The Microchip Scheme
Just to illustrate how costly it can be to buy the wrong printer, here is a
personal example. I fell for HP's marketing scheme and bought a "low cost" HP
Color Laser Jet CP2025 two years ago for over £300.00. I just checked on the web
and the cost of replacing all the toner cartridges and drum including tax (free
shipping) is over £450.
Is there a way around this?
http://www.proprint.co.uk/hp_cp2025.htm in this case the chip can be
over-ridden, so you can set the printer settings to ignore the "Toner Out"
message and carry on printing.
If you do not have a chip on the cartridge then it may even be easier or you can simply look on the
internet and find a refill kit that provides the chips if they are essential. This will work quite well. However, as a general
rule, printing quality will decrease after approximately five refills.
If you have a microchip on your cartridge, there are a couple of other options. First,
with many cartridges you will be able to find a "chip reset" kit on the
internet. Buying ink or toner and a chip reset kit is usually much cheaper than
replacing the cartridge. You will be able to use the reset kit over and over
again, so it will pay for itself. If you can't find a reset kit for your
cartridge, you can probably find a replacement chip. The microchips are usually
glued on the side of the cartridge, so you can just pry off the old chip and
glue on a new one.
The "Nuclear Option"
I saved the best for last! If this works, it is your best option, but you might
have to do a little bit of internet research on your specific printer. What the
printing companies don't want you to know is that there is usually a way to
configure your printer such that you are able to reset the chip memory. In some
cases, you can completely disable the printer's use of the chip. Getting back to
my HP 1500 Color LaserJet, I was able to do this by holding down the big green
button for 20 seconds when the power is turned on. On this printer, this causes
what is known as a "hard reset" of all internal memory settings. Whereas I
should have been forced to replace all of my toner and the drum, I have now been
printing for months in normal operation without a glitch and with no error
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will be able reset, replace, or
bypass the microchip on your printer's cartridge. Every year, it seems that the
printer manufacturers become more and more skilled at preventing you from taking
charge of your machine. However, now you are armed with a little bit of
knowledge--and knowledge is power. The next time your printer runs out of ink or
toner, don't be so eager to go out and buy a new cartridge. Remember, if there
is a way around it, you can find it! The personal satisfaction you get in saving
money and beating them at their own game will put a little bit of excitement in
what might have been a depressing and costly situation.