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Serving Great Falls and Surrounding Areas    406-453-4114
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FAQ & Resources

Helpful Printer Resources

Get answers to frequently asked questions about printer, toner, and ink products and the services available from Montana Ink & Toner. Call 406-453-4114 if you have any questions that aren't addressed here.

Questions and Answers

How much money will I save by refilling my cartridge?
Refilling provides an average of 30 to 40% in savings versus the cost of buying an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridge. Your savings depend mostly on how long the cartridge has been on the market and the current market price of the OEM cartridge.

How long will it take to refill my cartridge?
In general, refilling a cartridge in-house takes at least half an hour. Time varies depending on the cartridge and our current workload. For many of our most common cartridges, we keep a stock of ready-to-use remanufactured cartridges that we can swap for your empty at the refill price. Your empty cartridge must be in good working order to receive an immediate refill swap. You are always welcome to request that we fill your same cartridge – just make sure you can leave it with us for at least an hour.

Why does my ink cartridge read as empty?
Most refilled cartridges will not provide accurate ink level readings because we cannot reset the cartridge electronics to read “full” again once the original ink has been depleted. Simply use the cartridge until it will no longer print and then bring back the empty for a refill.

Why doesn’t my ink cartridge fit in the printer?
Ink cartridges come in a black clip and have a blue protective strip across the print head. Make sure that both of these items have been removed before inserting the cartridge. DO NOT remove the copper electronic strip! Also, make sure you are inserting the cartridges in the correct slots in the printer. In the event that you have inadvertently received the wrong cartridge for your printer, Montana Ink & Toner will correct the error at no charge.

Do I get as much ink as a new cartridge?
We fill all cartridges as close as possible to the original manufacturer’s weight. On cartridges we cannot fill to that weight, we adjust the price accordingly.

Why don’t my colors look right?
It may be that the cartridge has become contaminated, meaning the three individual ink colors have gotten mixed together inside the cartridge. Be sure to transport and store tricolor cartridges upright at all times.

Another possibility is that one of the cartridge’s three colors has run out before the others or its nozzle has become blocked.

What is the difference between an OEM, a compatible, an outsourced, and a refilled cartridge?
OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. This is a new cartridge. Although OEM cartridges will display ink levels, they’re your most expensive option. Cartridge manufacturers also require that you contact them directly if the cartridge is defective. We cannot take returns on defective OEM products.

Compatible cartridges are generic products from an independent manufacturer. Many compatible cartridges cannot be refilled, but they will be cheaper than buying OEMs. Compatible cartridges are covered under our 90-day guarantee.

Outsourced cartridges are OEM models that have been refilled by an independent manufacturer. Most outsourced cartridges can be refilled and will be cheaper than an OEM cartridge but are more expensive than a refill. Outsourced replacement cartridges are an excellent alternative to buying OEM when your empty ink cartridge has dried out, has bad electronics, or for some reason cannot be refilled. Outsourced cartridges are also covered under our 90-day guarantee.

Refills are cartridges filled or remanufactured in-house by Montana Ink & Toner. This is typically the cheapest option. On many cartridges, we carry a stock of in-house refills and can swap out your empty to save you time. We’re also happy to refill your same cartridges on request. This can take an hour or more depending on the type and condition of your cartridges and our current volume of orders.

Before refilling:
  • Bring ink cartridges for refilling as soon as possible after the ink runs out
  • Leaving a small amount of ink keeps the cartridge hydrated
  • Cartridges that sit empty will dry out
  • Keep empty cartridges upright during storage and transport
  • This keeps remaining ink next to the print head and prevents drying and contamination (mixing of colors)
  • Do not place tape over the cartridge print head – the tape’s adhesive clogs the print head and removal can damage electronics
  • Transporting cartridges in a plastic bag will keep ink off your clothes and hands without damaging cartridges
  • We may refuse to refill cartridges that have not been cared for properly
Filling cartridges:
  • May take an hour or more depending on the cartridge type, size of the order, condition of the cartridge, and our current volume of orders
  • We will not attempt every cartridge, nor will we be successful in every refill attempt
  • We do not charge for attempted cartridges that do not work out
  • We carry many cartridges in a compatible or Montana Ink & Toner brand that may save you money versus new cartridges
  • We keep orders for 30 days – after that, they become the property of Montana Ink & Toner
  • We do make reminder phone calls
After refilling:
  • Keep cartridges upright during transfer and storage
  • This keeps the ink next to the print head and prevents contamination (mixing of colors)
  • Do not expose cartridges to extreme heat or cold
  • Ink will expand inside the cartridge and leak, and previously heated / frozen cartridges will perform poorly
  • Remove the clip and protective tape before inserting cartridge
  • DO NOT remove the copper-colored electronic strip from the front of the cartridge – your cartridge won’t work, and we don’t honor the warranty on cartridges with missing or damaged electronics
  • When reinstalled, most refilled cartridges will still read as “low ink” or have inaccurate ink levels
  • Press the printer’s “OK” or “Cancel” button to dismiss any ink level warning or “counterfeit cartridge” warnings and print as normal
  • Use the cartridge until print quality starts to decline, then bring it back for a refill
For best results, use refilled cartridges within 30 days of purchase.

