asked Jun 24, 2004 at 9:27am
Hp HP Color LaserJet 4550

54.2 error on HP 4550


I have a HP Color Laserjet 4550N printer here in the office, and I am getting a 54.2 printer error message. Have power cycled it 4 or 5 times, no help. Also checked the carousel....but don't know enough about it to know what to look for.

any help is appreciated

When it moves backwards and sticks does it make a grinding noise?
Its probably something physical on the inside of the carousel, like some bearings or something that you can't really get to. Does the error correspond to the white plastic piece being out of position?

by unknown on Jul 26, 2007 at 9:28pm Add comment
When you open the door, there is a interlock switch in the lower right corner. Stick something in it and the carousel will release. Spin it around one revolution to see if any of the cartridges are binding its movement.
by moe on Jun 24, 2004 at 9:40am Add comment
A couple of things come to mind. First i would open the toner door and remove all the toner carridges with the power off. I would release the carousel brake to move to each cartridge. After all are out I would turn on the printer and reinstall one at a time to see f that stops the error. If not, the other item will require the removal of the left side cover. When the cover is remove, by the carousel area you will see a sensor assembly with wires runnig to it held by one screw. Remove the screws and remove the sensor assembly and clean the oposite site which is probably has a large build up of magenta toner. Reinstall and see what happens.
by dmzcompute on Jun 24, 2004 at 9:47am Add comment
I have a Color Laserjet 4500 in the shop doing exactly the same thing. I've tried all the suggestions posted above as well as followed all the steps outlined in the link at the bottom of this message.

The message comes up even with *all* the toner carts removed as well as the drum unit. With all this removed, when powering on the printer and after it says "Initializing", I see a message something like "..insert drum.." for a split second, then the 54.2 message shows up. Same thing happens with all the carts back in and just the drum left out or any combination I've tried so far.

Anybody got any other suggestions?
Thanks in advance for any and all help!

by unknown on Jul 6, 2004 at 3:43pm Add comment
Forgot to mention that, when the printer is first turned on and it gets to where you can hear things "cycle" inside (seems to be coming from the paper tray)... the carousel never budges. No grinding noises or anything like that either, it just doesn't move at all.
by unknown on Jul 6, 2004 at 3:55pm Add comment
I would check the cable going to the corousel motor. It is possible the motor and/or cable is defective. It is also possible the complete unit needs to be replaced. Not an eary job.
by dmzcompute on Jul 6, 2004 at 6:22pm Add comment
The manual says that either the carousel is not moving or the position sensor ps11 has a problem. You need to check M3 and the wires connected to it.
by unknown on Jul 7, 2004 at 3:10pm Add comment
I have resolved this problem most time by cleaning the gears for carousel drive. If that doesnt work than replace drive motor.
by unknown on Jul 9, 2004 at 7:36am Add comment
Thanks for all your guys' suggestions and help! Looks like the carousel was caked with Magenta. had to clean it out and let it sit for a couple hours. Turned it on and it was back!

Thanks again dudes.
by unknown on Jul 9, 2004 at 7:41am Add comment
Had the same error message appear. Turned it on and off a few times, but still the same thing. Did a search online and found this thread.

Tried dmzcompute's suggestion of taking all the toners out and cleaning the carousel. Can't believe the whole thing was covered with magenta! Put the toners back in. At first a message saying all the toners were missing keep coming back even though I took them out and put them back in. Then tried to move the carousel to a new position, basically one more notch, and it worked. I guess I didn't have the carousel in the exact right position for the sensors to read that the toners were in.

Anyhow, thanks again!
by unknown on Jul 14, 2004 at 3:57pm Add comment
Well I did have this problem to start with, now my carousel dosent spin so well. I had been turning it w/o pushing the brake release. Anyone know what I might need to replace now?
by Joel on Aug 3, 2004 at 2:09am Add comment
It's a lot of works and if you're not a printer tech probably you won't be able to do it.
Good Luck anyway.
by Pshec on Aug 3, 2004 at 9:57am Add comment
I'm wondering how you turned it without releasing the brake. It seems to me if you used enough force, you'd hear some awful noises.
by moe on Aug 3, 2004 at 10:49am Add comment
I have a HP lasetjet 4550 series with the same error masege. I contact a friend who works for a HP printer service center and he told us how to fixed. We reset the Format board and the printer is working like champ.
by Leo on Aug 3, 2004 at 2:33pm Add comment

We have a 4550 laserjet and I have the 54.2 error message, so far I have taken all the cartriges, paper trays, drum, transfer belt out and cleaned the printer well.

