Thank you for your feedback

Main Contributing Factors to Fax Receive Failure: Enable Fax Receive, Distinctive Ring, Noisy Line and Others

Document ID:SO4187

Usergroup :External


Fax receive failure; Cannot receive facsimile; Not receiving faxes; Fax will not work; No answer; No ring; One ring; Faxing failure


How to set a distinctive ring; How to diagnose a fax failure; How to enable fax receive; Fax receive; OptraImage X6100; X340 MFP


What you will see ('09)

The multifunction device (MFD) will ring but never answer an incoming fax, or the MFD will answer but the fax is dropped shortly after the transmission begins.

Before you continue, you may want to click here for the latest fax troubleshooting procedures.

Possible causes

The following should be considered as primary culprits:
  • -Enable Fax Receive is turned OFF.
  • -VOIP provided by digital telephone service providers.  
  • -Distinctive Ring is being utilized; however, the MFD is misconfigured, or not configured to use the distinctive ring feature.
     Click here for informaton on how to enable or change fax receive and distinctive ring settings.
  • -Noisy line
  • -Other Settings - see after the table

NOTE: You should perform the preliminary diagnosis prior to contacting Lexmark.  Please have the Network or Fax Setup page available if contacting Lexmark Technical Support.     

Preliminary Diagnosis 

Step Action If... Then...
 1 Connect an additional phone or handset to the extension jack at the back of the MFD, and check for a dial tone. 

  Use a phone line duplex/splitter adapter if 
your MFD does not have an extension jack.
a dial tone is present proceed to Step 2.
Step 1 continued... a dial tone is not present
  • try a different phone cord,

  • try a separate phone line,

  • check with your telephone service provider.
  2 Verify the phone line quality using the additional phone or handset to identify:

  • -static

  • -external noise

  • -any irregular sound  
    NOTE: This is to ensure that line quality is suitable for fax transmissions.
the line is clear proceed to Step 3.
Step 2 continued... the line is noisy
  • try a different phone cord,

  • try a separate phone line,

  • check with your telephone service provider.
  3 Verify that incoming calls can be received on the phone line.  To do this:

  1. Disconnect the phone cable from the MFD and connect it directly to the additional phone or handset.

  2. Have someone call the fax number to verify that the phone rings.

  3. Allow 3-5 rings, then pick up the handset to check if a connection can be established with the caller.
the handset rings and a connection is established reconnect the phone cord to the MFD and proceed to Step 4.
Step 3 continued... the handset does not ring the phone line is problematic.  Call the telephone service provider.
Step Action If... Then...
  4 Check the value of the Enable Fax Receive user setting.
NOTE:  Not available on the X215, X342, or X502 MFD.  X342 may have Auto Answer turned off.
set to 'On' proceed to Step 5.
Step 4 continued... set to 'Off' urn it 'On', submit the change, and test again.  If the fax still fails, proceed to Step 5.
   5 Verify the Distinctive Ring user setting.
If the distinctive ring feature is available on the phone line, check to see if the appropriate setting (Single, Double, Triple) is enabled on the MFD.
NOTE:  Not available on the X215 or X502 MFD.
distinctive ring is active, enabled, and the MFD setting reflects the correct ring pattern (Single, Double, Triple) proceed to Step 6.
Step 5 continued... distinctive ring is active but disabled on the MFD turn 'On' distinctive ring to reflect the correct ring pattern (Single, Double, Triple). Test again.  If the fax still fails, proceed to Step 6.
   6 Find out if the phone line is analog or digital digital proceed to Step 7.
Step 6 continued... analog proceed to Step 8.

Step Action If... Then...
  7 Confirm that the VoIP server  is  configured to accept faxes
To do this:

  • Contact your digital telephone service provider or internet service provider. 

