Question about HP Photosmart Pro B9180 InkJet Printer

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"Paper is too small"

Within the last month, I get this "Paper is too small" error when I try to print 11" by 17" or above. HP support tells me that the problem is faulty paper sensors in the printer. There is nothing they can do except offer to sell me a new printer (mine is past warranty). Does anyone have a solution other than scraping the printer? Is there a way to override the sensors?

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This model uses the sensor under the carriage to detect and size the paper. It cannot operate or check the dimensions of the page without this sensor operating.

You may be able to clean the sensor, though I've done that on one of these printers with the same problem without success.
Make sure that the carriage path is smooth, as dry rails and unnecessary vibrations can upset the sensor readings, especially when the bushes get a little worn and the carriage starts to wobble more than usual.

Also check the connections from the sensor to the logic board, remove and reinstall them as this may clean the contacts. I often give them a wipe with alcohol.
Sometimes the sensors used are commercially available from vendors like Farnell and you can replace these, but, more often than I like, they use specially developed units. I haven't had to look for the unit for this model in the past.
Though I am looking at one of these beasts with this exactly the same problem tomorrow and I may have to follow what I have typed in this reply. If I have to replace the sensor, then I will let you know if I find a commercial equivalent.

Since the unit I am going to look at, detects some sheets okay and rejects a lot of them, I am beginning to think it is not the sensor itself, but the connecting cable to the sensor.
Because the carriage cable is constantly waving back and forward, sometimes the metal fatigue in the cable will form cracks or breaks that open and close during movement, giving intermittent poor readings but also good readings when the cracks are closed.
So I will be testing this as well.

If the above fails, I will have to let the school who owns this printer an offer of a replacement as HP would do to yourself.
Sometimes this is the easiest path to take.


Posted on Apr 28, 2009


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