Troubleshooting Common Scan Problems

ID Technology Guide to GS1 Barcodes

Barcodes are crucial for supply chains, logistics and product identification.

Do you sometimes have trouble reading a bar code with your, or your customer’s barcode scanner? Has your customer verfied the barcode and told you the quality isn’t good enough? It could be something simple, like holding the scanner incorrectly or mounting it at an incorrect angle, or maybe your scanner isn’t configured for the symbology you’re trying to read. What follows are some tips for solving common barcode scanning issues.

 User Error

Sometimes the way the barcode is oriented to the scanner prevents a successful scan. In this case, try the following:

  • Make sure the distance and angle between the scanner and the barcode match your scanner specifications.
  • Focus on scanning one barcode at a time instead of multiple barcodes on a package.
  • Be sure you are scanning the correct barcode if the item is labeled with multiple barcodes.

Scanner Configuration

Be sure the scanner is configured for the type of barcode you want to scan:

  • Laser scanners can only read one dimensional (linear) barcodes like the GS1-128. They cannot read two-dimensional barcodes like the GS1 DataMatrix.
  • Only imager lasers and camera orientation scanners can read 2D barcodes.
  • Make sure the symbology is enabled in the scanner for the barcode you are scanning. Check the minimum and maximum character settings and the scanner settings for that symbology.
  • Check that there isn’t a scanner setting that prevents your code scanning. for example, one scanner mnuacturer limits IFT barcodes to 8 characters, so the scanner will not read the IDT14 GTIN barcode that is common in the supply chain.

color coded lab labels - winco idMechanical or Electrical Problems

Maybe the scanner is not working correctly due to some mechanical or electrical issue:

  • Check the battery status if a mobile scanner. If there is less than 50% of the battery life remaining, change (or recharge) the battery and try again.
  • Verify that the scanner is securely plugged into the outlet. Also check the cord for wear or breaks, as this can interfere with proper scan operation.
  • Ensure that the scanner lens is clean. Smudges, fingerprints, or dust can impede scanning. Try wiping the scanner lens with a soft lens cloth.
  • Check if the scanner lens is scratched or damaged in any way. If so, it will need to be serviced.

Bar Code Print Issues

Sometimes it’s not the scanner that is the problem. The barcode itself might not have been printed correctly. Following are some problems that can happen when printing barcodes:

  • Ensure the printhead and rollers are clean – not cleaning these regularly is the biggest cause of poor print quality. ID Technology printer cleaning wipes are the best product to use for this.
  • If there are pixels missing from your printhead, you probably want to replace it.
  • Some barcodes (such as code39) require a special start character, a stop character, and most require a calculated check digit. Make sure the required format is being used to print the barcode fonts.
  • Try printing the barcode font at a different x-dimension size. Not all barcode scanners are the same; some lack the ability to scan all types and sizes of barcodes. Some scanners have a narrow reading width and cannot read long barcodes, while others cannot read small barcodes.
  • If the barcode appears to be truncated, increase the height and width of the field the font is displayed in so there is extra white space before and after the resulting barcode. Most barcodes require a white space around the printed symbol that is at least 10 times the most narrow bar in the barcode.
  • Check the print quality and DPI of the printer. Thermal printers that are 203 dpi or less are limited in the density of barcode they can print.
  • Make sure the material the barcode is printed on has proper contrast. Normally, the barcode should be black and the background white. Using other colors might cause poor scanning conditions. Also, make sure the material is not too glossy or the scanner light may reflect and not properly read the barcode.

Generally, if there is a barcode reading problem, it represents a failure at some point. A failure to print high-quality barcodes; a failure to specify the correct specification scanners or install them properly; failure to set up barcode scanners. If the barcodes you print are being used in your customer’s supply chain, it is hugely important that your printing is correct and to the required quality. See our article on Printing the Best Quality Barcodes to learn more.

Having problems with GS1 barcodes? Check out the ID Technology Guide to GS1 Barcodes. Since many industries use GS1 barcodes, an understand of the GS1 system will be helpful in getting your barcode printing and scanning operation working correctly.

 Do you want to get started improving your barcode printing and scanning?  Contact us today – 888-438-3242 Option#3 or you can contact me directly at dholliday@idtechnology.com. We’ll get you in touch with one of our specialists right in your area.

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Comments

  1. Kostas Giovanopoulos says

    Hello,

    I dont know if you can help me, i run into your site while googling for my problem and thought i should give it a try to contact you.

    Here is my situation in my company we use EAN13 barcodes.
    Recently we came up with the following problem.

