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How can I diagnose a label printing problem on my thermal printer?
To identify a label printing problem on a thermal printer, take the following steps:

  1. Make sure that the printer is turned on and receiving power. The power indicator on the top of the printer lights up when power is on. The color of the indicator tells you the status of the printer:
    • Red light means the printer is out of paper.
    • Yellow light means the printer has detected an error. To reset it, press the Feed button or turn the power off and on again.
    • Green light means the printer is ready to print.
  2. Make sure the RS232 cable is operative and connected correctly. The RS232 cable generally has a nine-pin male connector where it connects to the printer, and a nine-pin female connector where it connects to the computer's serial port. Make sure this cable connects snugly. You might try using another RS232 cable in case the cable is bad.
  3. Try all of the COM port settings in the Ports field. The printer port may be configured as COM1, COM2, COM3, or COM4. If you don't know your printer COM port number, try all of the COM ports.
  4. Try the second serial port. IBM PCs and compatibles generally have two nine-pin male serial ports into which you can plug the printer's RS232 cable. Your printer should be plugged into one of them. If the other serial port is free, try plugging the label printer into this port.

If the above steps do not remedy your printing problem, then you may require the assistance of a technical support person. The following technical advice may help:

Discover whether a serial device conflict exists. All serial devices have a specific COM port setting and a specific Interrupt ReQuest Number (IRQ) setting. No two serial devices may share the same COM port setting. Likewise, no two serial devices may share the same IRQ setting. If they do, a conflict arises and one or both of the conflicting serial devices fail to function. The COM port and IRQ settings for one of the conflicting serial devices needs to be changed.

COM port and IRQ settings are generally configured using jumpers. There is a card in your computer that connects to the two serial ports on the back of the computer (via ribbon cable). Typically this is the IDE card, but it is termed the serial card here. The label printer is connected (via an RS232 cable) to a serial port, which in turn is connected to the serial card. Jumpers are located on this serial card. The card's user manual discusses the jumper settings.

Note that the MSD.EXE program is a tool which may be used to diagnose serial device conflicts. Try running MSD.EXE, and press C to determine which COM ports are active (meaning they are present and are not failing due to a conflict). Press Q to determine which IRQs are being utilized by serial devices (they will be tied to COM ports).

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