Question about Dell 5100cn Laser Printer

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Deteriorating 5100cn print quality

Cory -
Thanks for your help on my printer. I think that you've hit the nail right on the head. I just submitted some additional information on the life counter values that I'm seeing from the printer. Can you please take a look at my posting and tell me what you think? Thanks.

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  • Robert_Lef Oct 15, 2008

    Regarding the life counter: my issue isn't that the counters are so low, but rather that they're so high. When I went into diagnostic mode and then to print|parameters, I received the following information: the life of the toners was all less than 2000. I assume that this is because I probably removed the toner cartridges some time in during the printer's 10,000 page life. The life of the BTR1, Fuser, Printer, and PHD1 are all approximately 14,900 (give or take 10). However, the life of the phd2=88,450, the phd3=12,318, the phd4=39, the phd5=0, the deve unit 1=75,635, the deve unit 2=75,635, the deve unit 3=75,635, and the deve unit 4=84,049. Am I correct in interpretting this to mean that several components of my printer have seen use well beyond the 10,706 that is shown on the web status interface? Can you think of any explanation for this?


  • Robert_Lef Oct 25, 2008

    Changing the drum made a big difference. I now don't have those horrible lines. I still wouldn't say that the 'solid' colors are solid, but this is worlds better. Thanks.



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Can you repost the information here? I can not seem to locate your previous post. Have you tried a new imaging unit? My thought on that is that even though I feel this is more then likely the cause of your issue, it IS a consumable, and if it does not fix the issue, you put it back in the foil pouch and seal the box and hang on to it until you do require changing it. It is not money lost, but at worst, just premature ( although it never hurts to have your spares on hand ).

The other thing is this.. the life counters, at least to me, are not a big indicator of anything more then possibly telling you things are going to wear out. I have seen new items fail, and old items keep going and going and going..... you get the picture... lol



Posted on Oct 14, 2008

  • Cory Friedman
    Cory Friedman Oct 16, 2008

    honestly i have never had a reason to read those numbers, so i am just taking a guess at it, but I don't belive that the numbers relate to page count at all in the same sence that the true page count does.

    They could related to prints remaining before EOL ( end of life ). For instance, if the life is supposed to be 100K, then the 85k count is the count remaining.

    the best way to figure out how this count is incrimenting is to take an exact count, then print out maybe 10 documents.

    take a look at the count again and compare them. if the count is going down, that it is a countdown to life remaining.

    Let me know what you find.



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My dell printer 5100cn , print quality very light, replaced inks drum and still having problem with black

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Dell 5100cn Error cod 010-397 Restart Printer

ahmad, does the printer show as default? if not make it. Try test print and make sure all printer compartment are securely closed.

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No color printing

Inkjet printers need to be used frequently to prevent ink drying out and blocking the print head nozzles.
If the print head cleaning maintenance routine does not clear the blockages, then print head needs replacing, but it may be expensive.
It may be more cost effective to buy a later model and better printer than replace the print head.

May 05, 2013 | Dell 5100cn Laser Printer

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Blue lines are appearing on the output from our Dell 5100cn printer. We are using white letter sized paper.

This issues looking printer head problem. check the following Steps for cleaning printer head :

Click on the Start button if you have Windows XP. If you have Windows Vista, click the Windows icon that resides in the lower left corner of your computer screen.

Click on "Control Panel," then "Printers and Other Hardware." Finally click on "View Installed Printers or Fax Printers."

Right-click on the name of your printer and choose "Printing Preferences." This should open a new window; next look for a tab or button marked Maintenance, or something similar.

Find the button that says "Print heads" or "Clean the Print heads" and click on it. You may be asked to choose which print heads; choose them all if you are. Make sure there is paper and ink in your printer, and that it is turned on ahead of time.

Take out the page your printer has printed and see if there are any grids or boxes missing. If there aren't, then you can just exit the program--your print heads are not clogged. If there are grids missing, then click on the "Cleaning" or similarly worded button.

Once the cleaning process has completed, print another page to be sure that your print heads are no longer clogged. If they are still clogged, repeat Steps 1-5 until your printer is printing clearly.

Mar 21, 2011 | Dell 5100cn Laser Printer

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Display shows "check printhead"

Hello Neil, If the quality of print is fine then i dont think there is a problem with your printer head. It must be some error with the software or some other part in ur printer. Do check the printer for some other faults.

Jul 08, 2009 | Canon imagePROGRAF W6400 InkJet Printer

1 Answer

Do I really need a new print head - or should I buy a new printer?

i believe the printer u are using is a bit old,,the head is worn out and its natural..every hardware equipment has a eol{end of life},,u can print but the quality of the print will deteriorate with time..

i dnt know the model no,, but i think it wont be wise to buy a print head than buy a new printer,,reasons printers are really chaper than old ones and the price ratio of buying a new printer wud b better than changing the head

2.if even u buy the printer head it is complicated to install it and if correct allignment is not achieved on the plane head then the whole printer is useless

my advice:use the old printer till u get a satisfactory printout,,then buy a new printer

best of luck,,keep me posted,,giva good rating

May 19, 2009 | Office Equipment & Supplies

1 Answer


not a problem at all.

This should fix your issue. I won't say it is a common failure, as the machine overall is very reliable, however for this problem the magenta developer is the most common failure for the 5100 and 5110.

Check your email shortly for the document and additional comments.

Please take a moment to rate this solution,



Nov 05, 2008 | Dell 5100cn Laser Printer

1 Answer

Deteriorating image quality

Good Evening Robert,

The setting for non dell toner only controls the fuser temperature, and will not cause you any print quality issues. Toner is actually made up of ink and plastic. The fuser melts the plastic to "fuse" the image to the paper. Dell toner is set to "fuse" at a specific temperature. when you use non Dell toners, the temperature required to fuse may be different, and when set to non dell toner setting, the fuser temperature is raised to the maximum to ensure the other toner fuses properly. The down side to this is that you will wear out the fuser sooner then it should.

As far as the print quality issue you are having, it is most likey caused by the imaging drum.

Regardless of the estimated life for the imaging drum as stated by the printer, this is just an estimate. Many things can and will cause the imaging drum need replacing. ( Just yesterday I replaced a black toner in a 3115 that was less then a month old... genuine Dell... with more then 75% expected usage left because it was defective).

On this printer, each of the 3 colors and the black are all independent of each other with the exception of the imaging drum. Even within the imaging drum, cyan and black are independent of magenta and yellow on the first stage of transfer. When you have deteriorated print quality that effects more then one color, the first step is to replace the imaging drum.

The Primary transfer, secondary transfer, and tertiary transfer of the image are ALL contained within the imaging drum.

The chances of having 3 or 4 bad Developers is very very slim. If your print quality issue was related to only ONE color, then I would say you had a bad developer unit ( the 4 items located behind the imaging drum when removed). These are far more difficult and expensive to change.

The BTR ( bios transfer roller ) is the only other item that "could" effect your print quality, however, based on the symptoms you discribed, I doubt it. Besides, if i am not mistaken, the imaging drum kit comes with a new btr anyway.

Although I am sure you may be disappointed with the fact the drum unit is failing while showing it still has life remaining, the solution to replace it should restore your unit to full operation. The unit is light sensative, and effected by physical age as well as the number of prints it has supplied.

Please evaluate the solution i have provided and, rate the solution appropriately to show your support.


Oct 11, 2008 | Dell 5100cn Laser Printer

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