How to Troubleshoot a Blinking Error Light on an HP Photosmart Express

When error lights blink on your HP Photosmart printer, you can quickly identify the meaning behind it. One or more lights will flash for different reasons. For example, at times, a light may come on when the printer is busy processing an action such as aligning print cartridges, scanning, copying or printing. Other times, one or more series of lights may blink to indicate that there is a problem. Paper jams, scanner failure and ink cartridge issues occasionally happen. Save time in troubleshooting and less downtime in printing by looking beyond the light.

Wait until the "On" light goes off if it blinks for three seconds, then stays on or blinks continually. The printer is in the process of aligning the print cartridge, printing, scanning or copying.

Wait until the "On" light blinks fast for 20 seconds, then stays on. The computer did not respond when you pressed the "Start Scan/Reprints" button. Check the computer to cable connections also and verify that each one is secure.

Check the paper tray and verify that it has enough paper if the "Check Paper" light is blinking. Pull down the input tray and print cartridge front door. Carefully pull any stuck paper out of the rollers, then close the print cartridge front door and input tray. Press the tab on the rear door of the printer and pull the door towards you and all the way out of the printer. Carefully pull the stuck paper out of the rollers, then reattach the rear door. Verify that the paper size and printer settings match.

Verify that the print cartridge door is closed if the "Check Print Cartridge" light is blinking. Check that the printer cartridge is installed correctly and is compatible with the HP printer. Ensure that tape is not covering the nozzles of the print cartridge. Replace the print cartridge if the "Check Print Cartridge" continues to blink -- it may be defective.

Turn the printer off if the "Check Paper" and "Check Print Cartridge" lights are blinking. An obstruction is blocking the printer carriage. Look for bits of packing materials and other debris. Remove these and any other obstructions that are found, then turn the printer back on.

Verify that the control panel overlay is securely attached if the "Check Paper," "Check Print Cartridge" and "Copy" button lights are blinking.

Turn the printer off if the "On," "Check Paper and "Check Print Cartridge" lights are blinking. The scanner has failed and must be reset. Wait two seconds, then turn the printer back on.

Turn the printer off if all lights are blinking. The printer had a fatal error and must be reset. Wait one to two minutes, plug the power cord again, then turn the printer back on.


If you use non-HP ink in your printer and it fails, your warranty may not be valid. Purchase HP ink to lengthen the its life and enhance the quality of printouts.

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Nina Nixon has more than 30 years of professional writing experience. She enjoys writing about business and technology. Her articles have appeared on Chron, eHow Business & Personal Finance, Techwalla, and other digital content publishing websites.