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How to update and activate chipless firmware - Complete Guide

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Choosing right firmware version for your printer.

 

Activation of the chipless firmware consists of two steps:

  • Uploading chipless firmware to the printer using standalone firmware updater.
  • Activating firmware via network using activation program.

Firmware updaters for the printers can be found here:

https://chiplesssolutions.com/download.shtml

Activation software for the chipless firmware can be downloaded from here:

http://chiplesssolutions.com/download/License.zip

Activation keys are available on the download page (see link above).

 

Important Note!

Although many archives with firmware updaters have 99Z9 in their names and firmware updater shows same identifier during update process, it is not real firmware version. 

Real version can be found in the corresponding archive name that uses the following format:

MODEL_CHIP_REAL-FIRMWARE-VERSION_**99Z9

For example real firmware version for P400_FWF406TL_FA20I4_FA99Z9.zip will be FA20I4.

The first two letters in both cases (i.e. FA20I4 and FA99Z9) is firmware series and it must match first two letters of the current printer`s firmware.

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Preparing for Update.

 

In order ro ensure succesfull activation of the firmware, please, follow this steps.

1. Make sure that you are using high quality short USB cable and working USB port. Although you current setup may be sufficient for printing, it may fail during firmware update or activation process. If you get any errors, consider changing USB cable or using another port.

2. Ensure that USB connection is enabled in the printer`s settings. Some models may allow to disable USB module in the settings and it may be disabled for your device by default. 

3. Make sure that there are no documents in the printing queue. Printing queue must be empty for succesfull update and activation.

4. Shutdown all epson processes and disable all epson services. This includes Epson Status Monitor, Epson Update Center, Epson Participation Program and many more. Any of those applications can interfere with update process. You can close them manually one by one or you can use WICReset feature to close them all. In the second case you will need to download and install WICReset then start it as administrator and select in the main menu `Support` > `Disable processes` (note that WICReset will forcibly shutdown the processes and all unsaved data will be lost).

5. Disable automatic firmware updates for the printer.

5. For license.exe make sure that your printer has low virtual port number.

6. If you have any doubts you can check if activation server is available for you using telnet.

7. After all that is done, shutdown the printer and start it again in the NORMAL mode (i.e. just press the power button).

8. Printer is ready for firmware update and activation. Please follow further instructions here for License.exe.

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Update or recovery instruction for models that use License.exe

 

Note 1

While earlier update process required the use of the service mode, starting from the September 2019 it has been blocked on the most printers. Today firmware update MUST be executed in the normal mode (i.e. usual printing mode) for all models.

 

Note 2

Unfortunatelly, for some models update process is only possible if printer is ready to print (i.e. it does not show ink out error or any other errors at all). For such printer recognizable ink cartridges or suitable alternative must be installed while it is updating. If it is not possible, you may try to update it first using service mode and if it fails, try this method. The affected printers are:

XP-211 XP-212 XP-213 XP-214 XP-216 PX-046A
XP-230 XP-231 XP-235 PX-048A
XP-430 XP-431 XP-434
WF-2630

and possibly some others.

 

Note 3

You must always use type-b USB port at the back of the printer, some printers also have one on the front but it is only usable for file transfer with external memory devices and has no other functionality.

 

Execution:

Step 1

Download latest chipless firmware version for your printer, see the post above for more information and links.
 

Step 2

Extract archive to the separate folder and run EPFWUPD.exe updater:

HOWTOLICENSEEXE001.jpg.7c0735d098738f33ee81ad700778b9f0.jpg

 

Step 3

Start updating process and follow the instructions:

HOWTOLICENSEEXE002.jpg.da9a86786a111a45b032b816ea5c6bda.jpg

HOWTOLICENSEEXE003.jpg.f7383f365864d943f0344d17212469db.jpg

HOWTOLICENSEEXE004.jpg.1e4b19051d40f8c3206808234f75bc9c.jpg

HOWTOLICENSEEXE005.jpg.4baf19cf15a9832be2406167ebd0fbda.jpg

 

Step 4

During the update process printer will either blink with LED indicators using different patterns or will show the message on the LCD similar to the following:

HOWTOLICENSEEXE006.jpg.4d31b98a2d2abda6a32e1d2de7ecdde3.jpg

 

Step 5

When process comes to about 70 - 80% (it will take around 3 - 4 minutes) printer will reboot. Wait about 5 minutes while update is in progress, then you will see Update Failed message - that's OK - close updater.

