• Epson Intel 25.01.2012

    This information is now pretty out of date (or was) but there have been a number of strong indications that Epson decided to up the ante when it comes to third party consumables through the use of a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

    To date the printer models affected seem to be the PX730WD, PX830FWD and anything that has the ability to download and update firmware (eg: TX730WD, Artisan 735, XP models, etc..)

    Firmware? What Is it?

    Firmware, for the uninitiated, is the computer instruction set that any piece of hardware has installed on its internal chips. It tells the printer how to communicate, how to move motors, fire nozzles and most important of all, how to recognise original vs’ compatible (non-original) cartridge chips.

    Updates Are Good Right?

    Under normal circumstances, yes you’d expect any firmware update to be a positive move. Normally such an update might includes fixes or tweaks to resolve issues with ink usage, nozzle firing or something that slipped through testing that causes headaches for end users.

    Unfortunately it seems that Epson is also using the firmware updates to stop non Epson cartridge chips being accepted by the printer.

    What Does This Mean?

    Short version, if you want to use third party cartridges, CIS systems or anything that hasn’t been produced by Epson, then you do not want to install these firmware updates, ever!

    What’s affected?

    At present this problem is only starting to surface with Continuous Ink Supply system sellers first noticing a problem when a high rate of chip failures were being reported by customers with PX730WD and PX830FWD printers. Further investigation helped nail the culprit down to customers installing updates on their computer and accepting the “kind” offer from the software to update their printer firmware to the latest version.

    Is There An UnDo/Roll-back?

    Once you update, you’re stuck until new chips are released by the third party consumable providers.

    It’s possible someone will work out if/how to roll-back to an earlier firmware version but at present such information is not available and Epson certainly won’t provide any tools to make it happen.

    Additional Information?

    At present the scope of this problem is still being investigated as very few sellers have looked beyond a higher than normal rate of returns or support queries. Whether this affects single use third party cartridges as well as Auto Reset Chips (ARCs) remains to be seen but it’s worth avoiding the firmware update option until more is known.


    The primary culprit with these updates seems to be the Epson Download Navigator software. It is described as being:

    Once downloaded and installed this software will check to make sure that you are using the latest firmware and software for your Epson product. If updates are available the Epson Download Navigator will guide you through downloading and installing these updates.

    Compatibility is listed for the following models:

    • Epson Stylus Office BX535WD
    • Epson Stylus Office BX635FWD
    • Epson Stylus Office BX935FWD
    • Epson Stylus Photo PX730WD
    • Epson Stylus Photo PX830FWD
    • Epson Stylus SX440W
    • Epson Stylus SX445W
    • …and various Epson WP laser models

    The above list contains the UK/EU models but the sibling equivalent models in other global sales zones (eg: Artisan, Workforce, TX, etc..) will likely also be compatible

    Posted by Martin @ 12:58

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • 41 Responses

    • We’ve have done extensive testing today and we have now tested 2 brand new printers both of which were the px730wd – both systems were running on windows vista – initially both machines ciss worked before updates – after a firmware update one of the machines ceased to recognize ARC chips at all.

      We are unable to locate the exact build date of these printers its entirely possible one was built earlier than the other

      At the moment we have a handful of customers out of hundreds using the px730wd and px830wd who have found similar issues – while not conclusive at this time – as Martin says choose no to updates.

      All the affected customers bought printers after 1st Jan 2012 and have had firmware updates

      One particular customer bought single use cartridges from Tesco last week and they worked fine – he then updated the firmware and bought more cartridges from Tesco which were then not recognized – and we have now sent a CISs and 2 new chips and the printer will no longer accept aftermarket products.

      At the moment its early days and when we get more conclusive data we are happy to post here

    • Strongly agree with Shanes comments. Don`t do any firmware upgade. I have just found out this fireware upgrade has definately caused the failer to recognise any compatiable cartridges on my new px730wd all in one unit which was bought in Dec 2011. I have tried cartridges with different arc versions stamped on the chips V4.0 V5.0 AND V6.0 all failed. Looks like i have to buy genuine carts 5 times more expensive, untill someone can come up with a soultion.:(

    • is there a way to downgrade the firmware update back to a working version?
      or can you advice me which type of cartridges will work? where to buy them?
      (px830fwd, winxp. firmware updated 🙁 unfortunately)

      • At this time I’m not aware of any downgrade tools but as/when/if such become available I’ll certainly update the info…

        As to working cartridges and chips.. This is so new that very few third party manufacturers or suppliers are even aware of the issue, much less able to certify they can work with the new firmware.

