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

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.

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.

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

  1. Chris said on September 14, 2017 at 9:40 am
    Reply

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

  2. DaveyK said on September 14, 2017 at 9:42 am
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    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 said on September 14, 2017 at 10:43 am
    Reply

    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 said on September 14, 2017 at 10:49 am
    Reply

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

  5. Jeroen said on September 14, 2017 at 11:49 am
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    Epson does it too. So not sure which printer manufacturer to switch to, to avoid this kind of manipulation..

    1. Enrique Stura said on September 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm
      Reply

      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.

      Electrophotographer

  6. Gary D said on September 14, 2017 at 11:58 am
    Reply

    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. :)

    1. Shiva said on September 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm
      Reply

      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.

    2. Sabrina said on September 14, 2017 at 1:06 pm
      Reply

      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 said on September 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm
    Reply

    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.

    1. seeprime said on September 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm
      Reply

      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 said on September 14, 2017 at 2:34 pm
    Reply

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

    EG Libre Office

    1. seeprime said on September 14, 2017 at 3:36 pm
      Reply

      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.

      1. Sais said on September 15, 2017 at 9:24 am
        Reply

        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 said on September 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm
    Reply

    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 said on September 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm
    Reply

    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.

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/05/supreme-court-victory-right-tinker-printer-cartridge-case
    https://consumerist.com/2017/05/30/why-the-supreme-courts-ruling-in-toner-cartridge-case-is-a-win-for-consumers/

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

  11. Pete said on September 14, 2017 at 4:10 pm
    Reply

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

  12. PATRICK said on September 14, 2017 at 4:22 pm
    Reply

    I’VE BEEN USING CANON PRINTERS FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, I HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM USING REFILLED CARTRAGES OR 3RD PARTY INK. THE PRINTERS ARE INEXPENSIVE AND LAST A LONG TIME. CANON IS A NAME THAT YOU CAN TRUST. I ONCE HAD An EXPENSIVE CAMERA THAT STARTED TO TAKE NON-ACCEPTABLE PHOTOS. I HAD IT FOR ABOUT 3 YEARS AND I SENT IT BACK TO CANON AND THEY SENT ME AN UPGRADED CAMERA WITH NO COST. THAT’S THE KIND OF COMPANY THAT I LIKE.

  13. TelV said on September 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm
    Reply

    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 said on September 14, 2017 at 4:26 pm
    Reply

    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 said on September 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm
    Reply

    CANON IS BEST ! CANON PRINTER AND CAMERA ARE SUPERIOUR …………….!!

  16. J-Tech said on September 14, 2017 at 5:37 pm
    Reply

    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 said on September 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm
    Reply

    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.

    source…
    Law Firm Files Lawsuit Against HP, Alleges Blocking of Third-Party Ink Cartridges Violates U.S. Laws
    http://wirthconsulting.org/2016/09/27/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 said on September 14, 2017 at 9:35 pm
    Reply

    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 said on September 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm
    Reply

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

    1. dmacleo said on September 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm
      Reply

      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 said on September 15, 2017 at 7:50 pm
    Reply

    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.

    1. Rod Eslinger said on September 20, 2017 at 8:02 am
      Reply

      Latest update. HP OfficeJet Pro 8610 thru 8660 printers can no longer use 3rd party (refilled/aftermarket) HP 950/951 cartridges as select firmware files were just removed from site earlier today! Inkjet411 has reported the issue on Twitter. https://support.hp.com/us-en/product/HP-Officejet-Pro-8610/8620/8630-e-All-in-One-Printer-series/5367603/model/5367606/document/c05308850/

  21. Quixote said on September 21, 2017 at 9:14 pm
    Reply

    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.

    https://www.theverge.com/2016/9/12/12886498/samsung-selling-printer-business-hp

    “HP says it wants to use the purchase to “disrupt and reinvent” the $55 billion copier industry…”

    Mission accomplished.

  22. Ron said on November 30, 2017 at 12:48 pm
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    I’m officially done with HP after this. I can’t update the firmware to remove the restriction because I don’t have a USB cable with the old school end. I’ve ordered a new Epson which I will pick up today. HP is going to the curb. Never again HP, never again.

  23. Paul said on December 18, 2017 at 6:46 pm
    Reply

    I spent 2 hours and 38 minutes with HP about this. I have only original print cartridges from HP and back in Sept/Oct. it got the update and said the cartridges would not work. The bottom line is that they not only blocked non-HP printer cartridges, but their own as well – hence hey can sell more product. My conversation with the overseas techs basically involved them accusing me of not using their cartridges.

    I see there are several class action lawsuits out there about this.

  24. Anonymous said on January 15, 2018 at 9:17 pm
    Reply

    I have an Epson xp 640. I have had this printer for a few months now and have been using 3rd party ink cartridges that have worked flawlessly and are cheaper than the epson ink cartridges but work just as good. Dont be fooled, epson is not grinding up fairies and unicorns to make their ink. Nothing is special or magical about them to justify the higher price. Now for weeks my printer has been wanting me to update the firmware which is supposed to make it operate better. Usually I follow the policy of “If it aint broke, dont fix it”. I wish i would have listened to myself but just to make the stupid message go away i updated the firmware. Not 1 minute after I did that the printer no longer recognizes my 3rd party ink cartridges….non of them! Now some of you reading this may think its just my bad luck…nope. I did some research and other companies (such as HP) have been caught releasing firmware updates that will make their printers purposely not recognize 3rd party ink providers essentially forcing you to buy only their more expensive ink. Its a very shady policy but thats what these companies are doing to squeeze another nickel out of your pocket. I wrote this to inform some of you.If your printer is working fine and you are using more affordable 3rd party inks……. DO NOT UPDATE THE FIRMWARE! This seems to now be the norm in printers. It is a horrible, reprehensible business practice that they are doing screwing over the consumer. These companies need to learn if they make their products cost efficient for the consumer we will be there for them but if not we will find ways around their greedy policies.

