Epson Firmware update - A heads-up [Warning!]

websnail

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No idea how I forgot to post this up here as well but making up for the lack now...

The short version is that Epson now provide the newer printers with a piece of software that polls for updates in drivers and firmware then offers the user the option to update either. As you can probably guess the firmware part is the kicker because Epson update their firmware to invalidate any of the strategies used by third party compatibles to function in the printers. So, a user can have a set of working compatibles in their printer, go for the firmware upgrade and find themselves with a set of "not-recognised" cartridges/chips the next.

Before now, the firmware issue was something that prompted the release of new printer models (case in point P50 over R285) or an upgrade at point of manufacture between production runs so it was a problem but fairly limited and easier to deal with. This latest technique makes for a much more dynamic moving target and creates a real headache for all concerned.

I've written more about it here:
http://www.wasteink.co.uk/epson-firmware-update-compatible-problem/
 

OutOFtheinkwell

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Thank you so much for that timely warning. I may have had that happen to me but I'm not really sure. My printer in question is an older model Epson 1400 so my problem may or may not be firmware connected, I'm just not positive.
Please bare with me as my computer/printer knowledge is not the best but I would like to know. Is the firmware addition that Epson sneaks in implanted in the PC the printer is connected to or just in the printer itself?
If it's in the PC I'm concerned about passing that toxic data to yet another printer I might use to replace the old one. Sorry if this is a dumb question but I don't know anything at all about how firmware is passed on.
Also you might be interested in a comment I ran across about firmware that Epson uses to control customer printer ink choices. I read that some very sharp people are working on a firmware/software program that would make it totally unnecessary to have chips at all on cartridges in effect rendering them as "Chipless"and would return control of the printer back to the owner.
I have no idea how this would be possible but I did see a reference to that being worked on. If that actually happens it will be a good day for me, I have 9 Epson printers and I think even Epson would be better off because many people like me love the Epson printers but have been seriously thinking of dropping them for good because of the control policies that they practice! Happy Printing...outoftheinkwell!
 

jtoolman

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OutOFtheinkwell It is installed in the printers EPROM chip as far as I know. So far even installing with so called latest updated drivers for EPSON's own site, I have not had any problems using other ink alternatives. What I will positively NOT do is update the printer's firmware. It will like cause recognition or chip acceptance problems.
I think in your case is your RATF chip bank that's shot. If it was something else I would suspect you would not be printing right now.
 

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OutOFtheinkwell said:
Thank you so much for that timely warning. I may have had that happen to me but I'm not really sure. My printer in question is an older model Epson 1400 so my problem may or may not be firmware connected, I'm just not positive.
The Photo 1400 has a special problem with firmware that's unconnected and I don't think related to your chip issue.. Could be wrong though.


Please bare with me as my computer/printer knowledge is not the best but I would like to know. Is the firmware addition that Epson sneaks in implanted in the PC the printer is connected to or just in the printer itself?
The firmware update is provided via a program that can be installed with the newest printers. It's not sneaked in so much as not completely up front about the potential results of applying an update. Bottom line if your computer offers to update your printer firmware, the answer should default to "No!".

Also you might be interested in a comment I ran across about firmware that Epson uses to control customer printer ink choices. I read that some very sharp people are working on a firmware/software program that would make it totally unnecessary to have chips at all on cartridges in effect rendering them as "Chipless"and would return control of the printer back to the owner.
I've heard similar rumblings but nothing in a couple of months...

I have no idea how this would be possible but I did see a reference to that being worked on. If that actually happens it will be a good day for me, I have 9 Epson printers and I think even Epson would be better off because many people like me love the Epson printers but have been seriously thinking of dropping them for good because of the control policies that they practice! Happy Printing...outoftheinkwell!
I'll disagree with you on Epson "liking" it... They rely on people buying new printers, being forced to purchase original inks or the profit model drops out the bottom and they sink... It's a long story but the whole process started with HP and something called the "Razor blade model"...

Looong story...
 

mikling

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Also a heads up to think about. When the new firmware is installed, it resets the printer firmware to out of the factory status.
Now this where you need to have been "around" for a while. If the chips are low, then the printer will not accept the old chips, not necessarily for the version of the chip BUT the fact that the printer must initiate a major priming upon first time use. If there is insufficient ink levels to make it through this major prime, the chips will be rejected.

So if you use adjust software that does a major reset on all aspects of the printer and your chips are close to low or empty, you're in trouble....just by the logic of it.

Also there was a period in the Epson era when OEM cartridges had to be installed initially, and then aftermarkets chips would be accepted. If the firmware clears this data, then this could be an issue as well.

You will run into these issues when transferring cartridges from an older printer to a brand new one. Again if the old ones were low, then you're in for trouble... and there is nothing wrong with that except bad luck. Same for transferring CISS systems.

So make sure you don't bump into these issues before you don't drive yourself crazy ....
 

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I must admit I forgot a fair amount of the above and in truth I wonder whether a firmware update would necessarily result in all those issues but either way it lends a great deal more weight to the "Just so No!" recommendation when it comes to firmware.
 

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websnail said:
I must admit I forgot a fair amount of the above and in truth I wonder whether a firmware update would necessarily result in all those issues but either way it lends a great deal more weight to the "Just so No!" recommendation when it comes to firmware.
Samsung printers can be accused of this very same sin and I have also noticed that Canon used similar practices
on upgrades and installation of new printer drivers which directly affect all other printers that happen to be installed previously on the same computer.

Its amazing that these installations/upgrades have gone largely unnoticed by users and dont get much publicity on their side effects.:he
 

OutOFtheinkwell

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My head is buzzing with all the in's and outs about this stuff! May I request that you more knowledgeable members post a simple overview ( if possible) of all this along with a straightforward check list of sorts to get rookie's like me on track. Maybe there is no simple way to explain this stuff but If there is I know us less experienced types would sure appreciate it. Also I'd love to get your take on the kits being sold that refill OEM carts for printers,(In my case the #79 carts for the Epson 1400. I understand there is a hole which is covered by plastic in the bottom of OEM cart that Epson uses to fill their carts that can be pierced and reused and a tube set up at the "Head" end just to recapture the excess ink once all the air is pushed out. Of course the hole is resealed and I guess the chip needs a reset? Is this any solution or has Epson shut the door on this procedure as well? Thanks for your input in advance! Happy Printing, "Outoftheinkwell"
 

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Just on the back of this topic...

Has anyone worked with one of the affected printers and worked out how to check the firmware version without updating it?

Might have hit a new twist to the problem but as I don't actually have one of the affected printers myself yet I'm looking for info on getting version info.

Any help appreciated.
 

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