        You can probably guess how this is going to work as we’re now dealing with a moving target rather than one or two new model releases a year. It’s a game changer so it’s going to mean a change in strategy… Watch this space.

    • Any idea on which firmware version is affected?

      I bought my PX730WD on the end of December an During the setup I’ve updated the firmware. Mine is version WS11BB 35.35. You can check it using Epson printer finder or, if connected wifi/lan typing the ip address of your printer followed by /PRESENTATION/HTML/TOP/INDEX.HTML
      for example: http://192.168.1.xx/PRESENTATION/HTML/TOP/INDEX.HTML

      From here you can update your firmware but also see the version.

      I bought some cartridges and when I’ll test them I’ll update you with the results.

    • Hi, does anyone have a list of list of equivalent US and European models of Epson printers please ?
      I found that Epson supply reset utilities for recent models in N.America only


      • Unfortunately that approach won’t work as Epson quickly realised that the shared model system would allow such use of their North American specific IPR tools. All the IPR’s will do is reset North American model types now.

        Also worth noting that they are also hamstrung in the sense that they won’t reset the waste counter more than once and even then, not all the way to reset. It seems the overriding purpose has been to free up the excess capacity in the pads, not allow self-maintenance.

    • latest news
      from around 100 more samples of ciss there are just 2 more cases so seems a very isolated issue –

      at this time we can say the epson
      Px700, px710, px720, px800, px810 will not work with the px730 or px830 printers

      there are a few version 6 chips around on the market the the one that works well on 99% of px730 and px830 before and after firmware upgrades is the A801N Chip

      Do not get a J801N Chip or any other at the moment they do not work

    • Hello Shane, thanks for information…
      On my cartridge chips there written just R801, R802, and… R806.
      I made a search about these chip numbers you wrote, A801N. I couldn’t find any place sells them. where can i buy them?

      on the other hand a friend told me that new 6.2 version chipped cartridges will solve that problem… but again i couldn’t find a cartridge with them. CISS systems with v6.2 are already available, but cartridges not… 🙁

      (px830fwd, winxp. firmware updated 🙁 unfortunately)

    • I have a Workforce 1100 and am installing the CISS system and it will not recognize the cartridges. Has anyone tried removing the chips from an Epson cartridge and putting them on the same color CISS cartridges?

    • a new firmware has been released, at least for PX730WD: WS27BB 35.35 (previous was WS11BB 35.35). The weird thing is that is dated November 2011 an last updated I did was in January 2012…. I’ll let you know if this one is working with not original inks.

    • i bought a epson px730wd printer around last christmas just started to use it now i bought 2 sets of compatable cartridges now the printer will not run will not accept the compatable cartridges –of course i accepted the firmware update when i installed the printer BIG MISTAKE is there any way to go back to the original firmware—-the company i order my cartridges from i dont think they are aware of epson,s new trick of updating firmware so as compatable cartridges will not be accepted by the printer—please please any help will be very gratefully accepted—nedw

      • At present there’s no known way to retrograde your firmware so not much help there as yet. That may change but as yet most companies don’t appear to be aware of the problems this feature presents.

    • what i just done with my epson px730wd printer–i uninstalled it from my computer then i put the contents of the installation disk into a folder and i left out the events manager that is on the disk–thats the bit that downloads the update to your printer ( i think )—i then installed the printer again and i was able to put in a black compatable cartridge and the printer accepted it—but it will only accept the black compatable cartridge—-i also made sure i wasent connected to the internet when i was installing the epson back into my computer—-so i really dont know what if anything i acheved but i thought i would pass on what i done to get the printer to accept at least one cartridge —but i wont give up at the moment i have gone back to my old trusty r200 epson that will run on coal ha ha —ned

      • it’s a weird things…the firmware is in the printer so also disconnected from the PC should not recognize the ink…. What you did just changed the driver not the firmware…I guess you just got a cartridge with a chip that somethime is working

    • i am still battling with this epson px730wd compatable catridge problem if i get any sort of answer i will post it on here fast–thank you all for helping me—-ned.

    • please is there any member on here that can point me in the direction to where i can buy compatable cartridges for the epson px730wd printer—someone did reply to this question but they were referring to the epson px720wd —and by all accounts the compatable cartridges that will work in the px720wd will not work in the px730wd
      –please any help would be great—thanks very much Ned

    • here is a reply i had from an amazon seller regarding compatable cartridges for a epson px730wd printer —-Hi,

      type this number anywhere in Amazon B004IJ79BC.

