the image defect or "DOT" so you will know where to clean the charge roller.
Mark the toner cartridge following the image defect or “DOT” so you will know where to clean the charge roller.
Mark the location of the defect with a pen.
Mark the location of the defect with a pen.


Shine a flash light into the shutter and locate the dot and clean it with the Q-Tip. WARNING: Do not use and type of chemical , water or solvent as this will destroy the charge roller.
Shine a flash light into the shutter and locate the dot on the charge roller and clean it with the Q-Tip.  WARNING:  Do not use any type of chemical , water or solvent as this will destroy the charge roller.

Next re-install the toner cartridge and print a configuration page.  If the dot is still there, redo the previous steps until the dot is gone.  Have patience.  It sometimes takes several tries to get rid of the dot.  I have had a 100% success rate, so don’t give up.  Following is a list of directions to print a configuration.  You can google the directions if you do not have a service manual for your particular machine.

Printing the Configuration, Short List

Print the Configuration page LaserJet 4100
Press Menu until INFORMATION MENU appears.

Press Item until PRINT CONFIGURATION appears.
Press Select to print the page. Note the number of pages since last maintenance.

Print the Configuration page  P3005
1. Press Menu.
2. Press to highlight INFORMATION, and then press .
3. Press to highlight PRINT CONFIGURATION, and then press .

Print the configuration page P3015
1. Press the Menu button .
2. Press the down arrow button or the up arrow button to navigate to the INFORMATION menu, and then press the OK button.
3. Press the down arrow button or the up arrow button to highlight the PRINT CONFIGURATION option, and then press the OK button to print the page.

Print the Configuration page Laser Jet M601,602 and 603
1. Press the Home button.
2. Open the following menus:
● Administration
● Reports
● Configuration/Status Pages
3. Scroll to the Configuration Page item, and then press the OK button.







printers, toner

59.40, 59.50 and 59.60 errors on the HP LaserJet P4515 Printer

LaserJet P4010 and P4510 Series Printers

HP LaserJet p4515
HP LaserJet p4515

Hewlett Packard LaserJet P4014, P4015 and P4515 Printers
59.40, 59.50 and 59.60 Error

This article is an attempt to understand the cause and theory behind the 59.40, 59.50 and 59.60 errors in the LaserJet P4010 and P4510 Series printers, and the other problems they cause. Simply put, there is an issue of hesitation or drag in the rotation of the drum drive motor (M102).

The following information comes from the Hewlett Packard LaserJet P4010 and P4510 Series, Service Manual, Page 287 in “Control-panel messages

Control panel message Description

59.XY ERROR A temporary printing error occurred.

For help press? Alternates with 59.XY ERROR, to continue turn off then on.

Recommended action
Inspect the DC controller PCA and verify that the following connectors are firmly seated.

◦ Drum motor (M102) to connector J87

◦ Feed motor (M101) to connector J91

◦ Fusing motor (M299) to connector J89

There is a cable between the drum motor and the DC controller. Both Ends of the cable need to be firmly seated.
If the error persists, from the DIAGNOSTICS menu, run the component tests for each motor to verify that they are operating. If any of the motors is not operating, replace the motor.

What does the XY mean after the 59?
X is telling you which motor is having the problem.
Y tells you which color it is. 0 = Black
(M102) Drum Drive Motor is a 24 DC volt brushless motor P/N – RL1-1659

What is the problem?
More than likely you will encounter this error with a refurbished toner cartridge. The problem is that the drum blade that cleans the photoconductor is either…

  1. Defective
  2. Does not have the proper drum (photoconductor) lubrication.CC364X toner cartridge
    The toner cartridge comes in two different versions.
    CC364X Black, High Capacity Toner Cartridge Yield 24,000 pages Approximate
    CC364A Black, Standard Toner Cartridge Yield 10,000 pages Approximate

Drum blade
Diagram of how the drum blade interacts with the photoconductor

The solution to all of this is just to replace the toner cartridge. So why did I spend so much time on this issue? In addition to replacing the cartridge it can also damage the drive gears. That would mean an expensive repair caused by a incorrectly refurbished toner cartridge. When these gears strip you will hear a high pitched whinning sound and get paper jams under the toner cartridge because the drum assists the paper as it goes through the machine.

