Fargo Printers How-to: Update Drivers and Firmware

All Fargo ID-card printers rely on “Drivers” & “Firmware” from their manufacturers. Periodically, you must update drivers & firmware to correct minor faults, enhance functionality, or maintain compatibility with new releases of Windows and other supported operating systems.

Fortunately, Fargo makes it easy to check for updates, and to install them, via a free utility program – the Fargo Workbench Utility. Follow these steps to make sure you have the latest versions for your printer, update drivers & firmware. (Note: you must be connected to the internet and have sufficient Windows privileges to install programs and drivers.)

Use Fargo Workbench Utility to Update Drivers & Firmware

Install Fargo Workbench & Check for Updates

  1. Download and install the Fargo Workbench Utility. Make sure to select the option to launch the program at the conclusion of the installation.
  2. Within Workbench, select your printer in the drop-down box in the top-right of the screen. (Tip: if the printer is not present, ensure that it is powered on and in a ready state, then click the “refresh” icon to the right of the drop-down box and try again.)
  3. Select the “Update Manager” option on the menu bar (far-left choice).
  4. Click the link for “Check for Updates”.
  5. Download available updates to either the drivers or firmware. These appear in the middle of the screen, with a button to the right to download from the Fargo web-site.
  6. Once the downloads are complete, you can update drivers & firmware one at a time, starting with the driver program.

Update Drivers

  1. In the update list, choose the driver update and click “apply update” to install.
  2. Note: installing new drivers may require removing the old drivers first, temporarily disconnecting the printer from your PC, and finally re-booting your PC.

Update Firmware

  1. Move on to updating the firmware. Select the appropriate options (in the lower part of the screen) for the firmware and the printers.
  2. Now you can click to apply the firmware upgrade. There will be a progress indicator counting up to 100% done, and the front-panel LED lights will flash or a message will appear on the LCD screen indicating the update progress.
  3. When the update completes, the printer will do a “soft” restart on its own. Finally, the printer will come to a ready state.

Now that the printer’s required drivers & firmware are current, you can once again verify the correct ribbon setting and resume printing.

For more detailed instructions, including screen shots, you can download a PDF of HID Fargo’s instructions here.

If the above tips don’t get you going again, never fear – we are ready to help. Just reach out to our ID-card experts toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada), or +1 704.535.5200 elsewhere for personalized support.


HID Prox Card

Proxcard II

Proximity cards are contactless, integrated-circuit cards used in conjunction with an access control system to manage use of secure facilities or networks. When presented to an appropriate reader, the card will transmit encoded information through that reader, transmitting it to the a specialized controller or software application, which can “read” the information. The software processes the data against a custom set of rules and permissions, ultimately either allowing the card holder to have access to the requested resource, or not.

Common cards are low-frequency (125kHz) devices, while newer cards and devices operate at high-frequency (13.56 MHz).

Although more expensive than standard PVC cards, proximity cards are often reasonably priced, allowing their use as a combined ID-card and proximity-card.

Current Fargo printers that will allow encoding of proximity cards are the Fargo HDP5000, Fargo HDP5600, Fargo DTC1250e, Fargo DTC4250e, and Fargo DTC4500e. For information about cards that can be integrated with identification applications, visit our HID prox-card page.

Evolis Zenius Promotion: April-June 2017

Evolis has made its Zenius printer available in a bundle with special pricing until June 30, 2017. For this limited time, the bundle will be available at the same price as the classic Zenius printer — a savings of over $300!

This bundle includes:

Purchase this bundle in our online store, or call our experts at +1 (704) 535-5200 to determine whether or not this bundle fits your needs.

New Firmware from Evolis

As part of its continuous improvement policy, Evolis has recently released new firmware for their printer line. Keeping your firmware up-to-date helps ensure that your printer works at peak performance. Often clients with out of date firmware will have trouble with their printer recognizing new ribbons or interacting with their computers. By keeping your firmware current, you can avoid many of these difficulties.

