Epson WF2010W chip trick

Ink stained Fingers

Printer Master
Platinum Printer Member
Dec 27, 2014
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Printer Model
L310/805/1800, P400, Pro7600
I'm using a WF2010W printer - actually two at this time , it is a cheap printer, reliable, on the market since about 10 years, it uses 4 CMYK pigment inks and can be refilled with suitable cartridges, but here the problems start.
You can use refill cartridges with auto reset chips - ARC - which work , the printer stops when the cartridge reports empty, it stops anywhere on a page, and when you go through the refill cycle it ejects the paper and finishes that page on the next sheet which is not welcome when you print on expensive photo paper - you loose 2 sheets. You can kill the print job (multipage) to prevent that but then you would need to find a way to reprint the remaining part of that print job. It is quite a stupid behaviour of the driver/firmware. You can - technically - reset such ARC chip earlier - you resinsert the cartridge - you see the full ink level for a second in the status monitor but then it drops to the previous level, the firmware apparently remembers the last ink level and does not let you to reset a cartridge any time earlier. You may have to go through a refill/reset cycle several times depending on the ink levels in the other cartridges - you can get a cascading effect since every fill up cycle starts as well a cleaning cycle which may empty the next one.
You can use regular 3rd party cartridges with a one time chip, drill a hole into the top and try to use it as a refill cartridge - it does not work this way - you can reset the cartridge chip, the resetter goes green, the status monitor shows a full level for a second and then drops to the previou level - same behaviour as with the ARC chips.
If you now take such a cartridge - refill or one time - you do a reset and insert it into another printer the status monitor shows the cartridge as full, no drop to the previous level, you can reset such cartridge at any time - before it shows empty - insert it into another printer - take it out again and insert it into the first printer - and the cartridge still shows full.
It appears to me that the firmware is not just writing the actual ink level to the chip but as well some printer id - e.g. serial number - and can recognize that a particular cartridge was used already in a printer and prevent its use via a reset. Temporarily moving one cartridge - or more refilled at any ink level and with a reset - into another printer breaks this link and restriction. And this trick lets you use cheap 3rd party cartridges for refill s as long as you have a 2nd printer of the same type and do the swapping. It can save you partially printed sheets of photo paper.