Hewlett Packard inkjet printer users often buy generic printer cartridges to save money compared to the HP branded ones. Earlier this month however, those no-name cartridges mysteriously stopped working in some HP printers giving users error messages like this:
What’s going on? Users have said that they had made no changes to their computer or to the printer at the time the problem started.
According to published reports, a firmware update from March 2016 had a hidden time bomb set to disable non-HP cartridges being used starting on September 13!
When asked by a Dutch broadcaster why HP did this, the company said in a statement:
“This is to protect innovation and intellectual property, but also to improve the safety of products for customers.”
The changes are made according to HP, “to protect the printers and to protect the communication between the cartridge and the printer.”
“Affected printers will continue to work with refilled cartridges if they contain the original HP security chip. Other cartridges possibly don’t work”, HP added.
We all know the real answer is “money.”
The affected printers seem to be OfficeJet Pro models 8610, 8615, 8620, 8625, 8630, 8640, 8660 and others.
If you are facing this problem, experts say you can try to rollback the firmware to an earlier version (not easy) or wait for no-name cartridges to update their chips to work again. To prevent the problem from spreading to other HP printers, experts suggest that you turn off firmware updates.
UPDATE: A few days ago, an Alabama consumer filed a class action lawsuit against HP for planting a “ticking time bomb” and trying to monopolize the printer ink market. And a day later, HP relented. Come back on Monday for a full follow-up story of these late-breaking events.