Question about HP LaserJet 3330 All-In-One Printer

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Loud ratchet noise

We start printing docs from PC, and all of a sudden a loud ratchet noise starts and won't stop until I pull the plug from the printer. It will not print during the ratchet noise. There is no paper jam. At times, when I put the plug back in and power up, it goes thru startup cycle, and will start that loud ratchet noise again. This happens sporadically. We can print for an hour or so, and then, all of a sudden, the noise take over and no printing takes place.

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  • 3 more comments 
  • 2008fixme Nov 06, 2008

    The printer is an HP Laserjet 3330...works on a toner cartridge. It doesn't matter if the cartridge is older or a brand new one. I have been using only genuine HP cartridges.

  • tede s Dec 20, 2008

    I just started having the same problem. Can some one tell me what the fix it? Do I try to clean the ink on the inside where the cartridge is? Thanks for your help

  • hardcopy Jan 09, 2009

    I have the same problem.

  • ktillack Jan 16, 2009

    loud ratchet noise can anyone help HP 3330 laser jet all in one

  • jon2332 Feb 09, 2009

    This has been happening for some months. Usually if I cycle the power a couple of times it will settle down and prints OK until the next time I use the scanner when the noises start again. It has been getting progressively more difficult to get rid of the noise in this way and now seems impossible.

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I've had this problem on the HP 3330. I think it is the scanner portion (that runs under the glass to perform scanning and copying) getting all the way to the right-hand side of the printer to where it can go no further and the gearing is slipping (causing the ratcheting sound). My guess is that the scanner 'jumps a tooth' every so often and eventually when it is initializing, experiences this problem- but only my guess. Mine *might* have been associated with an 'Error 79' as well (the Error 79 occurred at the same time and .

What I did was open the top as if I were copying from the glass. There is a single screw on the left hand side-in the middle, holding a smaller section of glass in (for the Document feeder scanning). I removed this screw, and carefully removed the glass cover and small (1.5 x 9 inches) piece of glass.

If you look into the rear bottom left-hand side of the scanner (below where you removed the glass) you'll see a belt. I pulled the belt (can't recall if I pulled it left or right- but when you pull it, you'll see the scanner move left or right) just a bit, causing the scanner to move a little (1/4 inch) from the right-hand printer wall (hence the scanner moved left) to stop it from 'bottoming-out' against the right printer wall. Now when the printer initializes, it no longer bottoms-out against the right side (and doesn't make the ratcheting sound). And, it doesn't appear to have affected the copying/scanning from the Auto Document feeder or scanner bed either.

Posted on Apr 28, 2010

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Have you been using ink cartridges other than store bought? Reason I'm asking is that i used a refill kit, and tried those half price refill places, only to find ink was leaking out when not in use & clogged up the ends where the cartridge moves across. take a flashlight & look at the ends of the track that the cartridges slide across on, you may see a build up of ink, that won't allow the cartridge to travel as far as it needs to go to run properly.

Posted on Nov 06, 2008

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Nov 07, 2008

    Thanks for clarification, & guess I missed model # somehow.

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