asked Apr 16, 2005 at 10:18pm
Unknown Printer

Laserjet 3300 scanner error--disable scanner?

I have a 3300 mfp. The print engine works fine. When I start it up, I can print a self-test and can print to the printer while the display shows Scanner Bulb Warming Up. It eventually shows a "Scanner Error" which I understand from google means "replace the scanner assembly" (which costs more than a new printer).

Does anyone know of a way that I can bypass the scanner post, or get it to pass so I can use this as a regular printer? It prints perfectly up until the point in the post that the "Scanner Error" generates.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

I've fixed a few of those with the following document. You have to be patient and maybe do it a few times, but it does work.
by moe on Apr 17, 2005 at 1:47pm Add comment
I tried both of those. I was able to upgrade the firmware to the latest on the website. I walked the scanner head all the way over to the left until the stepper started slipping because it couldn't go any further.

I disassembled the scanner assembly and cleaned the mirrors, as well as trying to position it under the registration strip on the inside of the scanner. No luck.

I assume as part of the startup process it moves the head right and left looking for the registration strip. I only ever see it move to the left. So it could be a problem with the stepper motor or it could be a problem with the logic board (or other scanner related things).

So I am hoping that I can somehow disable the scanner and just use the printer part (it works fine as long as the print job comes out before the post finishes).

Any other ideas?

by jb6z on Apr 18, 2005 at 9:50am Add comment
My company owns a few 3300s, and I've had this problem with 2 of them. Every time the error comes up, I disassemble the scanner assembly. While I've got it disassembled, I clean the mirrors with glass cleaner, and also clean the inside of the glass (including the area that has the registration strip under it). This has thankfully fixed the problem for me every time. From what I understand, if cleaning the glass and mirrors doesnt work, you most likely have a problem with the scanner logic board. One thing to check, did you clean the front and backs of all of the mirrors that have them both exposed? Unfortunately I dont have any other tricks up my sleeve concerning these guys.

by Jock Shirey on Apr 18, 2005 at 12:45pm Add comment
I know I'm coming along on a very cold trail -- three years after the last message on this thread -- but I want to leave something here for the next person who needs help with a laserjet 3300 that won't print.

For several days my laserjet stopped printing copies. It would print from the computer for awhile but then stopped that as well. Its "scanner bulb warming up" error message stayed lit and would not go away.

I googled the error message, found this forum and tried Moe's suggestion -- see http://h20000.www2.hp.com

After 7 or 8 passes, "walking" the scanner all the way to the end of the glass screen, nothing seemed to be happening and I gave up. Only a few seconds later, I heard the happy sound of the printer booting up -- the fool thing now works.

Moe, if you're out there, thank you!

G.K. Hoppe
by unknown on Apr 15, 2008 at 2:11pm Add comment
That would be me. I used to help out on the HP forum, but they didn't appreciate me. I'm the forum moderator of this site and I'm sure the same info is contained somewhere on the 200K posts. I'm kind of surprised HP's forum came up before this one.
I'm glad I was able to help you. If you ever need any further help, just come straight here.
by moe on Apr 15, 2008 at 2:44pm Add comment
Hi Moe, I've got the same problem, but I couldn't browse that HP forum url due to "service unavailable". Is the same info available somewhere else? I couldn't find it within this forum. Thanks for any help! - Anonymous
Cleaning the mirrors in the scanner fixes most of the problems like noise, continuous scanner warming up messages, & scanner errors.

Just refer to this post from this site, it'll explain what to do.
by Sharpie on Apr 18, 2008 at 5:59am Add comment
Thanks again, Moe. It's good to know you can still be reached at this site.

To the anonymous poster on 4/17 who couldn't get past the "service unavailable" message on HP's forum. here's a copy of the procedure Moe'd suggested that worked well for me:

"HP LaserJet 3300mfp Series Products - Scanner Bulb Error Message

A Scanner Bulb Error message is received as a result of the HP LaserJet 3300mfp series product scanner’s inability to find the home reference point.


Perform the following steps to walk the scan assembly from the home base and resolve the issue.

Remove and replace the power cord from the unit.
Wait approximately 35 seconds for the scanning assembly to “walk out" and then quickly remove the plug again.

Repeat steps 1 and 2, three to four times until the head moves approximately 1 inch away from its normal resting place.

Replace the plug and let the product fully finish the boot cycle."


by unknown on Apr 18, 2008 at 1:07pm Add comment
Just do this-- took 5 minutes.

Re: HP3330 - How to Clean Scanner Mirrors by Anonymous (5/6/07 3:30 PM) reply + / -

You don't have to use the power cycle routine to move the mirror to the left. You can just place a sheet of paper in the document handler and start to send a fax. The scanner light/mirror assembly will go all the way to the left to the fax scan position position. Then unplug the AC mains and remove the small glass cover on the left side (one screww, and pop out small glass cover) and clean the mirror with a dry q-tip. The mirror is about two inches down at the very bottom of the slot. Use a strong light to shine on the mirror and the dirty film will be very easy to see. A few hard rub and the film should be gone.

