What the Dell 3000cn toner refill instructions don’t tell you

By | June 10, 2007

I followed the instructions I was given for refilling my Dell 3000cn toner cartridges to the letter.  They didn’t work.  The printer kept telling me over and over again to replace the toner cartridge I’d refilled.

I finally got it to accept the refilled cartridge by enabling the “non-dell toner” option.  To do this, hit the Menu button on the printer, select “Configure”, select “Maintenance”, select “Non-Dell Toner”, and set the value to “On”.

Just blogging this in case it turns out to be useful to somebody else (if it does, post a comment!).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

18 thoughts on “What the Dell 3000cn toner refill instructions don’t tell you

  1. David Marshall

    Thanks! … still using my 3000cn as of February 2021.

  2. Jacob

    Just wanted to check in and say nine years later, this post is still helping people! I have some urgent things to print out today and got the cartridge-is-at-end-of-life message. Thanks to your tip, I was able to print everything out and I’m on my way. Thanks!

    1. jik Post author

      I’m amazed that anyone still has a 3000CN printer that’s working. 😉

  3. Mgotts

    The “non-Dell toner” menu-item checkbox works for lots of Dell printers (mine is the 1355cnw) and it dramatically extends the usable life of actual Dell toner cartridges.

    When the chip in the Dell toner cartridges says the toner is out, it isn’t. In my experience it isn’t even close to being correct. Before using the “non-Dell toner” checkbox my printer told me my black toner cartridge was done after a bout 6-months, and it refused to print. I checked the box and continued to print perfect pages for 11 more months(!). Same thing for the color cartridges, which the printer has said have been “empty” for more than half a year. It still prints beautiful, saturated prints.

    I finally replaced the black when I just got too anxious, my daughter had a huge paper to print, and I figured it had been long enough. The prints looked the same. But I was still happy with the extra 11 months.

    For the color toner cartridges I waited until the printer actually could not print before replacing them. They ran all the way to empty with no loss of fidelity that I could see.

    The “non-Dell toner” checkbox is actually a “use all the toner” checkbox. The chips in the OEM Dell cartridges is set to cause you to throw away probably half the toner. Sad, but not surprising.

  4. Allen Johnson

    To save yourself a significant amount of money – read this.

    Installed a new remanufactured cartridge and after the noise that suggests it’s calibrating, I got “Not right cartridge” display and tried to overcome by your menu sequence but pressing menu changed nothing. Removed the new cartridge with a view to reinstalling to see if that made a difference. Could not get the new cartridge reseated in the printer so swapped with the “expired” cartridge and guess what, the old cartridge was accepted and continues to print. I do not know precisely why this is but my guess is that when a new chip is introduced (as per the new cartridge) the counter is reset to zero and this must happen within the guts of the printer and possibly on the chip. Thus if your cartridge runs out, put a new one in, then take it out and replace it with the “expired” cartridge and I bet it will work until the toner completely runs out. You can get 5 or 6 lives out of a single cartridge – how much money will that save you eh?

  5. Nick Roberts

    Tried all of this and no success. I even tried a real dell cartridge and no success. I guess tech support is only real solution

  6. Theo

    Very helpful i refilled dell color 3110cn black cart. it refused to print but after following your instructions it Ok now and i can print again thanks a lot.

  7. Encre Cartouche

    Manufacturers will always prefer you buy directly from them brand new cartridges… Nevermind the planet :-/

  8. Roger M

    If you eject the non dell cartridge, then hit Menu button
    Configure >Maintenance>Non-Dell Toner> ON*

    The Printer will request a restart. Then re-install the non-dell Toner. That should do the trick.

  9. Trudy

    Wow, Thank you!

    I was trying all evening and almost lost every hope. I thought I had to buy a real Dell-thing, but all the shops are closed and I have to print my work tonight. Now I can do it!


  10. Satornado

    Jonathan, thank you for your information. After forgetting to put into the locking position I had a stuck cartridge but was finally able to remove the cartridge. One note though, BEFORE you put the NON Dell Toner cartridge you have to do the changes in the menu. If you try afterwards you won’t be able to do anything. I had to put the old cartridge back in then set the menu to non dell and then changed the toner. Again thank you for your information.

  11. Paul

    Thanks for the info. The toner supplier had instructions that were quite incomplete. Other steps besides this one were missing. I found good instructions on the overall process at: http://www.uninetimaging.com/newsletter/DELL3000cn_Reman.pdf
    In their process they change the electronic chip so the non-Dell step isn’t needed, but it was with the toner bottles I used.

  12. Toner Cartridges

    It seems these days the hardware companies are making it harder and harder to refill or use non-brand cartridges. While working in sales I heard of many HP machines that did the same thing.

  13. Smith

    Hi, I followed your instructions because I bought 2 different toner cartridges from Ebay. They both said they were compatible with my 3000cn – but neither of them work. Certainly not your fault; I was glad to find your instructions, they just didn’t help in my case.

    Thanks for the tip though. Looks like I’m stuck using true Dell toners. 🙁

  14. Spinning Lizard

    I found your blog when I was searching for a way to refresh my drum without getting a new one since I still works, but is probably full of bad toner or something. I seen you had problems with the toner not completely melting. I had many problems with that too on my 3100, but found out how to fix it pretty easily. It is actually from two much toner for some colors. If you change the paper to covers or a thicker paper setting (both in the printer settings and the computer settings), you will have no problems. It sends the paper through slower and that melts all of the toner so it doesn’t flake off then. Hope that helps if you still have those problems now. I also got refill toners from dubber toner and they work perfect with nice instructions too. They also sell replacement chips that will allow you to use the toner monitoring with the dell, but I just set it to non-dell toner since it was cheaper. Later, Josh.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *