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Problems with laser printer toners
Thread poster: Madeleine MacRae Klintebo

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:03
Swedish to English
+ ...
Nov 18, 2007

I've recently posted this question on a techie website when I remembered the superb technical knowledge some Prozians have and decided to post here as well. I really need to find an urgent solution as I've got some printing to do tomorrow (and my son has homework due tomorrow).

This is my problem:

I've got an HP 2550L and for some time the lights for magenta, blue and yellow have been lit warning me that I'm running low of toner. No problems as I rarely need to print colours currently. Only now the light for yellow has started flashing indicating the toner is finished. I still don't need to print colour, but even when I tick "greyscale" in properties, the printer refuses to work.

I checked with the IT guys where I work in-house and they seem to think it's impossible to get a colour laser to print if any of the toners are missing. Any way I can "fool" the printer into thinking all toners are full and let me print greyscale? I don't really want to spend £50-70 x 3 buying toners I don't currently need.

Any help appreciated.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:03
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Try removing the yellow toner Nov 18, 2007

then shake the cartridge quite well and insert it back. This may cause the system to detect some rest toner in it and print again. However, you will indeed have to purchase a new set of colour cartridges, as a colour laser will not print with any empty oder used up ressource AFAIK.

Jerzy


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:03
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Jerzy - you're def. a Prozian with superb technical knowledge Nov 18, 2007

Thanks for your suggestion. Tried your method, but the light keeps flashing...

As a short term solution I think I might just buy a cheap ink jet tomorrow - I found these (incl. cartridges with some ink) from about £20.

When I need some proper printing, i.e brochures, etc., I'll invest in some more toners. Until then, an ink jet should do the job - occassional hard copy proofing and my son's homework.

Talk about a trow-away society, it's a lot cheaper for me to buy new, unnecessary, hardware than add some toner to the hardware I already own.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:03
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Current marketing strategy for printers Nov 19, 2007

I remember my first laser printer in the late 1980s. An Apple LaserWriter II, B&W of course, which cost me US$ 4,000 in the USA , and almost as much to get it delivered Brazil. The thing weighed 35 kg! The toner cartridge was compatatively not so expensive, about half of what one costs today, yielded almost 5,000 printed pages, about twice of what one gives today. As mine was one of the few such printers around at that time, it fully paid for itself in three months.

I also remember my first inkjet, already in the new trend that still prevails. It was a Canon BJ-200ex, again, B&W only. Its cartridge cost exactly 1/4 of the cost of the printer. Later it cost half of what I had paid for the whole printer.

Incidentally, the wife of a long time close friend of mine is a corporate big shot in the leading printer manufacturer. So, one day at a party I met some of her workmates. I took the chance to ask them: "What's your company's worst fear?" The answer was unanimous: "That people use remanufactured/reloaded printer cartrirdges."

So the printer industry now thrives on selling ink at heftier prices than the world's best perfumes. I guess ány of the current manufacturers would gladly GIVE you a printer for free, if you bought, say, 10 cartridge vouchers (yep, they expire).

Two of the strategies to force owners to buy more cartridges are:
a) Putting all three colors in one same cartridge, though Epson has been fighting this back;
b) Preventing printer operation when ONE of the cartridges is empty, in some models when it's almost empty. They say it's for safety: to ensure that you won't run out of ink during a large job. (My comment: Who cares? You might still use the good pages, discard and reprint the flawed ones. Paper is still cheaper than ink.)

But some people are fighting back from a different angle. See:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMp3jHeqVSw (the music is Italian. not Brazilian)
http://www.ciashop.com.br/bulkinkjet/dept.asp?template_id=60&partner_id=&dept_id=8111

Laser printers started on the same trend. I remember the first Xerox copiers (models 914 and 720) I ever saw in the early 1970s. They had a huge tank where the operator should pour toner bottles. Now it's all cartridges.

The whole thing looks to me as if a government distributed free cars to the population, however taxed fuels so heavily that one gallon of gas would cost US$ 100. It would work... for "them"!

Meanwhile, a cartridge with ribbon for a dot-matrix printer still costs about as much as a couple of beers, or a pack of cigarettes.

[Edited at 2007-11-19 10:35]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:03
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
I share this experience for inkjets Nov 19, 2007

and do avoid them. Not only the cartridges (even the compatible or refilled ones) are quite expensive, they also tend to dry out, when not used.
But as for laser printer, the situation is not that bad. Comparing the cost of a B/W printout you can get it very cheap - for example with Kyocera printers, even when buying original supplies.

In this very situation, when Madeleines HP 2550L colour cartridges are empty and shaking them does not help anymore, I would certainly look at eBay for refill or original cartridges. What I found just looking there is this offer for remanufactured cartridges for just 94 Pounds. This is certainly not the worsest offer

Jerzy


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Haiyang Ai  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:03
English to Chinese
+ ...
Is that so? Nov 19, 2007

Is that so? But my HP Photosmart D5168 printer works fine in greyscale mode without color toner at all. I just took out the color toner and printed a page in black and white. I think printers can do that. Are you sure the settings are correct? (Control Panel -> Printer)

-------------
English Chinese Translator
www.chineservice.com


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:03
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone. Nov 19, 2007

José - you've got it down to a T. My main problem right now is that they are trying to force me to buy something I don't, at the moment, need.

For the foreseeable future I only need greyscale printing, but they (the horrible printer & toner manufacturers) insist I have to buy yellow (and soon blue & magenta) in order to print BLACK.

Jerzy - refilled toners are definitely something to consider. The offer you linked to had probably expired by the time I clicked it, but I searched eBay using "HP 2550L" and think I found the same supplier.

But it still bugs me buying something I know I do not need in order to do something else. So I think I'll just buy a cheap and cheerful inkjet for £20 (and when the ink supplied runs out, it'll probably be cheaper to buy another one, price then £15, than getting new cartridges). And my son will be happy, having his "own" printer on his desk...

Haying Ai - your printer appears to be an inkjet. You can easily print greyscale with these, at least HP ones which I used to have, with missing cartridges. However, my printer is a laser and HP appears to have programmed these so that you need a full set of toners in order to be able to print anything, including greyscale.

Again thanks everyone. Off to buy another cheapy inkjet printer and do my bit to make sure we all live in an environmentally unsustainable world...


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