HP Deskjet 825c
Time To Get A "New" Old Printer
Recently, I found myself needing a new printer after my old Lexmark printer kicked the bucket. I didn't need anything fancy, like a built in scanner or copier combo or even the ability to print in color (I know, sounds garish I know but I don't dabble with printing pictures, just text) but just something I could use to print forms and documents or anything I really must have a printout of instead of a digital copy stored somewhere in the cloud or on a thumb drive or tablet.
Mind you, I wasn't looking for something newer, especially not if it was a printer model designed to only work with "genuine" name brand ink. The razor and blades business model of selling printers cheap and ink expensively has gotten on my last nerve. So I was in the market for a printer that was at least old enough to not be a "smart" printer that knew whether or not I had a brand new cartridge, a refilled one or a re-manufactured one installed.
Used Printers on Craigslist
Browsing the computer section of Craigslist in my hometown turned up an HP Deskjet 825C for $5. It came with the power adapter, which was a plus as it saved me from having to ransack the YMCA thrift store to find one. It uses USB to connect to a computer rather than the god awful parallel printer ports of years gone by so no problem working with just about any PC that supports the USB standard. The add listed it as working so I figured what the heck. I picked it up, but on the way home stopped by a Walmart for kicks and giggles to see how much ink was going to cost brand new in the box. To my shock, a single cartridge of black HP 15 ink was listed for $34. Granted that was a couple months prior to me writing this hub. At that point I already had my mind set on looking at alternative replacement printer ink.
I got the Deskjet home and plugged it in, hit the power button and it cranked to life. This actually brought back memories for me of when I was in elementary school. We used a similar series of the HP Deskjets back then before this one was released. These things were built like tanks. Unless you really abused one, it would last forever. The printer did its thing and the status lights stopped blinking and I was left with a solid green power button. I remembered some kinds of printers would let you print a sample or demo page by holding the resume or page feed button down for a few seconds. I did so with this one and it did feed paper through, although all I got was a VERY faded and ghostly HP logo on a corner of the page. So the printer did work, it just didn't have very much if any ink left in its cartridges.
Re-Manufactured Ink Gets The Job Done
Knowing that it was working, I went ahead and headed over to eBay to find and buy some ink for my new to me printer. Even resold HP ink was a bit rich for my blood and I didn't want to trust buying unopened ink that someone might have bought over 4 years ago and was selling it just to get rid of it. I stumbled upon one seller who offered individual lots or multi-pack lots of re-manufactured ink cartridges that would fit the Deskjet 825c model of printer. I decided I was just going to skip on the color ink and just get two black HP 15 ink cartridges, which shockingly they had going for $10 with free shipping. I placed my order and went back to working on the printer itself.
Install HP Deskject 825C Windows 7 32/64 Bit
Installing HP Deskjet 825c Drivers On Windows 7
Installing it on Windows 7 was a bit of a pain in the neck. My PC did recognize the model of the printer after plugging in but had no driver software available for it of course. HP's own website doesn't offer an actual download of the driver software, but instead instructs you to install the drivers from Windows Update...which strangely, doesn't work. I went through and manually installed a driver for it by telling the driver hardware manager to look for new drivers through Windows Update. This part took forever, I ended up giving both of my dogs a bath while I waited for Windows Update to "update the list of available devices" but this is one of those things that I assume will vary based on your connection speed, mine being a mobile hotspot took longer than I expected. Once the update is finished, from the manufacturer list select HP. Now, there isn't a listing for a Deskjet 825c in there but we can use the Deskjet 830C/832C printer driver and it will work just the same.
After installing the driver, I opened OpenOffice.org Writer and printed off a test page to see what was going on with the black ink cartridge (the built in test page uses the color cartridge near as I can tell and not the black one). It came out all ghostly as well which I somewhat expected. Well, at least the two re-manufactured cartridges were on the way and I'd have a spare when they came.
Re-Manufactured Ink Works Just As Great
Less than a week passed and my cartridges arrived from the eBay seller. I installed one of them and tossed the old one, which I didn't feel may have been worth refilling because I don't know how long it sat and it might have been beyond the point of no return. Printing a test page again, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it came out...granted I did need to align the print heads to clean it up a smidge.
Is A "New" Old Printer In Your Future?
I was very happy with how well things turned out. I probably won't ever get color ink for this printer, so strictly using this as a text document, form and envelope printer meets my needs and I don't mind the slower print speed versus a newer printer. Plus I'll be saving money by not having to buy expensive name brand ink just because the manufacturer frowns upon me using refilled or re-manufactured ink cartridges.