• Waste ink kits and modifications will help you keep your printer running more smoothly but unless you have a reset utility to deal with the waste-ink or protection counter your printer will remain a brick.

    With this in mind I have been spending an inordinate amount of time looking for reset utilities, especially for the newer Epson inkjet printers. Some of the information I’ve developed is disheartening, while other intel’ causes outright concern, so it seemed appropriate to provide an update on what’s out there.

    So, starting from the top…

    The SSC Utility

    It’s now pretty obvious that the SSC utility is no longer being maintained. The primary site is pretty dormant with the forum populated entirely with desperate end users asking for help with their printer model. The SSC team don’t appear to have been active in over a year which is rather sad for Epson printer users.

    Some good news

    For those who read this site regularly, you’ll already be aware that there is some rosy news in that Epson released a utility in North America for printer models in that region. The A10_IPR utility has made it out into the wild and it covers a number of printers outside of the USA/Canada too, so it’s worth looking out for.

    Unfortunately Epson have opted to slam the door shut and go overboard on security. Again not news to regular readers, but the newer printer reset utilities (eg: R1900, R285, etc..) now require an activation code to unlock and use the utility.

    Naturally access to the activation code is limited to those with a North American printer model so non USA/Canadian types need not apply

    The utility also “phones home” so things have gotten more complex. Word has it that service tech adjustment utilities are also getting the same treatment so the supply of these in the future is also going to be severely hampered.

    Now for the warning..

    It’s becoming rather obvious that there’s an increased demand for reset utilities and this has attracted script kiddies and other undesirables who are distributing infected utilities that pretend to be the real thing. In some cases the utilities even work but unfortunately they come with a sting in the tail.

    This should be common sense but, you should ALWAYS run a full scan on any downloads of this nature using tools like ASquared Free, Spysweeper, Spybot as well as your anti-virus tools. Remember that zero day exploits and malware do exist which can slip by so exercise caution even if a utility passes all scans. Try to check if a utility has any pedigree/history and the reputation of the file hoster/host too…

    Get your resetter… for a price

    One interesting development from the past 12 months is the increase in activity of between one and three individuals who claim to have access to virtually all service utilities (adjustment utils) from Epson. These individuals are posting up on SSC, and other forums, offering to sell these at a price. Given the common pricing involved I suspect this is one person with a couple of helpers, selling from the same source… $80 is the regularly quoted price for the first utility with $50 for each additional utility you require.

    Sounds good until you discover the following:

    • The seller will insist on sending you a utility to read your system configuration and send back data. This is ostensibly to lock the utility to your computer alone but I would be particularly concerned that it was sending a lot more information than that.
       
    • The seller will insist on being paid using Western Union which, as everyone with an ounce of net kudos knows, is generally the payment provider of choice for scammers, etc… Not exactly confidence inspiring is it.

    Personally I would not recommend touching this sort of “opportunity” with a 500 foot barge pole. Granted the seller may be semi-legit and it’s entirely possible the use of Western Union helps avoid being caught out by their employer but personally the cost, system limitation and risk are too many red flags for my taste.

    If anyone does decide to give this a shot, I wish you luck and please report back because I’d be very interested to see how things go.

    Hope that’s useful and remember you can grab the RSS feed to keep yourself up to speed on any other developments in this area

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    Posted by Martin @ 14:45

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