Now the printer prints for about 25 pages then the same error 54.2 message comes back. I found that if I open the door to the toner cartridges, close and hold till the printer comes all the way back on-line it will work for about another 25 pages then I have to follow the same proceedure again.

How do I go about reseting the Format board of the printer?

Thanks for any help,

Sara - Anonymous
Please let me know how to Reset the Format board on the HP4550
Many thanks - Anonymous
How do you reset the Format Board?? - Anonymous
i have a HP 4550N coming up with same error. have tried all of the above. was curious to how u reset the format board to get urs back working again?
may email me direct to [email protected] thanks - Anonymous
well I was able to get the carosel to turn again. It wasnt turning it w/o pushing the brake. This printer is for a mobile van. Found out that the previous user didn't cushion the printer for its long journeys. Anyways there are some white knobs on the right side of the carousel that had popped out and was preventing it from turning. After fishing them out with Chopsticks, needle nose pliers and my good ol' fingers i was able to get all of the pieces out and put back into there correct places. But still get the 54.2 error.
by unknown on Aug 4, 2004 at 1:12am Add comment
My printer is HP Color Laserjet 4500. It prints but the page contains some black dirt (something like black inregular shades).
Could anyone suggest me any solutions.
by unknown on Aug 13, 2005 at 1:21am Add comment
I undid the side panel as someone suggested cleaned the sensor with the two lens-like circles on it that mounts to the side o f the carousel assembly though it was not too dirty. I also cleaned and blew air through most of the inside area and also removed, cleaned, and reinstalled the toner cartridges...wound up still getting the 54.2 error on restart. Any other ideas to try? I have bought another used 4500 for parts/consumables. It doesn't print as sharply as I recall my first one doing...which parts sound like likely swap candidates? Any help would be greatly appreciated since I have a kids project over due for one of my kids which requires color printing. Many thanks in advance!!!
by shggydg9 on Feb 26, 2006 at 1:32pm Add comment
hi you need to clean the paper censor that reads the carosel,
its lockated inbetween the two eyes that you cleaned and the rear fan its held on by a machine screw..... - shotgun
I just got a error on a HP Laserjet 4500dn Today and it cleared by turning off and then on the printer.

I believe it is probably a Carousel problem, but it can also be a Brake release problem or toner cartridge obstruction issue.

Where I work, I just do what I can and the user's have to live with it.
This is a tough one I think. Wore out printer possible.

Good Luck
by mackcaddy on Feb 28, 2006 at 3:03pm Add comment
So, I seem to be having the same problem as everyone else has here.

I have two HP 4550n Printers and they both have the same 54.2 errors coming up. I have resolved to at least get ONE of them going, and using the other for parts.

I have tried taking out cartridges, cleaning, blowing, vacuuming it all. It will now boot up every other time and let me print a couple of pages. But right after it goes back to giving me the same error. The carousel moves freely and fine when they are all in and not in.

Which part is the motor for the carousel? How do I reset the format board? Is there anymore censors that I can't see that's stopping it and giving me the error? This printer is driving me mad...

by B Rad on Oct 26, 2006 at 1:16pm Add comment
We have a 4550 laserjet and I have the 54.2 error message. So is ther a manual on how to remove the and fix this printe out there?
by dnaik on Apr 17, 2007 at 8:44am Add comment
by moe on Apr 17, 2007 at 9:27am Add comment
thanks for the info on mauals. - Anonymous
Hi all

Thanks for the manual. Now that I have cleaned the entire printer I don’t have error 54.2; But I am now hearing a banging sound when I trace it I found a colored lever on the back right side above the fuser. How do I fix this? If I push it up the noise stops.
by dnaik on Apr 23, 2007 at 12:44pm Add comment
Here are some steps to take just in case this happens again.

54.2 error on HP 4550

Indicates that a problem with the Carousel Assembly
Remove all Toner Cartridges, reseat and check for obstruction
Replace the Brake Release
Replace Carousel Drive Motor
Replace the Rotary Drive Assembly

Hope this helps.

