HP all-in-one Laserjet 3330 scanner error

This post is here purely to help those who are Googling for a solution to this problem. Everyone else please ignore!

aio.pngIf you have an HP all-in-one 3300-series printer/copier/scanner, and it starts saying “Scanner error power off->power on”, but powering off and on doesn’t help, then you really need this page. Many thanks to all who posted there!

Basically, you power off the printer and unscrew the screw which allows you to remove the small piece of glass to the left of the main scanning glass.

Using some needle-nosed pliers through the opening, grasp the drive belt and use it to move the scanning head across from the right hand side of the scanning area to the left, until it’s right under the opening. At the bottom of the wide slot, there’s a mirror, and it gets fogged up with something.

Shine a good light in there and use dry Q-tips to give the mirror a good clean. Then reassemble everything and turn the printer back on. After a little warm-up, you should get the ‘Ready’ prompt again, and your heart will be filled with joy.

The whole process should only take about 5 mins. There may be other things which cause a ‘scanner error’, but this fixed it for me and, it would appear, for many others.

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wow U ROCK!!! thanks a million… WHAT A LIFESAVER!!!

You’ve made another guy very happy. Thanks! I was about at wit’s end, as the power-off time necessary to get past the error had increased from a few minutes to a few hours to overnight, and at the beginning of this week even the overnight didn’t work. Should have Googled the problem long ago.

Took me a few seconds to see the narrow belt, up near the edge of the main glass closest to the hinge for the printer’s top. And then a few more seconds to be sure I was looking at the right thing to clean at the bottom of the long, narrow gap in the scanning head (actually looks like glass, not a mirror). All I did was run a dry Q-tip back and forth along the length of the glass/mirror a couple of times and that did the trick. Wasn’t sure it was actually fogged up until I saw the difference afterward. I’d begun to contemplate buying a new printer, so thanks for saving me the hundreds of dollars and hassle!

Another way to get the scan to move to the opened glass window is load a piece of paper in the autofeeder.
the scan head will then move all the way to left. Once it arrives, simply pull the power pluge.

Once the wire is cleaned, and the glass window is re-assembled. Plug the scanner/printer back in.
The power-on sequence will move it back into it’s normal position. This may take one or two minutes.

Saved the day for me too! I just love it when such a simple fix can be found with a simple internet search. Thank you so much for sharing!

Can not believe it! I have had this problem for over a year and getting worse until it simple would not clear the error message after being unplugged and then plugged back in.

6 minutes of repair and back to 100%

Thank you very much

Worked for me as well!!

This really is a great solution!


Worked for me too with the stuck error “Scanner bulb warming up” by 3330mfp printer.

Hey Bubs!

Thanks for the q-tip tip. The printer was about to be tossed into the steel rubbish can until I came across your post. The tides have turned as today has been productive and you have eased some tension within the workplace.

We initially thought it was some part which had to be replaced but this solution has costed us less then a penny in consumables.

Thanks again!

Had a LJ3380 with the exact same issue. This solution worked like a charm! It’s easy to do and will save you from possibly throwing the printer out or incurring the cost of replacement and/or professional repair. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS TIP – IT SAVED MY PRINTER!!!

Worked like a charm.

Oh by the way, the white cable is the data cable not the drive cable. The drive cable is at the top and is black. So don’t be an idiot (like me) and try to pull the data cable.

I have the same problem with my HP LJ 3330 mfp:
1. Scanner Bulb warming for ever
2. Grinding noise

Often my machine would not get ready and I would get errors. Cycling power sometimes worked but temporarily.

I took apart the scanner and thoroughly cleaned all the 5-mirrors but the problem did not go away until I also cleaned the lens. So, if you open up the scanner assembly, you might as well clean the lens.

Thank you! Whoever wrote this page is awesome!

Danke für den Hammer-Tipp, um den HP Scanner 3300 wieder zum Laufen zu bringen. Funzt wie am ersten Tag. Schande über HP, die diese Hilfe nicht liefern! Thanks a lot, works brillant like first-day-use.

Dear Mr. Quentin:

On Sept. 22, 2011, I used your instructions to clean the mirrors on my HP LaserJet Printer 3330 mfp and it worked! Fantastico!

When I got the “Power On/Power Off” Error, I was sad; after I used your instructions, I’m up and running again on the LaserJet 3330 mfp!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Worked for me. Have used the power on-off routine for years. Pain in the neck. Once you have the bulb warmup error off though as another reader says, load a document via document feeder and pull power just as scanner head is way over to the left. Then you don’t need to mess with the belt at all. Clean the mirrors ( the wide slot ) and power on. the head will move back to the right and all works.

Thanks a lot! This worked for me as well!!

Yay! Just fixed the one from the shed which is still giving sterling service at DisplayLink!

I had to push the scanner back under the glass after cleaning or I got “Error 79” all the time.

Brilliant! That is excellent work.

Thanks a lot. Run into the same problem with my LJ3300 mfp. Searched the internet and found threads talking about the service-manual and a 1 hurs procedure to disassemble and clean
the whole machine. Searched again and found this.

Just to confirm: Still works in 2012. Just invest 5-10 minutes and follow this procedure to clean the mirror. And issue is fixed.

Thanks again and greetings from “old” europe.

just worked perfectly for me on a 10 yr old hp3330 printer-THANKS–mirror had a coating of presumably “air pollution”. For the less adventures I was able to move the scanning head under the access window by power off,pwer on untill the head moves an inch,power off and repeat approx 15 times-tedious but works. I also used canned air to clean off dust before and after

A slight variation on this, though the source is the same. My printer gave this Scanner Error Power Off message once before, but it eventually cleared itself up. Today it did it again.

