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Using Refilled Inkjet Printer Ink Cartridges

Updated on December 3, 2012

HP Photosmart P1000 Inkjet Printer

Inkjet Printer Ink Cartridges

Refilled Inkjet Printer Ink Cartridges seem like a good idea to save money, but the manufacturers don't want you to use them. They want you to buy new ones all the time, and this can make inkjet printing very expensive. Here is my experience.

HP Photosmart P1000

I had a perfectly good inkjet printer, an HP Photosmart P1000 which I bought in a sale a few years ago for then (then) bargain price of £99.

It was great for printing photographs, and also can be used without a computer, having its own memory card docking bay, though I confess I never used it that way because it was always connected to my computer.

Driver Updating

Then along came Windows XP, and it was no problem to go online and download a new driver. This printer continued to work, even after I took it to Spain and it was in storage for six months until we were settled into our new home. The ink cartridges here in Spain seemed to be even more expensive than they were back home <sigh>, but the advantage I had by this time was to know exactly which inks to buy by their number (knew them off by heart) as at that time I struggled to read Spanish, and certainly couldn’t have asked the assistant unless they spoke English.

HP Ink Cartridge


Then last year I went back to the UK and treated myself to new laptop. The prices of these marvellous little pieces of machinery have dropped substantially over the years, making them much more affordable to all.


I chose to buy one in my home country only so I could get all my software in English. I can find my way around a Spanish version of Windows, but I prefer to read BSOD’s in English!

Yes I still get them, even on this fantastic little beastie running Windows Vista.

Herein lies my problem – not the blue screens of death, something will fail altogether sooner or later, then I will know for certain what is causing them. The error messages are different each time – sometimes its IRQ not less or equal, sometimes it’s something attempted to write to a non-executable file, and sometimes it suggests I have a driver problem or perhaps a memory problem. But a reboot always solves it, so I’m not too worried at the moment.

No Updates

No my real problem is that HP have refused to release an updated driver for Win Vista. How good a way is that for them to get people to buy a new printer? Crafty or what?

Anyway, I googled my problem and found some suggestions saying that other specific drivers could be ‘forced’ on, and that they would make my printer work with some functionality, but I tried them all and no they didn’t work.

For the first time in years I had to hand-write letters! Now that’s a drag!

Lexmark X2250

Lexmark X2250

Then my good friend Elaine came back from the UK with a beautiful new smooth line printer/copier/scanner that she picked up in a sale for a bargain price, and promptly gave me her old machine, which was newer than the one I now have hanging around in a cupboard, driverless and outmoded, though in perfect working order.

It’s a Lexmark X2250 scanner/copier/printer and she’d lost the drivers, but that was no problem when I could simply download them from the internet. Yes, LEXMARK updated their drivers for VISTA. Good old Lexmark!


Elaine also gave me some new inks that she had bought in previously and not used.

My next problem began when I ran out of ink and had to source some new ones. Yes they are for sale here in Spain but if I thought HP was expensive; I was in for a shock when I saw the price of Lexmark inks.

Reconditioned Cartridges

Finally I bought some reconditioned/refilled ink cartridges on Ebay for a fraction of the price of new ones. The cartridges duly arrived with written instructions on what to do if the machine rejected the ink, as Lexmark built them with non-genuine ink software rejection software ( or it might even be hardware).

I played around with the machine and ticked certain buttons until finally the machine accepted them and let me print.

But they do not show the true reading of the ink levels (as warned by the supplying company) which means that one day they will run out without giving prior warning. Also the colour cartridge has to be re-inserted EVERY time I want to print in colour, which fortunately isn’t often.

I’m writing this hub in the hope that it may be of help to anyone else with a similar model who is thinking of buying re-filled cartridges, or of re-filling their own.

It will work but may need some tweaking.

Supply Company Advice

Quote from the documentation sent by the ink refill supply company.

“Update on Lexmarks: Cartridge not recognised/supported – This can happen more with Lexmarks and Dells. It is a problem initiated by the manufacturer. This can happen after the cartridge has actually printed, it is to do with a ‘smart chip’ in the printer. Please try rubbing the copper contact strip with an alcohol swab (the company kindly sent a few with the order) quite hard and retry. Their new cartridges using cartridges 4/5 14/15 23/24 28/29 36/37 etc have new chip technology which rejects refilled cartridges so beware when changing your printer.”

Lexmark Printer Cartridge
Lexmark Printer Cartridge


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    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      You're welcome :)

      They've been getting away with it for years. There is no way the inks should be costing up to ££70 to replace. The best bet is to shop around and find out who sells the cheapest ink cartridges.

      You will doubtless pay more for the printer, but you'd save that money back in just a year or two on inks.

    • paradigmsearch profile image

      Person of Interest 7 years ago from SoCal, USA

      Excellent article. Like all of us, I already knew that the printer companies are all a bunch of thieving bandits when it’s time to get ink cartridges. What I didn’t know was that they are now actively sabotaging their customers who try to find an alternate source. Lexmark, Dell, and whoever else does this, will never see a dollar of mine. This article saved me from buying from those disreputable companies. Thank you very much for writing it.

    • profile image

      Cheap printer cartridges 7 years ago

      The easiest solution for you is to check various sites who sell genuine printer cartridges at highly affordable price rather then going for refilled ones.Also check out the cartridge compatibility of your printer before buying them or placing an that you can save your money and time.

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      Thanks for that HelloEco. I'm pretty sure I just bought refilled cartridges and they are not working at all now, so next time it looks like my best bet will be to buy new, but I just wish the manufacturers would make them more affordable!

    • profile image

      HelloEcoMDR 8 years ago

      There is a difference between re-filling cartridges and remanufacturing. Re-manufactured cartridges should be made in an ISO 14001 certified facility. The cartridge innards are created new, not simply re-filled