HP's ink DRM instructs your printer to ignore the ink in your cartridge when you cancel your subscription


My dad has had nothing but problems with his HP. I know because he usually calls me to fix it. Finally it refused to be fixed, though it was completely cleaned and had all new cartridges and had probably printed less than 500 pages lifetime.

So what does he do? He goes to Best Buy and asks for the same model! Except the slight upgrade has incompatible cartridges, so now he’s considering the subscription option.

You can lead a horse to water…


Always used Canon inkjets. The latest one (now about 5 years old) is a scanner too. Complains about low ink but warning can be happily ignored until you actually see a lack of ink on paper and refill and reprint. Has the usual 4 colours, a grey and a black cartridge AND a double-sized black cartridge too. Bought a job lot of 2 x all 7 from a third-party non-Canon source at a significantly lower cost. Probably print no more than a couple of pages once or twice a month (mostly it is used to scan) and mostly B&W. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to produce print when it has not been used for a while (some sort of head cleaning routine) but ink usage seems no worse than previous printers. And when I do rarely need good quality colour prints it does very well whether on plain, matt or glossy paper. Canon MG8250 - if you find one in good condition, I’d say go for it. And I’ve never heard of Canon playing the sort of shenanigans documented here re HP and others, but no idea what they are up to these days.

ETA I always specify ‘print in B&W’ on most docs, even those that ARE in B&W, just in case there is any attempt at jiggerypokery by using colours to ‘make’ black or when it looks B&W but may sometimes be a very dark blue or something, or have a single bit of colour in the doc somewhere.


Plus he always recorded video in vertical/portrait mode.


I’ve never tried it because I was under the impression that taking out the cartridge would make it unusable (or drip ink everywhere). Huh.


Ah! I’d think about replacing my current under $100 reliable Brother laser for one with a scanner. I have a HP inkjet with scanner, but it crashes if it thinks its cartridges are old.


I have had two great Brother B/W laser printers in a row, but I’m a bit ticked off that they aren’t fixing the firmware for my model (and many others) to patch the KRACKS vulnerability in WPA2. They know about it and don’t seem to care… at least in part, one presumes, because they are perfectly happy with people who are concerned about this buying new hardware instead of keeping their old printers for another 10 years.

I just keep mine powered off unless I need it now, which has the happy benefit of reducing both my power bill and the urge to actually print things…


I dunno. I have a Epson Workforce printer. Prints 13*19, or whatever “Super B” is. Has an ethernet port, and two paper cartridges (which is kind of useful when you don’t need to print to ledger paper.)

But I wouldn’t claim that it’s built like a tank. It’s not. It’s an inkjet with some extra features that sort of justify the cost.


There is one little vestige of the bad HP, though: you can’t get BIOS updates for HPE servers unless you have a service contract. Gotta discourage the used market somehow!


Since no one else posted this yet.


HP: We took the Gillette model and made it evil!


It kinda makes me wonder why petrol companies don’t build cars.


Genuine question.

I’m looking at replacing our printer with one of these large tank types, how are they?

It’d be light usage, but the idea of spending more on a printer upfront in exchange for a long-term low maintenace printer is something i’d like.


I like how Keurig 2.0 decided to do this. Only “officially sanctioned ” K-cups would work in that system.

The first thing I noticed happening was some coffee maker/K-cup manufacturer in San Fran started including these little inserts in their packages to insert into your Keurig 2.0 to override the DRM so you could still enjoy their unofficial yet delicious coffee.

I believe Keurig quit doing the DRM after public outrage. I don’t really know, because within a few months, I sold the Keurig 2.0 at a garage sale and went back to old-fashioned, brewed-by-the-pot coffee. And I’m spending 1/10th of what I used to spend on coffee.

Screw DRM, screw Keurig, and now screw HP.


You do. I’ve owned plenty of inkjets “back in the day” and they always gave me fits (plus the cost of the ink was atrocious). Since I started writing again and needed another printer, both for scanning and printing copy, I bought a Brother laserjet and have been more than happy with it the last three years. And it was only a shade over $100 bucks (on sale at Amazon at the time). Wifi, scanning, duplexing. . . really a hard deal to beat, especially with the high reviews it got.


For light usage go laserjet, unless you absolutely need color. Even then, if you could afford it I’d recommend color laserjet. You never worry about ink drying out or clogged nozzles and cleaning routines. I’ve got a B&W laserjet, and we use it moderately and have only had to replace the toner once when it ran out. And that was still cheaper than any inkjet I’ve owned.


I own a Brother HL-2030. It’s running on the same 11€ toner refill since 2007. (The photoconductor unit is starting to show its age now)
( I don’t buy a printer based on the price of the printer itself, but on Linux support and price of consumables. )


The Canon PIXMA line of printers are great as far as quality goes. Best looking printing of any consumer level printer. We used them for labels before we got our big industrial label printer and the quality is virtually the same. We just now need labels on-demand rather than in sheet form.

The tank model we have works well, and it definitely saves money, but the one complaint I have is that it’s sloooow. I’ve learned to give it plenty of time when I send it a color print. Probably will upgrade the one we have to a better model - it needs an automatic document feeder - and am hoping it’ll print faster, but even if not, these are great for big runs as long as you give them time.


Sorry I wasn’t clear: Brother doesn’t put DRM in their ink cartridges. They don’t put any electronics in them at all. Their cartridges have little windows, and the printer just watches the windows to gauge the level of ink. It doesn’t care what brand of ink it’s filled with.

If you replace the ink with something crappy that smears or runs, well that’s on you. But they won’t stop you from trying, and they don’t charge you for the privilege.

For this reason alone, I’ve become a huge Brother fan. If you ask me to go printer shopping with you, I’m taking you to the Brother section. It doesn’t hurt that their printers are actually of decent quality, either.


“I have had two great Brother B/W laser printers in a row, but I’m a bit ticked off that they aren’t fixing the firmware for my model (and many others) to patch the KRACKS vulnerability in WPA2.”

Thanks for pointing out this problem. I wasn’t aware of it as I use wires to connect computer & printer. Also, yeah, I try to keep the printer turned off when not in use.


Haven’t bought HP anything since my lovely little shoebox-sized inkjet got its update. The update was incompatible with so-help-me Internet Explorer. Two hours with an Indonesian on CS got me no satisfaction. Epson was next hell, and junked fast.

I now have a mono Samsung laser which cost me under $50 on sale. It’s used one cartridge in seven years. If I need photo quality, the drugstore is cheaper than anyone’s ink cartridge.