Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.
Sorry to hear you’re having trouble.
Unfortunately this symptom indicates a hardware problem,
specifically, it is the result of a bad printhead (or the logic board that controls it).
The head is a "wear item" that fails with age/use. As this is a 2009 model printer, it is well past its 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising.
There is one step you can take here, to clean and reset the system, but it is very unlikely to help. 99.9% of the time, this does come down to a hardware fault. These lexmarks are widely regarded as the worst printers ever made, they were very poorly designed and built and have very high failure rates. They were so bad that lexmark nearly went bankrupt supporting all the warranty claims, and stopped making inkjets entirely shortly after this model. (Dell doesn't actually manufacture printers, they are all rebranded lexmark products)
While it can be fixed, it is not worthwhile to do so. You would have to, at a minimum, replace the printhead, which costs about $90, A logic board would run you $200-250. For $80-100 you can replace the entire machine with a brand new model, with current technology and a fresh warranty, which makes more sense than buying the new part for an older printer.
Depending how you'd like to proceed, I can advise on the cleaning/reset steps if you wish to try, help with finding parts, finding a local repair shop, or recommending replacement options for you. Just let me know.
Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,
You would need to fully remove and manually clean the printhead.
Again this is highly unlikely to help though.
Open up the printer, and look for the "carriage" that goes back and forth (on metal rails) over the paper while printing. This is the printhead.
You'll remove the ink cartridges from the printer, then clean on the bottom of them (focus on the ink port/hole) as well as inside the printer where they mate up using qtips and rubbing alcohol.
If you can, remove the carriage/print head (there will be a small lever at the side/rear of it that lifts up to release) and clean the bottom this way as well.
When cleaning the port on the print head that the ink flows into from the cartridge, also try using a qtip to "pump" the liquid down into the port and force it through, which will help to dissolve any clogs. If possible, you'll get better results by using a syringe and appropriately sized rubber tubing (that will fit into the ink inlet port) to force the alcohol to flush through the head)
After all of this swab again with a few dry qtips or give a blast of compressed air to dry everything well, then put it all back together.
Then reset the machine:unplug power at the wall outletwait 5 minutespress and hold the power/on button for 60+ secondskeep holding while plugging back in, and for another 60 seconds after, then release
You can now try to print, or run the automated print head cleaning function in the setup menu. You may have to run a few pages through before everything starts flowing properly again.
If that still doesn't help, then that does confirm a hardware fault and again at that point replacement of the printer is the best option.
If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please take a moment to rate my service using the stars at the top of the page; hopefully I have earned 5 Stars. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at http://bit.ly/1QwLxGh and ask for Nathan.
Thank you, ***** ***** a nice day,
I am an independent technician and I've spent my personal time, unpaid, in an effort to assist with the question for which you solicited my services. This site works on the honor system, and to that end, I have prioritized working with you ahead of other paying customers.
Although you’ve already paid your fee to the site, I am only compensated for my efforts when customers such as yourself leave positive feedback for my work. I apologize this is not the outcome you had hoped for, though this is really beyond either of our control. I do hope you’ll consider leaving a 5 star rating for me, rather than “shoot the messenger”, so that I may get credit for my time spent in good faith to answer your question accurately. Rating 1 or 2, or not rating at all, does not produce a refund, it only penalizes me for trying to help.
Do you need more help with this?