How can I fix vertical banding on laser printer printouts?

My Ricoh Aficio SP C210SF multifunction printer (color laser) prints with vertical banding or drop-out in the same vertical column-like position on every page, as if the black toner needs replacing, but it was replaced 2 months ago. I've followed the troubleshooting tips in the User's Guide with no success. Those tips also suggest changing the UPC belt but we replaced that only 700 pages ago.

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check the drum for anything (such as a mailing label / shard of paper, etc). you can also carefully use latex gloves and not touch the drum and dust it off with a clean brush (think soft paint brush / watercolor brush). If that doesn't clear it up, you may need a new drum. Everyone always thinks about toner replacements, but remember, drums on lasers have to be changed as well. Simply speaking, toner is like oil in a car every 3k miles, the drum is like the 5 year transmission fluid change.

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Thanks, Country Computer Service. This machine has a "Genuine Ricoh 402074 OPC Drum Belt Unit" instead of the kind of round drum on most laser printers. It's covered with a shiny green surface. Do you think it's still OK to dust it off the way you described?

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