/ Technology

Has a printer update rendered your cartridges redundant?

Printer software update

You fire up your PC, turn on your printer and send a file to print and then… ‘cartridge not recognised’. The printer won’t print. So what’s changed since yesterday? You may be the latest victim of a printer update.

Third-party ink cartridges are generally a fraction of the price of printer-branded inks, but we’ve heard reports of printer updates rendering these cartridges unusable.

We asked Which? members to share their printing problems and a number of them sounded like they related to software updates. However, with some printers set to automatically update, it can be hard to pin a specific problem to a specific update. Ian C told us:

‘I bought compatible inks. After a few weeks they suddenly stopped working, with a message saying they were incompatible. Replaced them with new ones but had the same problem.’

Tony G had a similar experience:

‘Lo and behold, my printer has started rejecting – that is, not printing when I use third-party cartridges – but when I then replace them with printer-branded ones it seems to work fine.’

We tried updating the firmware on three second-hand printers in our lab and the printers worked just as well with third-party ink before updating as they did afterwards. So updates won’t always stop your cartridges from being recognised.

HP printers rejecting ink cartridges

However, there have been some very recent victims. Just last week we heard a number of reports from members whose HP printers have stopped working with the third-party inks.

Mr White’s printer ink cartridges have been affected by the latest update:

‘I own an HP 3055A printer which uses the popular 301 cartridge, today I changed the cartridges and find that the printer will no longer print as it detects that a non-HP cartridge has been installed. A printer update was reported as being available from HP when I turned the printer on – on the 7 March – and I updated prior to installing the new cartridges. After installing the new cartridge the information screen on the printer showed the message “incompatible cartridge detected”.’

Rob Stone has also suffered at the hands of a recent update to his HP Officejet 6600 and said:

‘I’ve been using third-party inks with no issues for several months. It was when I accidentally ran an HP update from my PC that the problem occurred. The error message said “There is a problem with the printer ink or system. Turn printer off, then on. If problem persists, contact HP”. It prevents me from moving to any other menu on the printer.’

Your right to use third-party printer inks

As iPhone 6 users suffering at the hands of the ‘Error 53’ message know only too well, update issues aren’t only a problem for printers. But, fortunately for affected phone users, Apple released a fix.

It may not be quite so simple to roll back a printer update. We’ve previously spoken to printer manufacturers about software updates, with Brother, Canon and Epson telling us that reverting to a previous firmware version wasn’t usually possible at all. HP stood out from the crowd by saying that you could roll ball its updates, but it’s not an obvious or simple process.

In light of this latest glut of update issues, we’ve approached HP to find out what’s causing the problem and whether it’ll be possible for those affected to get their printers working with their inks again.

You absolutely should be able to choose to use third-party ink in your printer. The big consumer printer brands have all signed up to a voluntary agreement which includes a provision around not preventing third-party ink from being used in their printers.

If you’ve suffered a ‘printerruption’ as result of a printer software update – or which you suspect is as a result of a recent update – we want to hear about it.

Comments
Guest
Tracy Somers says:
2 February 2017

My partners dad has an Epson 332 printer and tried using compatibles to save him some money as he is a pensioner and the printer will just not recognize them and so now he is going to buy some of the genuine cartridges. I think it is terrible that people who are on a lower income for whatever reason are being forced to pay out this money to basically line the pockets of the big printer companies. They’ve paid out to buy the printer in the first place, surely they should be able to save money by buying cheaper cartridges to run the machine.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

Please contact the company that sold the compatible cartridges, Tracy. I expect that they will give a refund or exchange the cartridges for ones that do work.

I would like to see Which? take this problem up with the Competition and Markets Authority.

Guest
Stephen says:
13 February 2017

I agree, a reference to the CMA is worth consideration.

An Epson printed packed up, due to age. I had used compatible cartridges costing 55p each. I was quite OK with the not using original ink can damage your machine, do you want to carry on type warnings which are fair enough.

I purchased another Epson, only after checking that compatible cartridges would not cost a fortune (about £2 each was not too bad). At no point was I told that I would have no choice but to use only Epson inks (costing about £8 minimum), or that it was even a possibility.

I have used Epson compatible cartridges for over 5 years, and so the chance of this being a rogue compatible cartridge is slim.

From 55p to £8 per cartridge in under 3 months.

To be candid, I feel as if I have ben duped and coerced.

Guest
John McKenzie says:
29 June 2017

I have had similar problems with an Epson 312. Both 3rd party photo paper and ink cartridges which worked fine no longer do so. A request for Epson to confirm that this was not caused by their updates received a very carefully worded reply ” the firmware update does not alter the cartridge recognition settings”. This is beside the point – the printer always did recognise 3rd party products (and nagged with constant warning messages), so they have managed to avoid denying that the updates are stopping me USING the products. It looks to me like EPSON (and other manufacturers) sell their printers cheap and make money by overpricing the ink and making it difficult to use anything else – didn’t Microsoft get fined a fortune for doing something equivalent?

