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Russell H.
Russell H., Computer Repairer
Category: Computer Hardware
Satisfied Customers: 12034
Experience:  Working to keep PC-type computers working since 1988.
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I have an HP Envy 4500 Printer purchased in October 2014. I

Customer Question

I have an HP Envy 4500 Printer purchased in October 2014. I have a carriage jam message. I have very carefully checked and there are definitely no paper or other obstructions but the printer carriage will not return to the rest position on the right hand side. I can see that when I attempt to dismiss the problem that the carriage returns to the rest position on the right before immediately travelling the full length to the left and returning to stop at a point just short of the position where the cartridges can be removed, at which point the carriage jam message returns. I have faithfully followed the HP trouble shooting guide but to no avail. Is this a programming fault which is fixable? and if so how do I go about it? Just what do I have to do to get the thing to work? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Computer Hardware
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question. That was very well observed and described.The carriage jam message coming up when you have seen the carriage moving, means that the carriage movement is not sensed, or not sensed completely etc. So the thing you can do is, look inside the printer and see if there is dust.And, look for a thin, almost completely transparent plastic strip going from one side of the printer to the other side. That should have faint cross-hatching on it or inside it. That plastic strip can break, causing complete carriage movement failure. Or it can just get dusty and be hard or impossible for the carriage to 'read' the cross-hatchings. In which case, it needs to be cleaned - Delicately! - so that it does not break. First get the dust out of the printer's interior, and not by blowing. A vaccuum would be ideal, with a very delicate/small nozzle. Don't apply the nozzle to the plastic strip don't touch the plastic strip, don't break it. After that's done, let me know, and I will tell you how to clean the plastic strip properly and without breaking it. (Note: all cleaning should be done with the power Off and unplugged.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks Russell.
With it unplugged and power off I have 'delicately' vacuumed the interior and have NOT touched the plastic strip. I await your instructions as to how clean the plastic strip.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.
With power Off, and the printer unplugged, slide the carriage to one side. With a fine-grained cloth moistened very slightly with warm water, grap the strip very delicately through the cloth (don't touch the cloth with your bare fingers), and pull the strip very gently through the cloth held with your fingers, so as to wipe both sides of the strip. Note: I emphasize gentleness. It is necessary not to break the strip, simply that. Once it is cleaned for sure, slide the carriage to the other side, and carefully and delicately clean the other end where the carriage was, of any dirt. Note: check the cloth, to see how much dirt was cleaned off. If a lot, might want to give it a second cleaning with a different, still-clean, part of the cloth.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have done as asked. The position of the tape makes it very difficult to access. I am therefore unable to clean both sides. I have cleaned one side and observed a small amount of dust left on the cloth. As far as I can see, the tape appears to be dust free. I have been extremely careful not to damage it. I have at this stage reconnected the electricity supply and switched the machine on, but the problem persists. The carriage continues to come to rest just short of the point where the ink cartridges can be replaced. Is there anything else that can be tried? Please rest assured I have not tinkered or tampered with any part of the hardware. The cost of repair has to be proportionate and realistic, given the cost of printers these days. I am on standby awaiting your further instructions/advice. John
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately that may be a problem with control circuitry. The last thing to try is, to turn it Off, unplug the printer from everything, and leave it that way for a day or two. I don't think it will recover that way, but it's about the last reasonable thing to do before deciding whether to pay for repairs, or replace it.