Dirty laser printer!
April 30, 2008 11:43 AM   Subscribe

My HP1200 Laserjet has begun producing very unsatisfactory output - the text is repeated (faded) down the page and there are black marks at regular intervals at the side of the page and at the top.

I've tried looking into this via Google and on HP's website but can't find a similar description of my problem. I would love the solution to be as simple as buying a new toner cartridge - but is it? Can anyone shed any light? Thanks
posted by dance to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
What do the toner levels look like? That would be where I would look first.
posted by khaibit at 11:54 AM on April 30, 2008

It's probably the drum, which, on this printer, is part of the toner cartridge. But to make sure, print out a repetitive defect ruler and find out. There's one on page 161 of this service manual PDF.
posted by zsazsa at 12:07 PM on April 30, 2008

I've been having this same problem (aka, "ghosting") with an HP 2100 Laserjet. This thread on fixyourownprinter.com might be relevant to the HP1200 as well.
posted by danblaker at 12:12 PM on April 30, 2008

+1 for the drum. They can be rather pricy, however, the same thing happened to my printer and replacing the drum fixed it.
posted by stevechemist at 12:38 PM on April 30, 2008

Hi all! Thanks for the help.

zsazsa, I've printed out the ruler and comparing it to the defects which clearly repeat more than once, it's the toner/developing cylinder or toner primary charging roller (both at 37.7mm). Does that mean if I replace the cartridge all will be rosy again?

posted by dance at 1:17 PM on April 30, 2008

Also - just noticed - there is also a recurring defect at 75.4mm - but I guess that's the same thing given that the drum is part of the toner cartridge?
posted by dance at 1:19 PM on April 30, 2008

oh dear. I did a print page interrupt test and there was no defect on the page. Guess it's the fuser.
posted by dance at 1:52 PM on April 30, 2008

It's been a while since I was a hardware guy, but my first thought was fuser, I hate to say it. For a LJ1200, I think that means it's time for a new printer. They are a pain in the butt to take apart, and as they get older, replacement parts get pricier too.

Of course, I could be wrong. See if you can find another toner cartridge, just to test that theory...it'd be a shame to junk a printer because the toner was wonky, you know?
posted by Richat at 4:01 PM on April 30, 2008

Sounds like a bad fuser to me.
posted by Nerro at 4:06 PM on April 30, 2008

Might have two problems at once. The defect rulers are usually quite accurate. Are you measuring from the top of one defect to the top of the next? So you probably do have a bad cartridge.

Is the defect on the side of the page is fairly dark, darker than you would expect from what has been printed on the page? And sort of flaky feeling? And does it make a sort of cracking noise and maybe you've gotten some brown plastic pieces coming out? That's the fuser.

Not that hard to replace, really. The last one I bought was $45. Getting the covers off is the hardest part. Then it's a couple of cables and maybe six screws. As I remember it, the two tricks are that one of the screws has to be unscrewed through an access hole in a large gear, and there is another gear that needs to be removed.
posted by gjc at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2008

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