    Some times when i scan a label with say for example this barcode “5206916627040”, the printed output is another barcode (always the same wrong barcode) “5206916688607”.

    What i would like to ask is if this problem could be an issue with the label or the scannes because on the software side i’ve checked everything and i cant find a problem.

    The weird thing is the problem doesnt occur conccurently , so if i scan the barcode and get the wrong one and i scan the same label again i get the correct brcode the second time.

    As i said i dont know if you can help me so sorry to bother you if i was wrong to send this to you.

    If indeed you are able to help me i would trully appriciate it.

    Thank you

  2. David Holliday says

    Hi Kostas,
    You problem doesn’t seem to be with the barcode itself, especially since when you scan it again you are getting the correct data.
    When you look at the printed barcode, is the human readable under the bars correct? What happens when you read the code? Are you using the data to look up info in a database?
    I can only think that your scanner might not be decoding the code correctly, or perhaps there is some database issue?

  3. Kostas Giovanopoulos says

    Hi David,
    Thanks a lot for your reply.
    First to answer your questions :
    Yes the barcode is indeed readable on the label.
    The barcodes are indeed scaned in an erp connected to a database, which i thourougly checked (i am the DBA of the company) and found that every barcode is uniquley attached to a specific product, so no problems found there.

    What is new is that yesterday i got my hands on one of the labels that presented the problem, and decided to try and scan it on MS Excel. After about 650 scans the problem occured there as well, which completely removed the database or the erp as candidates for responsibility of the problem.

    While this is good to have the sofwtare rulled out, i am still in the mist here in regards to if the problem originates from the label itself or the scaner.

    If you have any tips on how to troubleshoot this so that i could come to a safe conclusion i would appriciate it.

    Again, thanks a lot for your time 🙂

  4. David Holliday says

    Hmm, that is a tough one.
    It seems you’ve eliminated the software and we know the label can’t suddenly change. Have you spoken with the manufacturer of your barcode scanner?

  5. Kostas Giovanopoulos says

    Hey David,
    No i havent talke to the manufaturer yet. I think thats what i’m gonna do next. The scanner is a Motorola Symol LS 2208. I will try contracting them for advice and will let you know how it goes.

    Thanks.

    PS. I was thinking to up the delay of the scanner a bit (it currently stands at zero) to say 20ms, do you think that would be wise?

  6. David Holliday says

    You could try tweaking the delay. To be honest, the LS228 is a great scanner (we’ve sold 100’s of them) and I’ve never had a need to make those adjustments. Maybe Moto/Zebra can help, although I’ve found it hard to get their attention at times.

    If you bought your scanner from a local VAR (Value Added Reseller) they might have someone who can help.

  7. David,
    Great article, nice tips! Could you help me isolate my issue with scanning barcodes? We use a motorola handheld with Windows, and a datawedge application. Occasionally, the gun scans in a replacement character. Exp: Should scan 20A18, but scans it as 20A!8. It seems as though it randomly uses the SHIFT key, replacing numerals with their SHIFT counterpart. Ideas? Thanks!

  8. my barcode scanner quit working. Won’t recognize any codes, any ideas?

  9. David Holliday says

    That’s an interesting one, Jason. I don’t have a fix for you, I’m afraid – a call to Moto (or Zebra as they are now) tech support might be the way to go.

  10. David Holliday says

    Do you have power to the scanner, Frank? Unusual for them to just stop working. You can usually send them to the manufacturer for repair – or better yet, invest in a service plan.

  11. I am with an all-volunteer community library. We are struggling because our Honeywell Voyager 1200G lately mis-reads bar codes about 25% of the time, quite frustrating. Problem seems to be the connection to USB port on the desktop, since the scanner works on same bar codes at home, and also on laptops I’ve brought to the library. Any ideas on how to fix?

  12. David Holliday says

    Hi Sue,
    Indeed, if your scanner is working properly on other computers, your problem might well be the USB port. Are there any other USB ports on that desktop you could try? Sometimes the connect on the cable can get a bit worn and not be too happy with certain connectors too. If the desktop is old, you could also
    Since you are a volunteer organization, there might be someone (retail chain perhaps?) in your area that could donate you a new scanner to try.

  13. @Jason W:

    Were you ever able to get the issue you described resolved? We’re having the same exact issue.
    Thank you.

  14. Hi!..
    i hv a problem here with my Barcode scanner.. i hv 2 scanner : CCD and Laser
    i printed my barcode using regular printer (Laserjet and inkjet),
    it work fine with my CCD but not with the Laser..
    Can u tell me why??

