Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got a feeling that my laser printer's drum could be wearing out. I just printed a fully black page as a test, and this is the result:

Black page indicating possible drum wear-out Click here for high resolution

Note a small degree of horizontal banding as well as overall image "roughness". Is this patterning normal, or is the drum wearing out? Do I need to replace the drum? (I've printed less than 4000 pages on this drum unit.)

Edit: The printer is a Brother HL-2170W. It is nearly three years old and was purchased refurbished; the supplied drum unit has a specified yield of 10,800 pages. The drum was never replaced, and the toner cartridge has 70% of its life remaining. All supplies used in this printer are genuine Brother supplies. I've cleaned the OPC drum itself with minimal improvement, and I've cleaned the corona wire as well. Could the failure be related to the age of the drum unit?

Edit 2: Blank pages are clean and printouts are free of repeating extraneous marks.

share|improve this question

closed as too localized by Karan, BinaryMisfit, ChrisF, Tog, EBGreen Jan 11 '13 at 15:09

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

To a certain extent this is an opinion driven question. When you are doing your normal work do you see drum related streaking? Is it obvious enough to bother you? Personally I print text 99% of the time simply for reference. If I can read it it is adequate so I would not replace it for this. – EBGreen Jan 10 '13 at 17:20
The image has been updated. – bwDraco Jan 10 '13 at 17:29
Well I definitely wouldn't replace that. – EBGreen Jan 10 '13 at 17:42
Does you laser printer have status information about the drum? Our Xerox Phaser 6360N has information about the number of pages certain parts (fuser, imaging unit, etc.) are supposed to be able to create, and it says how many have already been done. Maybe if you bought a cheap drum... – BenjiWiebe Jan 10 '13 at 17:55
This is the supplied drum. The drum is supposed to have about 7000 pages of life remaining. – bwDraco Jan 10 '13 at 18:21
up vote 4 down vote accepted

According to eHow, yes, the drum is going bad

As the laser causes the toner to deposit images or words onto paper, over time it can etch lines onto the surface of the drum itself because of the drum's repeated exposure to the laser. Toner begins to stick to those etched lines. As the paper passes over the drum during the printing process, those lines transfer onto the paper. These lines will appear in the same places on each document you print. When you notice these lines, you need to check into replacing the drum.

Read more: The Signs & Symptoms of a Failing Laser Drum |

share|improve this answer
The image has been updated. – bwDraco Jan 10 '13 at 17:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.