Author Archives: SafeCard ID Team

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.

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.

RECOMMENDED CLEANING PROCEDURE:

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.
    EV_Prt_Ctr_Cleaning_Wiz5
    **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.

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.

Fargo Printer – Wrong Ribbon Error

We often receive calls from clients whose Fargo ID card printers display a “wrong ribbon” error. This error will appear on the printer’s LCD screen or on the user’s computer monitor and has a few potential causes.HID Fargo Printers

Common Causes of the “Wrong Ribbon” Error:

Hardware Fault

Occasionally, we find that there is a hardware fault with the printer, particularly with the ribbon sensor or RFID-tag reader. After ruling out the other possible problems listed below, please call one of our experts if you still receive the “wrong ribbon” error.

Wrong Ribbon

You could, indeed, have the wrong ribbon for the printer. Many Fargo ribbon cartridges look identical, and there are no markings on the ribbon carriers to indicate which you have. For example, a YMCKO ribbon for the Fargo DTC1250e looks like the YMCKO ribbon for the DTC4250e, but they are not interchangeable. Each ribbon has an embedded RFID tag which includes a ribbon part-number. The printer’s corresponding firmware includes a list of all ribbons that are compatible with the printer. As a result, if your ribbon is not compatible with your printer, you will receive this message.

Out-of-Date Firmware

You could have out-of-date firmware on your printer. Periodically, Fargo will introduce new firmware to include updated manufacturing information. Once this new firmware is introduced, the new information will be encoded on an RFID tag embedded in the ribbon cartridge.  A printer with outdated firmware will be unable to validate ribbons with new encoding and reject them, returning a “wrong ribbon” error. Please see our separate blog post “Fargo Printers How-to: Update your Drivers and Firmware” for detailed instructions on updating firmware.

Incorrect Driver Setting

But most-likely, your printer driver may not be set properly. For example, you may have a full-color (YMCKO) ribbon, but a print driver set for a monochrome-black (K) ribbon. This mismatch between the actual ribbon loaded, and the ribbon the PC “thinks” should be loaded will result in a mismatch, and “wrong ribbon” error. For this scenario, follow the directions below to change the printer driver settings.

Choosing the Correct Driver Setting

Prior to beginning the instructions below, please verify that you have Windows administrator rights or have been granted Windows permissions by  your network administrator to change the driver functions on your computer. Without these elevated privileges, you will not be able to make these changes.

  1. Click the Windows “Start” icon (usually the lower-left corner of your screen);
  2. Select “Devices and Printers” (if not visible, enter this as a term in the search box);
  3. Locate your Fargo printer and right-click on it;
  4. Select and click on “Printing preferences” – a new window will open;
  5. Select “Device Options”, then use the drop-down box to select the proper ribbon type;
  6. Click the “Apply” button in the lower-right, and then click “OK” to finish and close the Window.

For information about the Fargo HDP5000, or other Fargo printers, contact us for a free consultation toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (US & Canada), or +1 704.535.5200 elsewhere.

Evolis Primacy – How to Do a Routine Printer Cleaning

The following video provided by Evolis provides manufacturer instructions illustrating how to complete a routine printer cleaning with a cleaning card.

1. Open the printer lid on the top of the printer.
2. Remove the print ribbon.
3. Close the lid.
4. Open the card input hopper.
5. Remove all blank cards.
6. Shift the card thickness gauge to “MAX”.
7. Remove the adhesive strip from the cleaning card.
8. Place the cleaning card in the input hopper and leave the hopper door open.
9. Press the power button twice.
10. The card will be automatically cycled through the printer and ejected into the output hopper.
11. Remove the card from the output hopper and close the card output hopper.
12. Open the printer lid.
13. Replace the print ribbon and close the lid.
14. Return unused cards to the input hopper.
15. Return the thickness gauge to its correct setting and close the hopper door.

For information about the Evolis Primacy printer, please contact our ID card experts at +1 888.485.4696.