Common Printer Problems & Solutions

Many businesses rely on barcode printers to enhance their productivity and protect valuable printed data for tracking, traceability and compliance. Taking care of your printers with a reliable service plan can help avoid potentially expensive downtime and emergency repairs.

Even a well-maintained printer can show some signs that attention is required to get back to your best printing quality output. This can be a simple adjustment needed after heavy usage or extended idle time. If media is not loaded correctly, the wrong ribbon is used, temperature settings are not set correctly when different label materials are used, you may experience some substandard print quality.

Here are some tips you can follow if you experience some unexpected and unwelcome results when using thermal transfer printer technology. Then if you are still experiencing problems, schedule a service call or speak with our Service Administrator at 1-800-325-5260 X246.

Just put labels in my printer and closed the Print head and it keeps feeding the labels.

  • Check to see if the labels are going through the sensor
  • Check to see if the sensor is aligned over a label
  • Check to see if the ribbon is not in the middle of the sensor

Loaded labels and ribbon but it is still not printing.

  • Check to be sure ribbon is loaded correctly. (Ink side down)
  • Check correct label ribbon combination

Changed materials, closed the print head and I am getting “Head Open Error”

  • Move Print head lever back to set head up flag in sensor
  • Look for head up flag to see if it is loose or broken. If broken, call WincoID immediately.

Print labels melts ribbon to print head or ribbon is tearing

  • Check to see if the printer is in direct thermal mode.
  • Make sure the darkness setting isn’t too high. (Darkness should be adjusted using the computer software and not on the printer.)

Labels won’t feed forward when the feed button is pressed.

  • Check to see that the print head is locked down.
  • Check print head pressure toggles have not moved in
  • Open print head and unload materials, check for movement resistance on the platen (drive) roller. (If there is no resistance then there is most likely a belt broken. Call WincoID.)

Will not calibrate

  • Check labels are not stuck in the sensor
  • Power down and then back up, try to calibrate again
  • Do a manual calibrate to reset the printer memory

Will not communicate

  • Check to make sure the printer setting is the same as the port. (ie. Parallel port LPT1, Serial Port Com)
  • Check connections on the cable
  • Check correct port settings on PC

Ribbon comes off take up hub hard

  • Check to see if the ribbon leader is stuck on the take up hub. (Always rip ribbon leader off)
  • Check tension on ribbon supply

Print is faded

  • Shut down printer, take isopropyl alcohol and cotton rag or q-tip open print head and clean thoroughly. Do not use metal instruments or screw drivers.
  • Check print head toggles pressure
  • Check print speed is not set too high. Want to be sure that the labels sit under the print head long enough

Prints on one side (ie only printing on left or right side of the label, other side is faint or not at all)

  • Check the green knob adjustment. Call WincoID.
  • Check for label stuck on print head

Labels are walking out or in the printer

  • Check the green knob adjustment
  • Check print head toggle location and tension

Light and dark printing

  • Check for labels stuck on platen (drive) roller. Do not use metal instruments to clean rollers. Further damage may result.
  • Check for cuts in platen roller

Caution – You should never use metal instruments, screw drivers, or any way use force to repair your equipment. Further damage may result.

Keep your printers at optimal performance with a Winco ID Service Plan. >>learn more.

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Comments

  1. awesome!

  2. Hello, Good post. I share all of these same thoughts! Its great that if our default settings are giving us messy or stringy builds, this dialog can probably help.Thanks for the information.

  3. Thanks for sharing these different printer problems and solutions! As the secretary of the office, it is up to me to make sure that our printer is running well. However, some coworkers have explained that it is acting funny, so I need to figure out what the problem is. If these tips don’t help me out, then I’ll have to find a professional to fix it!

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