This is the info I received from Lexmark. My problem was resolved when I 'wicked' the cartridges. I hope this resolves the issue for everyone else too.
The self-test allows us to rule out software and the cable by testing the
hardware by itself. Please note that this is not a "fix," but rather a
diagnostic test to determine if your hardware is at fault.
1. Please press the "Options" button 10 times. "Cartridges" should now
appear in the display screen.
2. Press the "Left Arrow" button once, which then brings you to the
3. Press the "Select" button once. You will hear a series of clicks.
4. It should print out a sheet of paper with horizontal color and black
lines and smaller vertical lines.
You should see text followed by a thick 1-inch black bar. Under this bar,
should be a process gray bar about ½-inch thick. Below this line should be
a set of railroad like bars of cyan, magenta, and yellow.
Should this test fail, try it again without cartridges installed. If the
self-test still fails to take paper in and make sounds like the carrier is
moving across the paper, this is a hardware issue, and the printer will
require service. If the self-test completes without any cartridges
installed, run the self-test again with the color cartridge installed. (If
you have both black and color cartridges, after this test, run the test
again with just the black cartridge installed.) If you find that either
cartridge causes the self-test to fail, please let us know.
If the self-test prints, but has lines or smudges or other print quality
issues, please let us know. This includes any print quality issues, we need
to know if the problems you have with your black or color are based in the
printer, or communications with your computer, or the computer's software.
If the self-test prints your test bar(s) clearly, the printer hardware is
not at fault. The issue may be a communication problem, or perhaps a
A technique to improve print quality is to try and clean the cartridge
nozzles. You can clean the cartridge by doing the following:
1. Go to the Lexmark solution center. This can be done by clicking on
"Start," go to "Programs," and down to the Lexmark. Click on the "Lexmark
solution center." Next click on the "Maintenance Tab."
2. Select "Clean to fix horizontal streaks." This will produce a printed
The colors that you should see here are black, yellow, magenta (a reddish
purple), and cyan (a dark sky blue). You should notice the diagonal lines
above and below the solid horizontal lines. These diagonal lines should be
solid from left to right with no gaps.
If there are gaps in the lines or the print diminishes across the page, you
should run the "Clean Print Nozzle" page a couple more times to try and
clear it up. If you still have gaps at the top and bottom, you should
"wick" the cartridges by doing the following:
1. Please open the "Lexmark solution center" again and go to the
2. Select "Install color/black cartridge" and remove the cartridge or
cartridges from the printer.
3. Get a damp paper towel.
4. Set the ink cartridge right side up on the damp paper towel so that the
ink nozzles are against the towel, and hold the cartridge in this position
for about 15 seconds.
5. Now wipe the print head (on the bottom where the ink comes out) across
in one direction only (left to right) until it looks clean.
6. Next dab the cartridge on the towel to make sure that the ink is
7. Snap the cartridges back into the printer.
8. On your computer select "Old Cartridge install."
9. Repeat the Clean Nozzle Page one more time. If this fails to address the
problem, the entire procedure may need repeating.