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

John the printer “talks ” to Epson daily it knows how many sheets you use , the amount of ink and much more personal information , if you buy another one make sure all updates are blocked from the installation disc/download and block Windows from overriding it and installing Epson “updates ” which are Firmware updates under the pretense of calling them “security updates ” , yes MS “help” those big companies (guess why ) .Your right of course MS has been fined for monopoly actions and did you know Windows 10 disables third party virus programmes in the interest of “safety ” which is pure bull as I get weekly bulletins on the large amount of “holes” in the Windows system , if the anti-virus belonging to MS was that good it would block it , it doesn’t check out Petya worm advancing at alarming speed due to Windows vulnerabilities as we speak and thats their second go at trying to stop it.

Guest
johnridgway10@yahoo.com says:
2 February 2017

How can which recommend printers that wont accept 3rd party inks when cost is an important consideration?
Come on which tell us who the bad guys are? I have recently stuffed by HP.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

We could do with finding out which makes and models are the problem, so that Which? has some information to go on.

I am using third party cartridges in an HP printer I bought last year. I thought I had a problem but it turned out to be the chip had fallen off a cartridge and was still in the packet.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

I hope John still has his HP printer , while I said previously that HP had announced that it was rescinding its blocking it failed to do it–so far , BUT there may be a light on the horizon. BT has announced that HP has had a “change of heart ” (again ) and this time it is “definitely” rolling out an optional update in the next two weeks (dated 23rd January -2017 ) see : https://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/tech-news/hp-printers-reject-budget-cartridges-11364097793419 no such announcement from Epsom . I hope this isn’t a “definitely maybe” ? The “bad guys ” =HP-Epsom-Brother-Canon

Guest
Hilary Wardrop says:
7 February 2017

I have a Samsung C1810 Xpress Colour Laser printer and I had 123ink.ie toner cartridges in it. However, when I put a Samsung cartridge in the other day, it gave a message to say that the other three toners (Yellow Cyan and Black) were not compatible. I bought a new 123ink.ie Magenta cartridge instead, so now I have all four 123ink.ie cartridges in it. BUT, it now says all cartridges are incompatible! Does this mean that I have to fork out for another three Samsung cartridges at an outrageous cost?

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Looks like it Hilary , just changing one non-propriety cartridge wont work as the blocking is in the firmware and all cartridges are tested for compliance.

Guest

Has HP released a firmware fix? I have an HP Deskjet 2545 All In One. I recently replaced the tri color cartridge with a genuine HP product and it’s telling me that an older generation cartridge has been installed. I’ve read online that this was a firmware upgrade from HP but that they were backtracking and now allowing the old cartridges but I can’t find how to roll back the upgrade.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Hello Ken , yes HP are blocking what they term are “old cartridges ” for -quote-“older generation printers ” this is another -make more money out of HP printer users , you can also get -incompatible older cartridge-etc , the chip in the ink has been scanned by the firmware upgrade and refused .HP .s own words ?– HP cannot extend warranty to non-HP.refilled, re manufactured inl cartridges . HP,s warranty coverage lasts until the ink is depleted OR “the Warranty ends ” DATE on the ink cartilage has been reached whichever occurs first . HP “backtracking ” well you can take that with a pinch of salt –August we will backtrack -November -UH NO ! -December yes we have listened and will “definitely ” backtrack -February-UH NO ! . They have “listened ” all right–to their shareholders. So there is no dispute over this go to HP,s OWN official website to verify what I said : http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02534494 I will ,of course see if there is any way round this –legally .

Guest
Marc Bourhill says:
19 February 2017

I have an epson XP 530 and updated the firmware which then prevented me from using compatible cartridges. If I had known this I wouldn’t have done the update. I have over £100 worth of cartridges which i can’t use and Epson’s cartridges are almost dearer than buying a new printer. What can I do about it?

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Marc -from Epson,s point of view nothing but I have found a website where you can LEGALLY try to downgrade your Epson firmware ,it includes a video , so the best of luck to all you users of Epson printers . I do of course take NO responsibility. liability , warranty, etc legally or otherwise for following their instructions and neither does WHICH as I speak ONLY for myself here . : http://www.wic.support/?p=307

Guest
Lliam bunter says:
21 February 2017

Buy a cartridge chip resetter off ebay £14 ?

Guest
Lliam bunter says:
21 February 2017

Buy a ink cartridge chip resetter off ebay £15 ? it resets the chips on the cartridge.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

The ink cartridge chip resetter when pressed against the cartridge and no LED illuminates then physical contact was not satisfactory , if repeating it does not work then the RESET TOOL may be INCOMPATIBLE with the cartridge , before spending money on another reset tool check to see if it works with another cartridge , it can also result from the cartridge chip becoming CORRUPT . Lliam , have you not wondered why they become corrupt ? do you think that Epson hasn’t “wisened up ” to this dodge ? I have a whole page of complaints of those resetting devices not working on Epson printers , NOT from Epson but from the Amazon website also an Israeli run web company, and be aware Israel has the latest high tech stuff even sell to our government, quote – when the cartridge runs out of ink it “self destructs ” when it report empty -these CANNOT be rest by a chip resetter and there is more , I have downloaded all the tech info for any arguments. If people are persuaded to buy those resetters PLEASE be aware they will probably wont work with the latest Epson /HP printers .

