What happens when I update my firmware?

by Andy Ng on August 20, 2021 Categories: Tech Tips

What is Firmware?

Firmware is the Software installed on the Printer (“Software for Hardware”). For example, the Firmware of a printer is the software which controls/instructs the printer on how to perform certain functions. Examples are; how fast it prints, when to feed paper, when to eject paper, when and where to print. Simply put, anything the printer undertakes is instructed by Firmware.

So what happens when I update my firmware?

You would assume updating the firmware would be good, as this allows the printer manufacturer to perform various tweaks or improvements to existing functions or even create new ones!). However, the downside of updating your printer Firmware is the updating of your Ink Monitoring or Cartridge Recognition systems. This simple tweak can cause your current compatible, refill or remanufactured cartridges to become unstable and no longer readable with the newly updated Firmware. This might not be the case with every Firmware Update, but if a firmware update is undertaken, the recognition of the pre-working compatibles is at risk. As you can imagine, print consumables are the source of financial gain for OEM Print companies, the ‘gain’ generally isn’t found in the sale of a printer. Some printers are actually cheaper than the consumables, eectively ‘giving’ the machine away in the form of ‘hooking’ consumers into purchasing the more expensive consumables. By altering the recognition of the chips is widely viewed as a way of controlling the market.

If a Firmware Update is undertaken, and the recognition of current compatible cartridges is at fault, then the removal or reversal of the update generally can’t be done in a safe manner. Newer machines are subjected more to this eternal battle between Firmware and Chip recognition. This practice does hinder the flow of compatible cartridges within the consumables market.

Prevention is better than cure

Don’t take the riskr, before updating the Firmware on your printer always consult your local Compatible Cartridge supplier for further information.