    Thanks a lot

  15. David Holliday says

    What kind of barcode is it?

  16. Learn the very basic working of a barcode reader. Visit the link given below:

    http://newagephase.blogspot.com/2016/04/barcode-working.html

  17. Hi, I also have a strange issue. we have an ecommerce site using opencart and wanting to connect our till to the database to help keep stock levels right.
    We purchased an extension that has one issue. When I scan a product it adds a quantity of 14 rather than the expected 1. Ive tried every setting in the scanner manual with no joy
    The scanner is a taotronics tt-bs003 and when I used it in notepad it works fine.
    I ahve contacted taotronics and they are confused as to why we have this issue.
    searching online I can find no info on this problem although the extension I have purchased appears to ahve the saem issue for a few others. Sadly the firm behind the mod are not responding to support request.
    Thanks for any help you can give

  18. Michele Sabri says

    @GHJ, @JasonW,
    I am having the same issue using a Zebra MC9200 Handheld with windows and Datawedge installed. Randomly (maybe .001 % of our scans?) we will get an item scanned ‘off’. Like if we scan catchweight 11.4, 11.6, 12.3, 11.4, 114.02 might come out (with the 114.02 being the random invalid scan). Everytime we have caught this error it makes the weight right after a 3202 code come out with a weight that has had the decimal moved over 1 or two places. Totally inconsistent: different guns, different users, different products, different times of day, different lines (bar code production). The only commonality is the original weight appears in the new weight. Does this make sense to anyone, or is anyone else seeing this issue?

  19. Michele Sabri says

    Also, we are using Ross ERP

  20. David Holliday says

    Sorry, Mark – not familiar with that scanner.

  21. Andrew Hemmerle says

    Hello,
    I am having an issue with A Motorola LS 3408. I can scan barcodes into excel with no problem. When I scan into the quality program I’m using, the first several digits are correct and the last 4 or more are returned as zeros. Any ideas what might cause this? I have already changed the delay and it didn’t help.

  22. Are there any charging rules for laser barcode scanners? I have an esky scanner, and it lost charge – after leaving it charging for an hour, the laser scanner wasn’t working. The red light came on top to say it was charging, so I thought it mustn’t have charged enough. I left it overnight, but still no luck – theres just no laser when you hit the trigger button.

    Are you not meant to let it fully lose charge at all? Thats the only thing I can think of that could be an issue without it being a faulty unit.

  23. David Holliday says

    Andrew – I always like to test my scanners by scanning into Notepad (or another text-only editor). This will show what the scanner is sending to your system. If the data is correct, it is probably your application making the change to the info.

  24. David Holliday says

    Sophie – I’m not aware of any specific rules for charging these scanners. I’ve always left mine in the charging cradle when not in use. The batteries don’t last forever, you might need to replace yours.

  25. Alberto Vazquez says

    Hi.

    I have the Hand Held Honey Well 4500GSR051CE. It can´t small code bars.

    If I make a copy 200% bigger the hand held works good.

    Do you have any time in order to fix that problem?

  26. I have a symbol tech Ls9208 bar code scanner, the scanner makes the beep noise like it’s scanning the items however it’s not showing up in the screen . any idea what is causing this? i have 3700 micros system

  27. One that is driving me crazy; there are 3 scanners plugged into a workstation via USB (keyboard wedge). 2 are handheld, one is fixed. Experiencing intermittent issues with dropping characters when passing to the application, and sometimes adding characters as well. Have tested and eliminated EMI/RFI souurces and increased size of keyboard input buffer 2x, but these have not impacted it. All this equipment is in a fairly close physical area…thanks!

  28. David Holliday says

    I’ve heard of this kind of thing quite often of late – perfectly good barcodes but odd reads. I wish I had a solution for you.

  29. David Holliday says

    I’m not familiar with that scanner, Alberto – sorry.
    Maybe your small barcodes are smaller than the minimum size your scanner is designed to read?

  30. David Holliday says

    Maybe there is a compatibility issue with your Micro 3700 POS system? I usually scan right into Notepad in my PC to make sure the scanner is working OK before checking out the POS end.

  31. Hi there, maybe you could lend me hand, Im triying to scan a barcode with my Symbol LS2208, the issue I got is that I scan 5312’591’61000 instead of 5312-591-61000. I’ve tried all kinds of configurations but to be hones Im not an expert on the issue… If you guys got any idea on what can I do please lend me a hand, thanks beforehand.

  32. David Holliday says

    Does your barcode scan correctly with another scanner, maybe a smartphone app?

