HP Customer Support - Knowledge Base




  • Information

    Fix and resolve Windows 10 update issue on HP Computer or Printer. Click here



HP Designjet 5000 and 5500 Series Printers - Switch Power off, Check Printhead Path

Document number: bpp03894


The printhead carriage cannot move, or has difficulty moving freely. This message may appear with or without the numbers 1, 2, or 3 following it (troubleshoot all the same way). Common causes are obstructions in the carriage path, or excess friction along the carriage path. Use the information below to determine the cause of the failure and perform the necessary troubleshooting steps to resolve.

Troubleshooting steps

  1. Turn the printer off, using the main power switch located on the back of the printer.
  2. Open the top cover.
  3. Unload media and check for obstructions in the carriage path, remove as needed.
  4. If media is jammed, follow the steps directly below. If no media jam is detected, continue with Step 5.
    1. Slide the carriage out of the way toward either side of the enclosed ends of the printer (if needed).
    2. Lift the Pincharm lever.
    3. Remove any of the jammed media that is easily lifted up and out from the top of the printer.
    4. Pull the rest of the roll or sheet down and out of the entry slot where the media is loaded.
    5. Check around the ends, front, and rear edges of the platen roller to verify that all of the torn media is removed. Use a manila folder to remove jammed media from the media path (take care not to damage the media sensor on the right side of the printer).
    6. Lower the printer top cover window and the pincharm lever, then turn the printer on. After initialization, select Move Media, via the Media icon, to eject any pieces of media that might still be in the media path.
    7. Reload the media as normal. If using roll, trim the edge so the media is straight before loading. Also, be sure not to load the media upside down.
    8. If loading is successful, repeat loading procedure with both roll and sheet media, portrait style (preferably larger than 8 1/2 x 22 inches) two times each, to prove functionality. If everything works well, no parts need to be replaced.
    9. If loading is unsuccessful or problems persist, continue with the remaining steps.
  5. Remove the power cable from the printer.
  6. Open the printhead cleaner door, located on the right side of the printer.
  7. Manually pull the printhead cleaner tray forward (releasing the printhead carriage).
  8. Lift the top cover.
  9. Clean the carriage slider rods and apply oil along the complete axis of the slider rods. Follow the instructions in the Slider rod lubrication kit that was shipped with the printer.
    The most important parts to keep clean are the upper and internal sides of the rods. Use the slider rod lubrication kit once a year or whenever excessive carriage noise is heard.
  10. Manually move the carriage left and right several times to help distribute oil under the carriage bushings.
    Ensure the printhead latch is securely fastened down on the carriage. If not properly closed, the latch can impede carriage movement, thus generating the error message.
  11. Close the top cover.
  12. Plug the power cable back into the printer.
  13. Turn the printer on using the main power switch.
  14. Print several files to the printer to verify functionality.
  15. If the problem persists, contact HP.

Contact HP?

If the issue is unresolved, click here to contact HP support (http://thenew.hp.com/country/us/eng/contact_us.html) and provide the following information:
  • Document number bpp03894 used for troubleshooting and a brief problem description to assist HP support in resolving the issue
  • After completing the troubleshooting steps listed above, does the printer still exhibit the same issue?






Country/Region: Flag United States