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LEXMARK Z645 CORRECTLY INSTALLED NEW BLACK CARTRIDGE AND NOW GET GOOD PRINT FOR THE FIRST 2-3 LINES AND THE REMAINDER FADE OUT OR GET CUT IN HALF.

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There are a couple of suggestions here. I have searched and searched regarding this issue, which I originally thought was very unusual, but I actually have found an awful lot of postings regarding exactly this problem with Lexmark printers. Unfortunately, there aren't many with solutions... Additionally, for some reason, this is about the fifth solution I have posted that disappeared, so I am hoping this makes it to you!

Most of the time when blank pages are involved, there is an issue either with the software utilized (perhaps even margin-related) to produce the print, or a new machine is involved. As I don't have that information in your case, I will assume that your working environment has not changed. Please advise.

As unbelievable as this may seem, there are numerous reported instances where, even though the user had done this prior to seeking assistance, uninstalling and reinstalling a driver solved the issue (even prior to Vista). Are you using Vista? If so, please reference the following regarding a driver issue. You may or may not feel this applies to you, but if you are on Vista it wouldn't hurt to try, so long as you have the original driver...http://support.lexmark.com/cgi-perl/knowledgebase.cgi?ccs=229:1:0:548:0:0&docid=ENUS27756.

There is occasionally a problem created by the firewall in place on the host PC, as if the printer needs to communicate and its processes are not permitted exceptions to the firewall, it could affect printing. If you are using a Firewall (MS or otherwise), make sure all Lexmark processes/functions are listed as exceptions. The Z645 is included in the official Lexmark list of printers affected by this issue. (In other words, even if it is not related to this particular problem, we could at least prevent one from occurring in the future.) The reference is here: http://support.lexmark.com/cgi-perl/knowledgebase.cgi?ccs=229:1:0:548:0:0&docid=ENUS26208.

Now for a couple of questions, in case we haven't hit upon a solution yet, as sometimes a well-placed question can help you hit upon the answer! Has there been any change whatsoever in the working setup - either in the PC or the printer - other than simply replacing the cartridge? (This could be drivers, OS, updates, changing PCs or locations, or even something so simple as a change of the typical type of paper used.) How old is the printer, and did the cartridge install as it always has before (as relevant)? Did you replace the cartridge with a new, Lexmark branded cartridge, or did you refill or use some other type of reused cartridge? Following replacement, did you align the print cartridges and/or print a test page?

If you use Parental Controls within your internet security package, this could be causing a printing issue, as this has just recently been discovered. Further, there are certain instances when the printers successfully print only when reconnecting the USB cable following each print job. If this potentially solves this issue, see http://support.lexmark.com/cgi-perl/knowledgebase.cgi?ccs=229:1:0:548:0:0&framed=&docid=ENUS30018&relevance=1. Finally, I would suggest that you check the Device Manager for any possible errors or conflicts that may be demonstrated there. For a screenshot of the typically appropriate listing, see http://support.lexmark.com/cgi-perl/knowledgebase.cgi?ccs=189:1:0:548:0:0&framed=&docid=ENUS24562&relevance=1. The latest driver for the Z645 can be downloaded from: http://downloads.lexmark.com/perl/downloads/downloads.cgi.

I came across one helpful hint - whether it will work or not, I don't know. This user fixed the black printing problem (which is very common with Lexmark apparently) by putting a piece of foam tape with adhesive on the front of the black ink cartridge. This helps to maintain contact between the cartridge and electrical terminals in back of the cartridge, which had become loose from wear.

Though it won't fix your print issue, perhaps it will help to know you are not alone. There are MANY folks out there with the same exact problem - and it is not related to the model or the cartridge, even laser vs. inkjet, it simply seems to be a Lexmark problem...

There was another suggestion that the copper filament on the cartridge contacts may have a bad grid line to the contact point. I am not certain of this, but it is stated that repairing this particular problem would cost more than simply purchasing another printer (of a different brand). And one more that seems possible. Set the contacts of the cartridge on a paper towel soaked with hot water for about 5 minutes, and yet another suggests cleaning contacts with alcohol. This is supposed to "loosen up" the "goop" (very technical term:-) in order to allow the cartridge to release the ink. If you desire to spend a great deal of time reading about issues just like this on Lexmark printers, try out www.fixyourownprinter.com.

Just to finish this up, hopefully with a bit of a smile, one of the posters on that page indicated that Lexmark had advised her to turn the printer upside down and shake it for about a minute. She did and a piece fell out, and it then worked fine. One response to her post, congratulating her, stated, "After you have finished shaking the thing, and it still doesn't print, take it outside, get an 8 pound sledgehammer and let her rip!" Then, here is another post that followed: "Hey I think I've solved the Lexmark problem! I live in England where we are geniuses in such issues. The printer is sensitive to barometric pressure, so I took it up to the roof, turned it upside down and shook it as recommended. Then I threw it off, and it worked great on the way down for a millisecond! Now how to prolong that moment???"

If nothing else, it never hurts to smile! Best of luck. Please let me know how it turns out.

If this information assists you in resolving the problem, please take a moment to rate the solution at a "FixYa" level. If you do not feel that you can rate at a "FixYa", please post back with more information regarding what has occurred subsequently and/or more details regarding the situation, and I will gladly help you until we have reached a definitive solution. Thank you for using and rating FixYa!

Posted on Sep 17, 2008

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