HP pushes third-party ink blocking printer firmware update (again)

Hewlett Packard (HP) released a new firmware for the company's Officejet printers that appears to block third-party ink from functioning correctly.

The company caused quite the uproar a year ago when it released a firmware for some of its printer families that blocked non-HP cartridges in company printers. HP released a firmware update a month later back then that restored functionality for non-HP printer ink.

The new firmware update that was released on September 13th, 2017 looks like an exact copy of the firmware update released a year ago (on the same day even).

Printers echo the following error message after the new firmware is installed on the printer:

One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace with new cartridges.

Some of the cartridges that are inserted into the printer may be accepted by the printer, but once you add all of them, the error message is displayed.

Affected printer models include the HP OfficeJet 6800 Series, HP OfficeJet Pro 6200 Series, HP OfficeJet Pro X 450 Series, HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 series, and many other models.

There is a way out however to fix the issue then and there according to Günter Born.

Fix One or more cartridges appear to be damaged

hp one or more cartridges appear to be damaged

image via HP's support page: https://support.hp.com/us-en/product/hp-officejet-pro-8610-e-all-in-one-printer-series/5367603/model/5367606/document/c05308850/

According to his information, the refusal to accept ink cartridges from non-HP sources is caused by a feature called Dynamic Security.

HP's Support page "HP Inkjet Printers - Dynamic Security Feature Affecting Cartridges Using Non-HP Security Chip" offers instructions on how to turn off the Dynamic Security feature to stop the blocking of non-HP ink cartridges in HP printers.

If you see a Cartridge Problem error message when you are using non-HP cartridges, it is possible that a dynamic security feature has caused the printer to reject the non-HP cartridge.

What you need to do is download printer firmware that HP hosts on the support page. It is available for Windows and Mac, and you need to download the firmware for your printer series.

Read also:  USB 3.2 promises twice the performance of USB 3.1

Closing Words

You have two main options when it comes to avoiding issues with blocked printer ink cartridges in the future:

  • Block HP's automatic update functionality so that new firmware that may introduce blocking functionality is not installed automatically.
  • Switch to another printer manufacturer instead.

The first option seems to make the most sense, considering that you may not want to purchase a new printer and that there is no guarantee that other manufacturers introduce similar anti-consumer features in their products.

Check out the guide on the Inkjet411 website that walks you through the steps of disabling HP automatic updates.

Article Name
HP pushes third-party ink blocking printer firmware update (again)
Hewlett Packard (HP) released a new firmware for the company's Officejet printers that appears to block third-party ink from functioning correctly.
Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to HP pushes third-party ink blocking printer firmware update (again)

  1. Chris September 14, 2017 at 9:40 am #

    Good thing our HP printer is still within the return policy. It gets returned to the store today. Bye HP!

  2. DaveyK September 14, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    I'm not sure why more and more companies seem to be doing their best to destroy trust in updates.

    An update is supposed to fix a flaw or add some new functionality. It is not supposed to break things that currently work and cause new problems for the user. All HP are doing here is destroying trust in their firmware updates and making it more and more likely that the first thing people will do in future with an HP printer is to disable firmware updating completely - or of course refuse to buy an HP printer in the first place.

  3. Henk van Setten September 14, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    It's about 4 years since I dumped my last printer... Never need one anymore. What I would be really interested in, is some overall sale figures for home printers. My guess is they're going the same way as (for example) home answering machines once did: gradually down towards zero.

    So, maybe abysmal low printer sales can explain the desperate policies of companies such as HP?

  4. Johnny September 14, 2017 at 10:49 am #

    Dumped HP printers 15 years ago for Epson and currently in my way to no printers at all...

  5. Jeroen September 14, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    Epson does it too. So not sure which printer manufacturer to switch to, to avoid this kind of manipulation..

    • Enrique Stura September 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm #

      Switch to Toner
      Once firmly convinced to let ink go, think a lot about Brother Laser. All their cartridges do not, repeat do not use chips to make life miserable. Pursuing the OEM or Compatible SKU replacements does not matter to Brother.Nothing related to updates would kill your third-party options. Why is that? Brother uses simple mechanical resetting procedures embedded in each cartridge to let the machine know a new SKU is in place.Ditto for third-party products.


  6. Gary D September 14, 2017 at 11:58 am #

    Unless you really need to print in colour (photographs, party invitations, etc.), copy or scan, I recommend buying a monchrome laser printer.

    The one I bought from Currys in the UK was the Brother HL1212W Monochrome Wireless Laser Printer. It cost me £49 and I don't have to worry about replacing ink cartridges. The toner cartridge is good for at least 2,000 pages and the fixer drum for 10,000 pages.

    NB I do not work for Currys. :)

    • Shiva September 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

      I use since 3 years a Brother MFC-J870DW color inkjet printer and I'm very happy. Never a issue with third-party ink (not expensive with online value pack LC-123) or printing. Hope to use it for a long time.

    • Sabrina September 14, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

      Agreed. Have a Brother printer, too and can get cartridges quite cheap plus they have proven to be reliable. I assume HP stands for "Hefty Profit" and I personally do not do any business at all with them anymore after having some bad experiences with their laptops.

  7. kalmly September 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    Since I discovered Brother printers, I've never used another brand. They are every ready. They last forever, and don't complain about what toner cartridges I use. I wish they made computers.

    • seeprime September 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

      Same here. We use three Brother DCP-series AIO laser printers. These things are workhorses, and cost under $150 each. We recommend them to all our computer shop customers that ask about printers. HP keeps shooting itself in the corporate foot.

