Dell 3100cn Printer Troubleshooting

Written by patrick nelson
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Dell 3100cn Printer Troubleshooting
Perform some tasks over a newspaper, because toner can spill. (folded newspaper image by Christopher Hall from

Dell's 3100cn is a laser printer. Problems with this printer can include the printer's not printing and quality problems like very light prints that can be caused by toner glitches. Problem signs can include unusual noises coming from the printer. The printer has a comprehensive error-message system with many plain-text messages. Problems with the Dell 3100cn laser printer can be troubleshot.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Newspaper

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  1. 1

    Turn the printer off, wait for ten seconds and then turn it back on again if the LCD (liquid crystal display) panel shows errors or the printer won't print. Take a look at the error message; they are usually pretty descriptive and can include "Check Paper in Tray 2," or "Load Tray 2" or something similar. Simply follow the action suggested by the error message.

  2. 2

    Try printing from the multidocument feeder to see if unusual noises come from it. Choose MPF as the paper source and try printing something. If you hear strange noises, turn the printer off, unplug it and then turn it back on again to see if the noise has cleared.

  3. 3

    Reseat the toner if you get printing problems like overly light printing and a Replace Toner error message appears. Cycle the printer power as you did in Step 1 and check for messages like "Magenta Toner Replace Soon," "Magenta Toner Error" or similar. It's worth trying to reseat the toner before going to the expense of replacing it. Pres the Menu button until "Replace Toner" appears. Choose the colour toner cartridge and open the front cover. It pulls forward. Pull the toner cartridge out by the coloured handle. Rock the toner gently and put it back in again. Perform this task over a newspaper, because toner can spill. Replace the toner by aligning the arrows, pushing the toner in until it locks and closing the front cover.

  4. 4

    Try the print job again and replace the toner if the print problems continue.

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