HOWTOLICENSEEXE007.jpg.674ca3cae785378d4d8e2e4ecbd65d05.jpg

HOWTOLICENSEEXE008.jpg.249920245205b6d3d6fafa2366653804.jpg

HOWTOLICENSEEXE009.jpg.94f0d52d550f62a05d41e6b7f1deb45d.jpg

 

Step 6.1

After firmware update is completed you may check current firmware version and make sure that it matches the version of the chipless firmware (see the post above).

 

Step 6.2

  • If you are activating your printer for the first time then run License.exe application and activate chipless firmware using new activation key.
  • If you have already activated printer in the past and then accidentally updated the firmware then use same activation key (activation key that you have already used first time) for this printer again.

HOWTOLICENSEEXE010.jpg.dc834dd4b70f23dcb3de5f23cc9369e3.jpg

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Troubleshooting and list of error codes for License.exe

 

1. If Licence.exe does not have your printer in the list, please, do the following:

2. License.exe shows Reading Failed error:

  • One of the possible reasons regardless of the code may be that firmware did not load properly or at all. In this case you need to upload it again.
  • Second possible (altrough rare) reason is that the printer`s motherboard chips are incompatible with the current chipless firmware (either because they are changed by the manufacturer or printer is modified by the third party) which makes activation impossible.
  • Reading failed -1 TBD
  • Reading failed -2 TBD

3. License.exe shows Communication Failed error with error code:

  • 10060 or 10065 Client application on the user side could not connect to the server. Make sure that you are using stable internet connection. Make sure that antivirus/firewall software does not block application. Make sure that server is accessible from your side. If possible, try to change internet provider.
  • 10086 or 10087 Entered activation key is not compatible with the selected printer. Make sure that you bought correct key and you are activating correct printer.
  • 10088 Entered activation key does not exist. Make sure that you typed key correctly or better yet copy it from the source. Also, make use that you are not using payment reference number as activation key. Correct activation key must have following format: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.
  • 10089 or 10090 Server has internal problem or updating. You need to wait and try again later.
  • 10091 TBD
  • 10092 The key is already used, key is expired or internal error occured. Please, check key expiration date first. If you did not use the key and expiration date has not come yet, contact the developer. Please, read how to send error reports first.
  • 10093 Entered key is not compatible with the selected model. Make sure that you bought correct key and selected correct printer in the application.

4. If your problem is not resolved, please, read this.

 

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License.exe does not list my printer!

Solution:

Each time when you connect USB printer to the PC, virtual printing USB port name (USB001, USB002, etc) is assigned. Once you install the driver this assignment is remembered and as a result the more installed printers you have in the system the higher is the port number for the next one. Unfortunately, License.exe can only work with the first 32 ports, so in order to use it with the new device, you need to delete one of the existed printers with low port number, freeing it, and then replug the new one (of course it will only work if the new device is not installed itself, otherwise it will have fixed port number and nothing will change). Bottom line, remove as many unused printers from the system as possible, including this one, then restart the printer.

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How to use telnet to check server availability for License.exe.

Instruction:

1. We will use telnet client for this, a standard Windows component that allows connections to the generic port on specified IP address. Note that telnet is completely unrelated to the chipless firmware or activation software and do not provide any additional features.

2. Telnet client is already activated for Windows XP, but you need to turn it on manually for Windows Vista and later versions.

3. In order to activate telnet client do the following:

  • Open `Control Panel`.
  • Select `Programs` or `Programs and Features` depending on windows version.
  • Select `Turn Windows features on or off`.
  • In the opened dialog make sure that `telnet client` box is checked and press `OK`.