  8. pHROZEN gHOST September 14, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    Will Microsoft be updating Windows to not allow you to run open source software which competes with their pricey software?

    EG Libre Office

    • seeprime September 14, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

      They're trying to push customers to install only from the "Store" in Windows 10, with the new 10 S. This reportedly is for "security". Except, MS will take 30% of all sales from the store and can block competitors, at least until the EU slaps them with a huge fine and forces a change. MS sucks there days. Windows 10 S will be a massive failure with plenty of machines returned by unhappy customers that can't load their Hoyle games, or any other program, from an optical drive.

      • Sais September 15, 2017 at 9:24 am #

        For now, one can upgrade to Windows Pro from Windows S for free right now. Later one can still pay to upgrade I believe.

  9. o_O September 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    I hate ink printers, they cause trouble all the time and very costly, will happily dump it. Laser monochrome is much better for avg folk, lasts longer, much cheaper to refill.

  10. J September 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

    Because of things like this, I've not used HP printers/hardware for more than a decade. They are a corporation that doesn't care about your needs and wants so I've stopped buying them entirely. Anti-consumer tech companies shouldn't be supported with our hard earned $$$$.

    Additionally, they are ignoring the law that says they can't do this. A recent supreme court case relates to these activities.


    Perhaps they are ignoring this SC decision because they put legalese in the EULA. Total BS!

  11. Pete September 14, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    Canon is best ! Using MP520 for years now , never problems with " non official " - ink.
    Besides , this old printer works flawless in Win10 .......!

  12. PATRICK September 14, 2017 at 4:22 pm #


  13. TelV September 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    I turned off HP Update within a week of buying the printer because every time it installed a driver update it wanted to print a number of test pages before allowing anything else to be printed. Those are a sheer waste of precious, overpriced ink IMHO.

  14. Emil September 14, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

    Kyocera monochrome laser here, very happy with it. The drum is not part of the cartridge, so it has the lowest page cost in its class. No idea why inkjets are still a thing, I'm happy to be rid of the old one that always dried up and had issues.

  15. Pete September 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm #


  16. J-Tech September 14, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

    I quit buying HP printers for years now for several reasons. Their printer software installs have become so bloated and prone to issues. I've had issues with ink cartridges generating compatibility errors after removal for cleaning. I hate that the printer goes through an ink wasting service routine after any power off time or just idle time and that their cartridges have become ever smaller but prices have increased. I primarily use Mono laser for all my printing. I've had good luck with Samsung and Brother printers especially with Office grade products. They seem to be built better. I wish HP and other Mfr's would not have made super cheap printers available by overcharging for consumables. Don't be fooled...cheap means crap.

  17. jern September 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm #

    An Alabama law firm, Heninger, Garrision, Davis (HGD), has filed a lawsuit against HP Inc. alleging that HP Inc. printers have a “preset failure date for non-HP ink cartridges.” The lawsuit alleges that HP “intentionally incapacitated the printers” owned by consumers who use non-HP ink cartridges. Meanwhile, online retailer of third-party ink and toner cartridges, LDProducts, announced that it’s selling third-party ink cartridges that circumvent the HP firmware upgrade that disables use of third-party ink cartridges.

    on September 13th (2016), thousands of consumers began complaining that their non-HP, third-party ink cartridges no longer worked with their HP inkjet printers and All-in-Ones. According to the complaints, an HP firmware upgrade caused the printers to no longer work with third-party ink cartridges.

    Law Firm Files Lawsuit Against HP, Alleges Blocking of Third-Party Ink Cartridges Violates U.S. Laws

    More and more, tech companies seem determined to create a closed-garden for their products.

  18. Valrobex September 14, 2017 at 9:35 pm #

    Hey Martin,

    A timely article for me. Unfortunately, I require a printer/copier/fax for my work and have gone through many makes and models over the years. And yes, HP is on my “do not ever use again list.” But I require printers in all my offices as well as needing a portable printer when I'm out in the field. (Epson WF-100, pretty good but very expensive to use.)

    On a whim, I recently tried a Kodak Verite 55 printer and have been pleasantly surprised. Not only do the ink cartridges cost significantly less but they appear to last longer than most other brands. My next step is to see how well it works with the even cheaper off-brand refilled cartridges but so far the original ink cartridges that came with the printer are still working fine.

    And for those who might be skeptical; no, I don't have any financial interest in Kodak printers. Just passing along a pleasantly discovered find for a necessary evil called printing… ;+ )

  19. dmacleo September 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

    got a brother color laser mfc-l8850cdw and never been happier

    • dmacleo September 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

      forgot to mention I also use non brother extended life toner cartridges in it.
      I have used MANY canon mfc inkjet prior but had started to have printhead clogging (even using canon tanks) and constantly running out of black.
      so far I can get approx 20k pages out of the brother toners and inkjet nowhere near that mount.
      due to being color laser initial investment was a bit more but over last year I have already saved the price difference due to inkjet clogging, etc.

  20. Trent September 15, 2017 at 7:50 pm #

    Thank you! After HP wasted half of a day figuring this out for out two networked printers, it was very helpful to see validation. Costco customer service didn't know about this issue- but the date falling on Sep 13, same as the 2016 firmware update was too coincidental. Help much appreciated, and root cause reason never to buy HP again. What a horrible customer service idea to make more money.

  21. Quixote September 21, 2017 at 9:14 pm #

    Printer users need to stay vigilant regarding HP's printer acquisitions.
    Don't forget that HP bought Samsung's printer division last year, same time frame.


    "HP says it wants to use the purchase to "disrupt and reinvent" the $55 billion copier industry..."

    Mission accomplished.

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