The Repair
You will need to replace the drum drive assembly P/N RC2‑2484 and also the drum drive motor P/N RL1-1659

Stripped Drum Motor Gear


Stripped Gear on Drum Drive Assembly


Here is a Video on replacing the Drum Drive Motor and Assembly. 

Drum Blades
The drum blades are normally made of urethane. A strong rubber type of material. You can liken a drum blade to a windshield wiper. And just like your wipers they start to streak when they are worn. You will also get drum blade chatter if not properly lubricated. If you do not have the proper lubrication it can also flip and damage the drum. On this type of photoconductor the lubrication most widely used would be Kynar Powder. Using toner also is acceptable but builders like the Kynar because its not as messy and the residual will remain longer, thus preventing drum blade problems. This prevents the blade from dragging or locking up or even flipping. I made some quick videos of manually turning the drum on a defective cartridge after a 59 error and one of a newly opened cartridge and the difference is amazing. It was definitely much more difficult to turn compared to the new cartridge.

Here is the Defective Cartridge with the 59 error 

Here is the Good Cartridge for Comparison 

What the Drum Drive Motor does.
The drum drive motor drives the components inside of the toner cartridge. The following are some of the components that are being driven by the drum drive motor.

*Developer or Magnetic roller
*Primary charge roller (PCR)
*Various drive gears

The idea behind purchasing refurbished toner cartridges is saving money, well maybe even the recycling aspect but when they start causing damage to the printer you may want to rethink using them in this model.

Copiers, Fax machines, printers, toner

Compatible versus Genuine Toner Cartridges

The term “Compatible”  in this case means that the toner cartridge can be used in your specific equipment and also that it is not the Genuine Brand. Refilling toner cartridges is big business in the US and the world. Many companies choose to purchase the compatible version instead of the Original Equipment Manufacturer, OEM.

Original HP Toner Cartridge
Original HP Toner Cartridge

In the beginning of refill cartridges there were not many options. Toner and internal replacement parts were not readily available, so the quality was not as high as one would like. In the recent years all that has changed. One of the most important components that should be replaced is the drum and the drum blade. These were designed to only last the life of the toner being used from the cartridge.

If you were to reuse the original drum it would cause many print defects such as light print, marks and several other image defects. The drum blade would also create streaking and line type image defects. Think of the drum blade as a windshield wiper. When it wears out certain areas are not being cleaned and it makes it hard to see through the window! In the same way certain areas are not being wiped off and you then have lines on the printed pages.

We now have access to not only drums and blades but many other components that wear out and need to be replaced inside the toner cartridge. When selecting a company that refills or sells compatible toner cartridges, I would make sure that they do in fact replace the drum and drum blade, or it will not last and you will have wasted your time and money on something that was supposed to save you money in the first place.

False assumptions: OEMs never Fail
It seems that most people believe that if it is the original (OEM) toner cartridge that it will never fail. This is just not true. I have seen many OEM cartridges fail. Some from defect and some from customer neglect.  Here is a list of causes induced by customer neglect or error. Staples paper clips, paper dust, sticky back labels and placing the cartridge down on an unsafe position causing damage to drum.

False Assumptions: Refills always leak
Here again we have an assumption that is just not true. In my experience, the number one cause for a leaking cartridge is paper or labels stuck up inside the drum area. This is caused by using inferior labels or dog-eared paper. There are some refilled cartridges that have not been refurbished in a correct manner. Inside the cartridge is a part that is called a recovery blade. It is a thin Mylar that does exactly what it is named for. It recovers the excess toner and keeps it in the waste toner tank. If the recovery blade is old and warped, toner will fall down into the paper path and some how end up on your brand new shirt.

