HP blocks third-party ink with printer firmware update... again

hp ink cartridges

HP is pushing out a firmware update to its range of Officejet printers that blocks the use of the third-party ink cartridges. This is not the first time the company has issued such an update as it tries to force printer owners to buy its own, more expensive cartridges.

A year ago, HP faced strong criticism from the Electronic Frontier Foundation for implementing DRM that forced users to buy official ink. At the time HP saw the error of its ways and backtracked on the third-party ink ban, but now the company is having another crack of the whip. HP's "Dynamic Security Feature" is back to block your cheap ink, but there's a way around it.

The timing of the new firmware release is interesting as it comes exactly a year after the last controversial update. As noted by Günter Born, in some instances printers do not complain until all ink cartridges are replaced with third-party units, at which point the following message is displayed:

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

According to German ink seller SuperPatronen, the following HP printers are affected:

  • HP OfficeJet 6800 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 6812
  • HP OfficeJet 6815
  • HP OfficeJet 6820
  • HP OfficeJet 6822
  • HP OfficeJet 6825
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6200 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6230
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6235
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6239
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6830
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6835
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 251 dw
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 276 dw
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8100 ePrinter
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Premium e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8610 e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8615 e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8616 e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8620 e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8625 e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8640 e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8660 e-All-in-One
  • HP OfficeJet Pro X 450 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro X 451 dn
  • HP OfficeJet Pro X 451 dw
  • HP OfficeJet Pro X 470 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro X 476 dn
  • HP OfficeJet Pro X 476 dw
  • HP OfficeJet Pro X 551 dw
  • HP OfficeJet Pro X 576 dw

Born suggests the following steps to bypass the third-party cartridge block:

  • HP provides a new firmware update on its HP support page, that disables HP’s Dynamic Security Feature .
  • Go to HP's support page and search for a firmware update for your printer model. Download and install the new firmware.

Image credit: Cineberg / Shutterstock

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