Category Archives: Fargo Printer

Fargo Ribbon Compatibility – C30 and DTC400 Series Printers

The new Fargo DTC series printers, the Fargo DTC1000 and Fargo DTC4000 printers have printer ribbons that can not be used straight out of the box in older Persona C30 and Fargo DTC400 card printers. With a firmware update, however, these older printer models can be updated so that they are able to print with the new printer ribbons.

To update the C30 or DTC400 series printer:

1. Visit http://fargosupport.com/
2. Locate your current printer using the drop down box.
3. Update both the workbench and the firmware.

Once these steps are completed, you can use DTC1000 printer ribbons with the C30 and C30e printers. You can also use DTC4000 ribbons with your DTC400 or DTC400e printer.

Persona C30e – How to Calibrate the Ribbon

To calibrate the ribbon sensor, click the Start button in the lower left corner of your monitor and select Settings. Then select Printers and Faxes. Depending on your installation of Windows, you may need to go to the Control panels and then select Printers.


In the Printers and Faxes window, Right Click on the driver for your printer and select Printing Preferences from the list.

In the Persona C30e Card Printer Printing Preferences window, Select the Calibrate tab and then click the Sensors button.

For the C30 and C30e printers follow the instructions in the Calibration window to calibrate the ribbon sensor. When the calibration is complete, the printer will beep twice.

Note that for the C30 or C30e printer, you must cover the front of the printer before clicking the send button to prevent ambient light from entering the printer as it may negatively impact the ribbon calibration process.

For information about Fargo printers or other photo id card systems, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Persona C30e – Wrong Ribbon Error

If you have a wrong ribbon error with your Fargo or Persona C30 or C30e printer, the following procedure can be used adjust the printer driver settings to correct the error.

To correct the wrong ribbon error, on the Printers and Faxes page, right click on the C30 or C30e printer and choose Printing Preferences.


In the Printing Preferences window, choose the Device Options tab.


From within the Device Options tab, select the correct ribbon type. Alternatively, you can select the ribbon type by clicking the Auto Ribbon Select button. After selecting the correct ribbon type, click the OK button. Then stop/close the program from which you are printing and then restart it so that it will recognize the corrected ribbon setting.


If you are not sure of your ribbon type, check the part number on the box the ribbon came in.

For information about Fargo printers or other photo id card systems, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Barcode Printing Inconsistently with a Fargo DTC550

ID Card Barcode PrintingIf your printing with a Fargo DTC500 printer and your bar code printing is not consistent, you may need to follow this tip:

The light printing of the black in the barcodes is caused by the angle of the printhead being to small. Note that the barcode darkens to normal as the print approaches the center of the card. Increasing the printthead angle will darken the beginning of the barcode. After adjusting the angle of the printhead it may be necessary to raise the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar.

Please consult with the ID card intergrator technical support area where you purchased your printer to obtain assistance for your specific printer issue prior to adjustment. For information about the Fargo DTC550 and current Fargo printers, contact our ID Card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC500 With a Ribbon Peel Off Bar Line

Our Fargo technical representatives are sharing some common issues with ID card printing. If the following picture looks like the card printing problem you are having, the ribbon peel off bar may need adjustment.

The dark area at the beginning of the card is caused by the “Ribbon Peel-Off Bar” being adjusted too low. When the printhead starts printing the printhead pressure is normal until the card goes under Ribbon Peel-Off Bar. The remainder of the card is printed too light because the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar lifts the printhead slightly off of the card.

To correct this problem it is necessary to raise the Ribbon Peel Off Bar slightly.

Please consult with the ID card intergrator technical support area where you purchased your printer to obtain assistance for your specific printer issue prior to adjustment. For information about the Fargo DTC550 and current Fargo printers, contact our ID Card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC500 Prints A Light Bar Code

Printing ID cards sometimes is difficult as the exact card specifications are critical to the success of the identification program. One important printing requirement is a correct, dark version of the provided bar code. If your bar code is not meeting your requirements, check out the pictures below and see if your problem is displayed. If so, we have recommendations for you.

The light printing of the black in the center barcode is caused by the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar being adjusted too low. Note the horizontal streaking in the bars. Note also that the effect is across the full length of the card. (The light/dark banding on the upper and lower barcodes is due to “camera effect” and not to a problem with the printer)

To correct this problem it is necessary to raise the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar slightly.

The light printing of the black in the barcodes is caused by the angle of the printhead being to small. Note that the barcode darkens to normal as the print approaches the center of the card. Increasing the printhead angle will darken the beginning of the barcode. After adjusting the angle of the printhead it may be necessary to raise the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar.

To correct this problem increase the printhead angle by completing the printhead angle adjustment.

Please consult with the ID card intergrator technical support area where you purchased your printer to obtain assistance for your specific printer issue prior to adjustment. For information about the Fargo printers and current Fargo printer models, contact our ID Card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC550 Printer Prints ID Cards with Smudges

When an ID card is printed, sometimes it enters the output hopper with smudges appearing to be fingerprints. If you are wondering what to do, the following may provide the answer for you.

If your card looks like this:

You need to know that the white smudge marks are caused by contamination on the card surface which prevents the color from adhering to the card surface.

The problem can be the result of fingerprints on the cards. Always handle cards by the edges. If the problem persists on a number of cards, replace the card stock with a clean group of cards.

If your card looks like this:

The dark smudges are caused by fingerprints on the ribbon prior to printing the card.

This problem can normally be solved by careful handling of the ribbon during removal/replacement. Always handle ribbon by the spindles. This problem will usually disappear after printing a couple of cards.

Additional Fargo technical tips provided by Fargo authorized technical representatives are available through this blog. If you need additional assistance with Fargo printer information, please contact our ID card specialists toll free at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC550 Printer Prints ID Cards with Pink Streaks

bad id printing

The pink lines on this card are caused by the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar being too high on the lower edge of the card (side towards the front of the printer).

bad id printing

The pink lines on this card are caused by the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar being too high on the upper edge of the card (side towards the rear of the printer).

bad id printing

The pink lines on this card are caused by the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar being too high on both edges of the card.

To correct this problem, it is best to consult with the technical support staff from the integrator who sold you the printer. They may recommend that you lower the end of the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar that towards the back of the printer. A very small adjustment is required.

For additional information about Fargo printer models, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC500 Printer Prints with Incorrect Image Placement

Occasionally, someone who is printing ID cards will have an issue with the beginning of the card design starting somewhere after the front edge of the plastic ID card. There is a strip of white that is left prior to the beginning of the colored badge design. A picture of what this might look like is below.

The white strip on the leading (right) end of the card is the result of the card being too far forward when the printer begins printing.

To correct this problem, decrease the Print TOF (Top Of Form). This setting is adjustable from the LCD panel on the front of the printer.

For information about ID printers such as the Fargo printer models, feel free to contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC500 Printer Prints with White Pixel Lines Across the ID Card

It is common for our technical staff to hear a customer call and wonder why there is a white clear line across the ID cards that they are printing with their ID card printer. Following are pictures of two types of white lines on printed ID cards.

printhead damage

The white line in the above picture across the card is wide and is caused by physical damage to the printhead.

Printhead Problem

The light thin straight line across the card is normally caused by a bad pixel in the printhead. Although a line this thin can be caused by a damaged printhead, it is usually due to a burned out pixel.

To correct either of these problems, the printhead assembly needs to be replaced. For information about Fargo printer printhead replacements with the Fargo DTC550 or other Fargo printer models, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.