If you run across a toner cartridge and the price is unbelievably low it may be because the company that refilled it didn’t replace all of the components that we mentioned earlier. Try and stay away from these kind of deals if you can help it. In this industry there are standards. One question to ask is if they are an ISO 9001 facility. An ISO 9001 facility has the highest standards and you can trust that they install all major components and are put together the right way. This is important, next time you are purchasing toner cartridges just ask them if they are. If they look at you kind of strange or if there is a long pause and they don’t know what you are talking about, stay away from buying from them. There may be some good rechargers out there that are not ISO 9001 but for the most part this will help weed out the bad ones.

Do Refilled Toner Cartridges stack up to the original brand?
Here are the pros and cons for both.

Compatible Pros:
 Cost, the average savings can be 50% to 70% from OEM retail prices. If you make several thousand prints, this can really add up. Recycling benefits our world because it reduces the amount that we put in our landfills.

Compatible Cons: You have to make sure you buy quality compatibles or you may get a bad cartridge.

OEM Pros:
 Consistency, toner yields, new parts, knowing were it came from and that it was created by the OEM.

OEM Cons: Cost, toner cartridges can be much more expensive.

Print or Copy Quality, printers, toner

Solving Image Problems on HP Laser Printers

There are several image related problems that can occur. If you want to save money and repair it yourself this article is for you. Read about the most common image related problems that HP Laser Printers have and how to resolve them.

Here are a few examples of image related problems:
Blank, Solid Black, Streaks, Double Images, Specks, Lines, Light Print, Dark Print, Blurred Image.  Here are some more examples.

Image Defects Example 1  Image Defects Example 2  Image Defects Example 3 Image Defects Example 4  Image Defects Example 5

Cartridges: Most Image defect problems are related to the toner cartridge. The first thing to do is try installing a new or different toner cartridge.  If you don’t have another cartridge to test it you can diagnose the problem another way.

Put a sheet of paper in tray 1.  Run a configuration page with your hand on the power switch. When the page reaches midway, turn the power off. You may have to do this a couple more times to get the timing correct. Now that you have stopped the paper midway, carefully remove the cartridge and the paper from the machine. Inspect it to see if the problem exists before it reached the fuser. If it does then it is in the cartridge, or possibly it could be in the Laser or scanner assembly. If it does not, then you have a bad fuser assembly. Remove the fuser and inspect it.

Cartridge problems are the most common cause of image related problems. I find more problems with remanufactured cartridges because the manufacturer is not replacing certain major components that cause the defects. Make sure they replace the drum. Also, look for companies that are ISO 9002/14001 certified and STMC certified. This will help weed out the undesirable cartridges. To be honest, I have seen a lot of OEM cartridges fail. Cartridges fail for several reasons, such as foreign objects getting into the cartridge causing lines, streaks and leaking. This can be resolved by being careful not to remove staples or paper clips in and around the machine. You should also have your machine cleaned. Vacuuming all of the paper and toner dust can help decrease this. Remember to only use a service vacuum that can handle the tiny particle size of toner.
Printing a Configuration page: You will always need to print a configuration page, and here are some reasons.
Image quality test, Page count, Serial number of machine, Configuration of printer, The last few errors, Jet Direct print server card is installed, Many others…

Here are a few instructions on how to print out a configuration page.
If you don’t see your model scroll through the menu on your printer and it should be easy to find.

HP LJ-4000/4050/4100
1 Press [Menu] until INFORMATION MENU appears.
2 Press [Item] until PRINT CONFIGURATION appears.
3 Press [Select] to print the Configuration Page.

HP LJ-4200/4250/4300/4350
1 Press (SELECT button) or the MENU button to open the menus.
2 Use (UP ARROW button) or (DOWN ARROW button) to scroll to INFORMATION, and then press the Check button (Select)
3 Use or to scroll to PRINT CONFIGURATION, and then press the check button.