To update your firmware, please visit the Drivers & Support page on the Evolis website. Once there, simply select your printer model and scroll to the firmware downloads section. New firmware is available for the Evolis Primacy (all models), Evolis Zenius, Evolis Avansia, and Evolis Badgy 100 and 200 printers.

Tales from the Intake Department: Fargo Uptrade Edition

We recently received a trade-in printer after one of our clients took advantage of Fargo’s excellent UpTrade program. One of the best features of this program is that you can receive a credit for a printer in ANY condition. In this particular case, that included evidence that rats had been inside the printer (at SCID, we’re pretty grateful that rat poop is rarely part of our job description). Luckily for our client, this doesn’t even affect the credit they receive for trading in their old printer.

If you’re looking sideways at your old printer right now, you aren’t alone. Let us help you replace it and get some money back for your current printer, regardless of condition. Generally, however, we recommend keeping your systems rodent-free; they tend to last longer. 😉

For more information and help determining what new printer best suits your needs contact one of our experts at +1 704.535.5200 and browse our online printer catalog.

Clean Your Evolis Primacy using the Print Center

To maintain warranty coverage for your original or replacement Evolis Primacy print-head, Evolis requires that certain printer cleaning procedures and intervals be observed. The printer automatically tracks the number of prints and cleaning cycles that are performed – but the cleanings must be performed properly in order to be logged for subsequent retrieval by technicians, one of ours or one of Evolis’s.

There are two types of cleanings that must be performed at regular intervals:

  1. A “regular” cleaning every 1,000 cards. This consists of running a “sticky” cleaning card through the printer, followed by manual cleaning of the print-head with a special foam-tipped cleaning swab that is saturated with IPA alcohol.
  2. An “advanced” cleaning every 5,000 cards. This consists of running a special IPA alcohol soaked “T-card” through the printer, followed by performance of the “regular” cleaning, as above.

While not required, we recommend removing and cleaning the built-in cleaning roller each time that the ribbon is changed.


To ensure that the cleaning cycles performed are accurately captured and logged, we recommend using the cleaning wizard integrated within the Evolis Print Center utility program and completing the seven steps listed below:

  1. Ensure that the printer you wish to clean is connected to the normal/host PC, is powered on and “ready”, and that there are no print-jobs in the printer queue (via Windows’s “Devices and Printers” menu).
  1. Open the Evolis Print Center utility program – you should see a status window similar to this:  EV_Prt_Ctr_Std_ViewTroubleshooting: If the printer is “Offline”, verify that the printer is firmly plugged in and that it is powered on. If the printer is “Not Supervised by Evolis Print Center”, right-click on the Printer Name (i.e., “Evolis Primacy”), and select “Enable Supervision”.
  1. When the printer status is “Ready”, right-click on the Printer Name (“Evolis Primacy”), then select “Properties”. This will launch a secondary window that looks like the one below (note that we have selected the “Cleaning” view in the left menu bar):EV_Prt_Ctr_Cleaning_View**Note: this view provides information regarding the number of cards remaining to be printed before the next required cleaning, the overall card-counter at the time of the last cleaning, and the number of regular cleanings and of advanced cleanings performed since new. It will also display whether the Warranty Cycle has been properly observed and remains in force.
  1. To begin a cleaning cycle, click on “Proceed with Cleaning” in the left menu bar. The wizard will then present the cleaning options:EV_Prt_Ctr_Cleaning_Wiz1
  1. Click the “Start cleaning” button in the appropriate section. This will launch the cleaning wizard, as in the example of the regular cleaning process (below).EV_Prt_Ctr_Cleaning_Wiz2
  1. Proceed through the cleaning process by following the instructions on each page of the Cleaning Wizard then clicking the “Next >” button to continue on to the next step. Once you have proceeded through all of the cleaning steps, you will be presented with the “Finish” screen shown below. Clicking the “Finish” button will return you to the main properties menu shown in Step 3.
    **Note: If you have executed the Advanced Cleaning process, return to the “Proceed with Cleaning” section shown in Step 4 to follow the advanced cleaning with the Regular Cleaning process.
  2. To be sure that the cleaning DID register properly, return to the “cleaning” menu screen shown in Step 3 to verify that the value in “Next cleaning in:” has been reset to 1000.