  25. Quix said on January 16, 2018 at 2:15 am
    Reply

    Anonymous,
    Thanks for your comments in this matter. It is essential that everyone understands that this problem is not exclusive to HP’s malfeasance.. .

    Would you please post your experience on the ghacks forum (October 13, 2016) as well since many that have been victimized by printer-disabling firmware may not see what you’ve just memorialized in this forum.
    .
    The link-
    https://www.ghacks.net/2016/10/13/hp-releases-printer-firmware-to-undo-non-hp-ink-cartridge-blocking/

    Also, in the same link, on Jan. 7, 2018, I wrote that there is an updated class action lawsuit against HP.

    I understand that this does not immediately help your situation.
    From your comments though, I believe you understand that there is collusion in the industry and that failure to push back against HP emboldens all other brands to do the same as you have unfortunately experienced.

  26. Quix said on January 16, 2018 at 2:23 am
    Reply

    From forum link
    https://www.ghacks.net/2016/10/13/hp-releases-printer-firmware-to-undo-non-hp-ink-cartridge-blocking/

    To everyone else affected by HP’s deceptive “security” updates resulting in temporary or permanent printer failures, or who have capitulated and are now paying inflated prices for HP cartridges (assuming the printer has not been irrevocably bricked).

    Although there is no remedy to HP’s deceptive security updates, there is an opportunity to remedy HP’s egregious behaviour. There is newer information regarding a class action lawsuit.that I hope ghacks forum members will take advantage of.

    ~~

    As I have said before in this forum HP made it abundantly clear, from the beginning, that their long term objective includes disallowing 3rd party ink cartridges that THEY deem “counterfeit”.

    My All-In-One HP printer (bricked), to date, is not even listed as one of the affected models by HP. Hence, no foul, no harm, according to HP.
    HP’s own user forums, however, indicate that my experience is far from atypical.
    HP’s claim that only VERY SELECT models were adversely affected by the self-destructing firmware update is patently absurd.

    After HP released their so-called firmware “fix”, for the “very select models affected”, this “fix” may or may not have even repaired the damage, in the long term.

    Further, the fact that some 3rd party cartridges may work on certain HP printer models (after the firmware “fix”) and other 3rd party cartridges don’t work may be due in part to HP’s preferential 3rd party cartridge relationships, such as Costco (who sells HP printers).

    For those who cannot even use HP’s “genuine” rip-off cartridges, this may be due to HP planned forced obsolescence of certain printer models, like my own All-In-One.

    HP made it abundantly clear (post-firmware “fix”) that they had the right to rescind their “benevolence” whenever they felt like it.

    And they have done just that-
    (article gives a nod to ghacks)
    https://gizmodo.com/one-year-after-bricking-third-party-ink-with-update-hp-1809073739

    and Martin’s latest-
    https://www.ghacks.net/2017/09/14/hp-pushes-third-party-ink-blocking-printer-firmware-update-again/

    There is no point in rehashing HP’s “counterfeit” argument, no matter how nonsensical it may be.
    That is for the lawyers to deal with.
    That being said, who else, besides HP, could believe that their own formerly reliable 3rd party cartridges are something tantamount to a Chinese “Rolex”?

    I will post the update on the now-consolidated class-action suit against HP asap.
    quix said on January 9, 2018 at 3:43 pm
    Reply

    Join the class action lawsuit against HP.
    This is really not about what kind of compensation you will receive, in my opinion.
    This is about consumer protection and corporate racketeering.
    Remember that if HP prevails, this will open the flood gates for ALL printer companies to disallow 3rd party cartridges and worse.

    HP Ink Cartridge Antitrust Lawsuit Investigation
    https://www.girardgibbs.com/hp-ink-cartridge-antitrust-lawsuit-investigation/

    This case has been consolidated among the firms that previously were acting separately in this matter.
    Girard Gibbs is the lead firm and is handling the client-intake side of things on behalf of other involved firms.

    Information you will need to provide (as best as you can remember):

    -The HP printer model`(Don’t worry if your printer model is not on the list of affected models)
    -Date printer was purchased
    -Merchant that printer was purchased from and cost of printer
    -Main reason for purchase (ie, business or personal use, features you were particularly interested in)
    – Did you plan on using 3rd party cartridges at the time of purchase or later
    -Provide as much detail as possible on the circumstances surrounding your printer failure (what happened..exactly, error messages, etc)
    -Anything else you think may be germane.
    -Be as clear and precise as possible.
    -Provide your information for attorney to get back to you

    Contact person at Gerard Gibbs:
    Alynia Phillips
    [email protected]
    415 544 6447

    Other info-
    The lead attorney in this case (whose credentials are intimidating, to say the least)
    https://www.girardgibbs.com/attorneys/elias/

    Some background history on the lawsuit
    https://wirthconsulting.org/2017/09/06/hp-seeking-to-have-inkjet-printer-firmware-class-action-lawsuit-dismissed/

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