  33. I am having issue with Motorola 9200. One of our client at a production site is complaining that while scanning barcodes, the device won’t scan if it is nearer to the barcode (at a distance say less than 40cm).
    If its farther than this then no problem.Quite unique problem. I don’t know what may be the cause as the same device model is working fine with me in lab.
    Please help

  34. David Holliday says

    Are the two scanners the same model of MC9200? This mobile computer has a number of scanner options, dependant on the barcode size and the distance.

    Check out the specs here: https://www.zebra.com/content/dam/zebra_new_ia/en-us/solutions-verticals/product/Mobile_Computers/Hand-Held%20Computers/MC9200%20Mobile%20Computer/spec-sheet/mc9200-specification-sheet-en-us.pdf

  35. HELLO!

    I HOPE SOMEONE CAN HELP ME! I HAVE A SYMBOL SCAN GUN – ON THE CRADLE THE COMM LIGHT IS NOT COMING ON — CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME? THANK YOU!

  36. David Holliday says

    Hi Allison.

    If you have a problem with your Symbol scanner, your best bet is to contact the reseller it was purchased from, or you could try Zebra tech support: https://www.zebra.com/us/en/about-zebra/contact-zebra/contact-tech-support.html

    Is there a pairing barcode on the cradle? When I’ve worked with these scanners in the past, rescanning this often re-established the comms.

    David

  37. Hi,

    Have you an idea regarding scanning 123456 barcode instead of 654321?:)
    Scanning to notepad is correct.

  38. David Holliday says

    Joanna – that’s an interesting one. If you can scan correctly into Notepad, the scanner is working correctly. Sounds as though the issue is with your application.

  39. My scanner is a symbol LS1203. When I power it into the computer usb it beeps 3 times, its is also present in the control panel but there is no lights on the device and it do not scan. HELP

  40. David Holliday says

    Hi Ann,
    Has this scanner been working and now isn’t or are you setting it up for the first time?

    Quite often, switching to a different USB port can solve this issue. Another thing you can try is to go into Device Manager in your computer settings (I assume it’s a Windows PC) and find the list of Human Interface Devices (or HID). Delete the scanner and re-connect into the computer. When you do this, the driver is re-installed and might work for you.

    One other thing you can try is to reset the scanner to its default settings. Scan the barcode on page 4.3 in the manual: https://www.zebra.com/content/dam/zebra_new_ia/en-us/manuals/barcode-scanners/ls1203-product-reference-guide-en-us.pdf

    If none of these help, either contact the reseller you got the scanner from or Zebra Tech support.

  41. HI.I’m not familiar with scanners. I just bought one today and my scanner is picking up symbols which are above the numbers on keyboard.for example: ! instead of 1,” instead of 2, £ instead of 3 etc.If my barcode should be 5431 I’m getting %$£! when scanning. Can someone help me please with this issue?

  42. David Holliday says

    Hi Greg – unless there is something odd with the settings on your barcode scanner, this kind of thing is often caused by having the CAPS Lock set on your keyboard. If not that, it might be the Number lock also. Take a look at those or any other computer settings you might think of.

  43. HI, we have the motorola RF guns MC9090 and we recently moved our location labels up so they drop down from the ceiling (25 ft from the ground) now our guns cannot scan them. Is there any way to change the distance of the laser?

  44. David Holliday says

    Hi J,
    The answer to your question is that if your MC9090 is equipped with the Lorax scan engine, you should be able to read the barcodes in the ceiling (up to 40/50 ft) assuming they are printed on reflective material and are about 100mil in x-dimension.

    Here is a chart showing the field of view and barcode sizes:

    http://www.labelingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/lorax-scanner.jpg

    If you have other scan engines in your scanners, you will probably have issues because they were not intended for this application.

  45. Hi
    Can you please help me out one critical issue in my barcode scanning,we are printing some location names,but what we are printing not scanned by the scanner.
    it is appending an extra character at the ending,for some locations it’s working fine,scanning properly
    but randomly for another locations it’s appending extra characters at the last.
    For eg:if i print VENDOR1 it scans as VENDOR 17
    if i print FG-INC-FGM it scans as FG-INC-FGM0
    Please give response ASAP,as we are going to live in one day in our project
    Thanks in Advance

  46. David Holliday says

    Hi Mahathi,
    Have you scanned the barcode with another scanner to see if you get the same results?
    Also, if you are using Code39 for these locations barcodes, make sure the check digit function is turned off in your label software. You can also send me an image of one of the barcodes and I can take a look at it for you.
    David

  47. Robin Chauhan says

    Hello David,

    I have issuse with my scanner. I bought a new pos system and it read 13 digit barcode number and my old pos uses 12 digit without the check digit. I have to transfer all my store products to the new one but it is saying that its not recognizable. What is the best way to fix this problem? I have to eliminate the check digit or i have to put a formula into my excel so it will automatically fix each one of the barcode.