Guest
Elizabeth Guest says:
20 February 2017

Having similar problems with an Epsom WP 3620. Refuses to recognise a cartridge it used to be happy with. Updates seem to be forced on you.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Elizabeth updates aren’t forced on you but you have granted permission for both Microsoft Windows 10 and Epson to update your printer. Granted you might have done it inadvertently in Epson when first installing the printer but in Windows if you have the choice , then chose – only let me know if updates are available then you can decide which ones to install , that is if Windows lets you do that. In win 10 there is the new “settings app ” which you can see the updates available and click to download .IF that is no longer available then you can set your updates to a metered connection -this is only available on Wi-Fi – there are more ways if anybody is interested I can post . On Epson its a bit trickier -when installing your printer from new -disconnect your modem >insert printer CD >enter setup >select custom/manual NOT !!! express/automatic>click NO in first window >decline in second window >tick “do not display message again ” >when it finishes installing >plug modem back in again /turn it on > make sure your firewall is working >click >keep blocking option . Do NOT fall for > click here to receive offers on Epson ink under ANY circumstances . As I said I could post more but it gets technical. I am afraid trying to backdate the driver WONT work -its in the Firmware .

Guest
E E Connecticut says:
21 February 2017

Hello, I am a 37 year old male, homeowner and father. I may use my printer (HP model 1010) perhaps once a month at most. Without fail, this printer doesn’t work whenever it is needed.

When the factory ink ran out, I bought aftermarket online. As you may have guessed, I am not able to print. Error message: Cartridges are damaged or have failed. I have an HP desktop, but I am going to another brand for a printer.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

Do you mean each time you came to use it, after a month, it wouldn’t work? Your ink probably dries at the head. Does it work when you’ve done a cleaning cycle? I do use my printer fairly regularly and leave it switched on all the time. it does not seem to use extra ink when doing so. It’s a Canon and has done good service for the last 10 years – using Canon ink.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

Infrequent use can be a problem with inkjet printers. My newer HP printer has to be used regularly or printing becomes streaky until I clean the heads or the machine decides this is necessary. The same happens with both HP and third-party ink. My older HP printer just works, even if it sits idle for a week or more.

Guest
Andrew says:
22 February 2017

I have a five year old HP Officejet 6500A. It worked fine with Windows based Samsung rv720 laptop. Have just moved over to Mac book Pro . Low and behold the scanner part of the printer will not work with the Mac book. Checked with HP and Apple and both admitted that there is no software update to make the mac book speak to the printer. Both said to buy a new printer !!! Please Which expose this cartel / greedy mentality !!

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

Hi Andrew – Have you tried downloading a driver from this page? http://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/HP-Officejet-6500A-e-All-in-One-Printer-series—E7/4083974/model/4083870

Failing that you could have a look for advice on the Apple website or post a question on one of the Mac forums. The two most useful bits of advice I have been given are (1) turn it off and on again, and (2) don’t believe official advice. 🙂 Best of luck.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Andrew as Wavechange says dont believe (a word ) what the official advice is they only want you to buy a new printer that will block non-propriety inks . First try : https://driverscollection.com/?H=Officejet%206550A%20Plus%20-%20E710n&By=HP&SS=Mac%20OS%20X two driver files available / or : https://mac.softpedia.com/get/Drivers/HP-Officejet-6500-Driver.shtml under NO !!! circumstances download from cnet/ download.com –you have been warned !

Profile photo of alfa
Guest

Andrew, One way you might get around your problem is to plug a USB memory stick into your printer and scan to that instead of your Mac book.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

I hope this helps Andrew, but it has certainly helped me. I bought an HP A3 printer/scanner with an automatic document feeder but was rather unwilling to install the HP scanner software in case I ended up being unable to use third party ink. The printer works fine from my Macs.

I have just scanned an 79 page report listing maps and historic documents held by a museum, so that I can share it with colleagues in a society.

Thanks very much, Alfa. I had always assumed that the USB socket on printers was for printing image files. Guess I should RTFM.

Profile photo of alfa
Guest

LOL!!! Glad I could help wavechange.

Profile photo of DerekP
Guest

Just because a printer is supported for use with Windows, there is no guarantee that it will be supported for use with other OSes.

This certainly affects Linux. Luckily, my old (former Which? Best Buy) Canon MP-750 works OK with Linux. I do also keep an old XP desktop, on which my Canon is better supported. My XP system is no longer used on the internet, so it cannot get upgrade by mistake.

My Canon has always worked OK with 3rd party ink. I now use ink refill kits for it, and that keeps it going fine too.

I also have a less ancient Epson SX200 which I haven’t actually used for years. I never managed to get it to work properly with anything other than genuine Epson ink – and each set of those refills cost £40, while the printer itself only cost £30.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

Compatibility issues have been a problem for as long as we have had computers and peripherals. I mentioned above that I have a new HP printer. The wireless printing works via the router. My fibre broadband came with a new router. When my computers start up they automatically connect to the new router via 5G but the printer does not work. I have to switch to the printer Wi-Fi (which takes me off line during the print job) or connect to the router via the older 2.4G setting which allows me to print and stay online.

My old HP wireless printer has served me well but that does not work with the new router and there is not an option to print directly. I can still use it via the old router, which is not connected to broadband.

All minor vexations compared with third party cartridges that are not accepted. I’m not planning to update the software in case I have that problem.

