pmeerw's blog

Aug 2018

Mon, 27 Aug 2018

Lexmark, good and WTF?!

Lexmark puts out security security updates for it's printers, also for my oldish ms415dn model; the latest firmware was released in June 2018 (LW70.TL2.P022) -- that's good, it fixes 10 CVEs (KRACK), updates OpenSSL, and adds SMBv3 support.

Yet the detailed release notes fail to mention that the new firmware also disables 3rd party toner cartridges (resulting in error code 32.46, unsupported cartridge). And Lexmark makes in rather difficult to diagnose the problem and downgrade the firmware, leaving you with a non-functional printer at an inopportune time (a.k.a. weekend) -- WTF?

Here's how to get the printer back:

  1. Find old firmware (not that I recommend Softpedia). Lexmark doesn't seem to offer it anymore, arrgh.
  2. The printer won't accept flashing a firmware downgrade via the web interface, WTF?
  3. Learn that there is a USB recovery mode: press 2,7,8 on power up until 'USB recovery' appears on the small screen next to the panel.
  4. Obtain Lexmark's USB flash utility. It didn't work on Windows 10 for me, at least the DOS (WTF!) tool worked in a virtualized Windows XP running on Ubuntu. Almost zero output from the tool in the shell, but the progress bar on the printer's screen goes up if it works.

All information is there, just a pain-in-the-ass to find. Lexmark, you can do better!

Lexmark, if you disable toner cartridges for whatever reason, say so in the release notes! I might even understand... but stop this foul play; communicate openly.

posted at: 12:31 | path: /rant | permanent link

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