Friday, September 15th 2017

Been There, Done That: HP New Firmware Update Locks Non-Original Ink Cartridges

HP has gone and done it once again: they've re-issued a firmware update that locks printing for users who make use of non-original HP ink cartridges. This move by the company isn't new; in September 2016, they did just that, through a seemingly dormant "time bomb" implemented in new printers' firmware that stopped their operation should a non-original ink cartridge be detected. Businesses who were looking to save some money on expendables that are usually more expensive than liquid gold and who had started using non-original ink cartridges for their printers saw their activities on hold - and that likely costed them more than original cartridges ever would.

Later on, in October 2016, and facing considerable backlash due to its actions, HP reversed the built-in firmware lock with a software update that forced users to look up the appropriate software manually on HP's website and then install it on their printers. Original cartridge authentication is done through an original HP security chip, which is checked against security systems embedded on the printer so as to confirm the cartridge's authenticity. The company itself admitted that "A cloned product with an original HP security chip will work," and that "HP's dynamic security recognizes refilled and remanufactured supplies that contain the original HP security chip." HP apologized, at the time, for what it called "miscommunication" on their part. Their apology, however, has been thrown at the weeds by now; we here at TPU did say that users should "(...) remain wary of any eventual future update that might break non-original cartridge compatibility - again."
The firmware update was first spotted earlier this week and affects a number of OfficeJet models including the OfficeJet 6800, OfficeJet Pro 6200, 6800, 8600, and OfficeJet Pro X 400/500 series. According to German supplier Super Patronen, over 50 customers have reported problems using third-party ink. The problems are made clear by a pop-up window that claims the cartridges being used are damaged, suggesting users remove them and replace them with new ones. Further throwing some smoke into the mix, some users are reporting that having at least one HP-branded cartridge installed suppresses the error message.

Apparently, however, this isn't such a draconian situation as the original; a relatively simple fix to allow continued use of cheaper cartridges is available, through the application of a specific firmware update that disables HP's Dynamic Security feature. The fix is provided by HP themselves, and is accompanied by documentation. This could simply be a case of a firmware bug that is bringing this issue up again - should we give HP the benefit of the doubt? Source: HP Help
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24 Comments on Been There, Done That: HP New Firmware Update Locks Non-Original Ink Cartridges

#1
R0H1T
I wonder if someone can sue them for trashing a perfectly operational printer? I mean there has to be some sort of a law against this type of behavior, right?
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#2
Toothless
Tech, Games, and TPU!
One of many reasons I hate HP. I won't refuse to not use their products but they don't get recommendations from me.
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#3
erixx
European Union will cut their throats for this.
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#4
HD64G
For already owners of their printers it will be enough to not update software and keep a backup of the installer they use now for future needs.
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#5
Prima.Vera
I prefer Canon or Brother anyways....
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#6
Toothless
Tech, Games, and TPU!
Prima.Vera, post: 3725762, member: 98685"
I prefer Canon or Brother anyways....
I heard Musket and Sister are better.
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#7
TheLostSwede
Laser printers...

Then again, HP went and bought Samsung's printer business, so I guess they'll mess those up in due time as well...
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#8
Ubersonic
This is why I love my Xerox solid ink printer, you can't put a chip in a block of wax ^^
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#9
MIRTAZAPINE
Toothless, post: 3725768, member: 148599"
I heard Musket and Sister are better.
Somebody please make this brand now. Haha
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#11
Parn
Prima.Vera, post: 3725762, member: 98685"
I prefer Canon or Brother anyways....
Same here. Either Canon for image heavy printing or brother for cheap B/W doc printing.
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#12
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
MyTechAddiction, post: 3725787, member: 108501"
why can`t we just get rid of paper once and for all?
Many reasons but the biggest ones are practicality and logistics. The real seasons I mean, there are many bad reasons as well.
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#13
Readlight
That already know Canon an hp is selling half full, overpriced cartridges waste off time and money.
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#14
DeathtoGnomes
If there lawsuit over this, nothing will come of it for atleast 10 years. I can see this BS on commercial grade printers but not consumer. I never bought an HP printer, never will now.
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#15
dozenfury
HP has always been awful about ink and their printers, but this is over the top. It's so bad with them at times that it's actually been cheaper to buy a HP new printer that includes ink than their replacement cartridges. They sell their printers at a loss in hopes of weaseling people on the ink.
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#16
Prince Valiant
Prima.Vera, post: 3725762, member: 98685"
I prefer Canon or Brother anyways....
Same here. The minor hit to print quality (especially text) is an easy pill to swallow when you can get several sets of non-genuine ink for the cost of one genuine set :laugh:.
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#18
Boatvan
Just to play devil's advocate, at work, third party toner cartridges cause many issues for us. They tend to streak and in rare cases, cause damage to the printer. Locking out non "genuine" cartridges makes sense from an HP standpoint, but man this is not a good way to do so...
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#19
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Turn off automatic firmware updates.
Posted on Reply
#20
Fourstaff
Boatvan, post: 3726023, member: 169198"
Just to play devil's advocate, at work, third party toner cartridges cause many issues for us. They tend to streak and in rare cases, cause damage to the printer. Locking out non "genuine" cartridges makes sense from an HP standpoint, but man this is not a good way to do so...
They can always add the disclaimer "3rd party cartridge detected. May cause poor performance blabla, please use at your own risk".
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#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
I don't understand why anyone would buy an HP printer at this point, especially an inkjet.

Get a Brother.
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#22
HTC
I have an older Epson RX620 Stylus Photo printer and, when i bought it, it didn't occur to me to look up the prices of the cartridges (it uses 6 of them). I did however notice it ... the hard way ... when i went to the shop to get replacements ... nearly 110€ for all 6 cartridges ...

I tried using non original cartridges, which were a fraction of the cost, and it worked ... for a while ... but then my brother's black & white cat got blueish & white ... so i had to return to original ink but that wasn't sustainable so i opted to invest in a new printer instead: another Epson, but this time an Eco Tank L355.

As a result, i saved a ton of money in refill costs since both my sister and my niece required quite allot of printed pages and, that alone would have cost me 4 or 5 refills if using the older printer (@ least). Instead, not only the original ink for this new printer was enough (comes in 4 bottles of 70 ml each) but i actually had to throw away some because it's validity was expiring (to avoid it to dry inside the printer: the ink had reach 2 years, which was the validity of the original ink). Furthermore, when i bought new ink, it only cost me just under 48€ for all 4 bottles so i figure the savings cost of going this route have already payed off the new printer (it was expensive: over 300€).

As for HP: keep sending your customers away ... you'll eventually lose them all ...
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#23
Dave65
Toothless, post: 3725768, member: 148599"
I heard Musket and Sister are better.
LMAOOOOOOOO
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#24
Kevin-HTPC
I had a HP inkjet printer, only used it a couple of times and the cartridges blocked after not using it for a few weeks, so I ran the cartridge cleaning process and it didn't completely clear the issue, so I ran it a couple more times and still no joy, then realised that each cleaning process had apparently used up quite a bit of ink, but where had £30 of ink disappeared from the nearly full cartridge? Certainly didn't leave the cartridge as it was blocked!

The cartridges were still full, you could feel the ink swishing around when you picked them up, yet the chip in the cartridge was registering as nearly empty, hmmmm. It maybe uses 1% of the ink to clean itself, but the software is registering it at something like 10% - 15% usage, to me this is another example of dirty tricks played by companies like this just to sell more cartridges. I contacted HP about my nearly empty cartridge that was still full of ink, but they responded saying there was nothing they could do and it was normal for the cleaning process to use up ink. Never bought anything else HP from that moment forward.
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