Guest
Peter Kennedy says:
24 February 2017

I have an Epson WF-3620. I bought third party ink from Office World .
Problem…the printer is happy printing colours other than Black. It will print Dark Grey but not Black.
In some ways I am impressed the software can ignore Black but it is irksome.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

This is a common problem in Epson printers using third party inks, you are very lucky your printer has not had a firmware update to block all use of TPI Peter . Having said that I checked with a high tech. computer website (Epson/HP repair technician) rather than the usual types and the consensus was that there is a print head blockage . Epson cartridges have a very fine screen at the bottom of the cartridge where it goes into the printhead keeping dried particles from entering the printhead many compatibles don’t have this screen . Not turning off the printer properly also causes clogged printheads . It requires a bit of patience and time to do it properly but you can buy the official Epson head cleaning kit from Printhead Hospital (UK) . It could also be a mainboard problem if that doesn’t help , you might need to clean it several times , hope this helps ?

Guest
michael g says:
1 March 2017

Can i refill original hp 62 cartridges and will they work.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Well you can try Michael-have a look at the instructions for that same cartridge to refill it on a US website : http://www.printerfillingstation.com/Refill-Instructions/HP/H52.htm and for more elaborate instructions including video check out : http://inkjet411.com/?page_id=4555 or : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmkslxHF3pU . Having posted that please have a look at : http://www.ghacks.net/2016/10/13/hp-releases-printer-firmware-to-undo-non-hp-ink-cartridge-blocking/ even they say , as I have said in above posts that twice HP have said they will rescind their blockage (August/November ) but even at this date it doesn’t seem to apply universally in all HP printers especially the new ones , so I cant guarantee that it will work for you . The secret , if there is any is when you install the printer is to block updates both on your computer (relating to HP ) and on the installation instructions which you need to read carefully before clicking on -install.

Guest
Kurt says:
2 March 2017

My Epson WF-3640 will no longer print with high quality. The degraded output is not a result of inferior ink, but appears to be an intentional “de-rezzing,” which I noticed after a firmware “upgrade.” Specifically text and images show a dithering pattern.

I would love to roll back the update.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

It seems more likely that something has gone wrong during the update but I strongly agree that it should be possible to reverse updates. Many have updated operating systems and found that their software no longer works.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Wavechange could be right Kurt try re-installing the latest drivers and ,if not ,get back as there is more to try.

Guest
Naomi says:
3 March 2017

I bought a Samsung M2026 a couple of months ago and the supplied toner just ran out. I just replaced it with one I got online that was £16 and said it was compatible with my printer. The printer is rejecting it and won’t print, saying the toner is not compatible. How do I get around this? I don’t want to pay £40 for a toner, that’s nearly the same price as the printer!

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Naomi- your printer is selling currently on the web for £40 , the point of selling at this price is that the manufacturer makes his money on the ink sales . If your printer is new then you cant roll back to a previous firmware update or even install old drivers unless it was updated in the intervening time you bought it , if you had blocked any updates when you installed it , it might be different . Try You Tube as they have some visual answers to some Samsung models with your problem , if I can find a more acceptable answer I will get back.

Guest
Vic Cowley says:
6 March 2017

I have an Epsom WF-3640 printers. I have been using INKJET replacement cartridges. I tried to replace an INKJET black cartridge with a new one and now the printer rejects all of my cartridges. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

If it will make you feel any better Vic head to : https://www.consumeraffairs.com/computers/epson.html a VERY long USA webpage all devoted to one star Epson printers including yours , one guy bought 3 of your model ALL failed quickly another one shows your printer and WARNING !! BREAKS after 6 months business owner , maybe make you feel better you are not alone.

Guest
Tina C says:
6 March 2017

My epson printer XP610 has just stopped allowing the compatible cartridges! These are the same ones I have been using I assume an update has done this.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Very probably Tina , I have warned Epson/HP users many times -buying a new printer ? then the FIRST thing you do when installing it is to BLOCK updates when in installation mode -then block Epson/HP from downloading onto your Windows 10 computer.

Guest
William L. Athas says:
19 March 2017

I have a Brother MFC 9340 CDW and I have used third party ink cartridges for over 1.5 years. Now, all of a sudden, I put in a full cartridge and the printer continues to read, no toner. Very frustrating. W.A.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

There have been recent updates to your printer if you enabled updates automatically when you installed it and allowed Windows to install them William.

Guest
Robert says:
20 March 2017

i have just received my compat inks for the HP 7500A printer and it wont recognize the compat ink cartridges.
tried everything . not happy bunny

Guest
karran says:
22 March 2017

Hi. I have an Epson Workforce 2650 all in one printer. I updated the firmware last week believing it must be a necessity. Nope. Since then my compatible cartridges that have worked since I bought the printer are now no longer recognised since the update. I phoned Epson technical support UK today who told me that they only recommend ‘Genuine’ Epson ink cartridges even telling me the printer would go wrong after using compatibles over time (Evidence?)

When I pressed further I was told that the new firmware update I used will stop the chips on my compatibles being recognised by the printer because my compatibles are probrably using an older chip version. They informed me that as newer chipped compatibles become available then at some point my printer would recognise them as they would be ok with the new firmware. The fact that I would have to wait for my supplier to sell all of his old before he could sell the new chipped stock (weeks or months?) before that becomes a reality seems to have bypassed Epson as a company or they just couldn’t care less!

