HP has released new firmware for its Officejet, Officejet Pro and Officejet Pro X printers that allows them to accept non-HP ink cartridges again. The printer manufacturer marks the firmware update as optional and states it removes ‘dynamic security’.
A month ago, on the 13th of September, several HP printer types started to reject non-HP ink cartridges. An online ink retailer found that HP pre-programmed a date in its firmware on which private label, non-HP ink cartridges would no longer be accepted.
HP admitted that it had made changes to its software and stated it did so to, “protect its intellectual property, innovation and to protect the communication between the cartridge and the printer.”
In the same statement HP also said that, “affected printers will continue to work with refilled cartridges if they contain the original HP security chip. Other cartridges possibly don’t work.”
Some users were hoping the issue was a bug nevertheless, as they were told so by the HP helpdesk. A HP spokesperson later told the helpdesk was wrong and confirmed the rejection of non-HP cartridges was intentional.
After a lot of press attention the printer manufacturer apologized and stated to be working on a firmware update that would make its printers accept non-HP cartridges again. This is the update that has been released today.
Despite the mea culpa, the company hasn’t made it as easy as possible for users to obtain the firmware. Printer owners with a device affected by the ‘non-HP ink reject’ feature can look up their device on HP’s driver page to end up on the individual page of the printer. As an example we use a HP Officejet Pro 8610.
On the page it’s unclear that there is a firmware available that will make the printer accept non-HP ink again. Instead the page displays, and marks as important, an older firmware that doesn’t allow non-HP ink cartridges. Users need to perform an additional click on the firmware tab to see that another, newer, firmware is available.
In case of our example Officejet Pro 8610, version 1640B is available of which the details state, “This firmware update removes previous security firmware that may prevent the printer from working with certain ink supplies that contain non-HP security chips. Please note that even with this change HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP supplies.”
Users who installed the new firmware report that their printer now indeed accepts non-HP ink cartridges again.