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Lexmark MS811

Lexmark MS811

Light vertical bands

Issue description

The image will be lighter and some areas might potentially be almost white. If a grayscale is printed, the faded area shows no clean line, but varies (based on the amount of toner on the page). In many cases, a portion of the page appears normal while a smaller area becomes progressively fainter.

Possible causes

This specific defect with vertical faint bands (NOT FINE LINE STREAKS) is likely due to some amount of contamination that has, over time, accumulated on a component within the printhead or laser scanning unit in the device. Replacement of supplies and other components will likely see little to no improvement for this issue because the accumulation has to be removed. Some potential sources of the contamination could be from:

  • Non-genuine Lexmark Supplies / Refilled Cartridges / ‘Compatible’ Supplies
  • Paper debris and fibers
  • Other loose particulates in the air

Non-genuine Lexmark Supplies / Refilled Cartridges / ‘Compatible’ Supplies

Use of Non-Lexmark supplies can result in damage to other components resulting in multiple failures within the system (thus producing degraded print quality) including, but not limited to, the imaging unit, printhead, fuser, transfer system, and paper feed reliability.

Paper Debris and Fibers

In most cases, this is not a concern, but some media can produce more debris than others. (Different media types are processed in multiple ways.) Debris from the media can be carried into the printer and electrostatically attracted to specific components. The potential level of contamination can depend on the material, any extra finishing steps like perforations, the manufacturer’s process controls and quality requirements, and storage and usage environments for the media.

Note:  Loose debris found in the back of a paper tray generally indicate that the media being used has a higher propensity to deposit debris within the printer.

Other Loose Particulates in the Air

Fans inside the printer circulate the air from outside the printer through it in order to cool those components that get extremely hot. This prevents damage to the components. If the air contains a lot of dust or other foreign particulates, these can also contaminate some of the surfaces inside the printer, thus potentially leading to this issue. A cleaning service might be required. Lexmark does not recommend the use of compressed air for any cleaning but rather fine particle vacuums in order to keep from contaminating other parts of the printer.


Materials needed

  • Cleaning kitP/N: 41X1007
  • The kit consists of:
    • Alcohol-soaked swab
    • One dry swab
    • Scanner glass/touch screen wipe (wet/dry).
    • Instructions.
  • If the cleaning kit is not available:
    • 90% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA)
    • Q tips
  • (Optional) Small mirror

Service action

  1. Open the control panel door.

  2. Remove the toner cartridge. You should be able to see the printhead access cover up front.

    Note:  You don't need to remove this cover.

  3. You should find a slot underneath the printhead access cover. This is where you insert the cotton swab that comes with P/N: 41X1007.

    Tip: Use a small mirror to help you view the area that needs to be cleaned, such as that shown in the image (A).

  4. Apply IPA to the swab; squeeze out any excess.

    Clean the printhead mirror with a cotton swab soaked in IPA. The swab needs to be held at about a 60 degree angle to get through the opening and reach the mirror. The swab should be 4” (10cm) or shorter to achieve this angle.

    Clean the printhead mirror with a cotton swab soaked in IPA. The swab needs to be held at about a 60 degree angle to get through the opening and reach the mirror. The swab should be 4” (10cm) or shorter to achieve this angle.

    Click this link this image to view the printhead's cross section side view where:

    • (A) – Printhead Mirror
    • (B) – Cotton swab with IPA
  5. Move the swab back and forth as shown by the green arrow to clean entire surface of mirror. Repeat the procedure using a dry swab.

    Click this link to view the printhead’s front view with the Front Cover removed.

    • (A) – Backside of Mirror
    • (B) – Cotton swab (touching front side of mirror)
  6. Make sure to run Print Samples after the cleaning procedure and repeat Steps 4 & 5 if more cleaning is needed.

    Note: If required, remove the printhead to perform the cleaning procedure on both the lens and mirror.

  7. If the cleaning was unsuccessful, replacement of the printhead unit will be necessary.

  8. Should issue persist, consult your next level of support before setting up additional service for the printer.


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