Regarding the firmware – I stated to Epson that at no point did an onscreen message appear just prior to the update listing exactely what the changes would entail and more specifically that the update would disable the use of compatibles. No such warning was given to me as a customer. They informed me that I still had the option of buying ‘Genuine cartridges which would work. So basically I am being blackmailed into buying their own cartridges if I want to use my printer. Surely this is against the law?

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Not in Epson,s eyes Karran, , they are “spinning you a yarn ” about third party cartridges being “eventually ” compatible , if that happened any time soon their enormous profit would go out the window. As this is into the firmware you arent going to get it changed anytime soon also . The problem with Windows 10 is that it doesnt go into detail , like LInux about what you are actually downloading to install , as Windows priority updates arent all “priority ” as MS admitted on one of its websites . I have said many times -installing a printer ? BLOCK any updates when installing it and dont update any printer yourself if you are using third party inks successfully for years. Many have tried (in the USA ) to take Epson to court and HP etc there arent many winners.The EFF (Electronic Freedom Foundation) -USA wrote to companies about it , their reply we will “see what we can do about a “SMALL MINORITY ” of users having problems —BUT -we will continue to use security features (get the legal wording ) to protect the quality of our customers experience and maintain the integrity of our printing systems and protect our ink products including authentication methods that Quote- may prevent some third-party supplies from working . Can you see how high power corporate lawyers will never lose in court ? I would like to add that there is an internet company who will downgrade your firmware for you-BUT it costs and due to legal hesitation I will not name it as it could be construed as breaking some company law .

Profile photo of mrwt
Guest

My HP F2280 has never printed straight or well, now the cartridges do not work.
I will buy another brand, or not bother having a printer at all.

Guest
Deborah Potts says:
29 March 2017

My kodak all in one printer has just done this. They also monitored it remotely and told me I was using non KODAK original ink and that was the problem. Their cartridges are actually fairly inexpensive anyway but it is still not legal for them to do this I believe from reading the other comments here.

Guest
Brian Bronstein says:
5 April 2017

Hi. I’m in the fortunate position of not yet having purchased a replacement printer for my HP Photosmart C4680 – which suddenly started giving me the dreaded ‘cartridge error’ message when installing a new compatible cartridge (I’ve tried several), having consistently used them for years with no problem. This just may be a genuine printer problem but I’m assuming it’s our friends at HP punching me in the firmware for owning an ageing printer and not buying their outrageously overpriced carts. So, what I want to know is, what brands / models of printer CAN I buy that won’t ‘maybe’ work OK with reputable brands of compatibles but WILL work with them (I use Windows 7) – and at a reasonable ongoing cost for those carts? I’ve read all I can find on Google and there seem to be similar issues with just about all the brands. (I’m ideally looking for an all-in-one A4 inkjet, separate colour carts, auto duplex and sheet feed and reasonable black text speed. Wifi and card reader would be nice to have but not essential.) ‘OK’ quality printing is all I need – and I do wonder whether Which? reviews place too much emphasis on print quality whereas, for most people most of the time, I suspect it’s only photos that need really high quality printing and more emphasis should be placed on total cost of ownership. I’m willing to spend a fair bit up front (say, up to £150) to keep lifetime costs down. If anyone has dependable information or advice to offer me on what I might buy (and, no doubt, a great many others wanting to avoid the great cartridge rip-off), it would be very much appreciated! Thanks.

Guest
David McLavin says:
6 April 2017

I accepted a firmware update and my Epson XP235 printer has subsequently stopped recognising the non-Epson cartridges that I usually use. Everything I’ve read online seems to indicate that the firmware update is the problem and that there is no way to roll it back. I strongly believe that consumers should be able to use third party cartridges and that printer companies are profiteering on consumables.

Guest
Anne says:
7 April 2017

I have a Canon ip3500 which has just started to reject my third party cartridges that have previously caused no problems. Holding the resume button is not having any effect to over ride the ink detection facility. This scenario really annoys me. Printer ink ml for ml is an astronomical rip off.

Guest
Ken Aspden says:
21 April 2017

I have the Epsom WS 3620 worked well on non Epsom inks until
I tried to print this week change the inc made no difference
I dont see why this has happened as I should be able to use these incs if I want.
More Big Brother again.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Ken- If you had been using non-propriety ink for a long time with no problem then you should have blocked any updates to your Epson both in the printer menu itself and in Windows updates . If you have companies products on your computer then that company knows you have them by messages sent back to the company unless you block their products from the Internet. I have an Creative audio card ,the company knows that , the same with Logitech and Nvidia .

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

As this is affecting so many posters on Which here is one method to try and combat the ink problem. -#1-unplug your modem/router-#2-insert printer installation disc-#3- select>custom/manual setup option NOT express/automatic -#4-click NO in window showing-Epson driver update and DECLINE in Epson Notification Service-also tick-do not display again- note this is basic info others might be slightly different but the same actions apply -#5-when setup finishes>plug modem back in (make sure virus firewall is activated first). If Windows comes up with a box saying-do you want to keep blocking this programme > click -keep blocking . DONT fall for “special ink offers ” sly way of overcoming your blocking. As I said , this is just one way of stopping your Epson printer from blocking you using non-propriety inks.