    Thank You
    Robin

  48. I am a forklift operator for DHL Supply Chain. i load trucks with pallets of Kraft products. Recently have run into a problem. My order to load on the truck is on a computer screen mounted to the forklift. I brought down a pallet and scanned the bar code. There was a second pallet left in the racking to be taken down later..First bar code read 1678351450. I took it to the truck and it was excepted and loaded. Later, approximately 45 min< I took down the second pallet and scanned it. the computer says already scanned. The bar code on this one was 1678351500. the difference was 450 and 500. i checked at the office to find out the problem. I was told the second pallet was already scanned to the truck, but the first was not scanned yet. Impossible because I didn't even bring the second down till later. How can this happen?I do know the pallets on the computer screen were in reverse order then what I picked them at. Same product and same code dates usually are never an issue switching sequence. We do it thousands of times a day. But this has happened to me 2 times in a month. help me please.

  49. David Holliday says

    Hi Robin,
    Sounds like your scanner is set up to read UPC-A barcodes, which are 12 digits and doesn’t like the 13 digit, GTIN 13 (the old EAN barcode).
    Assuming the scanner isn’t really old, there is usually a way to enable other barcodes – usually by scanning set-up barcodes in the manual.

  50. David Holliday says

    Hi Billy – that’s an interesting one. Sounds as though the problem is more likely to be with the application you are running than an issue with the scanner. Is there a helpdesk you can get in touch with?

  51. Hi David,

    Very impressed with your support on this thread. I am wondering if you can offer some input for my situation. I had a functional setup (receipt printer, program, scanner), but the printer’s hardware was malfunctioning. So we have just ordered two Epson TM-T88V-i receipt printers. Now barcodes printed (through a library system Voyager – Exlibris) are not scanning (Honeywell Eclipse ms5145). Other barcodes printed outside of the program do scan. The program (I believe) does not have any settings that can change for the barcode, and also shouldn’t be changing due to the change of a printer. The scanner is also defaulted to scan several different types barcodes. This issue also is on multiple machines, not just local to one. Overall, the only thing replaced was the receipt printer. The scanner and program worked with the old printers. Can printers change the format of a barcode (symbology or any other reason that would stop if from scanning)? The printer should just be transferring data, not altering it. I understand that all signs lead to the program. But I would greatly appreciate the advice from an experienced barcode perspective.

    Thank you very much, I appreciate any help.

    Brandon

  52. David Holliday says

    Hi Brandon, if you could send an image of both the old and new barcodes I’d be happy to take a look and see what has changed.
    dholliday@idtechnology.com

  53. I am trying to use a scanner to scan in long reference numbers when receiving raw materials. The scanner reads the barcode just fine, the problem is the page is filled with barcodes and the scanner often gets the wrong one. Any simple solutions to this issue? We thought of making a template with a slot in it to move around the page but that seems a bit cumbersome. Thanks for any insight!

  54. David Holliday says

    Hi Mike,
    Yes, this can be an annoying problem.
    One solution is to use a scanner with an aiming dot – with this, you can make sure the scanner is aimed at the correct barcode on the sheet – this greatly increases the chance of reading the correct one.
    Most of the barcode scanner companies have models with this feature – yours might already have it and it just needs to be turned on.
    In the past, I’ve had to resort to making a little sheet metal shield to fit over the scanner to reduce the field of view to deal with the problem as well.

  55. My scanner worked once after I configured it but now it will either NOT turn on AT ALL even though it’s a USB or it beeps red on the top right blinker every 10 seconds. Any ideas on what the problem is?

  56. David Holliday says

    Hard to say without more info, Bree. Do you have the manual for your particular scanner (or find it online) so you can see what that flashing led indicates? You might want to try a different USB port as well.

  57. Re Printer MG3550. My battary ran out then I plugged in the cable in the socket. The scanner keeps loading and cannot get scanner working

  58. From Julian Borg Re Printer MG3550, My laptop battary ran out while trying to scan a picture. I quickly plugged in eletrical cord but scanner will not work, keeps loading and that it, Thanks

  59. David Holliday says

    I’m not familiar with that printer, sorry Julian.