Laser Recharge of Texas
Printer Training, Parts, Toners
by LROT56 on Apr 23, 2007 at 1:10pm Add comment
Hi all

Thanks for the Help. Now that I have cleaned the entire printer I don’t have error 54.2 I even found the banging problem there was a piece of plastic wedged into a sprocket. But now after putting it back together it will not run off of the network. It does print so I think it may be the nick card? Have any ideas how I can test this out?
thanks for your help. For a new be repairing laser printers this forem is great.
by dnaik on May 1, 2007 at 11:54am Add comment
You need to go back through the network config. When you disasembled, it simply lost the settings.

Good luck in your quest.
by unknown on May 15, 2007 at 7:55am Add comment
Anyone know how to get the left side panel off?

People have mentioned taking it off but I can't figure out how and it isnt in the regular manuals. The button to open the top seems to be stuck in the panel.


by unknown on May 19, 2007 at 12:42am Add comment
Remove the 2 screws holding the top panel on at the back of the panel. Pull the drawers out a few inches. Remove the screws at the bottom of the panel. Pull it out at the bottom, you might have to lift up on the top panel to get the top part out.
by moe on May 19, 2007 at 8:15am Add comment

a free copy of the manual. Trick is you have to click the numbers twice and you can only download 1 part at a time.

to reset the formatter board, go to page 302
by unknown on Jul 23, 2007 at 11:14am Add comment
I have two printers, both are showing 54.2 error, and I've tried pretty much everything on this page.

The printers dont even look that dirty inside, the carousels rotate fine, i've done the Formatter diagnostics, NVRAM initialization, all that.. replaced all toner cartridges..

could it be a fuser/psu problem? im pretty stumped..
by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2007 at 3:23pm Add comment
As a continuation of my post directly above, the only common anomaly between the printers is that under the sensors diagnostics, both printers show "1" instead of the normally expected "0" for "L", the "ITB Photo Sensor".. does this mean anything?

by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2007 at 3:42pm Add comment
I thought I remember reading that the sensor was supposed to read 1 and zeros depended on whether or not it is sensing something, right? Did you try opening and closing it?

Do you hear any grinding noises? (for instance, right before the error comes on?)

As fas as my problem, I can get mine working now if I watch the carousel inner workings. I always have the left side panel open and while it does its warmup and calibration routine I watch the white round plastic piece. Before the carousel rotates it has to rotate that piece so that the highest section (the part that sticks out) is up. Sometimes it doesn't seem to rotate that piece and, if I catch it after only one "grind," I can manually rotate it up to the top. After that, if I'm only printing black, then I don't need to worry about that piece until the next warmup/calibration. I do like to watch it no matter what I'm printing, just in case. If I do get the error then it's a pain to hafta do the whole warmup routine again.

If anyone else knows something else I can try that would be great.

by unknown on Jul 25, 2007 at 10:00pm Add comment

Hi m.h. !
Your system for rotating the white round plastic piece is intriguing ! I have a small collection of HP4500 (3 No.) and one of them gives the 54.2 error. I tried your suggestion and after several attempts I got it to work but the left side panel needs to be permanently off.

Have you ever found why this piece of plastic does not re-set it's position on its own ?

(Many thanks for your very useful posting !)


- Jim2005
I am having the same error message 54.2. I cleaned the twin eye sensor held by the one screw, removed the brake, installed one toner cart then all of them, and it still comes up 54.2

I wonder why resetting the formater effects the printer. the formatter is for incoming data from the computer. The printer should print out a information data pages and error codes but it never gets past the 54.2 error message. I cleaned the machine out, emptied and cleaned the excess toner tray, carefully installed the toners but still that error message.

I have the left side of the printer cover removed. I observe the carousel move backwards to try to get into position but it then moves the black toner past the sensor and the error message 54.2 appears. I can't believe its the carousel drive motor because the carousel turns freely and rotates by the motor as it tries to get it into the correct position. It just moves backwards and sticks and announces the error message 54.2.