Guest
mrs L J says:
24 April 2017

I use an HP 2575 all in one printer, unfortunately it seems to have rejected the compatible cartridges since I updated to Windows 10. I now have to pay almost £50 for ink instead of £15. I am absolutely livid, and was today thinking of changing the printer altogether, but I would be looking for one either that accepts compatible ink or whose own ink is cheap. Any suggestions?

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Mrs L.J-Thats the problem with Windows 10 and downloads of “updates ” . MS has changed the rules not only in you being unable to block updates for Windows if you use Win 10 Home but it slyly has changed the classification of many updates from advisory etc to priority ( probably with the “help ” of third parties who sell computer hardware). Your answer would be a printer with a refillable ink-tank but the manufacturers arent stupid , this type isnt £50 but more like £200 + and yes HP sell that type as well as Epson /Canon. You have a big choice on the web.

Guest
Max Darkins says:
26 April 2017

My Espon XP312 has suddenly refused to print now, saying the cartridge is not recognized.

Guest
DFitzgerald says:
2 May 2017

My HP2450 Has just rejected a compatible ink cartridge that it’s been fine with for weeks. ‘Cartridge failed’ I think is the convenient term used this time. How are HP and their competitors still able to get away with it? It’s MY PRINTER, bought and paid for. I should be free to use whichever ink I choose. I have signed no contract with HP.

HP and others are still finding ways to block peoples freedom of choice to purchase and use compatible cartridges. Quite frankly its disgusting. In the same way that they’ll never reveal the ink volume within the cartridge.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

D, Fitzgerald , ink is now in the price range you would pay in a top class restaurant in Mayfair for a good bottle of wine/whisky. Your right , its a complete rip-off . New printer ,before you start , read the instructions and when setting it up BLOCK ALL updates and that includes Windows doing it for you , in relation to the printer company. I have posted many times on what you need to do .

Guest
Jonny says:
20 May 2017

I have a Canon Pixma MX925 and decided to buy some compatible inks, the printer worked fine for a week or so then just stopped printing. The printer goes through the motions as if printing but spits out a blank page, even when copying a document on the glass platen. This is ridiculous, I have had the printer for 14 months. I will not buy any Canon ink just to see if it works again. Has anyone else experienced this?

Guest
Jamie Alexander says:
3 June 2017

very useful article was a brilliant read, keep it up..

I found this Article when i was looking to purchase toners for my doctor surgery.
http://stationeryshack.co.uk/blog/

they had some funny articles and very informative.. i reached out to them and got a free account manager and I am saving alot, My Brother Laser printer Hl5440 Uses a Tn3380 toner cartridge i use to pay £29.99 and now i am paying £19.99 and its high yield. they say about 8ooo printe we have never counted lol but it last forever

hope this helps, keep up the awesome work guys

i use these guys now
http://www.stationeryshack.co.uk

https://youtu.be/76Mli1bsyP0

Guest
Leila says:
3 June 2017

I had this problem with my previous Epson printer. Eventually I threw it away, having learned my lesson about firmware. Now I have a Canon Pixma which continually presents me with a message that a firmware update is available (but I always decline to install it). I came across this website http://www.rjettek.com/blog/firmware-updates-and-remanufactured-cartridges/ which may be helpful. It describes how to stop your printer offering you firmare updates. I haven’t yet tried their fix.
In an associated problem, my Windows Scan and Fax has stopped recognising the scanner. I can still print, no problem, but the scan software fails to see the scanner. The ‘Canon Community’ site says: ‘It sounds as though you do not have the MP Navigator software installed on your computer. This is the bundled scanning application that comes with your PIXMA …’
What I’m wondering is whether, if I were to download that software, I might inadvertently also end up with a printing problem … or if the two things are not related.
I’m so sick of companies forcing us into things we don’t want or don’t want to do. They’re not exactly struggling to survive, but some of us are.

Guest
Geoff says:
4 June 2017

My Epson WP 4533 printer just stopped recognizing all the cartridges, which are all 3rd party. They have been working fine for years and now one day they don’t. I can find nothing about this by searching the Internet.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Geoff there have been Convo,s on this in Which in which I have replied at length on this subject but instead of repeating myself which might upset some I will just say in basic terms its down to a firmware update by Epson and the only way to stop it is when you install thecprinter initially you make sure that ALL updates are blocked and that includes MS working hand in hand with businesses by making those updates “security updates ” . I am amazed you cannot find info on this on the web but that could mean your search engine is re-directing you /manipulating your results . I “cottoned on ” to this years ago when I used Windows , especially using Bing and well known search engines , for a start download DDG -Duck-Duck Go search engine , its American but it gives you some privacy , I also use some European ones that are not well known , if you still have problems finding information you want but directed to adverts then you need a change of browser+ search engine and you should do a virus scan .

Guest
Anthony says:
7 June 2017

Same problem. I bought PC World’s version of the 301 for a HP Envy 4507 All-in-One. Display now reads “cartridges not for usage with this printer” but it seems to be just for the black cartridge according to the Printer Tool software.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Anthony-It might be a couple of years out of date but this website answers exactly your personal problem with your HP Envy-4507 : https://www.internet-ink.com/blog/Printing/2015/03/06-HP-s-New-Firmware-Locks-Ink-Cartridges It backs up all my posts on NOT updating including the one directly above yours.

