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Everything you might want to know about imaging consumables but didn't know who to ask...until now...gee, Thanx DR. TONER, INC.!!!


by JEFF BEE on 08/04/11

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Updating your printer firmware? Then plan on using genuine original OEM cartridges only!

Generally, updating firmware for your printer is a good thing. Firmware is software on your printer that controls the basic hardware functions. The firmware is essentially the layer between your printer's hardware and the print driver, controlling the basic hardware functions. Firmware updates generally fix hardware bugs, improve printer/scanner performance, add new features and fix support issues. Recently however, we are seeing more and more that these firmware updates do one more thing (a most important thing from the manufactures standpoint)—they take away some printers' ability to read the remanufactured cartridges "chips". This means that you must use the genuine OEM cartridges distributed directly by the manufacturer. If you used to be able to use compatible / remanufactured cartridges, but no longer can, this is probably the reason.

Why is this a problem? Well if you like to save money, this is a major problem. In some cases compatible / remanufactured cartridges can cost only a fourth of the OEM price. Over a year, that can save an enormous amount of money. Over the course of the printer's lifetime, it's amazing how much money you can save. Essentially speaking, these firmware updates make it impossible for printers to read anything but the OEM cartridge chips.

Compatible / remanufactured cartridges are just as good as the OEM product. They last the same amount of time, hold the same amount of ink or toner and produce the same quality images. Economical consumers know that compatible / remanufactured cartridges make a lot of "cents"! No wonder manufacturers are trying to get money from customers by making it impossible to use compatible / remanufactured products.

So far Dell, HP, Lexmark & Samsung are the only manufacturers that are known to have put these restrictors on their products; however, there is always a chance these same scenarios could appear with other manufacturers.

How do you protect yourself? For now, avoid performing any firmware updates to your Laser toner or Inkjet printer. By doing so you are guaranteed that you can continue saving money and resources.


by JEFF BEE on 08/04/11

People always are curious about whether there is any ink remaining in their cartridges even though their printer is displaying a message that states they are in need of replacement.  Although some units make it very obvious when they are running low, other's do not. HP has designed a vast selection of Inkjet & Office jet printer models, and although on some models this information is very easy to decipher, there are other models that require you to have more due diligence with. Below is a basic explanation on how to check the amount of ink that remains in your cartridges. Although there are some HP printers this exercise won't work on, it will work for the majority. The success of the following general instructions will depend on which operating system you employ.

*Check and make sure that your computer and printer are connected with one another by either USB, Ethernet or parallel port.

* Click on the "Start" button to display start menu option. Next click on the option “Control Panel”.

*Now double click on the "printer/fax" icon in your window. Then you will need to click on the correct icon for that specific printer, followed by clicking the "Preferences" tab.

*Once you have reached this point, click "Service this device". You should find a button on the menu you now see.

*There will be an "Estimated ink level" tab and a graphic that appears which tells you exactly how much ink you have left in your cartridge(s).

*If you are using a DeskJet model, you will need to follow these same instructions, however instead of clicking "Control Panel"  you will need to choose "Print Settings" then "Printer Toolbox". You will  have a similar option to display "Estimated Ink Level".
Though not all HP inkjet printers can be tested by this method, most can. If these instructions does not display for you the current ink levels, then you may need to refer to your user's manual for more detailed instructions.


by JEFF BEE on 08/04/11

"Ghosting" is the appearance of multiple lighter shaded repeated images printed on the same page. It can appear as a graphic or a block of text that appears multiple times on the same page, with each image a little lighter than the previous one.  Most ghosting issues relate to a problem with either the imaging drum, the imaging kit, or the transfer belt. The following is a brief description of the actual mechanics of the printing process.
During printing, the toner is transfered from the cartridge by charging areas of the imaging drum with positive and negative voltages. This in turn attracts the toner to adhere while the paper rolls around the drum assembly, thus transferring of toner powder in the form of an image onto the paper. At the end of a drum assemblies usable duty cycle, some residue toner can remain on the drum due to charging irregularities. This residual toner might be transferred to the same page again and again as the drum rolls across it. This can be described as "ghosting".

  As with the imaging drum, other attributes that cause ghosting can be the imaging kit or transfer belt that are near the end of their duty cycle and starting to malfunction. Many printers can display the estimated remaining life left of these specific parts. Once determined to be at the end of their duty cycle, replacing either of these may address the problem. In most instances imaging drums can be replaced by the end user, but replacement of an imaging kit or transfer belt may very well require a professional repair technician to perform this service on some makes of imaging machines.

Another possible cause of ghosting is an inconsistent power supply. As the imaging drum becomes electrically charged during printing, this causes the toner to stick to the drum in certain areas. If the power supply to the drum is variable, it can cause printing problems. Replacement of the internal power supply has been shown to correct ghosting. It's even possible that a faulty ac power receptacle could be causing the ghosting. Plugging the printer into a different power recepticle can sometimes alleviate this problem. If it can be determined that all ac power recepticles at the location have a problem supplying constant adequate ac power, another option would be to use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS)with battery back-up, which can regulate the power input to the printer to more consistent performance standards.