  60. HI SIR.
    I have two hand scanners of Honeywell i make the barcode my self of the company that i work in, my issue is that the scanners reed some of printed lables and does not read others , i called the accouning programer to answer this issue .. he changed some of sittings in the program then the new lables is checked normally , how can i scan thousands of my products that i had pasted the lables does not matched with scanner???

  61. David Holliday says

    Maybe your scanner is set to only read the original type of barcode. In the manual, there is usually a setting barcode you can scan to set back to defaults. Doing that might help you.

  62. I have a printed ticket and i was wondering if a mobile device would interfere with the barcode in any way? Thanks

  63. Martin Clark says

    Hi David,
    Thank you for a very useful thread.
    Our local horticultural society, run completely be volunteers, uses a Datalogic Heron D130 scanner with a Geller SX-690 terminal/till. On occasions, when scanning a bar code, 2 or 3 entries appear on the purchased items following a single scan. This happens rarely but with a range of operators.
    I have followed your advice regarding cleaning the scanner window and also checking the USB cable and connecting. No issues have been found.
    Could you advise if this might be a problem with the scanner or with the terminal/till?
    Have you heard of this type of problem before and is there any solution for it?

  64. David Holliday says

    Hi Martin,
    I suspect this might be a scanner issue. Are you using it in the stand so that is scans automatically or handheld where the operator uses the trigger? In either case, it might be that the scanner is allowing more than one scan in a short time period. You should be able to adjust this using the Datalogic setting utility.
    You’ll find more details in the Datalogic manual – Pt No: 90ACC1877 I don’t believe this is on the Datalogic site, but you might be able to find online somewhere.

  65. David Holliday says

    It shouldn’t.

  66. Dhronal Shah says

    Hi David,
    I’ve Motorola LS2208 scanner that we use to scan our products that have code 128 Auto barcodes. When I use this scanner it gives different results each time. Our barcodes are alphanumeric – first 3 being letters and next 4 being numbers. With each scan the letter keep on changing from upper to lower case. Can you help?

  67. David Holliday says

    Hi Dhronal – usually if the scanner is changing the case of the characters it is often caused by the caps lock key being activated on the computer you are scanning into.

  68. Dominic K. says

    I could really use some help.

    My job at the company I work for is managing all the handhelds and things pertaining to them. Once in a while I will get an issue where we will get a barcode that we can’t scan. So far I have been able to muscle my way through them. I am in the position I am in because I had the most experience with the handhelds which was almost none. Everything I know has been learned by trial and error so it has been interesting at times. Anyway…I have another one of these situations and I am STUMPED. Basically we need to scan thousands of HP laptops that are not in their box. The serial number is on the bottom and is almost impossible to scan. After a lot of moving the beam around, you might be able to get it to scan, but I have never been able to scan it with any ease. Right now we have people with magnifying glasses manually entering these serial numbers and everyone is looking at me. I downloaded a couple apps on my phone. When it does scan, it shows as a Code 128. However, on 1 of the apps, once in a while it scans as an EAN_8, but the numbers that it shows are no where to be fund on the laptop. I have tried multiple Zebra, Motorola and Symbol scanners. I have tried everything I can get my hands on and every time it is the same thing. I have disabled all symbology besides Code 128 and I can scan every Code 128 barcodes with ease besides this one. The kicker is that HP and other companies they have contracted have been able to scan these, but I am unable to find out how or with what. I have tried adjusting the max and min length under Code 128 as well…I can’t get it to scan any better than it does. I’d be happy to provide pictures, etc….anything that you need. My gut says the contrast isn’t different enough between the back ground and fore ground. I would think there would be some sort of setting that can be changed to accommodate that though to a degree. Even still, others are able to scan this normally. The main device I am using is a Zebra MC92N0 with Wavelink’s Terminal Emulation Client v7.3.

    PLEASE HELP!

  69. David Holliday says

    Hi Dominic,
    It’s hard to know what’s going on – you are welcome to send me a photo of some of your barcodes. dholliday@idtechnology.com
    Those small serial number barcodes can be tricky to read and I’ve found they are not always printed particularly well.
    The MC9200 series of mobile computers comes with several choices of scan heads – I believe one is designed especially for small high-density barcodes. If you are not already using this, it might be a good upgrade for your application.

  70. Gareth Darby says

    We have DT039-50 wristband printers that print a 2D barcodes. They will print fine as a local administrator but garbled when logged in as a standard user. Any ideas?

  71. David Holliday says

    Hi Gareth, I believe that printer is made by Zebra. Your best bet would probably be to contact Zebra support or your local Zebra distributor.

