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How to Fix a Paper Jam, Grinding Noise, or Carriage Stall on HP Deskjet 890, 870, 850, and 820 Printers

  • PrintPrint

This document applies to the following printers:

HP Deskjet 820cse, 820cxi
HP Deskjet 850c, 855c, 855cse, 855cxi
HP Deskjet 870cse, 870cxi
HP Deskjet 890c, 890cse, 890cxi

Clearing paper jams

If both the RESUME and POWER lights are flashing, there may be a paper jam.
Figure 1: RESUME (top) button and POWER (lower) button
  1. Remove all of the paper in the IN and OUT trays.
    Figure 2: Paper inserted into the IN tray
    The OUT tray is the tray above the IN tray.
  2. Open the top cover of the printer.
  3. If you can see the jammed paper, take one or more sheets of paper and pull them toward you.
  4. While pulling the paper, press the RESUME button to turn the paper feed rollers.
  5. If the paper needs to be fed in the opposite direction, release the RESUME button and then press it again.
  6. If the paper is still jammed, turn the printer off or remove the power cord from the printer. Then turn the printer back on or plug the power cord in.
    The printer will run through a reset cycle, which may clear the paper jam.
  7. If the paper is still jammed or if several (8 to 10) sheets are jammed, take hold of a sheet in the middle of the stack using both hands.
  8. With firm, even pressure, pull the sheet toward you.
    Usually, removing one or two sheets from the middle of the stack will release the pressure and the rest of the stack can be removed.
  9. Make sure no scraps of paper are left in the printer.
  10. Close the top cover of the printer.
  11. Try printing again.

What if the printer carriage is stuck?

The cartridge cradle or carriage assembly holds the ink cartridges. Occasionally the carriage stalls after a paper jam. You may hear a grinding noise as the printer attempts to move the carriage assembly. The clutch actuator arm may be stuck, preventing the assembly from moving.

Fixing the actuator arm

  1. Open the top cover of the printer.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the back of the printer or from the power outlet.
  3. Remove the paper tray by squeezing together the two levers under the center of the paper tray, then pulling the tray out.
  4. Slide the carriage assembly away from the left side of the printer.
  5. If the carriage assembly slides to the right, proceed to Step 14.
  6. If the carriage assembly will not move, push down the large black bar (directly above the three large rollers) and release it so that it springs back up.
  7. Gently lift the carriage assembly and try moving it to the right again.
  8. If the carriage assembly still fails to move, find the flat, black plastic part directly below the three large rollers in the paper tray compartment.
    The plastic part should lay flat, parallel with the base of the printer. It should not point upward at an angle.
  9. If the plastic part is pointing upward, push down on it while pushing up on the part with the three large rollers.
  10. Once the flat, black plastic part is in the correct position, move the carriage assembly away from the left side of the printer.
  11. Find the white (or gray and white) gear assembly at the left side of the printer.
  12. Lift the actuator arm directly above the gear assembly. The actuator arm is a thin piece of black plastic about 45 mm (1.75 inches) long and 8 mm (.33 inches) wide. Doing this should release the paper pickup-assembly into its proper position.
    Figure 3: Actuator arm in stuck position
  13. If the paper pickup assembly does not release easily, try pulling the actuator arm slightly up and to the right. Allow it to reseat in its proper position.
    When the actuator arm is positioned properly (see Figure 4), the right end of the arm is resting in the space just right of the gear assembly, not on top of it. The arm must slide freely from left to right about 6.4 mm (.25 inches). If the arm does not slide, it may still be stuck on the gear assembly or locked too far to the right.
    Figure 4: Actuator arm in correct position
  14. Put the paper tray back in the printer.
  15. With the top cover of the printer still open, plug the power cord into the back of the printer or into the power outlet.
  16. Turn on the printer.
    The carriage assembly should move to the center once the printer is turned on.
  17. Press and hold the RESUME button (upper button) to move the paper rollers.
  18. Close the top cover of the printer.
  19. Print a test page.

Printing a test page

  • To print a test page with an HP Deskjet 820c series printer, press and hold the POWER button (lower button). Simultaneously, press the RESUME button (upper button) four times. Then, release the POWER button to print a test page.
  • To print a test page with an HP Deskjet 850c, 870c, or 890c series printer, press and hold the RESUME button (upper button) for five seconds. Then release it to print a test page.
If the lights still flash or if grinding noises continue, have the printer serviced.

What else might cause paper feed problems?

Problem: The IN tray is out of paper

The printer does not pull paper from the IN tray properly because the IN tray is out of paper.

