Tech

Canon explains how to hack their ink cartridges because they have no chips

Imagine that you go to the dealership, buy your car and when you leave they tell you that you can only fill up the tank at X gas station chain. It would seem absurd and a joke to all of us, right? Well with the printers something similar or even worse happens. And there is no manufacturer that does not carry out this practice. Unfortunately for Canon, trying force the purchase of your cartridges it is getting froggy, since the semiconductor shortage is such currently, that they do not have chips for their ink cartridges.

A dubious practice that turns against its masters

Whether you buy an ink printer or you opt for a laser, everything original replacement today has a chip in the cartridge, whose functions are very varied. They control the nremaining ink level, store information about the toner or cartridge color and the most important. They let the printer know that it is an original cartridge. How? Well, through a complex DRM system.

This does not mean that you cannot mount compatible cartridges on your printer. Sure you can — and they’re worth much cheaper — but you risk your printer not working properly. It will constantly tell you that your cartridge is not original, it will control the ink levels poorly and it will give you endless headaches so that you end up going through the box.

On the other hand, the “pirate” world behind printer ink is absolutely fascinating. The fake cartridges get the original chips, they are reset, the batteries are changed … a show.

Canon explains how to bypass your own crash

Well, Canon is having chip supply issues for its laser multifunction printers. But of course, as toner is a complementary good, they cannot stop manufacturing it and leave all their customers without consumables. What can they do then? The decision of the Japanese has been clear and simple: start sell ink cartridges without DRM chips.

Luckily Canon printers are quite forgiving when we put a replacement not original, and this is what Canon itself has wanted to convey to its customers, both on its support website and via e-mail. A series of guides have been published to “bypass” the error in each and every one of the affected printers. However, if we look closely at the steps shown by Canon, we could say that avoiding the problem is as simple as ignore the countless error messages that the machine is going to give us, each one with its peculiarities, of course. Once that is done, you will be able to use the printer without problems, although you will not have statistics on the remaining ink levels.

The semiconductor supply crisis may continue to hurt during 2022. In the case of Canon, it is true that it seems that the problem of its toner is relatively easy to fix. However, they point out by various forums that, in the case of HP, solving the problem would not be so simple, since the DRM not only controls the same as Canon’s but also has blocking by region, and the printer stops working the moment it detects an uncertified cartridge, whether it is original or not.

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