What is the difference between a refilled and a manufactured laser cartridge?
Many Internet dealers can sell their products very cheaply for two reasons. They either build a compatible cartridge from inferior, one-time-use materials or they refill an OEM cartridge using “drill-and-fill” methods. With drill-and-fill, a hole is drilled in the cartridge casing, the old toner is dumped out, and new toner is dumped in. We remanufacture your cartridge. We disassemble the cartridge, discard old toner, clean the cartridge, replace any worn parts, fill the cartridge with new toner, reassemble the cartridge, and perform a test-print if possible.

Do I get as much toner as a new cartridge?
Our toner comes in pre-measured bottles that are filled according to the original manufacturer’s specifications. A remanufactured laser cartridge should have a page yield comparable to an OEM product.

Why is there toner on my pages or inside my printer? Is my cartridge leaking?
Residual toner on the inside of the printer is a product of normal printer use. A leaking cartridge will leave toner on the papers you are printing. With laser cartridges, this often means that the waste bin is full. The waste bin holds toner that is left over after a page is printed. Bring any leaking cartridges back to Montana Ink & Toner as soon as possible, and we will empty the waste bin and check the cartridges at no charge. We also clean printers for a nominal fee.

How long are my cartridges good for?
Montana Ink & Toner guarantees its cartridges for 90 days with a valid receipt. Toner cartridges tend to last much longer on the shelf, but if they are stored beyond 90 days the guarantee is no longer valid. To maximize cartridge quality, try to only keep cartridges on hand that you will use within 90 days, keep all cartridges upright, and avoid extremes of heat and cold when storing and transporting cartridges. We will always do our best to get your cartridge working, even if it is beyond our 90-day guarantee.

Cartridge storage:
  • Store in a cool, dry place
  • DO NOT leave laser cartridges anywhere where heat can reach excessive levels – toner is heat-activated and plastic cartridge components can warp if overheated
  • Certain parts of laser cartridges are light-sensitive, so it is always a good idea to store cartridges inside their box or bag when not in use
  • Always store in a horizontal position
Before inserting cartridge:
  • Remove from silver bag
  • Remove orange protective covers if used
  • Pull toner strip
  • Shake or rock cartridge back & forth to redistribute toner
After removing empty cartridge:
  • Place back into bag and box cartridges came in. Do NOT write on the box.
  • Store in a cool, dry place
  • Return to Montana Ink & Toner or ask about our FREE business pickup and delivery
Will using refilled cartridges void my printer’s warranty?
Printer manufacturers cannot legally require you to purchase their products, and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act prohibits them from making their warranty conditional on the use of their own brand of cartridges. If a manufacturer threatens to void your warranty, get their statement in writing.

I installed my cartridge and now my printer won’t work? What should I do?
It’s highly unlikely that a properly installed cartridge will cause damage to a printer. You’re welcome to call us or bring your printer to the store if you’re having difficulties. Our staff will troubleshoot your problem. Don’t forget to bring your cartridges and power cord, too.

Why doesn’t my printer recognize my cartridge?
Your cartridge’s electronics may have malfunctioned, which can happen without warning. Montana Ink & Toner’s 90-day warranty covers electronic malfunctions – just bring your cartridge back with the receipt and we will replace it.

Recently, printer manufacturers have been issuing automatic updates that cause refilled cartridges to no longer work. Once you install these updates, you can’t go back to the old firmware configuration. To avoid this problem, don’t accept updates from your printer manufacturer. Customers can occasionally get around these updates by buying a set of OEM cartridges and then having Montana Ink & Toner refill that same set of cartridges. Since the printer has already recognized the cartridges, it will often accept them.

I think my printer is broken. Can it be fixed?
In our experience, problems causing a printer to malfunction are minor and easy to fix. Printers that haven’t been cleaned on a regular basis eventually experience problems. We recommend your printer be clean every six months, depending on frequency of use. Montana Ink & Toner performs printer cleaning and repairs by appointment.

Our Return Policy

In order to continue providing our customers with high-quality products at reasonable prices, here is our return policy (effective January 1, 2013). This policy applies to working cartridges that the customer can no longer use. Faculty or defective cartridges are only covered during the 90-day guarantee period.
  • All products for return must be unopened
  • Valid receipts must be provided for all products
  • Refunds will only be given toward purchase of new products or in the form of store credit (for customers who have business accounts)
  • If the product is still within our 90-day warranty, the customer will receive a full refund of the purchase price
  • For products 90 to 120 days after purchase, the customer gets a 50% refund
  • No credit will be given for products more than 180 days after purchase
Please remember that OEM products generally cannot be returned once opened. If you have trouble with an OEM cartridge, contact us and we may be able to troubleshoot the problem.
Ink and toner

Our Warranty

Montana Ink & Toner uses high-quality refilling and remanufacturing supplies that are guaranteed to perform as well as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products. Our inks and toners are purchased from suppliers whose quality standards are backed by years of experience in the refilling industry. 

