A reader wrote in complaining that a faithful old printer had started printing in bands, leaving gaps all over the page. Our expert diagnoses a blocked printhead, and explains how to fix it.

QUESTION I have been using my Canon Pixma iP3000 printer for several years, but it's started printing in bands. I'm trying to print a Publisher page with pictures, a border and text, but it prints about half a centimetre, leaves a half-centimetre gap, then prints another half-centimetre.

I tried printing an old Publisher file that had previously printed correctly, but the same problem occurred. All cartridges have ink, and I've performed nozzle and alignment tests. Wildhouse

HELPROOM ANSWER It sounds as though you have a blocked printhead. Even though you ran the nozzle test, this won't fully clear the blocked printhead. This is a common problem on older printers, and particularly those that aren't often used to print full-colour pages.

Canon's My Printer utility now has a 'Diagnose and Repair' function that may be able to help.

If this doesn't solve the problem, a replacement printhead can be purchased online for around £57. Be sure to search for it using the part code QY6-0064-000 (for this particular printer), and note that you may need to have it professionally fitted.

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