  72. Hey there,
    I am using datalogic suic scan lite scanner / qw2100 model.
    When I am trying to scan a USPS barcode. its shows more numbers in front, like:
    ]C1420197039405515902079906012105
    But on the label tracking numbers are starting from 9405515902079906012105, same problem with FedEx Ground barcodes.
    ]C142019703 from here 19703 is my postal code.
    and I dont have a problem scanning UPS barcodes.
    Do you know what kind of mode I have to select for solving above described problem.
    Thanks in advance!

  73. David Holliday says

    Hi Narek,
    I believe the US and Fedex barcodes contain some non-printing characters that your scanner is not able to parse correctly. I don’t know how you would set up a Datalogic scanner to read these – Datalogic tech supposrt might be your best option.

  74. Hi David. I have Honeywell MS7120 Orbital scanners on two point of sale terminals. They are both setup identical but one scanner does not read about 6-10 items. The other scanner reads all of the items. When I switch the scanners with one another the problem follows the scanner. Just certain items do not scan, but it shows on the screen that it cannot find the items by the barcode number, but the same item scans on the other scanner next to it without any issue. I have replaced the scanner with a brand new scanner and set it up but have the same issue. any advise you can give me regarding this problem would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  75. David Holliday says

    That’s an interesting issue.
    I usually try connecting the scanner to a computer and scan into Notepad. This will show the data the scanner is sending and might give you an idea as to what is happening.

  76. Cody Chwaszczewski says

    Hey there. We have an LS2208 that was working just fine for scanning our inventory. It had a nice long beam length for scanning our barcodes and all was going well until all of the sudden the beam size went from a line down just to a small dot which is no good because we need to scan these barcodes. Is there anyway to switch it back or is the scanner useless now?

  77. David Holliday says

    Hi Cody, yes the LS2208 is a good little scanner. The laser is basically a single dot that is moved side to side very quickly by a little stepper motor. It sounds as though this has stopped working with yours. If you have a warranty or service plan, you can send to Zebra for repair. Otherwise, it would probably be more cost effective to just buy a replacement.

  78. Jordan Taylor says

    David,

    Great article! I have a peculiar problem with my scanner, Esky ESO14 2.4G Wireless scanner, I am attempting to read barcode labels printed from AutoCad. The quality seems to be fine, but it will read every other barcode I try except the one that we print on our labels.

    I even tried going to the barcode setup and altering the sizes, but this didn’t make a difference. I also went into the print preview, which gives a sample barcode, and it reads that one. But when the information is actually coded into the barcode, it will not read that. Could I possibly send you the file I am trying to read to see if you know what could potentially be the issue?

  79. David Holliday says

    Sorry for the slow reply – sure, you can send me the file to davidholliday@gmail.com

  80. Hello,
    We currently use Intermec CK71’s. I have 2 hand held units that will scan in test but not otherwise. We’ve double checked settings and can find no issues. Any ideas?

  81. David Holliday says

    Hi Mary, if you can scan using the Intermec test app, but not in the actual application you need to use, there is usually that has been missed. Your best bet would be to get in touch with Intermec (Honeywell) support of the company who’s application you are using.

  82. Our shop recently had very bright led lights installed and now are having trouble with our Symbol hand held scanners. Any ideas.
    Mick

  83. David Holliday says

    Unless your new lights are causing a lot of reflection on your barcodes, I wouldn’t have thought this would be a problem, Mick.

  84. Our facility has also recently installed new L.E.D. lights and we are starting to get work orders saying the hand held bar code scanners are not working, we move them to an area with the tradional fluorescent lights and the bar code scanners work normally. What causes this ?

  85. David Holliday says

    Hi Dave, I’ve heard of that happening before. I’m not aware of a solution other than maybe switching to a different type of scanner.

  86. Lisa Ohland says

    I have a Symbol LS4208 and need to scan a 12 digit barcode into a database. Whenever I scan a barcode, it’s putting an * before the barcode and leaving off the last (check) digit, putting an * there, as well. Any insight? I have 20,000 barcodes to scan. A different scanner I have works fine but I’d like to be able to use both so 2 people can scan simultaneously. Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

  87. David Holliday says

    Hi Lisa, for your LS4208, I’d reset the scanner to the factory settings, which should fix your problem. There’s a barcode to scan on page 47 of the product guide that will do this for you. https://www.zebra.com/content/dam/zebra_new_ia/en-us/manuals/barcode-scanners/ls4208-product-reference-guide-en-us.pdf

  88. Muhammad Tahir says

    i am using a honeywell orbit scanner, which do’es not scan QR barcodes. is it ok.

