HP Playing Dirty Tricks?

Category: Printing

I've used replacement inkjet cartridges from third-party vendors for years; they've always worked fine and cost a fraction of the price for brand-name (OEM) cartridges. But two days ago, my HP 8610 suddenly informed me that ALL of my inkjet cartridges “appear to be damaged,” and I can't print at all. Read on for the real story, which will likely make you mad...

Is It Safe to Use Inkjet Refills?

The message that popped up on my printer's display said "One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace with new cartridges." No, they're not. It's my printer that's “damaged” by a firmware update that HP pushed on me. I can't print anything because my perfectly good cartridges, with plenty of ink, are rejected by my printer. I couldn't find any way to reset the printer or roll back the update.

SEE UPDATE BELOW... THERE IS A FIX!

So I contacted LD Products, the company I always use for my cartridges. Fortunately they said, "We know what happened" and they're sending me replacements at no charge. At least THEY are doing the right thing. The issue is not just “non-HP” or refilled cartridges. Other customers who use only “new and genuine HP” cartridges have been reporting the same problem I have within the past month on the HP Support Forum.

The problem is not defective or improperly installed cartridges, either, at least not in my case. My cartridges worked one day, but did not work the next after the firmware update. I didn’t touch them in between. So HP support’s standard response to complaints about “missing or damaged cartridge” error messages is a waste of time. I tried various tips and tricks that were supposed to reset the printer or solve the problem, to no avail. (There was one that involved sacrificing a chicken under a full moon, but I opted not to try that.) Actually, I have never seen a problem reported “solved” by an HP support rep in the HP Support Forum. Great job, folks.

HP inkjet cartridges damaged

There's a setting on the printer to allow automatic updates, but mine is turned off. But I do recall getting a message from HP that I needed an important update to enable some exciting feature on my printer. That must have been when they snuck in that firmware update which borked my printer.

HP's "Chief Inkologist" has publicly stated that "HP Inc never prevents a customer from using a refill or remanufactured cartridge because we believe in fair competition." But that doesn't ring true. When I spoke with the rep for LD Products, she knew right away what the problem was, and told me that an HP firmware update had caused the problem.

Punished for Buying the Wrong Parts?

UPDATE AND FIX! -- This page explains how to roll back your HP printer firmware, and re-enable the cartridges that HP is falsely claiming are "damaged." It's in Dutch, but if you have Google Chrome, you can right-click the page and select "Translate to English". I tried it, and it works!

Apparently, HP cartridges that are "Generation 1" or "Generation 2" will no longer work if this update hits your printer. You'll need a Generation 3 cartridge. Unfortunately, there's no obvious marking on the cartridge to indicate which generation they are. When this message about "damaged cartridges" appears on the printer, you'll also get a popup on your screen, advising you to replace them with genuine HP cartridges, and a convenient link to purchase them. I can't prove that HP did this intentionally. I suppose it's possible that this firmware update was meant to solve some problem, and just coincidentally "damaged" all these refilled or third-party cartridges. But I doubt it. If that was the case, HP would have pushed out another update to fix the problem, right?

To me, this is akin to a car manufacturer remotely disabling your vehicle if you have repairs done using parts that are not "genuine" or "approved" by the manufacturer. Can you imagine seeing this on your dashboard, after installing a third-party oil filter? "A damaged or defective oil filter was detected. Proceed immediately to your nearest Ford dealer and replace it with a genuine Motorcraft brand filter."

My friend with an HP B209a reports past issues with “missing or damaged (or “incompatible”) cartridges were solved by doing nothing. He just got along without a printer for a few days, weeks, or even months, then tried again and… the darned thing worked. There is no logical explanation for the changes in the printer’s behavior; at least, none that HP is revealing. There may have been a firmware patch that happened while he wasn’t looking.

Do You Really Need a Printer?

It really isn’t hard for most home users to do without a printer indefinitely. Even business users can dramatically reduce their printing needs, as I explained in Save Time and Money With Alternatives to Printing. Someone needs to remind HP and all other printer makers of that fact. We don’t need your products, so if they don’t work, or if you treat us unfairly, we won’t buy them!

Printers should not be such a chronic source of suffering and frustration; they should just work, like a mouse. In their never-ending battle against cheap aftermarket cartridges, vendors have completely abandoned customer satisfaction in favor of market share protection. Printers are over-engineered, fragile, and largely superfluous products. That may be one reason why HP recently announced it’s speeding up the layoffs of over 3,000 employees.

Have you had trouble with third-party or refilled cartridges suddenly not working? It might have been the result of a sneaky software update pushed by the manufacturer. Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below.

 
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Most recent comments on "HP Playing Dirty Tricks?"

(See all 140 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Whittney
25 Sep 2016

My printer just started displaying the error codes today and thankfully I came across your site in the process of trying to find a solution. I used the firmware update on the page you referenced and now my printer is working again. THANK YOU SO MUCH!


Posted by:

Bill
30 Sep 2016

Thanks! Good job. This really worked for me!


Posted by:

NGF
03 Oct 2016

I suggest using a later version of the HP 8610 firmware that was just prior to the release that caused the printer cartridge damaged error. The original firmware on my HP 8610 printer purchased in 2015 is version FDP1CN1502AR. HP Support will not make it available even though I escalated the problem to Corporate. You can find it at https://driverscollection.com/_47573637639cadd2fd01b5962ec/Download-HP-Officejet-Pro-8610-Firmware-v....
I downloaded it and installed it successfully. I no longer have the problem using the same refilled printer cartridges that gave the error before - so problem resolved.