HP LJ-8000/8100/8150
1 Press MENU until INFORMATION MENU appears.
2 Press ITEM until PRINT CONFIGURATION appears.
3 Press SELECT to print the configuration pages.

Image problems caused by the Fuser Assembly: Symptoms are, toner not fusing, streaking, double imaging.

Note: The 4200 series had a problem with the film getting ripped. You will see strands of plastic pieces coming out of the exit area. It will cause as an image defect, streaking and double imaging.

Diagnose: You can diagnose it by running a configuration page. Rub on the print. Is it flakey? Does the print rub off easy? If it does, it is probably the fuser. Remove and inspect it. You can inspect the film or roller. If you see any damage replacement is necessary.

Note: Most fusers on HP Laser Printers are very easy to remove. If you need instructions on how to remove and install them, I have free service guides, click here.

Regarding Light Prints:
If you have replaced your cartridge and you still have light prints or if you have light print over the entire page, you may have economy mode on. Go to quality menu and turn off. I would also try the transfer roller. This is also easy to replace, look in Maintenance kit installation procedure.

One last thing: If you have tried all of the above, there could be another problem. This procedure can be difficult for the average person to repair. It is cleaning the scanner or laser unit. If you are in a very dusty environment the mirror inside this assembly may be dirty. When the mirrors accumulate dust on them the image defect is light prints. I go into detail on cleaning the HP LJ-4000 scanner in another article I have. Click here and check it out.

Copiers, Print or Copy Quality, toner

Copier Care 101

Reliable copying is a basic need of the office. By following some of these suggestions, you will enhance the reliability of your machine by minimizing down time and maximizing the return on your investment.

•Key Operator
Assign a key operator to your copier. The key operator must be able to handle simple problems and identify any break downs requiring service . When you have a consistent problem , notify your service department. Also, try and have patience. It will do you and the service company a world of good.

Xerox Photocopier
Xerox Photocopier

Carefully choose the location of your copier. Avoid situating the machine where it is likely to be jarred. You should avoid extremes in temperature, exposure to direct sunlight, open windows, air conditioners or heater units.

Heed the “add toner” indicator. When the toner in the machine is depleted, copy quality will degenerate. You might also damage the developer material inside the machine if you continue to use the machine. It is a good idea to have at least 1 extra bottle or container of toner at all times. Have the key operator call as soon as the last toner is used thereby avoiding costly down time.

•Paper Clips and Staples
Do not put staples or paper clips on top of or near the copier. Serious damage can occur such as a scratched drum or electrical short when one of these finds its way inside the machine. Keep beverages and other liquids away from the copier.

•Paper Jams
Approach paper jams with care. Do not use any tool or sharp object inside machine. Store paper in a dry area, humidity can cause paper jams and copy quality problems. Remove any damaged paper or dog-eared pieces before installation. Carefully fan the paper before installing it in the paper Cassette.

•Cleaning The Glass
Frequently clean the platen glass. Use glass cleaner but if you have a automatic document feeder it is recommended that you use an anti-static cleaner. (Brillianize ) can be bought at a hardware store.

Copiers, toner

Should I Use Generic Toner?

Good Question.  Of course it is only my opinion but I don’t have a problem with generic or compatible toner for office equipment.  Here is how I explain my stance on the subject.  If I just purchased a $5000.00 to $10,000.00 copier or printer I would only use the OEM or original toner.  On the other hand if I had an older copier I wouldn’t mind so much.

toner cartridge

I have tried quite a few generics and I feel very confident in Hewlett-Packard black and white compatibles (from a reputable supplier) but not so much the color compatibles.  If you install generic toner into your nice copier and it doesn’t work so well and you may end up having to change the developer.  I had bad results with Ricoh Generic copier toner.  It threw off the toner sensor system and I had to replace the developer to get it to make good copies again plus it made a mess.  Here are the actual costs.  The price of toner, developer, my labor (if you had to pay a technician, oh boy!) pain and grief, lost time.

