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HP ENVY 4500 and HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 3540 e-All-in-One Printer Series - An 'Initializing...Please load plain paper' Message Displays on the Printer Control Panel, and the Printer Does Not Respond

Issue

An 'Initializing... Please load plain paper' message displays on the printer control panel, and the printer does not respond.
Important: You must follow these steps in the order presented to resolve the issue.

Solution one: Remove, inspect, and then reseat the cartridges

Follow these steps to make sure that the cartridges are inserted correctly, and then update the printer firmware.

Step one: Remove, inspect, and then reseat the cartridges

  1. Press the Power button to turn the printer on, if it is not already on.
  2. Locate the slots on the left and right sides of the printer.
    Figure : Locate the slots on the sides of the printer
    Image: Locate the slots on the sides of the printer.
  3. Slide your fingers into the two slots, and then gently lift up to open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the cartridge access area. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  4. To release the cartridge, lift the lid on the cartridge slot, and then gently push the lid back until it stops.
  5. Pull up on the cartridge to remove it from the slot.
      Figure : Remove the cartridge
      Image: Remove the cartridge
    1. Lift the lid
    2. Gently push the lid back
    3. Pull up on the cartridge
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Touching these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure : Do not touch the contacts or nozzle
    Image:  Do not touch the contacts or nozzle.
  6. Remove any protective tape that still might be on the nozzles.
    Figure : Remove any protective tape that still might be on the nozzles
    Image:  Remove any protective tape that still might be on the nozzles.
      caution:
    Do not try to remove the copper-colored electrical strip.
  7. Hold the cartridge at a slight upward angle with the cartridge contacts facing the rear of the printer, and then slide the cartridge into the empty slot.
  8. Close the lid on the cartridge slot to secure the cartridge into place.
    note:
    Insert the color cartridge in the slot on the left. Insert the black cartridge in the slot on the right.
      Figure : Insert the cartridge
      Image: Insert the cartridge
    1. Insert the cartridge
    2. Close the lid
    3. The color cartridge is on the left, and the black cartridge is on the right
  9. If the cartridge is not seated properly, repeat the previous steps to remove and then reinsert the cartridges again.
  10. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
  11. If the printer displays the message 'Genuine HP Cartridge(s) installed,' press OK.
  12. Follow the instructions on the control panel to start the cartridge alignment. The printer aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, continue to the next step.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the solution to Turn the printer off, and then on again.

Step two: Update the printer firmware

To prevent the issue from occurring in the future, follow these steps to update the printer firmware.
The HP printer must connect to a wireless network with an active Internet connection to receive updates. However, you do not need to connect the printer to a computer.
On the printer control panel, press the ePrint button (). If Web Services is enabled, the printer checks for updates:
  • If the printer does not find an update, the control panel returns to the home screen.
  • If the printer does find an update, the update installs automatically.
    note:
    The printer might power off and on depending on the type of update.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Turn the printer off, and then on again

Follow these steps to turn the printer off and on, and then update the printer firmware.

Step one: Turn the printer off, and then on again

  1. Press the Power button to turn the printer on, if it is not already on.
  2. Locate the slots on the left and right sides of the printer.
    Figure : Locate the slots on the sides of the printer
    Image: Locate the slots on the sides of the printer.
  3. Slide your fingers into the two slots, and then gently lift up to open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the cartridge access area. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
  4. Remove both cartridges from the cartridge slots.
  5. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
  6. With the printer turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.
  7. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  8. Wait at least 30 seconds.
  9. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
    note:
    HP recommends connecting the printer power cord directly to the wall outlet.
  10. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.
  11. If the printer does not turn on by itself, press the Power button to turn it on.
    note:
    The printer might go through a warm-up period. The printer lights might flash, and the carriage might move.
  12. Wait until the warm-up period finishes and your printer is idle and silent before you proceed.
  13. Locate the slots on the left and right sides of the printer, slide your fingers into the two slots, and then gently lift up to open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the cartridge access area. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  14. Reseat the cartridges into the empty slots.
    note:
    Insert the color cartridge in the slot on the left. Insert the black cartridge in the slot on the right.
      Figure : Insert the cartridge
      Image: Insert the cartridge
    1. Insert the cartridge
    2. Close the lid
    3. The color cartridge is on the left, and the black cartridge is on the right
  15. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
  16. If the printer displays the message 'Genuine HP Cartridge(s) installed,' press OK.
  17. Follow the instructions on the control panel to start the cartridge alignment. The printer aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.

Step two: Update the printer firmware

To prevent the issue from occurring in the future, update the printer firmware.
The HP printer must connect to a wireless network with an active Internet connection to receive updates. However, you do not need to connect the printer to a computer.
On the printer control panel, press the ePrint button (). If Web Services is enabled, the printer checks for updates:
  • If the printer does not find an update, the control panel returns to the home screen.
  • If the printer does find an update, the update installs automatically.
    note:
    The printer might power off and on depending on the type of update.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Service the printer

Service or replace your HP product if the issue persists after completing all the preceding steps.
Go to Contact HP Customer Support to schedule a product repair or replacement. If you are in Asia Pacific, you will be directed to a local service center in your area.
To confirm your warranty status, go to HP Product Warranty Check. Repair fees might apply for out-of-warranty products.

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