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One or More Horizontal Bands of Color Appear on the First Couple of Pages Printed on a Lexmark C77x or C78x Printer

Document ID:TE327

Usergroup :External


Horizontal band on the printed pages; Horizontal line; Toner banding; Print quality issue; Excess toner band on the printed pages; Band of magenta; Band of cyan; band of yellow; Printer not working properly; Extra line; Extra band; Poor print quality




One or more horizontal bands of color appear on the first couple of printed pages the printer produces. These marks appear either after first powering the printer on or after it has sat idle for an extended period of time. (See sample printout below.)

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Determine the Possible Cause


If this issue occurs randomly, yet predominantly after extended idle periods, the print head unit on the printer may need time to warm up.

NOTE: This issue is more likely to occur when the printer is operating in room temperatures below normal. Once the printer has had a chance to warm up, either through printing or due to a warmer environment, the print quality will typically return to normal.

First confirm that a cold printhead unit is causing this print quality issue, and not some other problem such as a defective toner cartridge. To do this:

Step Action


If the first page you print has a horizontal band of any color on it and you have just powered on the printer, or it has sat idle for some time, stop printing.




Print ten pages or so with only a small amount of text on them. This should be sufficient to allow the printhead to warm up.




Try printing the original document again.

If... Then...
The horizontal bands are still occurring… A cold printhead is probably NOT the cause. A defective toner cartridge is more likely the cause, instead. This is especially true if the horizontal band is always of the same color. Try replacing the toner cartridge of that color. If the issue persists, please contact Lexmark Technical Support for other troubleshooting suggestions.
The horizontal band is no longer present after printing a few pages… A cold printhead is the likely cause of the issue. To confirm this, power off the printer at the end of the day. Then power it on the next day and try printing again. If the horizontal band returns on the first pages printed (up to five), this test has confirmed that a cold printhead is the cause of the issue.




Recommended Actions


Please be aware that a service action on the printer will not correct the issue if it is caused by a cold printhead unit. Instead, make sure you are using the printer in an environment where the temperature is at a comfortable room temperature' level or higher.

  • If the operating environment is at room temperature, make sure the printer is not exposed to any cold breezes. For example, make sure it is not positioned near a window or exit door during cold weather or directly in the path of an air conditioning vent during hot weather.
  • If the printer is in a cooler operating environment and cannot be moved, there are a few things you can do to work around this issue. Whenever you first power on the printer or after the printer has sat idle for more than an hour, print ten pages with a small amount of text or other print on them. This will warm up the printhead unit. All other pages printed after this should be fine. NOTE: Printing a couple of pages every hour or so should keep the printhead warmed up enough to prevent this issue from occurring again.
  • If these suggestions do not correct the issue, or if you require additional assistance, please contact Lexmark Technical Support.



Still need help?


Please contact Lexmark Technical Support if you need additional assistance. NOTE: When calling for support, you will be asked for your machine/model type and serial number (SN). If you need help locating these, click here.

Please call from near the printer in case the technician on the phone asks you to perform a task involving the printer.

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