Almost all cartridges have a chip on them these days and the chip tells your printer information such as:
• Is the cartridge original or generic
• Is the cartridge used or new
• The amount of remaining ink in the cartridge
• The page count or remaining ink in the cartridge
The ink levels are just an indicator, they are not extremely accurate even with the OEM products.
With some brands it is possible, when the cartridge chip says it is finished, to actually override the message and print out the remaining ink in your cartridge. Also it allows the cartridge to be refilled, but you will not get all the info from the cartridge such as ink levels.
The point of this article is to tell you about the firmware updates that some manufacturers like to do:
Sometimes the generic cartridges give an error for what seems no particular. The normal thinking is the cartridges are faulty. This can happen but it is not always the case. Sometimes it can be the print head or the electronics of the printer that have failed. But if those have been ruled out then it is likely to be the dreaded “Firmware Update”
Firmware is a software that is written into chipsets of the formatter board of device such as a printers, scanners, monitors etc. It is programmed to give a permanent instruction to other devices and controls functions like basic input/output tasks. Firmware is usually stored in the flash ROM (read only memory) of your device. It can be erased and new firmware rewritten to the ROM.
There is an ongoing battle between the generic and the OEM manufacturers, and the firmware is one of the tools the original manufacturers use.
The OEM guys send a “Firmware Update” to the printer and it is specifically designed to block certain chips from recognising in the printer making them to show as faulty. This is done online and often without anyone being aware of it.
When the printer is installed it is either set to default to allow firmware updates or has been given permission by the user to allow the updates.
There are good reasons to allow the updates as they can fix bugs and improve the user experience, but in the case of most printers, if the machine is happy and works there is no need to have a firmware update.
So, what can you do about it?
Quite a simple process, just go into the printers menu, on the printers info screen, and scroll to the settings to “switch off automatic updates”. Once this is done you can use generic cartridges forever more!
The cartridges that are in the machine will still be blocked unfortunately but all is not lost though. If you find yourself with this problem speak to us as we can source chips from different suppliers (the updates will not necessarily void all brands of generic chips) or we have great relations with our importers who can replace with the next generation of generics with the latest chips on that will work.