NOTE:  Sometimes referred to as Fax over IP (FoIP), this capability relies on the ability of a provided filter to convert digital internet signals to analog phone signals.    
the server is configured to support fax calls proceed to Step 8. Also, see Other Settings
Step 7 continued... unsure of this setting or if this configuration now fails contact the VoIP provider to verify settings and test hardware.
   8 Verify the nature of the failure.
The MFD is unable to receive faxes:

  • -from any remote fax device,

  • -only from a specific remote fax device.
the MFD fails to receive faxes from any remote fax device check Other Settings below before contacting Lexmark Technical Support  for additional diagnosis.
Step 8 continued... the MFD fails to receive only from a specific remote fax device proceed to Step 9.
  9 Verify communications with the specific remote fax device.
Test to see if any other fax device connected to the phone line is able to receive faxes sent from the specific remote fax device.
another fax device is able to receive proceed to Step 10.
Step 9 continued.. another fax device also fails to receive fax Stop here. The problem is not with the MFD.

Step Action... If... Then...
10 Verify the Block No Name Fax user setting found under:

  • -From the MFD Web Page:  
    Configuration > Fax Settings > Analog Fax Setup > Fax Receive Settings

  • -From the User Interface: 
    Menu > Settings > Fax Settings > Analog Fax Setup > Fax Receive Settings

Explanation: Block No Name Fax functions by preventing the MFD from receiving faxes from a remote fax device that has a ‘blank’ station ID setting.
Block No Name Fax is On disable this setting to start receiving faxes from remote fax devices with blank station IDs.
Step 10 continued... Block No Name Fax is Off proceed to Step 11.
Check the Banned Fax List user setting under:

  • -From the MFD Web Page:  Configuration > Fax Settings > Analog Fax Setup > Fax Receive Settings (web page)

  • -From the User Interface:
    Menu > Settings > Fax Settings > Analog Fax Setup > Fax Receive Settings

Explanation:  Banned Fax List blocks fax receive functionality based on which fax numbers are entered into the Banned Fax list.
the sender's fax number is in the Banned Fax list remove it and test again.
Step  11 continued... no banned fax number is listed check Other Settings below before contacting Lexmark Technical Support  for additional diagnosis.

Other Settings :  All MFDs  

  • -Verify that ECM (Error Correction Mode) is enabled.  This is an important setting for dropped faxes.  Toggle this setting OFF and ON and test again.

  • -Digital voice over internet protocol (VOIP) can cause issues with your MFP's analog modem.   You probably have VOIP if a digital telephone service provides your phone line.  

  • -Lower the Max Send Rate to 9600 or Max Receive Rate to 9600 if using VOIP. If this resolves the issue, increase the rate up to 14400 bps to maximize performance.  

  • -Turn ON the Speaker Setting which may be preventing you from hearing a possible distinctive ring pattern.

  • -Check the paper level as a lack of paper will prevent fax transmission.

  • -Make sure the Fax Forwarding setting is not turned on (some models only).

  • -Understand that the X502 and X215 MFDs do not support distinctive ring.

  • -Adjust # of rings if MFD is competing with an answering machine.

  • -Check Manual Fax settings.  

Visit the Lexmark publications site for User's Guide  information on these topics.  

IMPORTANT:  All three ring settings (Single, Double, Triple) are turned ON by default.  Turn off any ring setting that may interfere with a phone device that requires a distinctive ring pattern.  To do this, deselect any ring pattern that is intended for another device, but be certain about which ring pattern and phone number is intended for faxes, e.g. double ring for the phone and single ring for fax.    
Firmware Update Information

Occasionally the MFD is the cause of the fax failure; however, this is rarely a physical hardware failure.  If it is determined that a firmware update may alleviate this fax receive issue, it is important to consult a technical support representative to discuss other resolution paths and perform additional diagnostic tests.


Related Articles

Current Products


Legacy Products


Still Need Help? 

Please contact Lexmark Technical Support for additional assistance.  NOTE: When calling the Technical Support Center, you will need to know your printer model type and serial number.
Please call from near the MFP in case the technician asks you to perform a task involving the device.  


Please enter the email address you would like to send a copy of this page to.