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Dell printer ink level reporting


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So, I've had this Dell (Rebranded lexmark) printer for about a year. The first time I tried to use a refilled cartridge, the printer came back with some sort of error, the specifics of which escape me at the moment. After some snooping on my system, I found this evil little piece of software called something like DLCXCATS. After a little more sleuthing, i learned that this software is installed with Dell and Lexmark branded printers, without the installers knowledge or choice. It's purpose is to use a mathematical formula to estimate the number of drops of ink that has been used by any given print cartridge, and to then report that number, along with the cartridges individual serial number (MAC address?) back to a server. When those two numbers have been reported, and a new (or refilled) cartridge is inserted into the printer, if that cartridges number matches a number from a previously drained cartridge, the software will stop the printer from being able to use that cartridge. Basically, this is Dell's way of making sure you have to buy brand new cartridges, because after all, that's how they make their money when it comes to printer related sales. After a reinstall, I've forgotten the exact steps that I took to make sure that dell can't collect any information from my end without my express consent (which I would never do). The reason that I am writing this post, is to ask if anyone can suggest some software that will allow me to monitor the installation process of the printer software, and better yet, one that will allow me to customize the data that is sent to the Dell server by the DLCXCATS sypware. I would like to do something such as tell the Dell server that my print cartridge has 1,000,000 drops of ink, or tell it that it's a Macintosh branded ink cartridge, something along those lines. Nothing malicious, but just something to "get even" with Dell for installing spyware on my computer. No one appreciates this kind of software except for the people that force poor little old ladies to spend 30 dollars on brand new ink cartridges, instead of a more fair price like 5 or 10 dollars for a refilled cartridge. So, does anyone know of a good program that will at least allow me to monitor the installation? let me just make it clear that I have no desire to transmit any malicious data to any server, though I do want to transmit inaccurate data. After all, it's my computer, my printer, my bandwidth, and if Dell has the right to send data to themselves from my IP and my printer without my consent, I have the right to choose to have that data be inaccurate, especially since I paid for it. Any suggestions? Disagree?

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So, lets say you work in an office, and this printer will never see internet access through the host machine. What happens then? Must be something internally to the software on the machine hooked to the printer, and not so much as a reporting back to dell or whomever's website, because if you dont let it online, how can it report it to them. There should be a way to change this setting locally, if not override the software from not letting you refill the ink cartridge.

One thing you can do, uninstall all the printer software and then make sure to delete any left behind programs from system32 and the reg keys. Then, plug in the printer and let windows find the driver off the install cd, or possibly off windows update. Then there is only the driver to make the printer work, and you just use windows default printer properties for the device, no need to have all that crappy lexmark shit that runs in the background. Thats what I always did with any printers I installed. Dont use their GUI software that runs in the background or starts with windows, just the use driver itself.

By the way, Lexmark printers suck ass to begin with. Bloatware you will never need running all the time in the background and starts with windows. Kill that shit.

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Monitor file and registry access: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb896645.aspx

Laser printers area much cheaper in the long run, or you buy a new printer every time you need ink.

Thanks for the link. Laser printers are definitely cheaper over time, but I don't do enough printing to merit the initial investment, especially since I only buy ink and not cartridges. I read that an update for Lexmark lasers printers rendered any third party chips useless, and since the aftermarket toner cartridges have them, any third part toner was then useless. BOGUS!

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From what I understand, the data base of cartridge serial numbers is updated every 30 days, and the software only checks the database when a new cartridge is installed into the printer. If the new cartridge isn't allowed to check that database, then the software can't know weather or not the cartridge is used or not, as long as the data base isn't stored locally, which would probably not even be possible. When I install refilled ink, the software tells me that it's empty, even though that serial number reporting software doesn't exist on my computer. There's more to the story, but my eyes are hurting. Maybe I'll come back to it tomorrow.................

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Lexmark printers suck big time. Had a hell of a time getting a bunch of them working after they got "compatible" replacement cartridges. Bloody printers would complain about "non-Lexmark ink" or "non-genuine ink" or some such shit. Royal pain in the ass, since, while you could print with them, the software notified you every time you went to print something.

*throws printer out window*

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Lexmark printers suck big time. Had a hell of a time getting a bunch of them working after they got "compatible" replacement cartridges. Bloody printers would complain about "non-Lexmark ink" or "non-genuine ink" or some such shit. Royal pain in the ass, since, while you could print with them, the software notified you every time you went to print something.

*throws printer out window*

I don't know if you had this issue after the update was deployed, but it could have something to do with that inclusion which caused 3rd party chips to be incompatible. I finally had to make the Dell software on my printing machine unable to read the ink levels from the printer. That damn thing wanted to let me know that the ink was low every single time i printed something, and wow, that is extremely annoying. Anything short of serious software and possibly hardware mods, these printers are next to useless. I've heard that all of the printer and printer utility software manufacturers have gone to similar systems as are used in the Lexmark 'wares. I think it would be great is one of the more productive minds on this forum could put together a "purely-for-putting-ink-to-paper" printer from various parts, and maybe writing a nice little software program that actually makes it useful and not extremely annoying and cumbersome to use. Doesn't seem like it would be too difficult, after all, there are guys who make printed circuit board through hole CNC drills with old printer parts and a little C.

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It was sometime in late 2008 I believe. I don't know when that update was deployed, but it was sure freaking annoying.

Especially when it would lock the printer up so that it wouldn't print and get tons of crap stuck in the queue until you did a reboot.

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