• General 19.05.2015 No Comments

    For anyone who wasn’t frantically texting, tweeting or emailing us and who doesn’t listen to Radio 2, you’ll have missed that there was a feature on the Jeremy Vine show that was about printers.

    Unfortunately, it was a bit of a fluff piece that appeared to be more about filling airtime rather than dealing with some real issues. There were the standard myths about why compatible ink is bad, how frustrating printers are, etc… but they also gave out some “interesting” advice, so let’s start with that one point that really stood out first…

    • Printers are disposable?

      Erm, no… The whole point of this blog and numerous community forum posts should demonstrate how facile this is. Inkjet printers in particular can recover from numerous issues IF someone takes the time to research.

      The waste ink debacle is a classic case of so called “built in obsolescence”. It doesn’t need to mean the death of the printer if the printers nappy needs a change surely?!

    • Warranty worries?

      Ok, they got this part right. If your printer is still in warranty then your first port of call is to contact the manufacturer or the store that supplied the printer and find out what they can do to fix your problem. If you’re out of warranty you are not out of options.

    • Self-help DIY

      For starters there are a metric TON of resources out there that deal with any manner of printer related issues. The key to finding them is to work out the keywords to search for. Usually quoting all or part of an error message is a good start. Try describing your problem in as few words as possible and try varying some of the common keywords like “problem”, “broken” as well.

    • Getting technical help

      Sites like fixya.com , forums or even asking a computer tech for help are great but it helps if you describe the problem properly to avoids a lot of unnecessary delay so some key information to include when asking for help:

      • Printer brand and model
      • Error message (if any)
      • Concise description of observed symptoms
      • Operating system being used on your computer (windows? version?, etc..)
      • Any other information that might be relevant, particularly when the printer last worked, any recent changes, etc..

      All of these things will help enormously in getting someone to steer you in the right direction

    • Take manufacturer support with a pinch of salt

      If you speak to the official support channel of a printer manufacturers (service centre, telephone support, etc..) the chances are high that they will recommend that you purchase a new printer. There are reasons for this…

      1. The cost of providing you with support out of warranty is just too high for the profit the manufacturer might have made.

      2. Service centres are there for high end, high value printers where the call-out servicing charge is a fraction of the actual printer cost. Not for consumer desktop systems.

      3. As a result of 2, repairs at official service centres are often more expensive than the printer itself.

      Net result is that you get advice based on what the manufacturer can offer you. They do not and will not recommend third party solutions (although to be fair to them there are legal and liability reasons for this so it’s not just self-serving).

    • Good Practice

      Chances are you need remedial help to solve a problem first but assuming you have a working printer, there are a host of things you can do to save yourself a lot of heartache and problems later:

      • Print regularly

        While it might seem counter intuitive, printing on a regular basis with an inkjet printer will allow the printer to exercise itself and avoid clogs. Your printer will waste more ink using cleaning routines than it will from printing out a picture you like, that letter to grandma, or some random recipe. The expression “Use it or lose it” is a good rule of thumb.

      • Choose your consumables wisely

        This is a huge topic but if you buy the cheapest cartridges you can possibly find, expect to hit problems with poor filling practices, air locks and other issues that increase your frustration and waste. Look for a good supplier that will talk to you and support you.

      • Look before you leap

        If you’re looking for a new printer you can avoid a lot of the problems by simply doing your research. And yes, there is a huge amount of choice out there for printers but do yourself a favour and check around for information on what the printer can do and don’t just buy the latest greatest one there is.

        Tip: remember that most review sites/magazines have manufacturers as advertisers so again, more salt required.

        As with any product, let other people experience and post about the problems of new models. It’s even worth considering older models that have been around for 6 months or more because the chances are they all the issues will have been shaken out and/or identified early.

    • Boarding Passes Only?

      If you really only have a printer to pop out a holiday boarding pass or the odd document, seriously consider switching to a mono laser. They’re cheap to run, won’t clog and usually you can get compatible toner saving you more money.

    All in all, there are plenty of reasons not to despair at the problems your printer is causing you but actually talking to someone who isn’t trying to sell you a printer or a specific one-size-fits-all solution may prove a worthwhile investment.

    If you’re still reading after all this and want a commercial message then feel free to pop over to OctoInkjet and, with the above in mind, see if we can help. Even if not, we still hope the above has proven more useful than the original Radio2 feature.

    Thanks for listening…

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  • General 01.07.2014 No Comments

    The Problem

    • Your computer/workstation uses a windows server domain login to access it
    • You can’t install your new printer (eg: Canon inkjet) because it’s demanding an administrator account.
    • Your account is already a domain administrator

    Solution (Windows 7):

    Read more…

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  • Having talking, emailed and repeated myself ad-nausea about the pitfalls and potential work-arounds for Epson CIS systems when used with pigment ink, I finally took the time to write the whole thing up into a comprehensive article that covers it all.