  89. David Holliday says

    Hi Muhammad, I believe the Orbit scanners are designed to only read linear barcodes so won’t work with the 2d codes like QR.

  90. Hi. I am using a DS6708 to scan Interleaved 2 of 5 codes (with the Any Length parameter). The codes have 14 characters. If I use the scanner in USB – HID keyboard mode, the codes are scanned correctly, but if i switch to CDC COM Port Emulation (which i actually need) the scanner only scans the first 13 characters. Is anyone aware of such limitation in this mode?

  91. David Holliday says

    Is the 14th character a check digit? You can try using the set up barcodes on this page that might help: https://supportcommunity.zebra.com/s/article/How-Do-I-Transmit-the-Code-39-Check-Digit?language=en_US

  92. It’s not a check digit. I have scanned the ‘Do not transmit I 2 of 5 Check digit’ barcode but it’s still the same. Just scans the first 13 characters and then adds the Enter option i have set as Data suffix (it’s actually a default setting).

  93. David Holliday says

    Hmm, if #14 isn’t a check digit, I don’t know what is going on. Have you spoken with Zebra/Symbol tech support or with the reseller you bought the scanner from?

  94. Mike Strout says

    I am having a problem trying to scan on a system that has embedded Linux under the hood. When I navigate to a field and then scan a label, the field is filled to capacity with what looks like underscores. When I move to another field, that field is instantly filled with underscores as well. The only way past the underscores populating is to reboot the device. Any ideas?

  95. David Holliday says

    That’s a new one to me, Mike.

  96. Hi, Hoping you can help me. At my place of work we have an LS2208 plugged in via usb. the cord was bad on one scanner that was replaced over the weekend. I came in on monday and the scanner that replaced the old one does not ‘beep’ as we scan merchandise. Do I just have to print up the bar code to turn on the ‘beep’ or to turn it up and scan that bar code? or is there more to it? Thank You for any help you can provide.

  97. David Holliday says

    Hi, you can control the beeps by using the setting barcodes in the user guide: https://www.zebra.com/content/dam/zebra_new_ia/en-us/manuals/barcode-scanners/ls2208-product-reference-guide-en-us.pdf See section 4.

  98. Angela Woodworth says

    Hi David, We are using a hand held CCD Bar Code Scanner RA-BAYCCDUSB with AgentAuto-Graphics Integrated Library Software (ILS) software for our library. I tested the device and it works fine. It reads it and captures it on notepad. The software is used to check books in and out. It will check out books with the hand held device, but not check them in. I see that it reads the bar code, but then the numbers disappear before it can be entered to check the books in. The numbers can be manually entered and it checks the book in. I suspect the software is corrupted, but I don’t know what file is having the issues to try to repair. Any ideas?

  99. David Holliday says

    I don’t think I have any ideas, Angela. When I’ve had problems with scanners, I usually scan into Notepad to make sure everything is ok. Since you mentioned you’ve already done this, it does seem the issue might be with your library software.

  100. sam lalani says

    Hi David. I have a economical wireless linear barcode scanner worked fine and suddenly stopped scanning, its showing a wide belt like yellow light while scanning and not a thin line. Its not even scanning any barcode on the manual to reset. pls advice whats wrong? hardware
    link to amazon product as below
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00406YZGK/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza

  101. David Holliday says

    Hey Sam – for $17, I’d just get another one, or invest in something more robust from Zebra.

  102. hello;
    i am using idautomationhc39m barcode and using ABS9591 barcode scanner to read barcode. i am facing problem that ABS9591 (AURORA company) is not reading the barcode. i did mistake that i did not use * at start and end of my required number.
    i generate more and staple more than 20,000 barcode.
    tell me please how can i handle this problem
    i am very thankful.

  103. Hi,
    What can course problem with cutting last character from scanned barcode?
    The same scanner and the same barcode (same paper sheet printed on) is read correctly once the secend time the last character is missing.

  104. David Holliday says

    I have no idea with this one, sorry Thomas.

  105. David Holliday says

    GulGee, I must confess, I’ve done the same thing. The only solution I could find was to reprint my labels – of course, there were quite a lot of them so it was very embarrassing!

  106. I just purchased a new multi direction barcode reader but i noticed that it scans by itself even if there is no barcode targeted. Any idea please?

  107. David Holliday says

    Mike, there is usually a setting to turn continuous scanning on or off. The manual for the scanner should have some setup barcodes to scan that will let you do this.

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