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Dell 3100cn color laser streaks middle of page


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Dell 3100cn color laser streaks middle of page

  • I have a Dell 3100cn color laser printer with only 455 pages printed through it.
    This was in my vacation rental home. It had worked fine in the past, but this time when I came home to use it, it started streaking down the middle of the page. Streaking, smudging, that sort of thing.
    It's about 2 years old, but from the page count it's practically new. When no one is staying in the vacation home, the printer sits turned off but the condo gets very hot indoors without the a/c.
    With another printer, an HP laserjet, I did find that geckos had pooped inside of the paper hopper, so maybe the Dell printer also just needs to be cleaned. I don't know how to clean it, so instructions would be helpful.
    Any remedy for fixing the streaking? I've tried removing all the toner cartridges, giving each one a good sideways shake, then putting them back in. Still streaking.
    Please see the photo below:

    Message Edited by scottkeen on 08-04-2007 06:26 AM
  • ^bump
    Any help?
  • scottkeen,
    I am not too sure exactly what is causing the streaking and crimping. I think cleaning is the best bet for a start. I sent the post off to one of our printer engineers for some advice. In the meantime, you might try reading through the owner's manual <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>in the "Troubleshooting" and "Maintaining Your Printer" sections.



  • scottkeen,
    The issue you are seeing is due to parts failure. If your printer is still under warranty, you need to contact tech support to have the correct parts replaced under warranty. The streaks seen across the page are very evenly spaced. This is caused by the IBT belt rubbing on the top-inside cover of the Drum. One of the dead giveaways on this issue is the absence of this problem in the black area. Black does not transition all the way around the belt as the colors do and never approached the scraping area inside the IBT/Drum cover.



  • Bill, thank you for the reply.

    I just looked up the warranty, and it is expired as of 10/26/2006

    This is very disappointing to have a hardware failure after only 467 pages. The printer is practically still brand new.

    But, thanks for the info. I have to decide what to do next, whether to risk buying another new Dell printer or look elsewhere. I'm just surprised that after 467 pages this brand new printer has a hardware failure 9 months out of warranty.

    Could you please give me a contact name and number at Dell, and the part numbers I need to order?

    I appreciate your help.

  • Just wanted to thank Dell Forum's Bill B. for getting right on top of my printer issue and giving me support for this almost-new Dell 3100cn printer which stopped functioning properly.
    Bill mentioned to me that possibly due to the tropical heat of Hawaii and at times my Dell 3100cn printer is stored without adequate cooling in the room, that per the user manual the heat tolerances of the printer may have been exceeded causing a hardware malfunction. In any case, he offered support on the printer for which I'm grateful.
    I've been a long-time Dell customer and specify and buy Dell computers for my clients, and it's this excellent support for their products which keeps me as a customer.
    Mahalo, and Aloha
    Scott A. Keen
  • This is from a previous post and may help with your problem.  I have printed 1000's since I came up with this fix with no recurrence of any streaking.  Let me know how this works for you.
    I have come up with the cause and a fix for the above problem.  This also fixes the problem of lines running the direction of paper travel on color prints.  Black and white prints are OK.  If you have a warranty on your printer or drum unit then you can have the drum unit replaced and hope you get a good replacement drum unit.  To fix your drum unit do the following:
    1. Remove the drum unit from your 3100cn.
    2. Set the drum unit on a clean level surface and avoid touching the drum or the transfer belt (the decal with 4 arrows points to the transfer belt).
    3. Remove the 6 screws from the top cover (the cover has the blue handle attached).  Two screws are on top at both ends of the blue handle.  The next 2 screws are on the sides and line up with the decal with 4 arrows.  The last 2 screws are also on the sides and at the lower corners of the big decal that shows how to remove the drum unit from the 3100cn. 
    4. Carefully lift the cover from the drum unit and cover the drum unit with clean paper to protect the transfer belt from bright light.  You can carefully reinstall the drum unit without the top cover and run some color prints.  If the lines are gone then continue with step 5. 
    5. Look at the ribbed side of the top cover. Some may show some toner build-up.  Some of the rib intersections are too high and are dragging in the toner that is applied to the transfer belt.  The ribs are there to add stiffness to the cover and to keep it from bowing. 
    6. Place the cover handle side down on a clean towel. 
    7. Using a palm sander with 320 grit sandpaper and light pressure (the weight of the palm sander) sand until the ribs going both directions are showing signs of being sanded.  You will be able to see the difference as unsanded areas will be glossy and sanded areas will have a dull finish.
    8. Switch to 600 grit paper and do a light sanding.
    9. Wash the cover under cool water.  Don't use hot water since that could cause the cover to bend.
    10. Dry completely.  I used compressed air.
    11. Reinstall the cover to the drum unit.  Tighten the 4 side screws first and then the 2 top screws last.
    12. Put the drum unit back into the 3100cn and try a color print.
    13. Please post if you have any questions about the procedure.
    14. If your next drum unit has the same problem you can swap top covers.