What should I do to find out what is causing this problem? Are their voltage checks that would pinpoint the trouble? All suggestions appreciated.
by rmarontar on Jul 26, 2007 at 7:10pm Add comment
Having the same problem with my 4550 !
Did anyone find out where PS 11 is ?
Page 330 of service manual shows it on the right side (figure 7-15). I removed top and side covers but I could not find it anywhere ...

Thanks a lot

by tcart on Jan 26, 2008 at 3:30pm Add comment
I'm a Copier technician and got a clj4550n free.
It was throwing the 54.2 code. Sometimes with noises,
sometime just straight into the code.
I removed the assembly that drives the carosel, as per
disassebly instructions available online.
Open it up, you'll find 2 "one way" cluthes.
One of them was slipping. Cleaned & lubed 'em,
put it back together, runs (and sounds) great.
by FA4nier on Jun 1, 2008 at 11:48am Add comment
any chance you live near Trenton, New Jersey & could take a look at my 4500? I've replaced all toners. Replaced Drum Kit. Cleaned out excess toner tray. Cleaned the 2 left side sensors. The printer runs through it's routine and error's out at the very last minute just before the "Ready" status should take place. Does the carousel move forward & back or just back when the brake is released? - unknown
I had the same experience as FA4nier. I had a spare 4500 so I replaced the offending gear and it has worked for over a week now flawlessly.

Symptoms before the machine started throwing the 54.2 error code were 1)a SMACK! noise when the carousel rotated and 2) colors were off for multi-page color prints.

See the post by m.h. (5 above) about the round white plastic piece to determine if you're having this (gear) problem. He/she describes it well and I believe this would solve his/her problem (mine was similar).
by Moh on Jun 2, 2008 at 2:43pm Add comment
The cartridge was not proper seated.

I sweated profusely for more than two hours

Thanks a bunch
by unknown on Jul 12, 2008 at 12:02pm Add comment
If you have page counter over 50'000 thren you shut change the carusell assy. I have 25 Printer on maintenance and i tray to clean inside and oiling the gears bat a few days later i had the same problem. I changed the carusel assy and then work fine.
by enzo on Sep 10, 2008 at 7:27am Add comment
These machine are old pieces of junk. The bottom line
approach needs to be fix it very inexpensively or junk it.
Replacing carosels, (unless used/cheap) is too big
an investment on a repair attempt that may not even work.
Also, I don't believe that "how u reset the format board"
is going to solve your problem, but thats just an educated
guess based on little background info...
by FA4nier on Sep 10, 2008 at 8:07am Add comment
These printers are better off being REPLACED since they are OLD. the 54.2 Error is tellin' ya' its "TIRED".
Good Luck and REPLACE IT!!
by unknown on Sep 16, 2008 at 2:17pm Add comment
They may be better off being replaced, but that is not the point of this forum.

People come here to fix their printer. Sure, I like the print quality of the new HP Color LaserJets. But I don't like the price tag on them.

For <$150, I can put brand new supplies in my 4550, and it will print stuff for me for at least 6 months.
For $150, I can probably put half a printer of brand new supplies in a new HP Color LaserJet, and it would probably last 3 months.

