Samsung CLP-315, Windows 10, 7, either too dark or too light; cartridges or other?

Jul 27, 2021
I have a Samsung CLP-315 printer. About three years ago I replaced the original Samsung cartridges with compatible cartridges that were awful (spilled toner, colour wasn't right) but the images and b+w documents printed with them were fine. Not too dark , not too light.

Then about two years ago Windows 10 did an update and suddenly everything was printing out too dark. The toner was so thick that images were pools of black and the toner was shiny and cracking. Documents were full of streaks.

My unused Windows 7 laptop didn't seem to have any issues except that the print quality could have been darker; I have to print on "best" to get it looking almost dark enough.

This year I went through the process of removing the drivers that the Windows update had replaced the Samsung drivers with (in Windows 10 Home you don't get a choice whether or not to install, Windows does it regardless). It was a tricky process to track down the places the drivers were hidden but I got them all and reinstalled the Original Samsung drivers and other software from the CD that came with the printer.

Now it prints too light. Even on "best" it's still too light. It's a pain to have to transfer everything to my relatively unused laptop just to print; my PC is my primary computer. Is the dark/light issue caused by Windows 10 (although Windows 7 seems a tad too light, too, just not as bad) or could it be the compatible cartridges? The light/dark was printing fine with them for a year until that Windows 10 update...

I'm sure others have had this problems. Has anyone found an answer and a solution?

Note: When I do a print test, it is perfect. The picture is perfect, the text is perfect. From looking at it you'd never guess that there's a printer issue.

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