HP Releases Yet Another Firmware Update Blocking Unofficial Ink Cartridges

HP Releases Yet Another Firmware Update Blocking Unofficial Ink Cartridges
Image: HP

Get those face-palms ready folks. About the same time last year, HP pushed out a firmware update for its inkjet printers that blocked the use of third-party cartridges. This did not go down well with anyone and within a month, the company removed the block and we all moved on. Except HP of course, which appears to have done it again.

Late last week, tech blogger Günter Born was made aware of the new firmware and its effects by a third-party cartridge vendor in Germany. Anyone attempting to use a set of non-HP cartridges in their printer would be greeted by the following message:

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

Why HP would go down this path again after the backlash it faced last time, I have no idea. Fortunately after investigating further, Born discovered the cause — and fix — for the block:

The US HP support page addresses the issue. HP’s new firmware update seems to force HP’s Dynamic Security Feature to block non HP cartridges. A description of this feature may be found here.

Users can download another firmware update that disables Dynamic Security, after which “non HP ink cartridges should be accepted again”, reports Born.

The fix isn’t very well advertised by HP — no surprise there — but by providing it alongside the blocking update, I suppose it gives the company an out of sorts when customers do complain.

Firmware Update blocks again non HP Printer Cartridges [Born City, via gHacks]


  • The best “out” for the customer who purchased the printer and should be able to put whatever they want in it, is to never buy HP products again. I won’t be buying HP printers, scanners or PCs at home or in my business as I don’t know if HP will roll-out an update that prevents me from using it in the manner I had originally purchased it. It’s not as though I can decide to pay them less for a product that is no longer as useful or valuable. Not upgrading firmware might leave me open to virus or attacks so that isn’t an option. Only logical choice is never buy HP again.

  • Canon does this too. They gave me a random error that only reading countless threads online led me to find out it was their firmware blocking me. This then disabled not only the printing but the scanning function – it bricked the device.

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