When all steps have been performed, ensure that you reload the printer with cards and ribbons, and then reset the card thickness gauge to the appropriate setting for your cards (we recommend a setting slightly above the actual card thickness so, for a 30 mil card, a setting of 32-33 is most appropriate).

As always, if you should have any questions or problems, our technicians are available at no cost to our clients by phone at +1 704.535.5200.

How to Clean a Fargo HDP5000 Retransfer Printer

HID Global has provided a video guide to cleaning the HDP5000 printer. In it, you will see the contents of the cleaning kit as well as how to run the cleaning process. To clean your HDP5000, you will need a 089200 cleaning kit, your computer, and the printer. Before beginning any cleaning process, remove the retransfer film, print film, and card input hopper.

We recommend that you run the basic cleaning process every 1000 cards in order to keep your printer in optimal working condition:

  1. Open the cleaning kit and remove the adhesive backed card.
  2. Remove the paper backing and place the card at the entrance to the printer input feed.
  3. In your PC’s start menu, open “Devices and Printers.”
  4. Right click on the HDP5000 and choose “Printing preferences.”
  5. Within this window, click the “Toolbox” button on the bottom left, then open the “Clean Printer” tab.
  6. Review the instructions provided to make sure that you are prepared to run the cleaning process, then click the “Clean” button at the bottom of the window.

Less frequently (we recommend every 3000 cards), run the alcohol cleaning card:

  1. Open the card and insert it into the input hopper.
  2. Hold the card in place and press the forward button for 10 seconds.
  3. Continue to hold the card and press the back button for 10 seconds.
  4. Feed the card through the printer by pressing the forward button until the card exits the printer.

To clean the printhead (also every 3000 cards, we recommend completing this process with the alcohol cleaning process detailed above):

  1. Disconnect the printer power supply.
  2. Open the printhead cleaning swab.
  3. Open the front panel of the printer.
  4. Remove the ribbon.
  5. Squeeze to saturate the tip of the cleaning swab.
  6. Firmly wipe across the surface of the printhead.

After finishing any cleaning process, replace the ribbon and retransfer film and close the front panel.

To clean the outside of the printer, use the cleaning pad provided in the cleaning kit. Additionally, each new film cartridge comes with a cleaning roller, which is inserted at the input feed. We recommend changing that roller every time you change the film in order to keep your printer at its cleanest.

As always, if you have any questions or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our experts at +1 704.535.5200 or +1 888.485.4696.

Incompatibility Issue with Certain Evolis Premium Suite and Firmware Versions

Evolis has found an incompatibility issue with some versions of Evolis Premium Suite and some printer firmware versions.


The printer is detected as “offline” in the supervision mode in the Evolis Print Center. Communication with the printer and printing are not possible.

Printers affected:

  • Evolis Zenius
  • Evolis Primacy
  • Evolis Elypso
  • Evolis KC200 et Evolis KC200B

Evolis Premium Suite versions affected:

  •          (Published 10-July-2015)
  •          (Published 27-Aug-2015)
  •          (Published 25-Sept-2015)
  •          (Published 14-Oct-2015)
  •          (Published 19-Nov-2015)

 Printer firmware versions affected:

  • 1607 (or above)

Beginning with Evolis Premium Suite version “” (published 13-Jan-2016), Evolis has solved this incompatibility error.

Evolis recommends updating Evolis Premium Suite in case the printer is detected as “Offline” in the Evolis Print Center, or in any instance of a client running one of the driver or firmware versions identified above.

Clients should use the “Update Verification Wizard”, available from Evolis Print Center | Tools | Update Verification Wizard, to install the latest version of Evolis Premium Suite, and the latest printer firmware.