    You can find the article here and I’ll try to update with any additional improvements or tweaks as they are suggested or understood.

  • Epson Intel 18.03.2014 2 Comments

    Yes folks… Epson have done it again…

    Following on from the original report we put together about the Artisan, PX and TX printer models it seems it’s happening all over again with the Epson XP Expression models.

    With the release of the XP-610, 615, 710, 810 and the like there appears to be a new firmware that “upgrades” earlier models resulting in the printer failing to recognise the bulk of third party chips which in turn means no CIS systems, compatible cartridges or refillables.

    Note: While this notice is for the XP series, it’s also possible that other printer models (eg: PX730WD, Artisan 837, etc..) may also have firmware updates available which are disabling compatibility for third party consumables.

    The good news (although untested by me) is that WICReset offers the facility to downgrade your firmware on affected printers* so if you have found yourself in that unenviable position, you can now do something about it.

    Obviously the key thing to note is that updating your firmware is best avoided on XP Expression models and it would appear that firmware upgrades now should be avoided completely if you rely on third party consumables.


    *Note: We do not have a definitive list of affected printers, nor have we tested the downgrade functionality so your mileage may vary.

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  • This article has been a long time coming as I frequently get asked about this issue for various built-in CIS systems on Epson inkjet printers (see the list at the end).


    The problem most printer owners experience is what they perceive to be a “clog” where the ink is not reaching the page or has inconsistent nozzle checks. Use of printhead cleaning solutions and/or cleaning cartridges provides little if any results but the solution gets used up and checking any external waste ink tank shows that ink is being pulled through the system. Read more…
  • It seems Watchdog Daily did a report recently on the “Service Required” problem relating an Epson Photo 1400.

    You can see the report on iPlayer (in the UK) until it expires here:
    Watchdog Daily Ep 6
    [Start point 30:24]

    Unfortunately the Watchdog report went into no detail and stuck with technical jargon designed to confuse. Obviously very frustrating it wasn’t given greater depth but I’d imagine they can’t recommend third party services and the legal backsides have to be covered. However there is a brief moment where this blog actually appears as a browser tab [timeline: 31:40].

    So, if you’ve arrived here because you yourself have done some additional research, this problem is solveable without needing to go to a reporter, or even Epson to pay £100+ (or even, £90 if you get a “deal”).

    The Photo 1400 is covered in this article

    … and for other printers you can find resources, relevant solutions and more besides using the OctoInjket Quickfind tool.

    I wonder if anyone else will do a proper report on the issues and dig deeper… If you do, you know were to find me.

  • Printer Potty

    If, like me you’ve ever tried to explain the concept of a waste ink kit and you have experienced the joys of babies and small children, then you’ll probably have found yourself describing printer waste pads in terms of nappies.

    Well, I was doing the exact same thing for ages before I hit on the idea of branding the OctoInkjet waste ink kits as something a bit unique…

    It’s already proved as something of a hit with customers both new and old and does tend to cut down on the time needed to describe the concept especially as it tends to get your attention right away…

    Ok, so instead of changing your printers nappy (diaper) you just potty train the thing with this…

    *cue: double take from customer*

    So, anyway, it’s official the trademark is now registered, the branding is going on all kits and I’m making inroads on new kit designs for newer printers that have appeared in the last 6 months.

    Tell your friends, family, or the bloke who washes your windows… We even have video

  • This information is now pretty out of date (or was) but there have been a number of strong indications that Epson decided to up the ante when it comes to third party consumables through the use of a clever firmware update system available with newer Epson printers.

    The update(s) shut the doors on third party consumables that work with earlier firmware versions and effectively tie your printer into using only Epson OEM/Original cartridges.

    This issue was resolved with new chip designs (v6.0) but the issue may be making a comeback as of early 2014 with reports of Epson Expression (XP) models hitting issues and some indication that other printers like the PX730WD, Artisan 837, etc.. also showing symptoms.

    In short, if you don’t want to be forced to use Epson original consumables, don’t install any firmware updates

    Read more…

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  • General 17.06.2011 No Comments

    Thursday (16th June) night was a bit of a riot with some 90+ visitors a minute descending on a site that normally picks up three or four so it was quite an interesting time trying to keep the server running through it all

    For those interested in what sparked it all, this is the reddit link.

    All the comments have been very interesting and when I get 15 minutes to myself I’ll be putting together a response to them all.

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  • Anyone with a brand new Epson printer like the Artisan 710, the PX810FW or the TX1100 will know that any of the supposed reset utilities for your printer will either not work at all or give a 21000068 error just when you think it’s working.

    The problem has been an increased level of protection being added to the utilities to stop them being useable if they get released into the public domain and whilst initial efforts by OrTHoTaMiNe were successful in unlocking utilities released between a year to 6 months ago, the approach used proved harder and harder to use.

    There’s Hope At Last

    Luckily it seems there have been a few other people working the problem from a completely different angle and there is now a new utility (well two to be exact) on the block.

    Read more…