asked Jun 11, 2007 at 6:26am
Lexmark Lexmark Optra S



I am a professional electronics technician with over 50 years experience doing component level repairs on virtually ALL types of consumer electronics. I was recently presented with a piece of crap that Lexmark made and had a difficult time trying to get the case apart. I tried to get help from Lexmark on disassembly, but they were unwilling to help. They were also insulting and unprofessional. I was finally able to figure it out, but if you've never been there done that on this poorly designed and constructed roach, you'll find the following that pertains to disassembly VERY helpful!

1. Remove paper tray feed support by carefully prying on left and right hinges. Be careful not to break plastic hinges!

2. Remove the cover over the connectors that feed power and data to the scanner. This cover is on the top RH side of the machine (when facing it in the usual manner). The cover is removed by pressing FIRMLY down on the flat area on the top of the cover and hinging it back about 1/8 inch. It can then be lifted out. (On reassembly, note the two very small molded tits on the piece you removed. It is obvious where they will go.)

3. Remove the flat ribbon cable by pulling it straight back out of the socket . Then remove the small 4 pin plug by pulling it up from the socket. The socket is not captive in the chassis below although it appears to be. These are the ONLY items connected to the scanner assembly.

4. Removing the scanner assy is tricky. If you're not VERY careful, you will break the hinges. The hinges MUST be removed to allow further disassembly of the machine. If you look at the side of either hinge, there are TWO pieces that protrude down into the slots below. The FRONT plastic piece has two "fingers" that go down through the slot. The FRONT MOST piece of the finger has only a guide on it and will not catch on the slot. HOWEVER, there is a second part that is just slightly (1/4 inch) behind it that has a catch that limits how far up the scanner/cover will hinge. It order to release this catch, you must press firmly on this part in an INWARD direction (ie: toward the center of the machine). If you do this carefully, you can release the catch and hinge the top of the unit up and OFF. WHEN YOU DO SO, MAKE A MENTAL NOTE OF EXACTLY HOW THE BACK PART OF THAT HINGE FITS TOGETHER. YOU WILL NEED TO KNOW THAT ON REASSEMBLY!

Set the scanner assy. aside.

The top cover/case of the machine cover is now totally accessible.

Remove the two black philips head screws under each hinge and then turn the unit over.

Remove the two similar screws from the front bottom of the unit.

Press the small plastic catches adjacent to the holes from which you just removed the screws and the top case cover will lift off. (You might have to coax a few catches around the bottom to free it completely.)

When you remove the top cover, be careful of the ribbon cable and the small connector.

If you want to remove the paper catch tray, pull it all the was out and then press down on the middle of it to release it.

You now have good access to the machine for cleaning.

If you think you are competent to go further:

There is a plastic assembly at the front of the machine that holds four
serrated metal rollers. It can be removed by releasing the catch at the lefthand end and sliding it to the left. The four rubber rollers on the shaft underneath probably don't have to be removed. Cleaning is easy at this point.

The remaining chassis can now be removed by removing 5 black screws. (The fifth one that you can't find is hiding under the ink cartridge carrier. (Slide it to the side and there it is !!!)

From here, you can get at anything that needs attention.

Note on re-assembly:

Just be careful and DON'T FORCE ANYTHING ! If you watched what you were doing during disassembly you should have no problem. Be especially careful not to damage or twist the long plastic optical encoder strip behind the ink cartridges.

If you go no further than this, there will be no gears that have critical TIMING concerns. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably shouldn't have gone this far ! If you go further there may or may not be concerns of this type. I simply don't know.

I found a problem with this model that may be of interest.

Unit won't turn on, and/or
Turns on but won't print, and/or
Crashes the computer, and/or
Printing hangs, and/or
Intermittent scanning and printing problems.

The geniuses at Lexmark have a poorly designed power connection that consists of a small "power module" at the end of the ac power cord and slides into the bottom rear of the unit. There are two "fingers" in the printer that are SUPPOSED to make a good electrical contact with the little square pads on the power module. Over time, the cheapo plastic case warps and the connection becomes intermittent. It can usually be seen by wiggling the module with the unit turned on and watching the power LED on the top panel. If it flashes on and off as the power module us wiggled, that's the problem. Since the problem usually causes electrical arcing (sparking) at the connection, you must re-surface the contacts with emery cloth as well as bend the springs so as to make a good connection.

