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possible to swap toner cartridges that aren't empty?

possible to swap toner cartridges that aren't empty?

possible to swap toner cartridges that aren't empty?

OK... I know that probably sounds like the most stupid question ever, but I assure you I have my reasons.

I have had impact printers, thermal printers, ink pen plotters, dot-matrix printers, daisy wheel printers and ink jet printers, but this is my first time seriously using a laserjet printer. I went with the HP MFP M476nw. I love it.

Recently I have been getting requests to review products on Amazon. I guess one of the sellers saw my review on that printer and offered to send me a 312x aftermarket cartridge to review. I didn't think about this at the time, but my current cartridge is only about half gone - if that. Is it possible to swap cartridges mid-stream or does that confuse things? And would that be messy? I haven't had to replace this cartridge yet, so I don't know how that works...

I know HP doesn't recommend aftermarket cartridges, but if they didn't want people to use them, they shouldn't charge $100 for theirs! Anyway... any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

RE: possible to swap toner cartridges that aren't empty?

The only really big NO-NO associated with laser printers is physically moving the printer (even just across the aisle, for example) with the toner cartridge(s) in place. I.e., ALWAYS remove the cartridge(s) before even jostling the printer.

That is possible, and not usually messy, because the cartridges have a mechanical shutter that covers the toner compartment opening when you remove them from the printer, and conversely, inserting the cartridge opens the shutter.

I don't know if you can still get them, but it used to be possible to buy cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges for my ancient Apple Laserwriter, so you could in theory do color printing, in a multistep process, by exchanging cartridges, carefully shuffling stacks of paper, and doing a color separation before sending your image to the printer, in four stages. I don't have the patience for it, but it has been done.

So I wouldn't worry about extracting a cartridge in mid-life and setting it aside to use a different cartridge for a while. Do wrap it, store it per the usual instructions, and don't play football with it.

As for what the printer will do in response to an aftermarket cartridge, I'd expect it to detect the interloper and issue some dire warning. Whether the printer will punish you in some way, I don't know.

RE: possible to swap toner cartridges that aren't empty?

Cool... One more question, if I may... how will the toner level be affected?

That's cool about the color printing on the Apple, by the way. I remember back in the day, I used to do color scans with a black-and-white handheld scanner using red, blue and green filters and three passes... Sometimes the old days were always the best! lol

Thank you for your help!

RE: possible to swap toner cartridges that aren't empty?

I'd >guess< a modern printer would remember the cartridge's serial number and report the toner level more or less accurately after reinsertion. I don't know of a reliable way to measure the actual toner level, so it's probably based on cycle counts anyway.

RE: possible to swap toner cartridges that aren't empty?

I think that some modern printers write data to the chip in the toner cartridge, so that (for example):
  • If a cartridge is used in one printer, that printer's serial number is written to the chip.
  • If the cartridge is then loaded into another printer, that printer may report a 'used toner' (I don't know if this would then prevent use of that cartridge).

RE: possible to swap toner cartridges that aren't empty?

You are 100% able to remove a toner cartridge at any time in its life cycle, replace it with any other toner, and then even go back to the original toner if needed. All toner is cycle counted, unless they have changed things recently, and the chip on each unit is what will designate how much it thinks it has left in it. Same goes for Fuser and Imaging Unit Chips. The toner level will coordinate with how new the toner cart is. If it hasn't been used, 100%. If it was at 50% when you take it out and then put it back in, it will still be at 50% when inserted.

I have used aftermarket toner in at least 7 different printers and was able to make it work in all of them. Some of them may throw an aftermarket toner error but simply going through the Admin settings and either allowing non-HP toner or telling it to ignore has always worked for me.

Learning - A never ending quest for knowledge usually attained by being thrown in a situation and told to fix it NOW.

RE: possible to swap toner cartridges that aren't empty?

Thank you all! I am relieved to here this.

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