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HP Officejet 5500 Series All-in-One - The Scan, Copy, and Fax Lights are Blinking After Installing a Print Cartridge


After installing a print cartridge, the scan, copy, and fax lights begin to flash at the same time, and the product does not print. One of the following error messages might display on the control panel:
  • Color or Right Print Cartridge is not compatible
  • Incorrect Print Cartridge(s)
  • Print Cartridge Problem
  • Incorrectly Installed Cartridge(s)
  • Black or Color Cartridge(s) Failed


Use the following steps to resolve the issue. It might not be necessary to complete all of the steps. When the lights stop flashing, the issue is resolved.
Either one or both of the cartridges could be causing the problem.

Step one: Remove, inspect, and reseat the problem cartridge

The print cartridge might not have full electrical contact with the product. Removing and reinstalling the print cartridge might help.
HP cannot guarantee the quality of remanufactured or refilled cartridges.
  1. Make sure that the product is turned on. Press the power button () button if it is not lit.
  2. Open the product cover, and then wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Press down lightly on the end of the problem print cartridge to release it.
    Figure : Remove the tri-color print cartridge
    Remove the tri-color print cartridge
  4. Slide the print cartridge out and inspect it.
    Do not touch the copper electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
      Figure : Electrical contacts and nozzles
      Electrical contacts and nozzles
    1. Copper electrical contacts
    2. Nozzles
    • Check the electrical contacts for debris.
    • Make sure that all of the clear nozzle protective tape is removed.
      Do not attempt to remove the copper electrical strip.
        Figure : Remove the clear nozzle protective tape
        Remove the clear nozzle protective tape
      1. Protective tape
    • Look at the number on the print cartridge label and make sure it is compatible with the product. Compatible print cartridges are listed in the documentation supplied with the product.
  5. If the print cartridge is compatible, reinstall it in the product using the following steps.
    • Color print cartridges go into the left carriage slot.
    • Black print cartridges go into the right carriage slot.
      Figure : Slide print cartridge into place
      Slide print  cartridge into place
  6. Close the product cover.

Step two: Clean the problem cartridge contacts

If the preceding steps did not solved the issue, follow these steps to clean the electrical contacts on the print cartridge and in the carriage in the product.
  1. Gather the following items to clean the print cartridge and carriage:
    • Clean distilled water. Use bottled or filtered water if distilled water is not available. Tap water might contain contaminants which could damage the print cartridge.
    • Clean cotton swabs or any soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the print cartridges (coffee filters work well).
    • Sheets of paper or paper towel to rest the print cartridges on during cleaning.
  2. Open the product cover and wait until the carriage stops moving.
  3. Remove the print cartridge and place it on a piece of paper with the nozzle plate facing up.
    If removing a print cartridge, try to clean the contacts quickly enough that the cartridge is not outside of the product for more than 30 minutes. The ink can dry and clog the nozzles if the print cartridge is outside of the product for too long.
  4. Unplug the product from the electrical outlet.
  5. Dip a swab in the clean water, and then squeeze it to remove most of the moisture. The swab should be only slightly damp.
  6. Clean the print cartridge contacts being careful not to touch the nozzles.
    Figure : Electrical contacts
    Electrical contacts
  7. Clean the contacts in the carriage inside the product.
    Figure : Carriage contacts
    Carriage contacts
  8. Either let the print cartridge sit for several minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.
  9. Reinstall the print cartridge, plug the product back in, and close the product cover.

Step three: Repeat reseating and cleaning steps

If the issue is not resolved, repeat the preceding reseating and cleaning procedures one more time.

Step four: Replace the cartridge

If the issue has not been resolved by the preceding steps, either the printer or the problem cartridge is defective.






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