-Scott Smith
June, 2007
Great article! Straightforward and precise. I surely could have used this "How To..." a short time ago. Got to that unique hinge and never did figure out to disconnect it. But obviously you did -- and have. I'll use your process the next time I open it up -- which, if I do get the hoped for guidance from you will be soon. I have a paper feed problem -- or perhaps it's two paper feed problems, as it's hard to determine. Affects all feeding of paper, envelopes, cards, etc. Using the PAPER FEED button with only a single sheet of paper (or one envelope) in the paper feed slot, it will feed down for a short distance (2 3/4"), then stop. Depressing the PAPER FEED button a second time will feed the paper all the way through. Seems to me the paper should feed all the way through the first time, with no stop. With a stack of paper is in the paper feed slot, the first will feed down 2 3/4" then stop, with it and the entire remaining stack of papers feeding down and all the way through with the second application of the PAPER FEED button. Similar activity occurs when printing, w/o of course using the PAPER FEED button. Is there a faulty sensor or adjustment cause here? Or pray tell, what can the matter be? Regards, Larry C.
by Larry C on Apr 15, 2009 at 6:33pm Add comment

Most Techs here disassemble Lexmark Printers by dropping them into a dumpster, or off a building roof, .
by Stephen on Apr 15, 2009 at 8:16pm Add comment
Hi Larry,

Sorry, but I have not got particularly good news for you. I am by NO MEANS a trained technician on Lexmark printers. I was just fortunate enough to figure out how to disassemble and re-assemble this printer with absolutely NO help or encouragement from the corporate scum that manufacture this roach! The company
has ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in helping customers with their problems. They want you to buy a new machine from them. (And in that regard, YES, they
are an incredibly stupid, naive manufacturer in need of a new customer service strategy. But, don't hold your breath !)

Based on the problem you describe, I would offer the following advice. (Remember, " advice " is worth EXACTLY what you pay for it !)

Printers, in general, do not have "adjustments". At least none that you would need to do.
Paper feed problems are almost ALWAYS due to the rubber rollers that are supposed to move the paper starting to slip and NOT move the paper.
Obviously, the printer's microprocessor needs to know where the paper is and when. It uses two schemes to determine this. Either a small switch (microswitch) that is actuated by the edge of the paper actually touching it, or by a photo-diode device that is actuated by the paper interrupting a light beam. Yours might even use a combination. After cleaning the rollers, I would clean any light sensitive devices with compressed air (it comes in a can). Check that any switches do not stick and are being operated correctly by the paper moving through the path.

Short of that, junk this piece of crap. Avoid Lexmark in the future, and try to find a company that, unlike Lexmark, takes care of their customer's AFTER the sale.


Scott K. Smith
Islesboro, Maine
by unknown on Apr 16, 2009 at 12:11pm Add comment
Thanks for the tutorial! I had the common problem of the broken hinges preventing the lid from closing, which causes the printer to throw and error and refuse to print. For anyone with this issue, you only have to go up to step 4. You don't have to remove the screws or remove the top cover/case after step 4.

Once you get to that point, the 2 springs inside the white hinges are your problem. Remove the curved spring cap portion of the hinge and pull the spring out. Put the curved caps back into the hinge housing without the springs. Now reassemble and you're good to go! Lid will now close!

It's a bad design. Those springs are pretty tough and they're being held/pressed into place by a flimsy and hence easily breakable hinge joint.

Hope this helps. Lexmark customer service doesn't know anything other than how to sell people useless crap :)
by unknown on Feb 25, 2012 at 12:18pm Add comment
Scott - Nice info. Does Lexmark or anyone sell hinges for the model X4975???

by ronsr33 on Apr 12, 2013 at 8:06am Add comment
In a lexmark X7675 printer i have an error message of Printer Carrier stall that wont go away. Tried everything, even cleaned the encoder strip but still get the error message. But what i noticed when shined a torch over the encoder strip is that there are 2 small dents on the encoder strip on the right hand side of the printer. Could this be the problem? and if yes can this printer still be fixed? or should i dump it?

by unknown on May 4, 2013 at 2:26pm Add comment
sure you didn't mean "carriage"? try applying some sewing machine oil on the rod that the carriage is running on and see if it helps. make sure you don't put too much that the oil would drip everywhere.
by seriously on May 4, 2013 at 3:44pm Add comment
The hinge on my Lexmark's hinge recently broke. Thanks for the helpful directions. I will definitely be removing the spring in the near future to get my printer working immediately again.

One thing I have discovered though. If you just leave the printer on, even though you get that "lid open" error message....and you just ignore the printer for about 5 minutes, the Lexmark will give up the error message and reset itself and you can once again print/scan/fax etc. normally even with that back corner hinge not laying flat. (Helpful if you don't have time to grab a screwdriver right away.)
by unknown on Nov 23, 2014 at 5:52am Add comment