Guest
Mark says:
10 June 2017

I have a 2+ year old HP 7500 A3 printer. I don’t use it often. I bought it in Saudi and now that I have retired to the rural Philippines I have difficulty getting the right HP cartridges, and if I do find them they are very expensive. So I bought some refillable cartridges and a new print head on eBay. The supplier stated that they would wor as they had “the right chips”. After a week or so I got error messages saying that they were non HP cartridges. These became more insistent until it stopped printing. It will still copy and scan. I am not interested in the HP warranty, but I would like to print again. Any thoughts

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Mark-I have posted at length on this subject if you check back my posts . To save me going through what HP have done click on : https://seekingalpha.com/article/4008840-hp-deliberately-disables-officejet-printers-third-party-inks-cartridges they keep on promising to “rectify it ” but ,so far, that hasn’t happened . Many “dodges ” have been tried but dont work this is into the firmware unless you have advanced digital programming to a technician level or higher experience then your printer will stay as it is. As I have said many times -new printer> use CUSTOM install> DISABLE Windows automatic updates as they can override your settings , they are very sly as are other manufacturers using terms like > “automatic support ” etc to hide the fact they can update at will. This update was originally from March -2016 but was held back till August . You can try the advice given on : http://www.rjettek.com/blog/firmware-updates-and-remanufactured-cartridges/ but that is for “before the fact ” .

Guest
Liddie says:
23 June 2017

I have an Epson XP 412 I have been ignoring the update box for ages, same problem when I gave in, cannot use cheaper inks which were working perfectly well before. what can I do to stop this scam? or do I just have to be dictated to and by Epson cartridges

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Once you have accepted a FIRMWARE programming change unless you are to a high tech standard there is nothing you can do , unless you visit one of those American websites that will reverse this- for a large fee. There are also “cloned” cartridges out there but not all work . What I would like to know Liddie is why you “gave in ” I am certainly not criticizing you as you are not alone but I would like to know why you accepted updates as I am compiling a survey into it. Was it – you accept adverts as being right ?, dont wish to be a non-conformist ?- you feel you must obey authority ? -part of the modern generation wanting to comply with everything digital or was it something else ? I want to assemble a defence strategy against this so that the public arent treated badly by big commercial companies . I respect your honesty Liddie many would cover this up .

Guest
James R says:
28 June 2017

Epson XP750 – can guarantee that it was a firmware update after installing their software onto another PC on the network without going out of the way to turn off the swindling updates. Compatibles from all brands worked fine even alongside genuine cartridges. It gets its hands onto this ‘update’ and suddenly the inks that were all working fine are incompatible and replacing them with new cartridges and a number of restarts/resets didn’t change a thing.

There is a program that supposedly rolls back firmware but that wants £5 each time you use it (what if someone on the network makes this mistake again assuming, quite innocently, updates can’t be a bad thing). From what I can gather, it works which just means that Epson are lying through their teeth saying there’s no way to ‘downgrade’ firmware so they can’t con you.

I’m not sure they can hide behind the BS in their 50 pages of T+Cs that probably includes ‘assuring the quality, performance and life of your printer by ensuring you have genuine cartridges’. I hope we get some decent resolutions to this in the future. I know they sell printers at cost/at a loss to farm people for ink purchases but it should either be a gamble they take or offer a version which isn’t a thinly veiled con to force you to buy their ink.

Guest
Sheila Scott says:
5 July 2017

I have a Epson WF-3520 which is about 5 years old. In the last year I have had a difficult time getting it to recognize 3rd party cartridges. It has gotten progressively worse. Right now the printer is not working..I would not recommend this printer to anyone and resent if Epson has programmed in it’s updates the rejection of these cartridges. I am searching for any brand that does not do this. I is unfair…

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Sheila you could go for ink tank printers but they are very expensive most of the printers eventually block you from using third party inks but if you buy one dont enable updates to it or via windows updates .

Guest
Pete Chittenden says:
5 July 2017

A few months back my Epson Xp 322 started rejecting generic ink , which I’ve always used as my wife prints lots of photos of all family and kids etc. It’s about 20 times more expensive using branded ink, I’m not exaggerating on this either. After speaking with a few people I soon realised that the latest automatic update from the internet had stopped allowing me to use generic ink. I went through all sorts of procedures but once the chip inside the printer has been corrupted there is no fixing it, reinstalling old software etc will not get rid of this update. I am currently using an Xp 322 still, that was old stock, I installed old software, but before I did this I had to go into my setting and untick the box that allows automatic updates. There is a short YouTube video that talks you through this simple process. I am ok printing for now and can buy 20 cartridges online for around 8 pounds. I don’t know what I am going to do when this printer breaks down. Any advice from any techies out there would be greatly appreciated.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Pete as you probably know the update was to the firmware not the software as such its up to Epson to rescind this which they wont do. There is an American website that will do it but it costs and I am sorry Which would not take kindly to me posting the URL , its also possible to DIY but you must be very technically competent with several years of deep computer training as it involves interrogating the firmware and changing it without corrupting it and its not a short few lines but many . I am also sorry I cant post it as Which could be legally liable to action taken against it by Epson as they are pretty strong on customers using their inks . There is a UK website that “guarantees ” that their ink cartridges will work in an Epson 322 –or money back , be warned , it is the case that a lot of those claims are false going by posters on various websites so I do not guarantee it will work.

