Monday, August 08, 2011

Don’t Buy Kodak ESP-3250 Printer


Click here to follow me on Google+.

Don’t buy those Kodak printers that claim they have the cheapest ink.  I made that mistake and now I’m paying for it.  I presume all current production Kodak printers do this now too.

Here’s why:

I don’t print in color, except in very very rare occasions.  I almost always tell it to print in draft and black and white only.



My black ink cartridge that came with the printer ran out of ink shortly after I bought the printer and I’ve been running on a full sized replacement since then that I had to buy separately.  I’ve not replaced the introductory color cartridge because I have no need for it.

When I just now tried to print a document, using the settings shown above, I got this error:


Notice, the ONLY option is to “Cancel Printing”.

On the printer, I get this:


(Error  Color ink cartridge needs replacing. Press OK. (Error code 3508)

If I press OK, it moves the print heads to where I can pull them out, but won’t print.

If I press the “Cancel” button on the printer, it just cancels the print job.

If I remove the color cartridge, then put it back in, it KNOWS it’s still empty and behaves the same way.

I contacted Kodak support via chat.  The final results from the tech support agent are:

  1. Even when you explicitly image tell it to use only black ink, it still uses color ink for the “grays”.
  2. There’s NO WAY to tell it to use JUST black ink.
  3. There’s NO WAY to make it print, at all, even if you’re just printing black, have PLENTY of black ink image, but ONE of your 5 color wells is empty.

So, my options are:

  1. Buy ink I don’t need and don’t want, throwing out probably about 90% of the original color ink that’s STILL IN THE CARTRIDGE in the color wells that were never used.
  2. Toss this POS and buy ink for one of my shelved printers that actually WILL print, even if the color is out, and heck, even if the black is out too… at least it’ll attempt it.
  3. Hack this oversized paperweight to trick it into thinking it’s got a full color cartridge.

On a related note, check back later for an article on how to hack your Kodak ESP 3250! Winking smile

BTW, Kodak’s main selling point of this line of printers is that they’ve got the cheapest ink, which is a lie.  I found ink just as cheap for other printers.


Here are TODAY’s prices for color ink at WalMart:



And, BTW, ink for inkjet printers is more expensive per gram than PLATINUM!  I have an acquaintance that actually cracked open one, weighed the ink, and was able to determine that by weight, the ink is considerably more expensive than an equivalent amount of platinum.

According to WolframAlpha, the current price of platinum is $1,716 per troy ounce.  Hmmm…  My acquaintance made the measurement about 5 years ago, and it looks like the price was about $1,100/oz then.  Maybe… just Maybe, platinum has become more expensive than printer ink… not quite sure.


[Update]  After I posted this I started searching for “kodak esp 3250 scam” and I found other people reporting the same thing, and worse:

BTW, if you want an invite to Google Plus, e-mail me at image.  That’s not a clickable e-mail address… It’s a picture to prevent spammers from easily scraping it.  You’ll need to type that address, exactly as you see it, including the G and the + in front of the word “Invite”.  I’d also appreciate you clicking the “+1” at the bottom of this post.
See this image? image_thumb26
You’ll find an actual working version of it at the bottom of this article. Please click the appropriate buttons in it to let your friends know about this printer scam.

Check back later for updates too

Click here to follow me on Google+.

Good Luck!


  1. Hack please! I'm at my wits end between my crappy printer not recognising my new colour cartridge and it refusing to print only black...sick, sick sick of it! Waiting avidly for your hack and will welcome it with open arms. :D

  2. I'll see if I can get to it this weekend.

  3. Please make a modified/hacked Kodak soft that allows users to keep printing even if the ink is out! and also please disable the softwares auto update crap too please!!!

    PROBLEM 1:
    I have a Kodak ESP 5250 that I run with my (10.6)OSX Mac computer (I think all the 5200 series printers are the same.) Currently all the Kodak printers will not let you keep printing once either one of the ink (color or black) cartridges becomes "empty". In frustration, I tore open a new and "empty" ink cartridge to compare the difference in ink. And there was a tone of extra ink left in the "empt" ink cartridge that I was unable to use because the little memory chip on the cartridge ran beyond its limit.

    I tried to shock the memory chip on the cartridge, tried getting it wet, tried to burn it, I tried everything to make it reset itself, but nothing worked. thus I have come to the understanding the software itself needs to be hacked.

    I don't care about the ink levels!! I just want to keep printing till the ink is completely empty and it prints faded documents! Or I want to be able to print black documents and not have to by a new color cartridge to do so! Not having the freedom to print is such an annoying issue!

    (The printer occasionally request updates that you have to download to the printer. So I'm guessing all you would need to do is take out the part of the code that checks for ink levels.)

    PROBLEM 2:
    Also if you could disable the update feature that would be great, it is extremely annoying that when ever a new "update" comes out, your printer suddenly acts up and wont print until you update it!!! I don't understand why! it was printing just fine hours before!!!
    This problem is specially annoying when you need your print right now! but you cant print till you update the stupid thing. This has waisted so much of my time!. it is almost not worth buying a kodak printer because of these two issues.

    I feel like I have waisted my so much money and time.

    Please hack the software! this will fix all the issues!

    Also, a pre warning to any new Kodak printer buyers:
    1) Do not fight the printer for paper. If it grabs the paper you need to just let it go. If you fight it youll get a paper jam, and if you get the paper jammed in your kodak printer then your done. The Kodak printer is not something you can easy open up or take apart and fix (I tried and failed, and destroyed the printer.) If your paper jams once your printer is as good as dead.
    2) Do not use printer stickers in your Kodak printer. If a sticker gets on your printer wheel inside, then there is no removing it at all. And then your printer will soon jam and die because the sticker will make it loos frictions.
    All the internal parts on the Kodak printer are so complicated and compact, that you really cant work on it if it breaks. I have repaired iphones, xboxes, monitors, and many industrial printers and other electronics but I failed to repair the Kodak ESP 5250.

    (Contact me at:

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Trying to find out what happened still can't get my printer to print and I've tried replacing the color cartridge 3 times ....did you hack???????????? HELP

  6. I would love to see a hack on this!

  7. Any luck of any kind on hacking the ships on the ink cartridge on kodak ESP7?
    I'm starting to feel very very upset! The POS jsut don't even scan documents when you have one of the ink cartridges low
    Thanks in advance

  8. ANy hack yet my esp 3 is driving me nuts.. cant i just put a button battery on the little chip to clear it???

  9. Thanks for the heads-up. I was googling Kodak printers and looking at a used one. I was looking for a decent printer with cheap ink replacements. I had the same issue with a HP, though a little different outcome.

  10. I will not be hacking this printer. I'm leaving it as just a scanner. I now use a wireless network based laser printer as my primary printer.