Saving a few bucks actually cost me!  I stay away from generic copier toner for that reason.  Hewlett Packard B/W generic printer toner is a different story I use it all the time.  The cartridges are “all in one” meaning that if it doesn’t work you can just replace the whole cartridge and get your money back.  It wont damage anything.  Not so with a copier with dual component. (Developer and toner).  I think you get my point.  It really depends on you and if your willing to take the chance.

Have any questions about toner?

Copiers, printers, toner

Don’t Cry Over Spilt Toner!

Have you ever had a toner spill?

This article will give you some ways to clean up and prevent toner spills.

Xerox Photocopier
Xerox Photocopier

Toner Spills, Clean Up and Prevention
Nothing is more aggravating then pulling the tab off of a toner cartridge and having it spill everywhere! In this article, you will learn what to do after a toner spill and what not to do. Also, we talk about prevention. This is really the object of the lesson. Preventing toner spills.

 Using the Chicopee Stretch and Dust Towel
These amazing yellow towels have a multitude of uses and can be used over and over again. Just stretch it and wipe up the toner spill. Use it to clean dust off of your copier, fax machine or printer, even your computer screen. Note: I am not trying to sell these towels, they just work so well! You can use a regular cotton towel if you would like.
When a business buys a piece of equipment it is an investment. This investment should be cared for and maintained and it will give you many years of trouble-free use. In addition to having a qualified technician perform preventative maintenance on your equipment, I believe that the customer can play a key role in helping a machine run smooth and have a more trouble-free existence. Keeping your equipment clean on the outside and the inside can go a long way in doing this.

Big Spills
Big spills may require that you call your service repair person. Some people try to vacuum the spill up but I warn against this. This is because of the small particle size of the toner. This will just blow through a standard vacuum bag and really cause a mess. A good technician carries a 3m vacuum designed for the small powder and traps it in the filter.

Toner Spills

Toner on the cover
If you spill a small amount of toner on your cover and you think it’s a bit much for your Towel then I would do this. Get a piece of paper and use it like a dust pan. Use a small brush and you can just sweep it on to the paper and fold it up and throw it away in a trash can with a good liner. Afterward clean the rest with your towel.

Clean up the spill with a good towel

Toner on your clothes
If you get some toner on your clothes, don’t panic! DO NOT use any type of liquid to try and wipe it off. This will only make it smear and ruin your clothes. First, get your towel and hit the stain like you used to hit people with your towel at camp. Wipe the rest with a clean dry cloth and when you get home, throw it in the washer. The stain will come out.

On the Carpet
If you get a small amount on the carpet go ahead and use your standard vacuum cleaner. This small amount won’t hurt anything.

Inside your Machine
Use your towel to clean the paper path inside of your machine. Be careful not to break a sensor lever. You should use a flashlight to see if there are any that stick up. If you break one of these then you will need to call a repair person. Cleaning the inside is a good preventative measure. In a laser printer, paper dust and contaminates will get caught up inside the toner cartridge and lesson the life of the drum blade. This causes streaks and other problems.


Opening Toner
This is when a lot of spills occur. The manufacturers of all toners recommend that you shake it well before installation. (I am not saying not to shake it. In fact if you don’t shake it on some models it is possible that you might break the augers inside of the cartridge.) This loosens up the toner so that it flows well into your machine, but it also causes the toner to expand. When you release the tab (Only on some models) the toner will shoot out. Next time try to hold the cartridge over the trash can with a good liner. Then if any shoots out it will be in the trash can.

Remove toner with a towel underneath.
Another spill I see a lot of is toner spilt on the front cover of copiers and other office equipment. What I recommend is putting your towel down on your cover where the spill occurs. This is likely right under the area that the toner slides in. Then, after you’re done, take the towel away and it’s nice and clean. Something about toner, if you leave it on covers and don’t clean it, it then gets embedded in the cover because of the heat of the machine. The toner actually fuses to the cover and you can’t get it off.

You need to check this out!

Just taking a little preventative action can really keep your machine looking and running like new.