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Ask Russell H. Your Own Question
Russell H.
Russell H., Printer and Office Tech
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 10798
Experience:  11+ yrs experience, inkjets & lasers, from huge to portable
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printer will print but will not copy

Customer Question

printer will print but will not copy
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 6 years ago.
what model printer is this?
can you scan?
does the lamp light up when you make a copy?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
officejet J4550 all-in -one

yes it did scan

yes it lights up
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 6 years ago.
ok what happens exactly when you try to make a copy?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
lamp comes on and moves across the glass, paper feeds into copier but blank paper comes out. paper to be copied is on the glass face down
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 6 years ago.
Ok please turn the machine off and disconnect all the cables from it including the power cable.
Then wait at least 70 seconds.
Once done hold down the power button for 30 seconds with the cables still removed.
Then reconnect the power cord and turn the machine back on.
Please then test the machine and let me know the results.


Please click "Accept” so I am paid for my time. I am only paid if you click “Accept”.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
didn't help
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 6 years ago.
Ok did it do the same thing?
Is it giving an error now?
Are any of the lights flashing in any order or pattern now?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
same thing

no error message

don't understand what lights you are referring to
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 6 years ago.
I meant for example is the power light blinking at all or a certain number of times?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
light blinks while the paper is feeding and stops when the paper is out again
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 6 years ago.
are you using the adf to copy or the platen?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 6 years ago.
The glass is the part you need to lift the entire top to put the page in. The adf is the part of the machine that has a tray and feeds the page through. The adf is also used to fax pages.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

i've tried to use the glass and feed through the fax tray on top. neither works
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 6 years ago.
Ok if you try to scan something does it come through ok?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i needed to copy something and i scanned it to the computer and printed it from there.

it will scan and print, just won't copy

it worked fine and now it doesn't copy.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 6 years ago.
Ok unfortunately I am stumped because normally when this happens it will be a problem with either the lamp or the scanner mechanism which captures the image. However if it scans into the computer both are working. So I will opt out and open this to all experts in case anyone else has an idea.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

thanks so much for trying to help
Expert:  Russell H. replied 6 years ago.
OK, I understand that you can scan with your HP Officejet J4550, and the image of the paper original that you have scanned, appears on the computer or is stored in a file there, successfully. And that your HP machine also prints out what is sent it from the printer.

But it won't copy. Blank sheets are the resultant.

I would like to ask: What buttons on the machine are you pressing to produce copies? do you press the START COPY BLACK, or the START COPY COLOR button(s) ?

Or are you using the HP Director software (or other HP software) on the computer, to signal to the printer that it is to do a copy?

As well as responding to the above questions, could you do a test print:
Press the Setup (little wrench) button on the HP machine's panel.
Then press > to select Print Report, press OK.
Then press > to select Self-Test Report, press OK.
It will print. It ought to look like this:
selftest print

So: Does it come out like that (disregard the four brackets and their accompanying numbers, that's not part of the actual printout!), or not? is anything missing? if so what?
Does any of the printed textual information hint at a problem?

Let me know what you are doing, and what you find out, in reply, please. I am interested in this case.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
at first it wouldn't print with B&W or color. the test page printed only the color parts. no black areas are words and black line are not there

now it seems to be printing in color but not b&w,

i tried to copy the test page and it printed in color

this is crazy...first nothing worked and now some of it does

maybe i should just try to do something get a new ink cartridge.the ones i have now are new with high ink levels
Expert:  Russell H. replied 6 years ago.
Well.. I rather suspected that you had an inks problem!

Because your case didn't make the slightest sense otherwise (which is part of why the previous Expert quit your question - he had had a long day I have no doubt.)

Okay!: you need to do something about the black ink. Confirm first, though, by trying to do a START BLACK COPY of a colored original (or a b&w original would do too, actually.) If nothing much comes out, try doing a START COLOR COPY, and then if that's OK, you have a problem in your black ink system.

What cartridge is the black ink? take it out and reply to me with the maker (ought to be HP! period!) and the number on it too. (Meanwhile I will look up the right number of black ink cartridges for your printer.)
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
hp 901 XL

now that the color cartridge is printing..(neither was working when i first asked my question) I'm assuming it's the black ink system too


u think i got a bad cartridge?
Expert:  Russell H. replied 6 years ago.
is the link to HP's statement of 'limited warranty' on ink cartridges. For your information.
is an illustrated step-by-step guide to replacing your ink cartridges (it requires an alignment be done, note, sometimes skipping this step results in poor print quality.)

HP SureSupply confirms that HP 901 is the common-capacity black ink cartridge, and HP 901 XL is the large-capacity (more expensive) proper ink cartridge for the J4550.

So the HP number is XXXXX - but the quality of print is not good.

Have you tried doing a nozzle test, or a printhead cleaning? they are under the maintenance functions in your print driver. You access them by
Start - Control Panel - Printers, right-click with the mouse upon the icon representing your J4550 printer, select Properties from the strip menu that appears, and going to the Maintenance tab, you will find choices of functions to run, including the above, that should be tried twice or thrice, that may improve the ink performance.

If this helps with the problem and answers your question, then please click once on Accept for my Answer. (Only then will I be paid, by deduction of my share from the funds already deposited by you with JustAnswer. Thanks.) And, favorable feedback is appreciated.