Posted by:

kathy
05 Oct 2016

Thanks for all your shared wisdom! In an attempt to downgrade my firmware, I downloaded OJ7610_R1326A.exe, and it found my printer, but showed a status of Not Applicable. Has anyone found a workaround to this, or another version of firmware for HP7610 wide format?


Posted by:

Kush
10 Oct 2016

Thank you for your article! I bought a HP 8610 around a year ago and recently installed compatible ink. After the update it kept giving me error on some cartridges and would not let me print. Thanks to this I was able to roll back the firmware and it is now working again!!!


Posted by:

Natalie
13 Oct 2016

Apparently HP received enough complaints.
I did the following and my printer now works!! YAY

https://www.brozkeff.net/2016/09/01/how-to-downgrade-firmware-on-hp-officejet-pro-8610-to-allow-using-old-or-refilled-cartridges/


Posted by:

pete latorre
20 Oct 2016

Dude, I could kiss you!!
I was getting ready to throw my HP 8620 to the curb, when I tried your suggestion to roll back the firmware. I did so, then tried my generic ink and VOILA!! It worked!! You sir, are a blessing.
Thank you thank you thank you.


Posted by:

Charles
15 Nov 2016

Thanks a bunch James and bob for putting this page up.
I will not be buying another HP printer, but in the meantime, my 8610 is back working like a charm with the old firmware and ink from a third party.


Posted by:

Ronell
17 Nov 2016

Was gonna get duped by HP by buying their ink, but then I said to myself: "now this can't be right... Printer complained about Cyan..changed the Cyan to a new Jarbo one; no complaints about that one. But then printer complained about Yellow..changed it to a new Jarbo yellow, now complaining about both new C and Y??! Something's fishy here..."

Googled, downgraded firmware via James's link, and voila. Printer works like a charm.


Posted by:

SparkyVA
21 Nov 2016

I found a simple solution. I ditched my HP and bought an Epson all in one. Ink prices are lower and cartirages larger. I haven't resorted to third party yet. Are you listening HP???


Posted by:

T. Dwight Blix
27 Nov 2016

So "PEOED" at HP for this. In addition to print problems at the most inconvenient times, paid way more than the Printer to buy more overpriced HP original cartridges in desperation.
Won't buy another HP just for this reason. Thanks so much for the quick fix. Much appreciated!


Posted by:

Casey
26 Jan 2017

I have a DesignJet T520 that was affected by the HP firmware upgrade despite the use of authentic HP cartridges.

The fix I used was to download an August 2016 firmware file, direct from the HP support site.

Prior to that I read an "explanation" of the issue from a Sep 2016 note from Jon Flaxman, HP COO. https://newsblog.ext.hp.com/t5/HP-newsroom-blog/Dedicated-to-the-best-printing-experience/ba-p/451


Posted by:

Peter
04 Jul 2017

All very interesting. I got the same message about 'damaged' cartridges when I replaced the magenta in an 8610, so I tried another cartridge with the same result. Then waded through HP fix pages, cleaning contacts and re-seating the cartridge to no avail. Both replacement cartridges were from a reputable business supplier and work perfectly well in an older printer, though not HP OEM. The prices charged for genuine HP cartridges are outrageous if you are a heavy user. All I can say to other business users is to avoid HP printers in future I will never purchase an HP product again after this experience!


Posted by:

shan
26 Jul 2017

Thanks for your post Bob. I had the same problem, but solved it thanks to your advice. HP is a evil company. This is the last time I buy anything from them.


Posted by:

Peter Meier
21 Aug 2017

Hey Guys,
i have the officejet 8620 Pro, my problem is, that
i can´t find the Firmware 1416 (FDP1CN1416AR) anywhere. Can anybody tell me where to find or send it to me?? Would be a charme, thanks:-)


Posted by:

Lexi
25 Aug 2017

This is such a tech-savvy post and gave me great information on inkjet printers. Can u suggest me the best inkjet printer?
I am confused between Canon and Epson.


Posted by:

John
14 Sep 2017

Thank you again Bob, the Dutch solution worked perfectly.


Posted by:

Emanuel
15 Sep 2017

This message appear to me yesterday. I also always have use 3rd party cartridges. INTERESTING NOTE: I have 2 printers HP Pro 8610. So when the message appear in 1 printer, and because I didn't had time to "fix it", I just tried to print in the 2nd printer. Guess what: same message. Same problem. What is the probability that the same "problem" appears at the same time in 2 printers? I will try to use your suggestions to fix it.


Posted by:

simons
17 Sep 2017

Bob - you are awesome, I cant believe it!!! after being on with HP customers support for hours and them wanting to charge me for the time and THEN sell me a new "upgraded printer"..Iwent online seeking more sneers before I bit the bullet as it just did not make sense to me?

You solution worked perfectly - HP should face some kind of class action for this nonsense..thank you and your community for helping me . My 8625 is now working perfectly again...


Posted by:

matt
29 Sep 2017

Thanks Bob you're a hero. I kept getting the 'damaged cartridge' message on my HP6830 when trying to use non genuine cartridges. The firmware from the Dutch website sorted the problem.


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