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I have a HP-97 that had a printer head failure. It has clearly overheated and burnt out. The plastic holder and rest pad are slightly melted, but usable, I think.

I have a new head. However, I am concerned about the failure mode of the prior head. Do you know how this would have happened? I don't want to install a new had just to see it burn out as well.

Could it have occurred if someone tried to print without paper?

I looked at the service manual on the DVD set, but nothing jumped out at me regarding this kind of failure.