Guest
John says:
18 July 2017

I have a Samsung Xpress C480FW which had been printing beautifully with compatible cartridges until what must have been an update from Samsung (the machine was registered with them). Now I only get Cartridge Not Compatible. I spent hours searching for a fix for the issue but nothing worked. It’s no wonder that Samsung would do this, a set of four Samsung cartridges cost almost as much as the printed did. I am more than a little p****d off and will NEVER, EVER purchase another Samsung product, ever. If anyone knows a work around I’d love to hear it.

Guest
Unhappy Consumer says:
19 July 2017

Canon MG5520 stopped accepting third party cartridges. A Pixma cartridge sent from Canon works without a problem. I then tried two brand new third party cartridges to see if the problem cleared, and of course it can’t recognize either one. Pixma cartridge back in, works fine.

Guest
Alan says:
25 July 2017

I have an Epson XP-635 in which I have been successfully using a full set of compatable cartridges until it displayed a message that it did not recognise the XL black cartridge. I purchased two compatable replacements but was unable to get either to work. I have been forced to buy a full set of originals at more than twice the cost. I think that this is very sharp practice by Epsom and feel that I should have a right as a consumer to use whichever ink I choose. Come on which – set about them !

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Alan, while I sympathise with your post the stock reply from several Printer manufacturers is that -#1- they sell the printers at well under market value and must recoup their losses in propriety inks -#2- as “most ” of those inks cause “faults ” to appear in our printers,we are “safeguarding” the public from “disappointment ” in our products . Those companies have already gone to court over this and because of High Power attorney,s have mostly won their cases . If Which was to take a legal stance and independently sue them it could cost many £Millions but it doesn’t stop pressure being applied its just how much can and will be achieved ?

Profile photo of John Ward
Guest

I think a lot would depend on whether the information that was provided at the time of purchase included any restriction on using ‘compatible’ ink cartridges. I can understand that manufacturers might wish to ensure that only their OEM poducts are used but if they don’t protect that position at the point of sale I feel that the consumer has a case.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

Last time I checked, the ink supplier that I use guarantees that its cartridges will work. I’ve not had any problem, but I don’t update either of my printers in case this causes a problem.

I would like to see a fair investigation of the problem and if appropriate, printer manufacturers ordered to remove software that makes third party cartridges unusable. They should also be required to compensate those who have wasted their time and money on compatible cartridges that have not proved compatible.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

I don’t see that the OEM should take any responsibility for the failure of 3rd party cartridges “(compensate those who have wasted their time and money on compatible cartridges that have not proved compatible).” They have no control over the quality or design of 3rd party products.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Wavechange if it was a software update it would be able to be removed and have been . The printer manufacturers figured that out as many owners were removing the updates so they made the updates change the Firmware -IE- the basic operation of the printer .Your right dont update your printer . The chips constantly “talk ” to the manufacturers so they know what is happening but if they cant download updates then you have a “fighting chance ” of continuing to use third party inks BUT –the manufacturers state dont even attempt to contact them if they brake down , and yes they have the laboratory equipment to analyse the ink used – spectrography is one method .

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Hard as it may seem thats exactly the view that the manufacturers take malcolm.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

Malcolm – If manufacturers are updating the firmware of their printers to prevent third-party cartridges working – which is the subject of this Conversation – that is anti-competitive practice, I believe.

Duncan – You have strongly suggested avoiding allowing printer updates to take place and I’m one who has heeded the advice. You have also suggested that printer function may be restored by removing updates, but I doubt that most users would know how to do this. In that position I would search online and keep my fingers crossed.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

According to the introduction to this Conversation: “The big consumer printer brands have all signed up to a voluntary agreement which includes a provision around not preventing third-party ink from being used in their printers.” It would be interesting to see a link to this agreement for future reference.

If the manufacturers want users to stick to using their ink then the best solution is to avoid discounting their printers and sell ink at a sensible price. Original toner cartridges for my Lexmark office printer cost £100 each for of the three colour toners and £140 for the (black) one. A set of toners cost more than the printer and they stopped working after the stated number of pages even though the toner was not exhausted.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Wavechange , there is no confusion previously when software updates applied it was possible to remove them but now with Firmware updates this is entirely a different matter . I know of two US websites that will change your firmware programming requiring a knowledge of computer BASIC programming ( not basic -as in easy ) they do it over the web BUT it costs $50 + and I should warn anybody thinking some cheap website will do it for “buttons ” as I know many printers were left as giant paperweights with the disclaimers involved-one wrong line of programming data is all it takes . I know what Which has printed and TWICE one well known printer company has said -we will comply –that was last October/January (2017 ) BUT they haven’t done so . Others have one or two models that will accept third party inks BUT not the entire range . Why have I not given the URL,s for the companies that will restore your printer from a firmware update or even a software update ??? because in the USA some websites have been threatened with legal action , other have had “pressure applied ” in the US commercial field . I am protecting Which BUT if Which gives the go ahead I will post the URL,s but be assured several big US organisations wont like Which allowing me to do it and as Which is doing splendidly in the US advertising field and world – wide those US giants could cause Which bad publicity and hurt, I have seen it happen . So I will ask a direct question does Which want and approve me posting the URL,s ???

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest
malcolm r says: