Override HP Smart Chip on Toner Cartridges


I just stumbled across the answer of how to easily get around the
problem of some of HP's newer printers forcing a cartridge change when
the print quality still looks good.

First, a little background for those who may not be aware of the
On some of HP's printers (for example, mine is a Color Laserjet
4600dn), the toner cartridges include a "smart chip" or are called
"intelligent cartridges". That allows the cartridge to keep track of
how many pages have been printed on it and provide estimates of
remaining pages and suggest when you should reorder cartridges and
snazzy stuff like that. Well, as I and other owners of these printers
have painfully found out, these "smart chips" are more of a pain than a
help. As soon as the printer decides that the cartridge is empty, it
refuses to print any more pages with it, even if in reality there is a
lot of toner left.

The solution I have just found, at least on the 4600, is to go into the
menus on the front panel and under the "Diagnostics" menu, select
"Disable Cartridge Check". Although that menu option is mentioned in
the user manual, it is never once mentioned as a way to get around the
cartridge limits. That was conveniently left out of the manual.
Officially, it is intended to allow you to run the printer with one or
more cartridges removed so you can determine which of the four
cartridges is leaving streaks, etc. But, it works quite well to get
around the toner limits and everything else works exactly as normal, at
least for what I've done so far.

The down sides of running with that option are:
1) None of the cartridge life information is available while in that
mode, so the printer will not prompt you to order new cartridges, etc.
I'm not sure whether the usage is internally still tracked in that mode
or not. In other words, if you put in a new cartridge, Disable
Cartridge Check, then run off 8,000 pages, then exit the Disable
Cartridge Check mode, I'm not sure whether the cartridge will display
as full or empty.
2) When print quality truly does become a problem due to low toner or
worn drum, you'll have to catch it manually rather than the printer
automatically stopping the job.

I know there are also replacement smart chips available, usually from
places that offer toner refills, so that you can continue to use a
refilled cartridge. They're usually available separately, so using one
of those, even if you don't actually do a refill, should be another
option, although I haven't tried it. Disable Cartridge Check is
cheaper and easier!

I know HP certainly doesn't go out of their way to let people know
about that option, so I wanted to post it here for those who are
interested. In some situations, like if you rarely use one particular
color, that option could save you many hundreds of dollars over time.



Relevant Pages

  • Re: trying to reset page count on a Brother 2140 ...
    ... telling me to get a new toner ... ... trying the trick of taking the cartridge out and placing it back in, ... refills may defer drum replacement costs awhile longer. ...
  • Re: Brother MFC laser "cycles" a few times per day, why?
    ... That's how my Canon copier was, could probably have survived a collision ... see lengthwise smearing before it would run out of toner. ... I can now get refills for $15/ea. ... I've once tried to refill a HP cartridge but I must have gotten the ...
  • Re: OT: printing PostScript files
    ... The HP cartridges cost "too much", but the refills aren't ... is that I can buy 3 or 4 clone carts for the price of one genuine HP ... I've been refilling toner carts since about 1990, ... At about $2 per cartridge it's tempting. ...
  • Re: HP TONER OUT OVERRIDE 1600 2600 2605,
    ... some read each color and some only read general amount of toner used on one color and generalize it to the other colors. ... there is a software solution HP offers which allows you to run the cartridge until it is empty. ... The HP Color LaserJet 2600n printer displays an Order supplies message when a cartridge is running low and a Replace supplies message when a cartridge has been depleted. ... The Cartridge Out Override feature allows the printer to continue using a cartridge that has reached the recommended replacement point. ...
  • Re: Konica Minolta Magicolor 4600 DN - toner chip / booby trapped toner mechanism
    ... I have lots I could say, particularly about Ronica Minolta as a company and their attitude toward waste, and the business model of trying to force people to replace cartridges unnecessarily. ... Basically, all printer manufacturers have gone to similar business models, which is to sell you the printer and some minimal toner or ink quantity to be able to use the printer, for a bit above cost, and then wait with baited breath for them to run out of ink or toner, and then gouge you for the replacement cartridges. ... On my black and white laser printer, when the cartridge reached a certain level of empty, I began getting pop up warnings that it was running low on toner and I should buy a new "Ronica Minolta" cartridge. ...