31 Defective Print Cartridge Error on a Lexmark T640, T642, or T644 Printer


Check the toner cartridge:

toner cartridge
    1. Power off the printer and open the lower and upper front covers.

    2. Remove the toner cartridge and inspect it for any damage.

    3. If the cartridge appears to be fine, reinstall it into the printer.

    4. Close the covers and power the printer back on.

    5. Try printing again.

    6. If the error continues, try another toner cartridge. Do the following:

      1. Power off the printer and remove the toner cartridge.

      2. Install another toner cartridge into the printer using one of the three methods listed below:

        • If this toner cartridge was installed recently, reinstall the old cartridge you removed when you installed the new one.
        • Try another brand new toner cartridge, if you have one available.
        • Install a working toner cartridge from another Lexmark T64x series printer.
      3. Power the printer back on. See if the Defective Cartridge message goes away.

      4. If the error does not appear, try printing again.

    7. If a different toner cartridge prints correctly, the printer is fine and the problem lies with the first cartridge. If you have narrowed the problem to the toner cartridge, please carry out the following checks on the cartridge:

      • Confirm that you are using an original Lexmark brand * toner cartridge. Third-party cartridges may not be compatible with the printer. If this is an original Lexmark toner cartridge, please contact the point of purchase first. They may have a replacement policy. If the point of purchase cannot help or if the cartridge was purchased directly from Lexmark, please contact Lexmark using the same phone number or address you used to order the cartridge.
        If you cann ot remember or locate the number you used to contact Lexmark to order the cartridge, contact Lexmark Technical Support. A representative there may be able to provide more assistance.
      • If a third-party cartridge is causing this error, contact the point of purchase to have the cartridge replaced. They may have a replacement policy.
      • Also confirm that the toner cartridge has not been refilled or reworked in any way. Refilling the toner cartridge can void its warranty and trigger this error.
        If the cartridge has been refilled or reworked, contact the place where the cartridge was refilled to have it replaced.

Check the printer:


  1. Power off the printer.

  2. Unplug the printer's power cord from the wall.

  3. Access the printer's system board:

    1. Open the lower and upper front covers.

    2. Open the left side cover.
      You can remove the left side cover if needed. To do this, open the left side cover as far back as it will go and carefully remove the cover by pulling towards the back. Do NOT force the cover if it does not yi eld easily.

    3. Using a screwdriver, loosen the six screws holding the metal system board cover in place.
      Do not remove the screws. This will reduce the chances of a screw getting lost.

    4. Slide the system board cover forward and remove the cover.

  4. You will see many small wire cables on the system board. Look for a two-wire cable (one white wire, one black wire) going into a dark-blue plug/connector labeled CART. (See the images below.) This cable controls the operation of the toner cartridge. The blue connector may be loose.

  5. Carefully push in on the blue connector and make sure the connector is fully plugged in.

  6. Reinstall the system board cover and tighten the screws holding the system board cover in place.

  7. Place the left side cover back on and close the upper and lower front covers.

  8. Plug the printer power cord back in and power the printer on.

  9. If the printer comes up to the Ready status, try printing again.

  10. If the Defective Cartridge error persists, the blue connector or its wires may be damaged. The printer will require service before this problem can be fixed. Please contact a local se rvicer or Lexmark Technical Support for more information.

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Recommended Parts:

  1. First service call / First part to recommend replacing:

    • Signature button sensor assembly (part number 40X0034)
  2. Second service call / Second part to recommend replacing: System board assembly (see list below for the applicable part number)

    • 56p4355 - System board assembly (non-network), 000 (Board ID Q0016021) (original P/N - 40X0140)
    • 56p4356 - System board assembly (non-network), 200 (Board ID Q0016022) (original P/N - 40X0141)
    • 56p4357 - System board assembly (non-network), 400 (Board ID Q0016023) (original P/N - 40X0142)
    • 56p4358 - System board assembly (network), 010 (Board ID Q0016001) (original P/N - 40X0143)
    • 56p4359 - System board assembly (network), 210 (Board ID Q0016002) (original P/N - 40X0144)
    • 56p4360 - System board assembly (network), 410 (Board ID Q0016003) (original P/N - 40X0145)



  • If you call Lexmark Technical Support for assistance with your printer, please be prepared to describe the problem you are experiencing or the error message on the display. You will also need to know your printer model type and serial number. This information can be found on a sticker on the back of the printer. The printer serial number is also listed on the menu settings pages you can print from the operator panel. For service in the U.S. or Canada, call 1-800-LEXMARK (1-800-539-6275). For service in other countries, please refer to the contact numbers listed on the Drivers CD.

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