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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 19580
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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I cleared a paper jam and now it keeps repeating "carriage

Customer Question

I cleared a paper jam and now it keeps repeating "carriage jam" etc. I cleared a paper jam and pressed "OK" but to no avail. This message alternates with "improper shutdown". What do you think?
JA: What's the exact make and model of your printer, and can you guesstimate how old it is?
Customer: HP Photosmart 3210 All-in-One
JA: What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: I thought I checked pretty thoroughly for paper left in it. Also turned it off and back on. Awhile go I had a tech on the line troubleshooting something else and he had a way of "resetting" the software but can't remember how we did it.
JA: The printer expert can solve this for you. Anything else you want him to know before I connect you two?
Customer: How much does he charge for this?
JA: I'm not sure of the exact price, but there's only a $5 deposit. The rest of the price information will be on the page I send you to.
Customer: I would like to have an estimated price BEFORE he gives me the repair recommendations!
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 3 months ago.

Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble.

This message indicates a carriage fault. That can be caused by anything from debris/obstruction (paper jam, bent/damaged rails, out of place purge assembly/wiper, or dirty/dislocated encoder strip) to an actual hardware defect (bad sensor or control board, faulty carriage drive motor/gear/belt, bad printhead/carriage pcb).

What we can try here are some cleaning and reset steps.
First, open up the printer, and check for any internal debris such as scraps of paper, paperclip or staple, etc. Check if you’re able to move the carriage manually, or if it moves on its own when lifting the lid. If it does move, you can proceed with cleaning by blowing out the inside compartment with compressed air and checking carefully on both sides for any obstructions. Then wipe down the encoder strip, which is a clear plastic strip running the width of the printer, that sits just slightly above and behind the carriage.

Then reset the machine:
unplug power at the wall outlet
wait 5 minutes
press and hold the power/on button for 60+ seconds
keep holding while plugging back in, and for another 60 seconds after, then release

Let me know the results, and I’ll advise further if needed.