Of all the possible complex issues to deal with in the technology field nothing makes me falter a step forward until I hear “Something is wrong with my printer.”  Printers are the greatest bane in information technology.

Usually most printing issues are resolved rather quickly by clearing a print queue, restarting the print spooler, or using the age old tactic of turning it off, and back on again. But then there are the other cases.  Times in which a root canal would seem preferential than going down the endless road of uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, searching for the answer of obscure error codes (if you’re lucky enough to get one) swapping out cables, ink and eventually daydreaming that if a  lightning strike that occurred right now could not destroy the printer, it would at least put me out of my misery.

On September 13th, thousands of HP printer owners worldwide received this message, “One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace them with new cartridges“. Why? Two reasons – first, they were not using “official” HP Ink products.  Secondly it appears that “HP apparently programmed a date in its firmware on which the issues should start, on  September 13, 2016” source:

The only possible resolution to this is flash the printer firmware back to an earlier version, however for most users that is not an easy task.  HP has responded, stating this was “to improve the safety of products for customers”.

I stopped purchasing HP products all together a few years back due to HP having the highest hardware failure rate for laptops in the industry, as well as blocking firmware updates for “legacy” enterprise systems without a paid subscription.  This just adds another grain of disgust to their brand.

In other printing news, effective 9/18/16 Dell has shuttered their printing division in the UK. It is unknown as of yet if the US division will be following suit, but I would not be surprised.  Last note – if you purchase a Samsung printer, I’m sorry to say it’s really HP now; Samsung sold their printer division to HP last week.

Next week’s tech tip – alternatives to printing!

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