4. Connect to the server via telnet:

  • Open console window in windows.
  • Type `telnet 211.159.168.205 20102` in the opened console then press enter.

5. Check output:

  • If you will see black screen with cursor then telnet is successfully connected to the server, which means that port is available.
  • If you will see any errors in the console output then this port is blocked either for entire system or on the remote device.

6. Note that if telnet is able to connect to the server but activation software still shows any error that related to the internet connection then it may still be blocked locally by your antivirus/firewall/etc.

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How to update firmware using recovery mode.

Caution!

This post will explain how to upload firmware to the printer by pulling out power cable during critical operation and corrupting data on the motherboard. This method has been used dozens of times but, while nobody reported any irreparable damages, results are not conclusive. Also note that in order to use this method printer must start uploading new firmware, in other words it will only work if printer does not have latest official firmware yet.

Execution:

  • Use this method only when everything else is failed.
  • Start uploading firmware normally. It is preferable to use service mode and newest official offline firmware updater that you can download from Epson website, but if this is not possible you can start updating process in normal mode and use Epson Update Center.
  • Remove power cable when firmware is being rewritten. Firmware update executes in four steps: uploading data, verifying data, erasing chip and writing new data to the chip, you need to remove cable during the last two steps somewhere in the middle of the whole proccess. Usually apropriate messages are shown during each step if printer has LCD or LED indication is changed otherwise, but it varies from model to model and some models does not indicate changes in any way until the very end.
  • Start the printer normally using power button, it should start in the recovery mode and will be recognized as new MFP-IPL device on the system. If the printer has an LCD it will also show `Recovery Mode` message on the screen.
  • Upload chipless firmware according to the standard instructions while printer is in this mode.
  • Printer should accept chipless firmware now.
  • There are may be the case when even this process will fail and printer will stuck in the `Recovery Mode`. In this case in order to restore the printer to the previous state you need to use official firmware again, letting it finish this time.

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How to disable automatic firmware update.

Description:

From time to time, Epson releases new versions of their printer's firmware. Default printer settings have automatic updates ON and firmware updates occur without the user even knowing that it has taken place. These updates often have no benefit to the end user and are simply done to combat the use of generic cartridges by making them unrecognisable by the printer once the update has been installed. It is still highly recommended that you disable automatic updates of the printer software.

Solution:

Please read here how to disable firmware updates:

https://www.wic.support/how-to-disable-automatic-firmware-updates-on-epson-printers/

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How to submit error reports.

If you encountered an error that is not covered by this topic and want to submit information about it, please, include this:

  1. Your order number (do not post your keys!)
  2. Your printer model and information about operating system.
  3. Detailed description of the error and steps that needed to reproduce it.
  4. Screenshots of all error messages and all error codes shown in the process. All information must be recognizable!
  5. Any modifications that has been done to the printer before (replacing motherboard, replacing motherboard chip, etc).
  6. If possible install and run WICReset then click `Report` button in the main interface and post a screenshot with the shown information.

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How to enable USB connection for some printers.

Using WF-3720 as an example:

  • Press the home button if necessary.
  • Select Settings.
  • Select General Settings.
  • Select Printer Settings.
  • Scroll down and select PC Connection via USB.
  • Select Enable.

This may be different for your model, please, see user manual for more details.

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How to check current firmware version of the printer.

1. If printer has LCD and it is not blocked by error, you can check firmware version in the printer`s menu:

  • On the printer`s LCD select `Setup` or `Settings`.
  • Select `Firmware Update`
  • Select `Current Version`
  • Do NOT select `Update Firmware` in the last menu, it will start automatic firmware update if printer is connected to network. Also, do not enable notifications in the same menu, in fact it is preferable to turn off firmware update notifications if they are enabled.

2. Otherwise you need to use WICReset for this:

  • Download, install and run WICReseet
  • Select the printer and press `Report` button in the main interface.
  • In the opened table find `Firmware Version` row and check the value.

 

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