Back in my day, one toner cartridge could outlive the printer itself. OK, maybe immortal toner is yet another mirage in my *cough* middle-aged mind. But since 60 is the new 40 , I hereby declare myself 21! I digress. Yes, toner. . .
We at Idealware relatively recently bought a fast, reliable color laser printer. We love the machine, but after a few months, it stopped printing. “Replace toner,” read the tiny LCD. I’ve pulled a Lazarus on many a “dead” toner cartridge with a just a few shakes. I tried it on this one but still came up with “replace toner.” No minor miracles this time around. We replaced the toner cartridge as the printer demanded and all was well.
Several months later the printer again ground to a halt. This time it was the color ink cartridges that needed replacing, which was odd since we did very little color printing. Also strange was that cyan, yellow and magenta were all empty at the same time. This time around, we decided to Google the issue.
It turns out our printer has an undocumented toner count reset feature. I followed the somewhat confusing three step reset process for each of our three color toner cartridges and was rewarded with a working printer. Suspecting this resurrection would be short lived, I ordered a set of high capacity toner cartridges, which we’ve yet to unbox. That was over three months ago. Obviously there was plenty of toner left. Our printer is a Brother and while it might be tempting to simply avoid the brand, HP recently settled a class action suit
over toner status misrepresentation. It’s likely that such toner shenanigans are an industry-wide practice.
What to Do?
Google “toner count reset” with your printer’s model number, print the results and file them away. The next time your printer claims it’s out of toner, try out the reset procedure. You might save yourself some money. Pick out a cape and a tacky unitard; you'll be a superhero for a minute or two!
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