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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 25881
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
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Printer says cartridge jammed. Can find no paper jam. Have

Customer Question

Printer says cartridge jammed. Can find no paper jam. Have been through suggested steps. No results
JA: What's the make and model of the printer?
Customer: hp photosmart c5250 allinone
JA: What kind of computer are you printing from (Mac or PC)? What Operating System (OS) are you running?
Customer: pc Don't know
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: Just this morning. my wife tried to print and this signal came up
JA: Anything else you want the Printer Expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not that I know
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble, but I'll do my best to help you. Please give me a few moments to review your details here.

Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

This message indicates a carriage fault. This is not the same a s a paper jam, though that is a possible cause.

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.

Thank you,


Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

Hello, it appears your question is still open.

Do you need more help with this?
If so, just reply back on this page. If I’ve answered your question, please let me know you are satisfied, to conclude our session – this is the only way I am credited for my work as an independent technician.

Please note: You have already paid your fee to the site; I'd like to help you and provide value for that fee, but I do need to communicate with you here to do so, if more help is needed.


Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Nathan, I did answer your email. Since all attempts to correct the problems have failed and since the printer is several years old, we've decided it's probably time to replace it. I was informed my agreement had been cancelled. I assume I will not be charged. Thanks for your help. Jim
Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

Hi Jim,

if you had responded to an email, it did not come through, it only works if you reply in the chat here, so I did not get any other response from you.

If the above steps did not help, that does confirm a hardware failure. These printers are built for a maximum service life of 3 years, so it is far past that, and would not be worth fixing. It would cost twice as much to repair as to buy a new and updated model with a fresh warranty.

If looking for a replacement, I’d recommend any of the Epson workforce series printers. They tend to be very reliable, are easy to set up and use, have good print quality, and reasonably priced ink. Example: or

Note that these, like all consumer grade inkjet printers, are designed to be low cost and are essentially disposable after a few years, subsidized by the high cost of ink cartridges. If you wish to have a better quality and longer lasting printer, that comes with years worth of ink up front, consider the Epson ecotank models instead:

Alternately, for a more business/commercial grade product that will be rated for a 5 year life, consider a laser printer. Lasers cost more up front also, but a toner cartridge can last for thousands of pages. A black only all in one laser is around $125:

while a color model is about twice that:

Regarding the fee, this is a paid support service, it is not free help. You are paying for my time and expertise in diagnosing and troubleshooting the problem. To ask for or to expect a refund would have the effect of forcing me to work for free for my time spent helping in good faith. At a local repair shop, you'd pay a minimum of $100 for the exact same answer.

If you have any other questions, just let me know. Otherwise, please take a moment to rate my service as this is the only way I am credited for my time. Hopefully I have earned 5 Stars but if not please let me know what I can do to ensure you are satisfied. I also invite you to contact me directly with any future support needs at and ask for Nathan.

Thank you, ***** ***** a nice day,


Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Nathan, When I first asked this question, I was told it was a trial basis and was asked to provide an up front "good faith" payment of $5 which would be refunded. Some how this became a unlimited membership for $48. I was subsequently told my membership had been cancelled. Frankly that was a relief. Now there seems to be some doubt whether it actually has been cancelled. I'm not sure what your role was in this ,but your advice did not solve my problem and now you tell me it's probably because my unit is too old. A conclusion I had told you we had already arrived at. As far as my experience with this service, it has been far from satisfactory. The best thing you can do for me is to remove my name from the membership list and refund my money as promised. Jim