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Laserwriter 8500 Fault


Well-known member
I've owned a Laserwriter 8500 pretty much since it was new (it was an ex-demo unit at a place I worked), and it's been my one consistent bit of kit for the last 23 years. Whilst my main computers were 9600, Yosemite G3, Digital Audio G4, G5 Dual, Xeon Mac Pro and now M1 Mac Mini, my main printer has been beige with green highlights and a rainbow badge. And now my faithful friend is playing up for the first time.

If I print a blank page, what I get is a grey page. If I print a page with an image or text on it, I get a page which is grey but with a sharp image on the left side and a blurry out of focus image on the right hand side. Oh, and there a echo of what's been printed previously.

Does anyone have any idea what might be amiss with my printer? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix it?

I've put a new toner cartridge in it to try to fix the problem (Genuine Apple, NOS). I've fiddled with the contrast dial. I've tried smudging the output with my finger to see if it's a fuser issue - but the image, crappy though it is, remains firmly fixed to the page and not to my finger.


Well-known member
It could be a bad cartridge. I've had sealed NOS toner/drums go bad on me before. If the printed image is otherwise "good", I wouldn't be concerned with the laser imager being the problem. The rest of the printer (fuser, power, I/O board) is clearly working fine. Take out the toner cartridge and look at the drum after printing. It should be clean with no streaks of toner or other defects. Color should be uniform and the surface smooth (don't touch it!).

The bigger issue long term is going to be sourcing ANY toner for this printer. The common substitute for the Apple branded cartridge, The IBM Infoprint 20(IBM 90H0748), doesn't seem to be readily available either.