HP is relaunching printers with third-party ink cartridges [Updated]
Update (9.30 p.m., 09/15/2017): According to an HP spokesman, this feature has not been reactivated. The statement to ET said: âEarlier this week, a media company in Europe falsely reported that HP had released a new firmware update designed to prevent the use of third-party cartridges. Such a firmware update did not occur. HP continues to use various forms of authentication, including dynamic security, to prevent the use of cartridges with third-party chips. We will continue to release firmware updates to fix bugs and improve the customer experience. “
The first report that HP reactivated its firmware locks surfaced on several websites today. All readers who have seen this issue first hand or who have seen it last year and are not currently experiencing it are cordially invited to take part.
Original story below:
Last year HP released a stealth firmware update that started killing printers that used third-party ink. The company took a significant fire for the move, especially since it had distributed the lock as an invisible trigger in an earlier firmware update. About six months after the last firmware update was installed, several HP printers suddenly stopped working, claiming they were filled with the wrong ink cartridge. Of course, the ârightâ ink cartridge was for branded inks that you can buy directly from HP at highly inflated prices.
Last year everyone blew it up and HP reasonably stopped doing it, despite the company announcing that it reserves the right to start again – because nothing beats pissing off your customers for the second year in a row. The enterprise Has started over, because if you reserve the right to annoy your customers, why not use it? The firmware update is it pushed out When trying to turn the cartridge lock back on, you are told again that you are using the wrong ink:
HP still offers a Printer driver that does not activate this lock. But it’s a manual download for you to grab, rather than one that the company is pushing. I have to admit it’s a clever workaround. Rather than giving everyone the freedom to use printer ink they choose, HP locks you out of the device by default and then gives tech-savvy users a chance to sneak back in. Of course, you shouldn’t know – and HP understands that most office managers simply buy more ink. If you can’t get the third-party ink to work properly, buy it elsewhere. Especially in this day and age when most printers have plug-in-and-it-works functionality, people are unlikely to think that a printer driver contains a DRM scheme or provides a means of bypassing it.
There are a wide variety of models affected, although all appear to be OfficeJet Pro printers. HP has published instructions for its driver update method, available here. If your system has already been locked by the firmware update, the newer driver may be your only option. We recommend blocking all automatic update features built into your printer to avoid this in the future.
Alternatively, you can also consider another printer company. HP is clearly not going to get rid of this type of lockdown, nor is it going to stop pushing DRM solutions. A driver may now be available, but don’t be surprised if at some point this download becomes âobsoleteâ or just isn’t updated to support newer printers.