Background

I’ve been using an HP5200tn laser printer for many years.  I just received some rebuilt laser cartridges and put one into the machine to test it.  I like to keep some on hand and I test them upon receipt so that I don’t discover they are faulty after they can no longer be returned.  I printed a page and it came out completely black.  Ok, says I,  a faulty cartridge.  I put the cartridge I had been using back in and it too printed black pages. Since the original cartridge didn’t work either,  I decided it must be something else.

Naturally I started looking around  the web to see how others resolved this issue.  I couldn’t find much resolution.  I did find a sensible suggestion.  The cartridge wasn’t getting power, so it was attracting toner to the entire page rather than only to the words that were to print.  With printers like this there is an electrical connection between the printer and the cartridge that provide power so that static electricity can draw the toner particles to the correct position.

The problem could have been in the power supply or the contacts might be dirty, but those possibilities didn’t seem likely because the original cartridge had been working fine.

The Solution

On this particular printer,  the electrical connection is on the left side of the cartridge.  It looked fine so I poked around inside the printer.   I bumped a metal spring-loaded part that snapped back out of the way of the cartridge track.  Both cartridges then printed just fine.

The Cause

The new cartridge had a drum cover, a part that opens as the cartridge slides into the printer, that wasn’t as tight against the body of the cartridge as it should have been.  A best I can tell,  that led the cartridge to catch as I slid it into the machine and moved the aforementioned part so that it blocked the cartridge from seating properly.  Replacing the cartridge with the original didn’t help because that part was already out of place.

Once the part was back in its proper position, the cartridges could seat properly.  I was particularly careful inserting the cartridge that caused the problem in the first place.