Chips and Printers

Unfortunately, not the tasty kind…

HP Printers

Do I Need to say more?

Nearing the end of my time at the grammar school, the newly opened sports hall had a PE office in need of a printer, This was during Covid.
We went with a colour HP Laser printer, I don’t remember the exact model number, but as I Wrote this up “M402dn” Came to mind and if its not that printer, its in the same family / group / model line (Whatever they are calling it this week ).

We chose this for a few reasons

  1. Price
  2. ‘Need’ for colour.
  3. Mistakenly thinking that it was compatible toner wise with one of our current printers.
  4. We/I didn’t know that HP Was being HP With that line of printers.
  5. The HP 4025 we had was a beast, despite it lying about wanting toner when it wanted paper.
  6. Nothing from Brother in the right price range at the time (Our Other main model)


Printers being printers, it was an utter pain to set up and get printing properly too. I think this one was more of a pain than normal.

But now we get to the issue, and one of the Best/worse bodges I have had to have do.
We used compatible toners, with school budgets and far to many printers, its very hard to justify getting 1 OEM toner for the price of a set and half of compatibles, despite all of the issues that happen with compats.

Between install and the first orders of spare toner, I’d read the stuff from HP About the stuff they were doing with compatibles, but had also updated the firmware on the printer during the install to fix some issues.
So I Told Noodle that they should order Chipless compatibles, this made sense at the time and had made sense based on the settings i had read on the control panel too…
I couldn’t have been more wrong!

They did not work at all, Computer says no, low on cyan (X/Twit Link Contains Swearing)

The printer was thankfully still printing with the stock toners, despite being at a lower quality. and after far far to many days of troubleshooting firmware updates etc, I had an idea.
Printer toners have chips on them, I don’t know what they do, but printers cry without them.

Image Of Toner Image Of Toner
Image from Alibaba of all places, as its the only one I could find close enough, no idea on the actual rights holder.

I went to the printer with a spare toner in hand and a few tools. and given its hard to make this sound exciting, I managed to carefully remove the chip from the OEM toner and move it onto the compatible ones.
and it worked, it showed as “no toner” all of the time, but it printed well.

I Had moved on before we ran out of the compatibles that we had brought in “bulk”, but had said they’d need to bodge it the next couple of times but on the next order get the ones with chips on them.

I can’t remember why we didn’t return them and get them changed, but our supplier was not the best dealing with anything slightly complex, we had probably 2k of new toner and drums sat in the office for well over 18 months and beyond me that we’d asked them to pick up and give us some credit back as we’d binned the printer.

I Think the printer was getting revenge for me putting its grandprinter out in the rain (as a door stop) when it was being recycled.
It deserved it after the pain of USB>Serial>Parallel and driver mess that I needed to do to get it to work on a modern & Win 10 PC.

Picture of an evil, but sad printer in the rain Picture of an evil, but sad printer in the rain