HP Printer Cartridges Expiring


Okay, first-off let me begin by saying I’m NOT an HP fan, never have been and never will be because I think their printers are overpriced as most definitely are all their consumables. I’ve always been a Canon fan, and there’s very little out there that will sway me. Don’t even get me started on the crap Lexmark produce regarding printers.

Note that this isn’t actually anything new if you’ve been using HP printers for the last 5 years or so but since a friend has come across this problem I thought I’d share the info with you.

Right, now to the matter at hand. If you’re an HP printer owner, that uses ink cartridges (not laser toner), then you’ve probably seen an error message/light on your printer console which denotes the specific ink cartridge(s) has(have) expired. Now unbeknown to many HP printer users is that expired does not necessarily mean empty! That’s right, you may have inadvertently thrown away (or worse, I’ll get to worse in a second) your apparently empty cartridge because your HP printer told you it had expired.

But my printer won’t use it anymore if it’s expired and won’t let me print either until I put in a new one?

Wrong – most HP printers have a BIOS powered by a battery which stores the number of hours since that cartridge was first put in – irrespective of the number of times you’ve printed and what amount of ink was used on those prints. There is a finite number of hours that can elapse until your HP printer will tell you that the cartridge has expired. Which means you may have inadvertently thrown money in the trash with cartridges that weren’t really empty yet.

Oh, remember earlier I mentioned, “or worse”? Here’s the worse part: in some countries HP provides you with self-addressed and stamped envelopes for you to return your “empty” ink cartridges to HP for “recycling”, which means they can re-use and re-sell your cartridges again (and quite possibly make use of the unused ink left inside).
[Update 14 August 2008Here’s what HP really do with returned ink cartridges]

If you just do a quick check on Google you’ll find easily 135000 links relating to the above topic. If you want, simply add your printer model as well to see if others with your model have come up with the same problem and provided solutions but they should be pretty much the same.

As a quick start I’ve added a few links below for you to look at:

Here’s hoping this can save you a few $$$ and put a few less into HP’s pockets.

[Update 14 August 2008 – Here’s a page on HP’s website which you can see which printers and cartridges have the expiration date feature and whether or not it is overridable through the printer software.]

{Update 4 November 2007 – Lifehacker have just posted an article on “Is your printer wasting your ink and money?” which may be worth a read as well on the same topic as above.


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