After reading this post, I figured I was having the same problem. However, I noticed that it was very humid in our office today…and as I think back was on that previous day also. Assuming that is had to do with an “unclean” mirror, I took the small piece of glass off the left side, and pointed my fan to blow air into the opening, and therefore around the scan head.

Did this for a couple minutes, plugged it back in a voila, works like a charm again. I suspect that the humidity was causing that mirror to fog up, maybe more so it there are contaminants on it, but this was quicker for me.


Thanks I am hopeful that my heart and mind will be filled with joys, while I will be succeeded in solution of the problem of power on power off of my printer laser jet 3330. I am grateful to see this solution. Thanks with regards and the users also, who post their comments in this site. I will be with in contact even when having no problems. Thanks again with regards. Ghulam Muhammad.

I did this repair again, after 3 years of successful operation after doing it the first time on 21 August 2009. The repair again solved the problem.

Slight modification of the repair technique: Wearing a nitrile glove rolled the little roller pulley around which the belt is stretched. This let me move the sled into position where I could use my fingertips to pull it fully under the little removed glass area. After I cleaned the optics with Q-tips, I pushed the sled to the right as far as my fingers would go. When I then powered on the machine, it took some time (more than 30 seconds) before the machine started moving the sled back to the right. It moved it back, in fits and starts, and then it showed Ready.

Here we are, 12 years after my HP 3330 was purchased and it failed for the first time yesterday (Sat 12/13/12). Must be something about Friday the 13th on Saturday. Anyway, as might be expected the “web” has solved the problems of the universe* and my printer is now happy again. 🙂 The “clean the mirror” procedure is super simple, and when you think about how these things operate, it’s no real surprise that “junk” will build up.

(Answer to the problem of “everything” really is 42, as all Douglas Adams fans know.)

I had the same problem repeat itself and couldn’t remember all the steps. Found you (again) followed the simple steps, and “POOF” it works again !!! Thank you for posting this verrry simple solution. There was another page that had you disassembling the entire scanner operation into hundreds of pieces and then tells you clean the mirrors at your own risk. Your simple solution has worked for me a few times with no fears or risk.

Thank you again !!!!!!!!

(think I will print this and save it for the next time. 🙂

I’ve had this printer for over 10 years, and except for this problem, it works well. I have to clean the mirror every few months to a year.

It may take several cleanings to get the mirror clean enough to make the printer happy again. Just keep at it! (We just had some sanding and painting done in our house, and the mirror was extra dirty this time.)

I use high quality camera lens cleaner sprayed on a Q-tip. Then I dry the mirror with a new, clean Q-tip.

I wanted to echo the sentiment of everyone else. Brilliant and perfect solution. Solved my problem in a few minutes. Forever grateful for people who post such assistance and feedback for everyone to see and benefit from.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Thanks. Worked like a charm!

hi sir
error in my hp laser jet 3330
sir plz help me…
How to manual feed on…????

hi sir
error in my hp laser jet 3330
sir plz help me…
How to manual feed on…????

For some reason, mirror cleaning is not helping in my case. I don’t understand exactly why.

Thank you! I had looked up a YouTube video that required taking the machine apart to get to the glass/mirror but I thought I’d try your tip first – it worked like a charm!!

It works!
Many thanks!

Eric from Taiwan

In the Czech Republic also it works :-). Internacional thanks.

Thank you. Worked like a champ and in only 5 minutes! Great FIX!

This is the third or fourth time I am repairing this issue over the past 5 years that I have the printer.
I forgot the fix since the last repair so thanks for the post.

Thank you Thank you Thank you

I found this post in google. I’ve had this 3380 printer since 2004-this printer is a horse, used it in the past for printing loan documents for mobile notary signing.

I wasn’t sure what I had to use the q-tips on. I thought it was the white/clear strip later found out it’s the data cable. Later I read about the black cable so I cleaned around the left end of it. Then I noticed the mirror I took out had black dust underneath it. I cleaned it with Apple’s black cloth used to clean the iphone glass. I don’t know which one worked but it worked and that’s all I care about.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Thanks. Worked like a charm.

i have hp 3330 which i have tried your procedure of cleaning the mirror and it work last year, and the problem re-occur with the scanner moving half way and stop this time without response. Please help

Thank You for your ADVICE…Worked Perfectly!!!

Thanks! To get access to the back of the lens though, the printer must be taken apart and the circuit board removed. Writeup here: https://hustoknow.blogspot.com/2019/02/how-i-fixed-17-year-old-hp-scanner.html

Lifesaver. Thank you very much!

Greetings, One doubt I already cleaned the mirrors and it works but then the problem appears and sometimes it disappears disappear will it not clean it well? And another doubt the bulb, the lamp should always be on ?, mine never goes out.

Thank you so much. I think this has saved my printer. I had reviewed another You tube video which made me dis assemble the whole printer but your method was fantastic and worked. cheers Steve

My printer is HP LJ3030. I’ve used this logic severally but doesn’t work for me. The printer still shows the error.

Such a simple repair. Like a couple of others, I had had the message a couple of times, but turning it off/on always fixed the problem except for today. As I cannot go without a printer (home schooling my granddaughter during the Covid-19 crisis) I need the printer and was thinking of being at the Office Works when they opened in the morning: now I can sleep in a little longer before school starts at our place. Thanks for such a simple fix and saving me a few hundred dollars.

Over 12 years snce the original post was made and it still helping us. Worked like a charm.
Thanks, David

[…] Fixed some typos. Also added another article describing the same process, in case that is helpful. joduinn […]

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