HP outrages printer customers with firmware replace all of a sudden bricking third-party ink

The Hewlett-Packard logo is seen on printer printer ink boxes on display

HP prospects are displaying frustration on-line as the seller continues to make use of firmware updates to discourage or, as customers report, outright block using non-HP-brand ink cartridges in HP printers. HP has already confronted class-action lawsuits and dangerous publicity from Dynamic Safety, however that hasn’t stopped the corporate from increasing the follow.

Dynamic Safety is a characteristic utilized by HP printers to authenticate ink cartridges and stop use of cartridges that are not HP-approved. As the corporate explains:

“Dynamic safety depends on the printer’s capability to speak with the safety chips or digital circuitry on the cartridges. HP makes use of dynamic safety measures to guard the standard of our buyer expertise, preserve the integrity of our printing programs, and shield our mental property.

“Dynamic safety outfitted printers are supposed to work solely with cartridges which have new or reused HP chips or digital circuitry. The printers use the dynamic safety measures to dam cartridges utilizing non-HP chips or modified or non-HP digital circuitry. Reused, remanufactured, and refilled cartridges that reuse the HP chip or digital circuitry are unaffected by dynamic safety.”

HP launched Dynamic Safety to some printers in 2016, and since 2018, it has paid tens of millions in class-action lawsuits, together with to prospects within the US, Australia, and Italy.

Dynamic Safety strikes once more

After paying up, it appears HP is about on persevering with to make use of DRM to discourage its printer prospects from spending ink and toner cash outdoors of the HP household.

“HP have up to date their printers to outright ban ‘non-HP’ ink! They not exhibits the ‘can’t assure high quality’ message, however as an alternative cancels your print utterly till you inset a HP ink cartridge,” Reddit person grhhull posted Tuesday. “After contacting HP, they suggested ‘that is as a result of current ‘replace’ of all printers.'”

A Reddit user says they were abruptly met with this message on their HP printer.
Enlarge / A Reddit person says they had been abruptly met with this message on their HP printer.

It is unclear when HP issued updates for which mannequin printers, however there are alleged buyer complaints on-line stemming from late final yr, displaying loads of prospects stunned by the truth that following an replace, their printer not labored with non-HP ink cartridges. Some pointed to third-party manufacturers that they had relied on for years.

HP warned us

HP group assist threads embody complaints concerning the OfficeJet 7740 and OfficeJet Professional 6970. HP lists each printers, in addition to others, as in a position to circumnavigate Dynamic Safety below sure situations. Nevertheless, HP’s assist web page states that this solely applies to fashions manufactured earlier than December 1, 2016.

For extra examples, there are additionally feedback on HP’s assist group suggesting that HP’s OfficeJet 6978 and 6968 had been lately affected. Each printers are discontinued, however HP’s product pages make it clear that the fickle nature of Dynamic Safety signifies that third-party ink might cease working at any time.

“Solely supposed for use with cartridges utilizing an HP authentic chip. Cartridges utilizing a non-HP chip could not work, and people who work right now could not work sooner or later,” the web page for the 6968 says.

The 6978’s product web page equally states that the printer is supposed for cartridges with “a brand new or reused HP chip, and it makes use of dynamic safety measures to dam cartridges utilizing a non-HP chip. Periodic firmware updates will preserve the effectiveness of those measures and block cartridges that beforehand labored.”

And HP’s Dynamic Safety web page additionally leaves the door open for the sudden bricking of functioning ink:

“Firmware updates delivered periodically over the web will preserve the effectiveness of the dynamic safety measures,” the web page reads.

“Updates can enhance, improve, or prolong the printer’s performance and options, shield towards safety threats, and serve different functions, however these updates may block cartridges utilizing a non-HP chip or modified or non-HP circuitry from working within the printer, together with cartridges that work right now.”

Minimal explanations

Though HP has considerably coated its behind by principally saying {that a} Dynamic Safety-labeled HP printer can begin blocking non-HP ink at any second and with out discover, that does not make for a good buyer expertise, as quite a few HP assist threads and social media posts illustrate.

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