28xx/38xx Series - Communicating to the printer via parallel port

Article ID: 69532611



Important: If you are using an LP2844 printer that is used for or supplied by a shipping vendor (i.e. UPS or FedEx for example) DO NOT try to load standard firmware or drivers from the Zebra Website. These printers are used exclusively with the shipping vendor's driver and label application. Read More>>


Topic or Information

Communicating to the Zebra printer via parallel port communication

Applies To

LP/TLP2844, TLP3842


Printers equipped with a Parallel Port can communicate from a host PC via the LPT port using an IEEE1284 cable. The port must be configured using a Zebra Printer Driver or if sending EPL files through a Generic Text Driver. 

The Parallel Port is located on the back of the printer. See the Parallel Port Read More>>

If you are having problems communicating via the Parallel Port 

  • If the printer is not responding make sure the port is properly configured on your system. To see if the printer is receiving data use the printer's hex dump mode. All data received will be printed (Programming commands) Read More>>
  • If you are experiencing intermittent errors or garbled data/images check to assure your cable meets IEEE 1284 standards. The parallel cable should be 10' or shorter in length. If the integrity of the cable is not known try replacing it with another cable. The printer port is a standard Centronics parallel interface. Read More>>
  • If the PC's parallel port bios is set for anything other then standard it can result in no communication, garbage printing, or random misprints.

    • Note: If using a PC LPT port make sure the parallel port setting are for Standard AT. Avoid settings such as ECP or EPP which are enhanced function the printer does not support.  These can be typically viewed or changed as you boot up the PC.  There are usually text instructions on the screen when you turn the PC on that describe how to enter the setup mode where you can alter port settings if necessary.
  • The best way to confirm communication from the PC to the printer is in DOS. This method bypasses Windows software and drivers which may be disrupting communication. Read More>>

  • If you experience issues where a print jobs fail to complete and after cycling power the job starts from the beginning try increasing the Window LPT port timeout. This is under Properties for the LPT port. Default is typically 90 and the suggested increase is to set it to 190.



+ Product Codes

  • 2824 Series Desktop Printers