Just as what you said. It works. Thank you very very much!
by Anonymous on May 14, 2008 at 7:00am Add comment
It works, I would like to add one step that can very helpfull to yours. Use a plier to grab the belt and move the light assambly to the area of the small glass on the left.


Nissim - Anonymous
It's been a few months since my last message in April, but my Laserjet 3300 went out again -- continuously "warming up" -- and this time no amount of walking the scanner assembly worked.

When I'd first read the suggestion to open up the scanner bed and clean a mirror inside it, I thought, No Way -- I'm not about to unscrew anything and poke around inside this beast.

But after a day and a half spent walking out the scanner, to no avail, I felt desperate. I disconnected the power and found a tiny-point phillips screwdriver to get in.

The scanner arm has to be all the way to the left (as you face the printer) before the mirror can be seen. Also, it stands at a slight angle, so you'll need to beam a strong light in there to see all of it.

I used a few dry Q-tips to swab the mirror surface, and it seemed they didn't pick up much so I thought nothing would come of this. But by golly the procedure worked. When I powered up the printer again, it immediately booted up and is now printing again with no trouble.

Thank you to everyone on this board!
by unknown on Aug 16, 2008 at 3:09pm Add comment
I do not know why everyone wants to "walk" the scanner. It is not necessary. Just turn the power off, remove the left side plastic piece by removing the one screw and then remove the glass. Now just take a needlenose pliers and move the belt by the back and the scanner will move a little each time. Move it to the left edge and then grab with you fingernail to move it over the opening and then clean the mirror. Very easy.
by dmzcompute on Aug 16, 2008 at 6:54pm Add comment
I had the same problem; Scanner Bulb Error Message; with my HP3300. I did try everything with no results, until I found this board.
The Q-tip mirror cleaning trick did it.

Thanks and hats off to Moe and everyone that contributed.

by Anonymous on Jan 24, 2009 at 4:37pm Add comment
I have the same problem but on a HL LJ 3055.
At power up the scanner head remains at the right and grinds then shows a scanner 5 error.
Then I removed the adf window and with the power off moved the scanner head to the left.
I have cleaned the mirror, did not help.
I removed the top of the scanner and clean the rail, than lightly oiled the rail.
This did not help.

Any suggestions?
by Rob S on May 18, 2009 at 4:39pm Add comment
Try cleaning the mirror a couple of more times. Use a dry qtip. The error is a scanner calibration error which is usually related to a dirty mirror.
by dmzcompute on May 18, 2009 at 7:15pm Add comment
There's more than the one mirror you can see on top. There are more mirrors below it. If you have had the top off, you should have taken the cover off and cleaned those as well.
by Anonymous on May 18, 2009 at 8:59pm Add comment
As a good little tech I did what I was told.
Removed the top cover and cleaned 3 different mirrors.
This did not help.

I thing there is a problem in the scanner head.
Let me know any more suggestions.

Rob S

by Rob S on May 19, 2009 at 4:50pm Add comment
Techs - this won't help your customers, but for end users (referring to the original post - 4 years ago)...

I have found that the error is usually averted by opening the flatbed lid when powering up. Leave it up until "Ready" state. Most of the time copying (flat and ADF) works after that, but even if not, at least the printer will.

I was just working on a 3055 and thought I'd contribute for you googlers. I've also had luck with this on 3330s and 3380s. Probably works on the whole series.
by Moh on Jul 23, 2009 at 11:16am Add comment
I have about 5 scanner motors that seems defected. I noticed the circuit boards do look a bit moist ,so after i changed the scanner formatter pcb, the flat belt cable, the problem seems to be the scanner unit.The scanner units are very expensive to replace.
I own about 5 hp 3300 series machines, now, I need to find a source that can repair these scanner units. Anyone has any source i can send these to ?
by unknown on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:30am Add comment
RECAP of problem and solution, distilled from posts below: There is a repeating cycling noise; printer works OK, but noise is driving you crazy! Problem: The scanner can't find its "home" position because mirror is dirty. VERY SIMPLE FIX: No need to disassemble machine. Lay person can do this! I just did.

1. unplug the printer.

2. use phillips-head screwdriver and unscrew the one screw on the gray plastic frame that holds down the SMALL glass plate on left side of scanner bed.

3. pull off the cover and lift out the small glass piece. May need to use finger nail to get glass piece out.

4. Using a needle nose pliers, grab the little gray belt at back of scanner bed (through the opening you just created) and move it to the right, inch by inch, thus advancing the scanner bulb assembly towards the left.

5. when scanner bulb assembly gets all the way to the opening, grab the edge (you may have to use your finger nail) and pull it the rest of way into the opening.

