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Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 35435
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 20+ years experience printer repair
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I have a HP Photosmart C5280 Printer. First fault showed

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I have a HP Photosmart C5280 Printer.
First fault showed that carriage was jammed ,but I could find no obvious cause for this.. I have gone through the recommended procedures to clear the fault but without success.Now the printer won't shut down when |I press the power switch.I have disconnected power cable a few times hoping to clear a fault - again without success.When connecting the power cable again the small screen immediately shows shutting down but nothing happens.It sounds like an electronic fault in the sytsem somewhere. the machine must be about 10+ years old.any suggestions?

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble with this but I'll do my best to help you.

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.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hello Nathan,
I have followed your suggested procedures. The cartridge holder moves smoothly along the carriage left and right.
There is no sign of any debris, paper etc. The printer was working normally just as few says ago when last used.
Your last procedure I have followed carefully yet the small screen still indicates " Carriage jam".
The printer powers off normally now, which it wasn't doing before
I look forward to your next advice
Thank you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
tried to give phone number - 441244332241 but message not sent
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hello Nathan
Have you received my latest message?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
in reply to your advice

Hello Angus, sorry I missed you, I'm in the US on a much different time zone.

Do you hear any grinding, clicking, or slamming sounds when starting the printer up (from an off state)?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
When switching on printer it makes the usual start up sounds to begin with; then the sound changes and there is the noise of the "rollers" as if it is trying to roll paper through. Then it stops and the fault sign "Carriage jam" appears.

Thank you for checking,

this is looking like a drive/feed system failure,

try taking a piece of thick paper like cardstock and pushing that through the paper path from the front (where a printed page woudl come out) to see if you can dislodge anything stuck there, then check again if the code remains

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hello ***** your suggestion without success
Fault "Carriage jam" still shown
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We don't seem to be making progress
Any other suggestions?

Thank you for trying,

unfortunately at this point we are down to a hardware defect, meaning a failure in the carriage/drive system.

Keeping in mind that this is a 2006 model printer, and was designed for a service life of only 3 years, that is not at all surprising to see. At this point the printer has lasted about 4 times what it was designed for and has greatly exceeded any value that could be reasonably expected of it.

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:

This is something that would require repairs, but is simply not worth fixing. It would be $150+ to repair and you could buy a brand new and better model witha fresh warranty for half that.

My goal is to give you the best experience possible! I hope I have earned a 5 star rating! Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen before you leave today. If you need more assistance, please use the reply box and let me know.

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


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