Canon printer suddenly very picky about my generic print cartridges

I’ve never had a problem with the Canon MP610 I’ve had for a very long time. But suddenly early this summer, not even during a print cartridge swap out, I started getting “type of print head is incorrect” messages. I’ve been using generic cartridges for years with no issue. Is it possible there was some kind of update slipped to my printer, and somehow I didn’t notice it (Win10)? I don’t use Canon’s software so I’m pretty confused.

Sure, if the printer can connect to the internet. Buddy of mine had his TV update on its own and suddenly start showing banner ads. F that noise.

Windows 10 also helpfully (… ha!) updates driver software on it’s own.

Oh darn :( I was hoping Canon wasn’t pulling an HP. I literally just copied and printed something 5 days ago and today I get this message doing the same thing. I can’t even tell which of the 5 print cartridge it’s referring to.

I had the same problem periodically with my Epson, and I found that popping out all of the cartridges and pushing them back in helped almost every time if I had a random “unauthorized” error.

You could check your update history and see if the drivers were indeed updated too. I’m not sure if driver updates show up there or not but it’s worth a look. Since it wouldn’t have been the only thing to update almost certainly, you should see other updates for the date range in question.

Edit: Finally, if you can identify the problem culprit you can replace just that one cartridge. If you were low anyways, you could replace them all. Problem with that of course is that if Canon is now evil you will lose all that money to worthless cartridges… my be worth a cursory search to see if others are complaining on the net right now.

None of them work right now. I’ve taken them all out, put all back in at same time, done one by one, and many combinations of thus. I am so surprised. I mean, every single one now says incorrect print-head. I ordered some replacements from a different generic company. Hope this works :/

Been doing some research. There’s actually no official firmware update on Canon’s website. Can the whole official cartridge deal happen without a firmware update? I’m starting to wonder if my entire printer failed. 2 weeks ago I kept getting “fix the jammed paper” message even though there was no paper jam.

Sure, printers have moving parts and are sold with razor-thin profit margins because they make all their money on the ink. Cheap printers break every other Tuesday.

Was so excited because after intricate cleaning, then changing out all the print cartridges yesterday I got non-black text stuff to print properly (Word documents with black text were all messed up). So I got some important docs printed in blue. Today, I need to add another document and… it is messed up even worse though literally nothing changed. Now the “print-head is not installed” it says. Took it out, swapped things etc etc. Same error message. Now I need a new printer. Most important to me is one that accepts generic print cartridges because I can’t afford the cost of real ones.

Any suggestions? Reading amazon reviews sets on up for insanity because it makes every printer sound horrible.

Wirecutter is always good for reviews:

I got an Epson all-in-one that takes generics (unwillingly though, lol) from Costco. It failed after a little over a year, so I took it back to Costco and got another. Will repeat as necessary until they won’t do it for me anymore as long as they keep selling it. :)

Good point! Would definitely buy at Costco for the unlimited returns. Cheap printers don’t last long.

Just know that in your struggle, you aren’t alone. How often do you actually use your printer? I print so infrequently at home that I typically just buy a new printer each year as an offering to the printer gods because the cost of replacing the dried-out ink is about the same (if not more) than getting a new, cheap printer.

Few times a week. Sometimes very heavily. I might be doing some experimental treatments so I’ll need to print and log a lot of stuff.

OK I need to hear about this. :) Is it a lot of work? Do you have to take it out to dinner first? What must you do to get it to accept generics?

It just takes some finagling. Usually I have to insert them twice because the first time it will complain. Sometimes it will complain that they are empty when they aren’t, etc

It seems everything is going according to plan, for Canon: just looked up and found epic, years long threads on the Canon forums about this crippleware issue. From what I gather, Canon is telling you to throw your printer away and buy a different brand - just as you are doing. Doesn’t seem economically sound, but I don’t understand modern enterprises!
My own Canon model (MP470) seems to be safe from that kind of timed retirement, although I bet there will be a different surprise waiting for me at some point.

If you only do black and white, I can definitely vouch for my Brother 2270 wireless laser printer. I’ve owned it about six years now and have gone through the starter cartridge and one high capacity cartridge (name brand) since then. I put a generic in about six months ago and am still going fine. I think my total print count is around 13,000 pages or so. GF in grad school plus GMing 40,000,000 RPGs will do that to ya…

+1. I have a Brother 2280 of roughly the same vintage, and it’s been awesome. Durable, cheap to run, and very few maintenance issues. My only complaint is that the envelope feeder crinkles the top left edge, and that’s just a minor niggle. The Wirecutter’s current pick is the Brother HL-L2340DW.

For me, black and white hasn’t been a limitation; on the very rare occasions I need color copy, it has to be higher quality than a cheap printer will deliver, so I’d be going to Kinkos or wherever anyway.

And saying “Fuck you, I’m out” to the inkjet merry-go-round is deeply satisfying.

I sort of hate to mention this because I love laser printers and I’m pretty sensitive, but it may be important for Jeff. When my (Dell) laser printer at work prints something it stinks and I get a little irritated in the nose and lungs. It does sit on the floor below me on my left hand side so I might get the worst of it. But it might be something you want to look at in case you consider buying since I know you’re sensitive too.

That’s a totally fair point. Mine also makes the lights flicker cuz it sucks so much power!

+1 For the el cheapo Brother. Had it for a couple of years now. Bought one hi capacity cartridge since then, though the starter cartridge worked well for a long time.

There’s a joke GIF in there somewhere, but I lack the energy to search for it.