Please note that use of the Update Verification Wizard requires access to the internet so the most recent updates can be retrieved from the Evolis web-site. In instances where the printer’s host PC is NOT connected to the internet, please contact Safe-Card ID Services for assistance in retrieving and applying the necessary updates. Our support technicians can be reached at +1 704.535.5200, or toll-free from the US and Canada at +1 888.485.4696.

Levels of Security: 5, Biometric Authentication

Welcome to the fifth, and final, installment in our series on Levels of Security! In this series we are investigating how different ID solutions fit different security needs. As we advise clients on the appropriate badge solution for their organizations, we’ve found that badging needs will generally fall into one of five levels of security. We’ve categorized these by the appropriate solutions: printed PVC cards, barcode & magnetic stripe cards, proximity access devices, contact and contactless RFID cards, and biometric authentication.

LevelsofSecurity5Biometric authentication uses a reader to scan and verify identity using a unique physical attribute. The most common are fingerprints, palm prints, facial scans, and iris scans. New technologies are being introduced that include scans of the shape of the skull and of the interior of the ear canal.

For access control, these methods of identity authentication are most often used in addition to another method, playing on the security adage that the most secure method is “something you have, something you know, and something you are.”  An ID card (of any level) or key serve the purpose of being an exclusive item one has. Biometric markers, which are unique to the person seeking entry, is something they are. Often keypads or password encryption serve as “something you know.” Verifying identity through biometrics prevents cards or other access devices from being either stolen or skimmed and recreated using stolen data, as the person who uses the device is just as important as the device itself.

Biometrics are also used on their own to help protect data and to provide appropriate access. Many mobile devices and laptops now use thumbprints instead of passwords as a more secure and unchanging piece of data that only allows access to the appropriate user. This technology provides the option for targeted, instead of widespread, use of biometric authentication. Some programs require the input of a password and verification of a user’s biometric data before allowing access to secure information. This solution can provide an incremental security increase, rather than outfitting an entire facility for biometric scanning.

Certain industries have also begun using biometric scans to store user data: hospitals such as Carolinas Medical Centers use palm scans to ensure that medical records are accurate and secure. Many school systems have begun using thumbprint scanners to link student lunch accounts, replacing the need for a card (which students are prone to lose) or a code (which students sometimes forget and takes a longer time to enter into the lunch line keypad).

The use of biometrics is still controversial, as many people worry about this secure information being stolen or hacked into, creating another version of the privacy problems that have begun to plague technology companies. Companies address this concern in multiple ways. Many do not store biometric information, rather using a computer algorithm to create a unique identifying number based on the biometric scan, which is then associated with the user. Others keep the biometric information stored on a device rather than in a database–banks that have begun using biometric authentication in mobile apps store the user’s information on the device itself rather than in a bank database of users. The same can be done with smart cards. The chip in a contact or contactless smart card has enough storage space to store the data required to verify the cardholder’s identity, which prevents their information from being stored in a centrally controlled (and thus target-rich) access control database.

Thank you for following along with our series on access control security. As always, feel free to contact one of our experts for more information at +1 704.535.5200.

What is that fine white line on my ID card?

If you inspect an ID card after it has been printed and find a fine, straight white line running the full length of the card, then there is a problem with the printer’s print-head. This can be one of 3 things:

  1. There is a piece of dust, dirt or debris stuck to the print-head;
  2. There is physical damage to the print-head (scratch or nick);
  3. The print-head has had one or more imaging pixels burn-out – usually resulting from an electrical surge or lighting strike.

Only the first can be remedied without print-head replacement, and requires manual cleaning with IPA alcohol wipes or swabs. (Find them HERE!)

But most often, replacement of the print-head is required. Prior to purchasing a replacement print-head, first check with your authorized dealer to see if the print-head is still under a manufacturer’s warranty. Virtually all top printer manufacturers’ warranties offer to replace a damaged print-head for a defined period of time following purchase. Please review your own printer’s warranty for any coverage requirements or restrictions.

For more support, or information about quality ID-card printers, parts and supplies, visit our we b store, or contact one of our ID experts toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada), or +1 704.535.5200 otherwise.