6. Using a dry q-tip (long ones are great), insert it down into the right side of the scanner bulb assembly, and clean the mirror by moving it back and forth the full length of the assembly. The mirror is about two inches down at the bottom of the slot.

7.If you use a strong light to shine on the mirror, you can probably see the dirty film on the mirror. A few hard rubs and the film should be gone.

Thanks to everyone who posted comments and instructions.
by deborahm on Jan 14, 2011 at 3:43pm Add comment
I have tried all of these things but my prob is a bit different as I can't even get the scanner to move at all on its own. I can advance it and move it back and forth but it wont move or try to home on its own ..... any suggestions? Is the board fried then?

by unknown on Jan 30, 2011 at 3:20pm Add comment
You can take off the scanner and run it without the scanner and place a laserjet 1200 formatter in it.
by unknown on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:48pm Add comment
Re: Laserjet 3300 scanner error--disable scanner? by Bremlin (2/3/11 8:48 PM)
You can take off the scanner and run it without the scanner and place a laserjet 1200 formatter in it.


Could you point out a set of instructions for removing the scanner unit and "turning the 3330 into a 1200"? - phorce1
I just fixed my HP 3380 scanner error!!!

Please follow the direction as stated below.

Lets try to make this as easy as possible.

There is one thing you can do which MAY fix the problem.

Turn the power off.

Lift up the adf(cover) and look on the left side and you will see a small strip of glass covered by a platic piece with one screw in the middle.

Remove the screw and remove the plastic piece and then remove the strip of glass.

Now take a needle nose pliers and towards the back in the opening is the belt that moves the scanner. Move the belt a little at a time until it moves the scanner almost over the opening and then use your fingernail to move it over the opening. (Or turn on and turn off repeatedly almost 20 times for moving scanner to the opening)

Look down and you will see a mirror(right side gab under the scanner light).

It may look clean but it has a film on it that prevents the scanner from calibrating.

Use a dry q-tip and clean the mirror a couple of times and then move the scanner back towards the right and then use the pliers to move it the rest of the way to the right side.

Put back the glass, the plastic cover and put the screw back in and turn the machine on and see if now comes to ready. 85\% of the time it will work.
by unknown on Sep 14, 2011 at 12:33am Add comment
Hi guys,
thanks a lot for all your advice. After 4 hours it finally WORKS!!! ... and I hope it keeps working :D
by unknown on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:07pm Add comment

It is pointless to speculate on disabling the scanner - I've wanted to be able to do so for years but HP will never provide a way to do that.
So we are left with the two methods - the simple one and the 24 step (or 47 step) one. I've had my 3330 for 9 years. It worked for about 2, then began to have the usual scanner error problems, and the clicking etc. Couldn't do anything about it, and could get no information from HP, so I actually had it mothballed for 2-3 years before this and other forums started to provide an answer - HP never did. I used the simple method and it has worked, more or less, for the past 4 years, but with my often having to go through the process, usually several times or more before it worked.
That method stopped working completely 3 months ago. I am very far from being a technical wiz and was put off by the cautions about playing with mirrors, but the machine had just stopped operating. So I did the long method. I followed it exactly, did it slowly and carefully, and had no difficulties. There are indeed 5 mirrors, and the angled mirror under the long mirror opposite the lens, which I didn't know existed even after all of the highly lit clean ups I've done with the simple method, was filthy. There's no way I could have ever cleaned it with the simple method. At that point I knew that it was going to be a success, and the printer has worked like a charm since then (the scanner is another story, a write-off if you are trying to use it with a Mac).
So my advice is to go ahead and do the long method sooner rather than later. It is time-consuming (3-4 hours for a beginner sounds about right) but will save you a lot of time and frustration over the years.
by unknown on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:37am Add comment

Moe, (or any one else who's had this same problem),

I removed the small scanner glass, and am able to move the scanner's drive belt, however the scanner head does not move at all. It doesn't move on it's own at startup, either. It also doesn't make the same noises it used to - they are the same basic noises, but each one is shorter (no grinding noises). I've also tried to start it up with the flatbed open, as someone else suggested. It doesn't give the scanner error, but after it makes the scanner head stuttering noises, it displays the scanner bulb warm-up message with the flashing orange exclamation point and doesn't change after sitting for 10 minutes.

Tearing down this machine is going to be very hard on me physically, so before I attempt it (or just shelve it - I have another 3330), can you tell me if the unit can still be saved without having to put any money into it?

Thank you!

by Loni on Jun 28, 2017 at 12:51pm Add comment

And as long as I have your attention... Since posting this, now the other 3330 is picking up the paper fine, but it's acting like it's a mispick and trying to pick it up a couple of more times, resulting in a paper jam every few pages. Any ideas??

by Loni on Jun 29, 2017 at 6:06pm Add comment