This guide is based on the work of LucaTNT which specified the HP Pagewide Pro-477dw for this approach but we’ve subsequently found that the method works for other HP printers including the HP Pagewide P57750dw which we have in our office.
So you have an HP Pro-X or Pagewide printer and you’re using compatible (non-original/non-OEM) consumables which until now, work fine. A firmware upgrade is applied to the affected printer either automatically or manually and as a result, the printer now rejects your, previously working, cartridges as non-genuine and refuses to let you use them. The implication is that you now need to pay for the original/OEM cartridges to use your printer. The printer you’ve already paid for.
For completeness this guide was produced in direct response to the July/August 2022 firmware upgrades.
The firmware update applies something called “Dynamic Security” which is marketed as “protecting the consumer” from those nefarious ne’er do-wells that produce those cheap consumables that worked fine. How dare they!
[sarcasm] It definitely isn’t anything to do with anti-competitive practices aimed at boosting the HP coffers and profit margin. [/sarcasm]
What you need:
- An old copy of the printer firmware that you know works. If you already have one, great. If not you’ll need to find one.
- 7zip or a similar zip utility that will allow you to extract files from the firmware installer (which is an .exe file)
- A memory stick (128MB capacity or greater) that is formatted with Fat32, exFAT or similar (Not NTFS)
- Clean your memory stick of any other files.
- Locate your older/working firmware file (make sure it’s the correct one for your printer) and extract all the files using 7zip.
- In the extracted files, locate the file with the really long filename that has the file extension .ful2
- Copy the .ful2 file to your memory stick
- Eject the memory stick from your computer safely (you know how to do this right?)
- Plug the memory stuck into the thumb drive USB port on your printer. (Check your printer manual to see where this is)
- The printer LCD screen will likely offer you the options to (Print documents, Scan to.. etc..)
- Wait for the printer LCD screen to switch back to the main page then press the “USB drive” icon on the screen.
- Give it a few seconds and you should soon see an option to “update printer” appear which you now press.
(Note: If you don’t see this option it’s likely you have the wrong firmware for your printer).
- Now wait while the printer downloads the firmware update from the memory stick and reboots to apply it.
(Note: It will say it’s upgrading to latest firmware version. It’s actually applying the firmware on your stick).
WARNING: DO NOT turn off your printer or kill the power to the printer while it is applying the firmware update. This could potentially brick it (ie: render your printer useless).
- Once complete the printer will reboot and should go through normal routines. This is the point where you uncross your fingers and check the firmware version.
Assuming HP don’t close the door on this approach you should end up with a printer that is now able to accept your old consumables. Time to celebrate?
We’ve noted that we were certain that we had changed the auto update settings on our printers to stop them automatically apply updates. We didn’t triple check or record this however and can’t swear blind that we did. However we’re no longer prepared to take any chances so we’re not relying on these settings.
What we did was ensure the printers were setup on our routers DHCP system so that they had specific IP addresses assigned based on their hardware/MAC addresses and then blocked these IP addresses from ever accessing the internet. We also turned off all web services on the printers.
Locating Old Firmware:
HP have long since removed older versions of their firmware from their official FTP and other servers so you are unlikely to ever find any there.
Third party sources such as torrents, reddit threads, etc… are your most likely sources for old firmware but some careful searching should hopefully bear fruit.
Please note that HP have a long established history of aggressively using the DCMA act to stop third parties from hosting and providing downloads of old firmware which is why we are not linking anything from here, nor providing keywords to search with. Frankly it would only make their job easier in shutting them down. Apologies that we can’t be more help but until HP are properly censured for this recurrent practice of blocking third party consumables it’s just going to continue.
Good luck and if you do find the firmware somewhere make sure you keep a copy, just in case it happens again.