At the store level, our testing equipment and quality control procedures ensure that our customers receive inks and toners that produce sharp, vibrant prints. Ink cartridges are cleaned and filled as close as possible to manufacturer’s weight. If an ink cartridge cannot be filled to full manufacturer’s weight, we adjust the purchase price accordingly. Laser cartridges are disassembled and cleaned, and any worn parts are replaced during reassembly.

If you’re not satisfied with any prefilled, refilled, or compatible ink or laser cartridge purchased in our store, please return the product along with a valid store receipt with 90 days of purchase. Montana Ink & Toner will repair the faulty cartridge, provide a replacement, credit the full amount toward an OEM product, or issue a refund for the price of the product. If your cartridge was originally purchased on a credit card, we can’t give a cash refund on its return. The refund must be applied to a credit card.

It is highly unlikely that a refilled or remanufactured cartridge will cause damage to your printer. If you feel this has occurred, please obtain a written statement from the company that services the equipment or from the equipment manufacturer stating exactly how the cartridge was responsible for the damage. Send the statement and the repair invoice to us and we’ll fully reimburse the repair charge if the claim is found to be warranted.

Printer Drum Reset Instructions

Brother DR-350 drum reset:
For HL 2040 and 2070N printers
  • Turn on the printer – be sure the drum light is blinking
  • Open printer’s front cover
  • Press and hold the “Go” button until the LEDs light up
  • Once all four LEDs are lit, release the “Go” button
  • Install the drum and toner units into the printer and close the front cover
  • The drum light should now be off and the printer will begin counting pages for your new drum unit
For MFC 7220, 7225N, 7420, 78720N; DCP 7020; Intellifax 2820, 2850, 2910, and 2920 printers
  • Install the new drum section and leave front cover open
  • Press the “Options” button 
  • The printer will ask if you want to replace the drum
  • Press #1 for YES – when you see “Accepted” on the panel, the front cover can be closed and the printer will begin counting pages for your new drum unit
Brother DR-360 drum reset:
  • Open the front cover of the printer
  • Press and hold the white button for four seconds until all LEDs light up
  • Once all LEDs are lit, release the button
  • Close front cover 
  • Your printer will now begin counting pages for your new drum unit
Brother DR-400 drum reset:
For HL 1230, 1240, 1250, 1270N, 1435, 1440, 1450, and 1470N printers
  • With front cover open, press and hold the button on the left side of the printer until all LEDs turn on
  • Once all lights are lit, release the button
  • Ensure that the drum light has turned off
  • Close front cover
  • The printer will now begin counting pages for your new drum unit
For MFC 8300, 8500, 8600, 8700, 9600, 9700, 9800, 9850, 9860; DCP 1200, 1400; Intellifax 4100, 4100e, 4750e, and 5750e printers
  • Open front cover and hold the “Clear” button
  • Printer screen will say “Replace Drum?”
  • Press #1 for YES – when you see “Accepted” on the panel, the front cover may be closed and the printer will begin counting pages for your new drum unit
Brother DR-500 drum reset:
For HL 1650, 1670N, 1850, 1870N, 5040, 5050, 5070N, 8420; MFC 8420, 8820; DCP 8020 and 8025D printers
  • Open printer’s front cover
  • Press and hold the “Go” button for about four seconds
  • Close front cover
  • Printer will now begin counting pages for your new drum unit
Brother DR-520 drum reset:
  • Make sure the machine is turned on and the drum light is blinking
  • Open front cover
  • Press and hold the “Go” button for four seconds until all LEDs light up
  • Once all LEDs are lit, release the “Go” button
  • Close the front cover
  • Your printer will now begin counting pages for your new drum unit
Dell 1700 / 1710 drum reset:
  • Place toner cartridge into drum unit
  • Install drum unit into printer
  • Leave the printer’s front door open
  • Press and hold the “Cancel” button until all lights flash in sequence
  • Close printer’s front door
  • Your printer will now begin counting pages for your new drum unit
Dell 1720 drum reset:
  • Turn off the power using the switch on the back of the printer
  • Open the front door of the printer
  • While holding down the “Continue” button, power on the printer
  • Keep holding the “Continue” button until the LEDs begin to flash, then release the button – the LEDs will continue to flash until only the error light is lit
  • Close the front door – the “Continue,” “Ready / Data,” “Toner Low,” and “Load Paper” lights should be lit
  • Wait until the printer completes the post process – post is complete when the fan noise and rollers stop
  • Wait five seconds after post completes
  • Press the “Cancel” button slowly four times until the toner low light is lit – this will reset the counter
  • Press and hold “Continue” until all LEDs begin to cycle in sequence, then release the button – only the “Toner Low Light” should be on
  • Turn the printer off and then back on to complete the process
Any Questions? Call Us Today
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Our Location
2124 10th Avenue S
Great Falls, MT 59405

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