Solution: Load the paper

  1. Load paper in the IN tray.
  2. Press the RESUME button.

Problem: The paper-width adjuster or paper-length adjuster need adjustment

The paper-width adjuster or paper-length adjuster are not in the correct position.

Solution: Adjust the paper-width or paper-length adjuster

  1. Check to be sure that the paper-width adjuster is against (but not blocking) the left side of the stack.
  2. Gently push in on the paper-length adjuster to make sure the paper is firmly placed in the IN tray.

Problem: There is too much paper in the IN tray

There is too much paper in the tray.

Solution: Remove excess paper from the IN tray

Do not load more than 150 sheets of paper in the IN tray.

Problem: The wrong type of paper is being used

The wrong type of paper is in the IN tray.

Solution: Use paper designed for the printer

Try using Hewlett-Packard paper (it is designed to work with the printer and ink).

Problem: The paper drive-rollers are dirty

The paper drive rollers need to be cleaned.

Solution: Clean the paper-drive rollers

  1. Open the top of the printer.
  2. Remove any paper in the paper tray.
  3. Remove the paper tray by squeezing together the two levers under the center of the paper tray and pulling the tray out.
  4. Hold a clean, moist cloth against one of the three paper-feed rollers.
    Use distilled water to moisten the cloth. If you do not have distilled water, use any purified water. Do not use alcohol or other cleaners because they may damage the rollers.
  5. Press and hold the RESUME button to rotate the rollers.
  6. The rotation direction of the paper-feed rollers change each time the RESUME button is pressed when the top cover is open.
  7. Do not allow the cloth to be pulled into the printer by the rotation of the paper-feed rollers.
  8. Repeat Steps 4-6 on the other two paper-feed rollers.
  9. If you notice that the rollers are very hard, take the printer to a printer service technician to see if you need new rollers.
  10. Put the paper tray back in the printer.

Problem: The paper tray is installed incorrectly

The paper tray is not in the correct position.

Solution: Reinstall the paper tray

Reinstall the paper tray.

Problem: There are different types of paper in the paper tray

There are varying types of paper in the paper try.

Solution: Use one type of paper

Do not mix paper types in the paper tray.

Problem: The paper is not dropping into the OUT tray

The printer is not dropping paper into the OUT tray.

Solution: Reinstall the paper tray

Remove all paper from the OUT tray, remove the paper tray, and then reinstall the paper tray.

Problem: The paper will not eject

The printer will not eject paper.

Solution: Restart the printer

  1. Turn off the printer.
  2. Turn off the computer.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Turn on the printer.

Problem: The printer is waiting for paper

The printer is waiting for you to feed paper.

Solution: Press the RESUME button

Press the RESUME button.

Problem: The paper does not eject completely

The printer does not eject paper completely and the paper gets jammed in the printer.

Solution: Press the RESUME button to eject the paper

Follow the steps below to eject the paper:
  1. Remove all the paper from the paper tray.
  2. Remove the paper tray.
  3. Open the top cover of the printer.
  4. Press and hold the RESUME button to eject the paper.
  5. Release the RESUME button.
  6. Press the RESUME button again if the paper needs to be ejected in the opposite direction.
  7. Close the printer cover.
  8. Put the paper tray back in the printer.

Problem: The printer picks up several sheets of paper at the same time

The printer feeds several sheets of paper at the same time.

Solution: Check the paper

  1. Take the paper out of the paper tray and make sure that the sheets are not sticking together.
  2. Restack the paper evenly and put it back in the paper tray.
  3. Try printing.
  4. If the printer still picks up too many sheets, try using Hewlett-Packard paper.

Problem: The printer does not pick up envelopes

The printer is not picking up envelopes from the IN tray.

Solution: Adjust hardware

  1. If you are loading envelopes using the IN tray, slide the paper-width adjuster to the appropriate envelope setting and push the paper-length adjuster toward the envelope until it stops.
    The paper-length and width adjusters should fit snuggly against the edges but should not bend the envelopes.
  2. Make sure that the envelopes are not bent, damaged, or curled.
  3. Try printing.
  4. If you still cannot print on an envelope, then try loading a single envelope in the single-sheet tray. Make sure that the envelope is inserted firmly into the slot.

Problem: The printer does not pick up cards

The printer is not picking up cards.

Solution: Adjust the hardware and reload the cards

  1. Slide the paper length-and-width adjusters to their outermost positions.
  2. Take the cards out of the IN tray.
  3. Reload the cards.
  4. Readjust the paper-length and width adjusters to fit snugly against the card edges. Be careful not to bend the cards.

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