Oct. 2022 Firmware update bricks HP printer with Error 49 or 79

Stop - Pixabay[German]I have often reported about firmware updates for printers here in the blog. One point are security updates that close vulnerabilities in printers. The other point are firmware updates that reduce the functionality of a printer – for example to the use of consumables (ink, toner) of the printer manufacturer. Recently, I was contacted by a blog reader who reported a firmware update that rendered a whole series of printers unusable. It's a bit late already, but I'm posting the case here on the blog as a warning.


Firmware updates for printers, which subsequently make these devices unusable for the user, are nothing new. I had a whole series of articles in the blog (see links at the end of the post) – and to make matters worse, Microsoft also interferes with Windows updates that cause printer problems.

A reader report

At the end of October 2022, HP seems to have had another firmware update for certain models, which resulted in significant collateral damage. The printers are virtually unusable as a result. German blog reader Hanspeter S. got in touch by mail and wrote (translated):

Unfortunately, the issue is current again.

HP seems to have made a whole series of printers unusable with the current firmware update. I myself am affected with a 4 year old Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw. Unfortunately, I had not turned off the automatic firmware update.

After updating with the firmware 20221010 from 20.10.2022 first Error 79 comes, after a few restarts then Error 49.

No matter what you try, even hard reset, after startup the error appears even before the printer is in a state that you could install an older firmware. The printer crashes and starts booting again.

I'm looking around for another printer now, but certainly not HP anymore. Maybe some users can still be warned.

Doesn't look like a planned action by HP, but like an accidental firmware update, which then leads to collateral damage. Of course, the above device is not under warranty anymore – and a previous firmware can't be easily installed with a device that runs into the error when turned on.

More reports about Service Error 49

The blog reader then pointed out to me that his printer is not an isolated case, but the whole thing is discussed in HP forums. In this HP forum thread, a user describes the problem:

Color LaserJet Pro MFP-M281fdw shows 49 Service Error after firmware update from 20th October

Product: HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-Bit)

After an apparenty automatic update of the firmware (20th of October), the printer first showed a few times the 79 Service Error. After trying to resolve that via some formum posts, the printer keeps rebooting now with an 49 Service Error. I've tried all kinds but to no avail unfortunately. I feel robbed of a printer now by HP because of the firmware update making my printer unuasable. I find that unacceptable!

The thread has received over 240 replies to the original post with other affected people confirming the problem. There is still user feedback in the thread over the last few days.


Browsing the thread, I found this recent post, that some people must have just had a "resend upgrade" error, and were able to use the hints in this HP support document to fix the printer. But there is no real working repair instructions yet, unless I missed something in the thread.

Printer reports Error 79

In this HP forum post, one affected person got error code 79 displayed after the automatic firmware update of a LaserJet m283fdw.

Error 79 on LaserJet m283fdw

I need instruktions for a factory reset. I've tried the other tricks and it might work for one print but then goes back to error79. I got the impression it came after the last update, about a week ago.

There, too, isn't a real solution, after the firmware update bricked the printer. A Swiss administrator told my, that all HP devices affected within his company has to bee exchanged, due to this firmware update error. They went away from HP, because the vendor was not able to provide a quick fix.

At this point, my thanks to the blog reader for the tip (has unfortunately been left for a few days). Any of you affected by this problem with an HP printer?

Similar article:
HP printer firmware disables refill ink cartridges
HP apologizes, new firmware update for printers soon
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Firmware Update blocks again non HP Printer Cartridges
Is a HP Firmware Update blocking again Third Party Ink Cartridges?
Does HP blocks 3rd party ink cartridges again on its printers (Jan. 2019)?
HP firmware update for ink/laser printers blocks third-party cartridges (Nov. 2020)
Hints for HP Printer Firmware Downgrade
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