Well, if you get this error, or some other hardware-related errors such as PAPER JAM, DOOR OPEN and TONER ERROR out of nowhere, the first thing to do is to perform a restart and re-installation of paper tray and toner, which will help if the error is triggered by a stuck or dirty sensor or switch.
However, for my case, there was also a continuous “tick-tock” noise as the device was trying to power up. The LCD showed “Warming Up…” for a very long time before reporting “Scanner Error”. This error prevented the machine from being used for all purposes, even for non-scanning related tasks such as printing!
The source of the noise was traced back to the belt that moves the scan head one pass across the scan glass plate as part of the initialization process. The belt moved but the scan head did not move properly and the lamp (as seen in the following photo) remained in the left position. The scanner attempted to continue moving the belt until timeout and reported “Scanner Error”.
My first thought was that the scanhead is unsure of its home position. There are 2 methods for a scan head to know its home position:
1. using a sensor as an optical slit or a switch
2. read a white band (made with a special paint) deposited on the scanner glass that sits parked in the scanner.
There was nothing obvious on the glass plate or elsewhere that suggests a mechanical malfunction. Apart from this, I can only assume that the belt is out-of-alignment and will need to be reseated, perhaps by following the service instructions found in the Xerox WorkCentre 3119 manual (downloadable here).
For now, I managed to bypass the error and allow the machine to be use for printing. I simply performed a CLEAR SETTINGS in the machine menu and rebooted the device. The device still attempted to initialize the scanner by illuminating the lamp but somehow did not attempt moving the scan head and will not stop at SCANNER ERROR. The error would however come back when photocopying/scanning is attempted.
I guess it’s time for me to purchase a new machine.