This article is updated regularly and has been edited to take account of the firmware updates released in April 2019.
The "missing or damaged" error is almost always caused by a firmware update. Often, a set of cartridges will be working perfectly well one day, and have this error the next. Essentially, HP have sent some data to your printer that has broken its ability to talk to the cartridges.
- What is firmware?
- How and why was it updated?
- Can I reverse a firmware update?
- If I can't reverse it, can I return the cartridges?
- How do I turn off firmware updates?
- Downloads and links
Your printer has a microprocessor inside - basically a mini computer - that makes it work. The programs running on this microprocessor are called "firmware" as opposed to "software" because they are semi-permanent and are not designed for user interaction.
If your printer is on your WiFi network or is connected by cable to a computer with an internet connection, firmware updates can happen in the background. You won't be notified before or after the update, and often the only way that you'll find out that it happened is that your cartridges will stop working. You can turn updates off, but the default setting is "on".
HP issue updates for a number of reasons, but the main effect is to alter their "dynamic security" feature. This controls how the printer talks to cartridges, so if the chip on your cartridge is designed for an older version of the firmware, the printer won't be able to communicate with it, and will report it as missing or damaged.
Sometimes. Following a negative media reaction to the updates released in September 2016, HP made downloadable versions available that would roll back the changes to the dynamic security feature. However, more recent updates have not attracted the same attention, so without the public and media pressure to address the issue, HP have not been inclined to make later changes reversible.
In almost all printers made after December 2016, there is no realistic way to reverse a firmware update.
If you bought them from us, and they are still within the warranty period (usually a year), then the answer is yes.
We may not have replacement stock for a short while after a firmware update, while we source cartridges with the new chip type, but we will make sure you are covered. You can return your cartridges (including partially used items) for replacements if we have them, or if not, for credit towards either replacements when they arrive, or OEM cartridges (which will be more expensive, so there will be a price difference to pay). Alternatively, you can get a refund.
Please get in touch with our customer service team to arrange a return authorisation before sending anything back to us.
Other retailers may have different return policies. Since technically the cartridges are fit for the purpose for which they were sold at the time of the transaction, and they don't work now because of a change in the circumstances in which they are being used, there is no legal requirement for them to be considered faulty under warranty.
All automatic updates can be turned off, but the exact process depends on the age and functionalilty of the printer. Please note that turning off firmware updates will stop any new ones from being applied, but will not reverse the effect of an existing update.
Most reliable is to use the printer's internal control panel - open a browser tab and type in the printer's IP address, then turn off "auto update" in the settings menu. For printers with a physical control panel, the same option can be selected from the "update printer" setting here.
For very old printers you may need to uninstall the update software, which is a separate installation to the driver.
An article with more detailed instructions will be available soon.
Be careful to select the right printer, especially noting 68 at the beginning of some models and 86 at the beginning of others, the difference between "dn" and "dw" in some of the Pro X series, and the difference between the OfficeJet Pro 8730 All-in-One and the OfficeJet Pro 8730 Mono. If your printer model is not listed here, it may not have a solution provided by HP, but please get in touch with us as we may have some specific advice for you.
|Printer||PC Firmware||Mac Firmware||HP Support Site|
|OfficeJet 6810, 6820 series||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet 6950 series *||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 6230 series||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 6830 series||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 6970 series *||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 7740 series *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8210 series *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8610, 8615, 8616 series||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8620, 8625 series||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8630 series||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8640 series||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8660 series||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8710 series *||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8720 series *||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8730, 8740 AiO series *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro 8730 Mono series *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro X451dn||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro X451dw||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro X476dn||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro X476dw||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro X551dw||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|OfficeJet Pro X576dw||DOWNLOAD||DOWNLOAD||LINK|
|PageWide 352 *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|PageWide 377 *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|PageWide Pro 452dn *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|PageWide Pro 452dw *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|PageWide Pro 477dn *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|PageWide Pro 477dw *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|PageWide Pro 552dw *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
|PageWide Pro 577dw *||DOWNLOAD||not available||LINK|
* Printers marked with an asterisk will NOT turn off the dynamic security feature if they were manufactured after 1st December 2016.
The PC firmware versions are compatible with Windows 7 onward, and the Mac versions with OS 10.9 onward. Downloads for other operating systems may be available on the support page.
Should you prefer to download the firmware directly from HP's support site, just click the "link" button for the appropriate page.
Instructions - downloads
The files are .exe (Windows) and .dmg (Mac OS) format, so just need to be run from the location that they have downloaded to. There will be some simple on-screen prompts to follow. More detailed instructions are available on HP's support page about this issue.
Instructions - HP support site link
When you arrive at this page, first ensure that the correct operating system is selected (the page will try to detect the OS, you can change this if you need to). Then click the "Firmware" link below, followed by the blue "Download" on the panel that opens up. A new page will open as the file downloads, with further instructions on locating and running the file.
When the new firmware is installed, you can exit any open processes. You may need to turn the printer off and back on again for your remanufactured cartridges to be recognised.
Need more help?
If you're having difficulty installing the new firmware, or need any other advice, please let us know and our experts will be happy to assist you.