    Message Edited by Ron13863 on 09-04-2007 07:16 AM
  • I am having the same problem plus one more...I am getting blurry, bolded black repeated on the page as well.  See the right side of this image.
    Thanks in advance for your help.
  • The scanned photograph (from scottkeen) is a clone of what I get on my 3100cn.  After printing less than 400 copies, and just out of the one-year warranty, I began to get the same problem with streaks.  (The printer was always kept in a room that was year-round 70F and free of dust, etc.)
    Prior to seeing this thread, I spoke to a Dell tech over the phone and he told me to replace either the drum assembly or the developer housing.  (This advice was given after doing various test page print jobs, reseating the drum unit, etc.)  I'm surprised that he didn't pick on the root cause -- in spite of my telling him that the 'streaks' looked like scuff marks:  something was scraping something else and it only happened for color, not B/W.
    By the way, it's not a "parts failure" -- it's a DESIGN ERROR:  it's either a poor choice of materials or incorrect tolerances.   After all, how can a machine just "fail" that way after less than 400 copies??!!  It looks like I'll be buying some sandpaper tomorrow.
  • New to your thread but find reading you problems interesting. I have had my 3115 for approx 3 mos now and have had some of the same issues as you concerning streaks and ect in the color prints both pictures and copy. Also I have had issues with the scan function ( not working). So I loaded new drivers fro Dells web site and my printer "died". NOTHING!!
    So far Dell has replaced my fax board ( don't use the fax function) and nnow replaced the mother board. None of which revived my printer. Now I to receive a replacement printer. I was informed that a "refurbished" machine would be sent and I could start over.
    After reading you print quality issues, I am not sure I want to continue with this printer. IN addition I can't get anyone to email me with the status of my replacement. Most of the people I talk with on the phone are nice and helpful but that's where it ends. I have returned several emails and still have not responses.
    Please don't look at this as a vent session but does anyone else have the disappointment in the printer besides me?
  • Count me among those with the same streaking problem and very little usage (300? or so). In fact, this came on during my warranty period but I wasn't quite sure what was happening so I didn't follow it up (my bad) but it has persisted and, frankly, something like this just doesn't seem right on machines that have had very light usage and I'm wondering it the design is at fault. I'm assuming we all live different places in the country. It's very annoying and other than getting a sander(?) out as was suggested (and why should I have to?).

    I'm not sure what to do. My inclination is to abandon Dell printers and get something else in the future since printing envelopes has always been an ongoing problem software wise and now with Vista it's a no-win problem. Is something telling me that this was money poorly spent? I'm a long time Dell buyer (new machine in front of me) and these situations are wrong, wrong, wrong.
  • Interesting: I have the same problem (living in Houston, TX) with my 3100cn (that has about 2900 pages printed on it). I've had the printer for close to two years. The problem seems to get a touch better if I do quite a bit of color printing in a row, but is othewise quite annoying. Seems like a parts or design flaw, unfortunately. Ron
  • Hi!  I'm having the same problems with my 3100cn and I would like to know what the parts failure is for sure.  If I purchase a new drum, will that solve the problem?  I, too, am out of warranty, as I've had this printer for 2 years.
    Thanks for your input!
  • I'm having this same problem with my 3000cn laser. And naturally, the warranty just expired. I only printed enough copies to just now get the "replace toner" message (after a year and a half). I have already had the drum and all toner drums replaced (while under warranty) and this problem continues. On top of that, I've never been able to print on Glossy paper without the ink sticking to the rollers and drum and smearing. Looking at other reviews on the web, it seems this is a major design flaw with Dell laser printers. Unfortunately the cost to replace the drum and 3 color toner cartridges is almost equal to buying a new printer. But I don't know if I'll be buying a Dell. The cost to replace toner on these is outrageous, assuming the printer lasts long enough.
  • I'm sorry to report that the sandpaper tip did NOT help my streaking problem.  It's so disappointing to me, since I'm a small-business/home printer that doesn't have a lot of $$ to spend on another printer.  Yet no one telling me if a new drum will work for sure or not in this case.