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Dustin, Printer Repair Specialist
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 13458
Experience:  A deep understanding and technical prowess in the finer points of printing and printer repair. Also worked in The US Army as A Network Switching Systems Operator/Controller
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I have a HP Photsmart C5500. I was printing 3 pages and after

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I have a HP Photsmart C5500. I was printing 3 pages and after the first page it stopped and it is stating clear carriage jam. There is not a paper jam, I have reinstalled the cartridges (black and color) and the message continues. I know neither one of those is carriage but just thought I would try! So what do I next?

Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you today!

I see that your having a carriage jam fault with your machine. And I agree with you that its possible that the jam is a false error message, since you say that there wasnt any paper jam.

Lets try this reset as a first step, and if this doesnt work, then you and I will try other steps as needed.

  1. Press the Setup button ( ). The Setup menu opens.
  2. Press the arrow button to select Tools , and then press OK .
  3. Press the arrow button to select Self-Test Report , and then press OK . The self-test report prints.

If the report will print, then the self test fixed the issue.. If it wont print, then we need to try another reset.


Shut the printer off. Actually unplug the printer from the wall.. Then, Hold down # XXXXX 9 on the keyboard. While holding down those keys, plug the power cord back in and keep holding those keys.


It should go through a full reset of the machine, which should get rid of this error if its a false error.

let me know if either of these steps help, and if not, then you and I can continue to work this issue as needed.


Dustin S.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


When I press the setup button nothing happens, consequently when I press the up\down errors there is not response. The green start up button is flashing and the red\orange light to the left of the OK square button is also flashing?

Thanks Nancy.. The flashing lights sound like you have an ink system failure.

Can you follow the repair steps to reset the ink system, on the first page on the post below.

Once that reset is complete, let me know the status of the printer.


Dustin S.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dustin, I attempted the first step and nothing changed on my display screen, it still says "clear cartridge jam." I have tried turning if off and back on and I am getting absolutely no where. Nancy

When you say you attempted the first step... Can you clarify which first step you tried?

Also, did you try the step I previously sent where you hold down the # and 9 key, while you plug the printer back in?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I held down the * key and then the # XXXXX and released them and I did not get any response. I over looked the step you provided in your first answer so I tried that with no luck. Dustin, I am a smart woman and this is very frustrating. If I shut the computer off and press #9 on my keyboard while plugging bck in how can the computer totally reset if it is off?

My apologies Nancy, I should have been a bit clearer with my instructions.

Its on the Photosmart printer that we would want to hold the pound key, and the 9 key.. while we are plugging the printer back into power.

When those keys are held down when the printer very first receives power, it triggers the internal reset procedure.. And holding the keys down when we plug the machine in, if we keep holding those keys.. It will start the machine, and start the reset procedure.

I do not doubt your intelligence at all.. many times Nancy, the issue is that theres something wrong with the internal brain ( logic board ) inside the printer.

And t hats why it isnt responding to the reset commands and procedures we are using..

If holding down the pound and 9 key doesnt get the printer to run through the reset process. Then we may have to try a few manual steps , by hand..

Dustin S.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dustin, No apology necessary, that comment was directed at you! But maybe I am not as smart as I think I am because I have no idea where the pound key and the 9 key are located on the printer?! Does the printer have a keyboard somewhere?

My mistake Nancy, there are a few models in the 5500 series, that do have keyboards.

if your not seeing a small keypad, then your model must not have one..

Question, does your model have a red eye removal button, if so.

Hold down the red eye removal button, and also the photo print button.

Does the printer ask you to enter a special key combo?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes it does ask for a special key combo.

Excellent!! We should be making progress then.

if it is still asking for t he special key combo, press these keys, in this exact order

red eye removal, print photo, red eye removal

you should now be on a support menu.. Now, press the right arrow twice

you should now be on the reset menu.. press ok

use the arrow key to select, semi full reset

press ok again , it should start the reset..

Once complete, the printer should turn off and on, let me know what happens next.. ( if you still have the carriage jam, etc )

Dustin S.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay, I followed all of the steps and I think it may have worked turned off but has not yet turned back on. How long should that take?

If it hasnt turned on.. Try pressing the power button ( as by t he time you read this message, we will have waited long enough)

If the power button wont turn it on, please unplug the printer from power, wait one minute, then plug it back in. Then try to power on again.

let me know what happens when we get power, and if there are any new errors, etc.

Thanks Nancy,

Dustin S.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I may just go crazy! It says "remove cardboard from inside the device. Then turn the printer off then on. I turned it on and off and the same message appeared.

The same " carriage jam " message appeared?

If that is corect, I have a question Nancy.

If you open the printer, with the printer turned on.

Does the carriage attempt to move at all?

A.. if it does attempt to move, is it making any grinding noises, clicking noises?

B.. If it does not attempt to move, ( put on some gloves or something, so we dont stain your hands with ink, as printer ink is probably the most highly staining substance ive ever encountered.. )

And then, by hand, lets try to move the carriage left and right. ( the carriage is the part of the machine that moves back and forth, and puts the ink on the paper, and also, the carriage physically holds the ink tanks )

Lets try to move the carriage left and right.. See if we cant get it to unlock, and clear the carriage jam error.

Also, if you hear at any point any grinding or knocking noises , any noises like that at all while were turning the machine off andon, let me know about those noises.. And if you can, try to pintpoint by ear, where inside the machine those noises are coming from with as much accuracy as possible.

Thanks Nancy, and good luck!

Dustin S.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The carriage moves freely back and forth. The message states "remove cardboard from inside the device and then turn off and on. I do that and the same message about the cardboard appears.

Hmmm.. I misunderstood you.

I thought you meant the carriage jam message had returned.

lets t ry this.

Remove all ink t anks, unplug the printer from power completely ( remove the cord from the wal )

now, with the ink tanks removed. plug the printer back in.. Try to continue setting it up as it asks.. Do you still get the cardboard message?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think I may have found the problem. I have replaced the ink cartridges many times so I am very familiar with the process. I am not able to fully remove the cartridges because the black piece with the arrows that indicate which cartridge goes where is elevated preventing me from pulling the cartridges out?

That does sound like you have found the issue..

And the piece you describe, Thats sounds like the locking bar for the carriage / printhead..

I take it that you cant push the piece down? ( regardless if you slide the carriage left and push down, or right and push down. )

Maybe there is something under that guide bar, some type of debris or something that has it pushed up?

Im out of time for t his evening, so if you cant get the bar to push back down where it belongs, if you could, please use a camera or a cell phone, take a picture, upload the picture to or ( both are free )

And then send the link to me here.

I will definitely be able to respond to you before 10 am eastern time.. Its currently 1150 pm eastern time )

Thank you for your diligence so far Nancy, and Im sure we arent very far away from resolving this issue.

Dustin S.

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