tonersinksI purchased an HP Colour LaserJet model number CP2025 about 6 months ago. It was shipped with "starter" cartridges (the salesperson explained that the starter cartridges were roughly one-third full). Not a problem though, since I knew about that already. As expected, the initial cartridges didn't last long before the printer stopped printing as it needed a new black cartridge.

So I purchased a new set of cartridges. As a matter of interest, the printer cost me just over R5,000 excl VAT, and the new set of cartridges cost me just under R6,000 excl VAT. So what are the lessons from this?

1. Shop around. You can now purchase the same cartridges at R3,300 excl VAT (original) on the Internet!
2. Or you can purchase refurbished cartridges for about R2,300 excl VAT. "That will void your warranty" the manufacturer will tell you. Frankly, at such a difference in pricing, and with the laser printer being so inexpensive, you may be prepared to risk voiding the warranty
3. Lastly, it seems that there is quite a bit of toner left in the cartridge when the printer gives the "toner out" message, but you need to change the default setting on the printer to bypass the error message. I would guess that most printers have a similar setting these days.

On the HP CP2025 colour laser printer you can change the setting as follows:

a. On the laser printer control panel, press the ‘x' to clear the status message
b. Press the ‘OK' button to load the menu
c. Then press the right arrow to go to the ‘Setup Menu - System Setup'
d. Press the ‘OK' button, followed by 2 right arrows
e. The display will now show ‘System Setup - Print Quality'
f. Press the ‘OK' button, followed by 3 right arrows
g. The display will now show ‘Print Quality - Replace Supplies'
h. Press the ‘OK' button, followed by 1 right arrow
i. The display will now show ‘Replace Supplies *Stop at out*'
j. Press the right arrow
k. The display shows ‘Print Quality *Override Out*'
l. Press the OK button, and then press OK again to confirm
m. Then press the ‘x' button to return to normal operation


The printer will now continue printing until the toner runs out. You should be able to see when this happens since print quality will deteriorate. (White blotches, wrong colours, streaky printing etc.) At this point you can try removing the empty cartridge, and giving it a few solid slaps to dislodge any toner that may have stuck to the sides of the cartridge. Then put it back in and try printing again. If it still doesn't print properly, it is time to replace the empty cartridge.

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Contributed by:
Chris Pearson

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