      It will bring up the inks you need.


    • please note my epson px730wd printer is now running again after i installed compatable cartridges from amazone you just type in this number anywhere in Amazon B004IJ79BC that will lead you to where the compatable cartridges are and i could not believe they worked great the printer dident even do a charge with the new compatables–the cartridges are supplied by a company called tring i think—best wishes to all that helped me in my search for compatables—ned

    • When I try searching Amazon for B004IJ79BC, I get no product. Is there a new number to try?

      How does one get the firmware rev on an Artisan 730 with no network connection (I’m connected using USB)? The only info I’ve found so far is the “Printers” control panel, which tells me only “Epson Color Printer System Version 6.90”

      Are there any refillable cartridges or a CISS that is known to work with the Artisan 730?

    • i went to my local pc fair this morning bought some refillable cartridges for my px730wd after a short conversatiom with the guy selling them i found out they will fit on the end of my ciss got home fitted them and now my printer works as normal

    • Does any have a fix for this yet.
      Has anyone ever thought that perhaps Epson could be sued for preventing owners from using the items that they have purchased as they wish.

      • The current information seems to indicate that compatible chips have since come out that will work with firmware updated printers. What I’ve not determined is whether further firmware releases have later been released to disable them again.

        From what I’ve heard regarding refillable cartridges however it would seem Epson have chosen not to pursue this approach further (whether the first issues were deliberate or accidental) so it seems the problem for now, may have resolved itself. Time will tell.

    • Hi. I have just sort of wandered in from the Australian MRI-CISS pages. I am just experiencing a lack of cartridge reset on my Epson Artisan 730 running a MRI-CISS system for 82n cartridges. I checked my firm ware version which is WS13C4 36.36. I cannot recall ever updating the firmware of the printer. This was made clear when I received the CISS package. Does anyone have more info on this problem. I have tried all the sequences I can think of but none of the cartridges are resetting now. While on the subject. Before the resetting quit I noticed the very annoying situation of the printer actually stopping part way through a print to alarm on a non recognised cartridge. All printing had to be restarted after the cartridge reset. Has anyone experienced this problem? I think I’ve said enough for a debut to the blog. Hope someone can help. GavinW

      • Sounds a lot like one of a few things could be happening here:

        • The cartridge chips are out of alignment on the cartridges
        • The cartridges themselves are popping out of alignment
        • The chips have a fault and need to be replaced

        The first two issues can be resolved by checking and fixing any misalignments or carts popping out of position.. The Latter would require you contacting MRI-CISS to get replacement chips

        The thing to remember is that later versions of the Artisan 730 will have the updated firmware whether you have updated yourself or not so new chips could still be required.

    • Hi
      I have now managed to get my PX730WD to work using a CISS from cissmarket dot com
      I have set the printer not to receive auto updates so should not get further firmware problems. I hope.
      This company may be able to provide new chip sets for existing CISS.

    • Hello

      New firmware for Epson Photo PX830FWD (Artisan 837) : WB15D3 38.38 (38.38.WB15D3)

      Actually I have firmware WB13C4 36.36 which CISS is compatible and provided the best inks for printing photos ?

      Thanks for your help

    • Hi f1oren,
      As I posted back in January I have firmware WB13C4 36.36. After basically shelving the printer in disgust I actually purchased a Canon MG5350. This printer proved equally frustrating but with a different problem. Inks kept failing after a silent spell and only a headclean would bring them (maybe) back to life. During discussions with MIR-AUS about this problem it also came to light that I could purchase a full set of chips for the EPSON. After a bit of WTF you never mentioed this before I purchased a set (25 Aussie dollars). The EPSON Artisan 730 is now performing like a dream and it does produce very good images with the inks also sold by MIR-AUS (in Sydney Australia). You mention a new firmware version WB15D3 38.38. How much is actually known about it and its compatibilty with our printers in Australia? I assume you are in the UK.

    • my epson sx445w started playing up rejecting inks during print job
      so i tried my epson bx310 never had an issue 2nd print job it did the same

    • Make sure you set your computer so that it does not receive auto updates from Epson. Then it should not update the firmware.
      Just use the original set up and not a new driver from Epson as they have probably updated their drivers to include new firmware.

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