I'll gladly sacrifice a little bit lower print quality for lower cost and longer lasting supplies. I also think the older HP printers tend to be built better (i.e. built to last as opposed to built to sell cheaply), so why spend $300 on a printer that will more than likely need to be replaced within a few years? I have an LJ4, LJ5L, and a 4550, all of which I got second hand (I'm sure the LJ4 and 4500 were abused as they were from a university), and all of which print excellent quality.
by Rizon on Sep 16, 2008 at 7:49pm Add comment
I love our 4550. I've sold newer, faster color laserjets to customers. Could have replaced our 4550 with one of them, but why? It never gives us any problems, costs almost nothing to run. It will probably be still printing when we retire.
by moe on Sep 16, 2008 at 9:00pm Add comment
Have your local printer serviceman fix it...
by Anonymous on Sep 30, 2008 at 2:57pm Add comment
That is futile advise. If you have your local printer repair shop fix it you may as well replace it. The labor and parts cost to fix a 4550 by a shop will soon exceed its value. If you can fix it yourself you are able to afford to keep it.
by rmarontar on Sep 30, 2008 at 4:58pm Add comment
I have the same error. I have checked everything what I have seen on all forums, manual, etc. All sensors are ok, in diag mode everything runs ok including carusel, all fans are ok... only error 54.2, without carusel start running, without any poor noise. I have found, that printer cannot print test page when I push "print test" button on right side. Once in fifty powers on of printer start without error. Any ideas?????? Please!!!!!
by unknown on Jan 19, 2009 at 2:58pm Add comment
Hi Enoffig,
If you decide to bail out on repairing the 4500, would you consider giving it to me? I am not a tech but have three 4500's which I am hoping to disassemble and reassemble into at least one well working unit...please let me know. I live near Trenton... Thanks!
by mbemail2001 on Jan 21, 2009 at 4:51am Add comment
Hi mbemail2001,
I have not put any time into this for the past two months. I got frustrated. How about we put our heads together & see about making 4 printers into 2? I have 40+ toner cartridges, all colors, too, between 1~6 years old. I hate to ditch the 4500 but on the other hand I don't want to spend $$$$ because a new color laser jet can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. If you're interested, let me know.
by unknown on Jan 21, 2009 at 9:22am Add comment
Âñåì äîáðûé äåíü! Âàøè ðàññóæäåíèÿ çàñòàâèëè îáðàòèòü âíèìàíèå íà êàðóñåëü. Âíóòðåííÿÿ ÷àñòü òóãî âðàùàëàñü- çàäåâàëè êîðïóñà äðóã î äðóãà. Ïðîáëåìà ðåøåíà ñ ïîìîùüþ äîïîëíèòåëüíîé øàéáû ïîä ïîäøèïíèê(Íà ñòîðîíû ãäå 4 øåñòåðåíêè).Îøèáêà ïðîïàëà.Âñåì óäà÷è
by unknown on May 11, 2009 at 10:23pm Add comment
Æîðæ, I believe in you, on the weekend I will test it. I am also thinking how to outwit the sensor, what is checking this... - unknown
The same error message appeared after I had changed the toners on the office HP4500. After going through the reviews, I decided to remove the toners and used a cloth to clean the areas each toner came from. I inserted them again and they worked brilliantly.
by Anonymous on Sep 17, 2009 at 8:42am Add comment
kicked it many times turned it on sides blew it out with a air hose still came up the same. Then kicked the sides a few times and it worked. Sorry I have just had it with this machine. But now it works again, for now.
by Anonymous on Mar 2, 2010 at 1:15pm Add comment
I have had the 54.2 code on my 4550dn on and off for about two months. I have read through the threads and have to admit I like my machine and its cheap to run for the fantastic print quality it continues to produce. My fix for the 54.2....the carousel bearing needed a couple of drops of plastic compatible oil and it loosened right up. I also oiled the two little clutches on the carousel drive assembly. The machine is quiet, printing better than it has in a year and it's gone 5 days now without throwing a code.
by unknown on Sep 6, 2010 at 11:58pm Add comment
thank yall for the notes on this. I had someone bring in one of these for repair with same issue. Of course, I knew it would not be the easy fix of removing toners, cleaning etc... The carousel would not turn freely in one direction once the brake was released. It was sticking on the right side when rotating towards the front. You could push through the obstruction, but it wasnt easy. After ripping off all the right hand side, found that the carousel drive assembly was broken. It cost over $300 to replace that part. The customer would be goofy to repair it... but who knows... I just work here
by unknown on Mar 17, 2011 at 12:43pm Add comment
From beginning I sorry about my english.

It was wery simple solution for error code 54.2 for three 4550 what is in my "farm" :). There is two gears in carousel drive assembly coupled together with one way cluch. The problem was in this cluch too long response to cluch. I wash out old oil drop in litle bit wery liquid oil and that is all. Now work perfect.
by unknown on Sep 8, 2011 at 11:36pm Add comment
I have to agree with Moe. I have found lots of ink cartridges, transfer kits, drum kits, and fusers at bargain prices as companies upgrade and those items become surplus. My 4550 was purchased in 2001 and it still works great today. It is a well built machine and has a longer life than most newer color laser printers that cost a lot less today. Newer printers are made for earlier replacement of the expendable kits, ink cartridges, and fusers for profit are they are used up as pages are printed. My 4550 produces excellent color and I am pleased with it.
by rmarontar on Sep 17, 2008 at 7:36am Add comment