"COMMAND" ERROR or "RECOVERING" ERROR Displayed on a Zebra Card Printer

"COMMAND" ERROR or "RECOVERING" ERROR Displayed on a Zebra Card Printer

Article ID: 51570640




LCD on front panel of printer displaying "Command Error" or "Recovering"

Applies To

Zebra Performance Class and Value Class Card Printers (P100i, P110i, P110m, P120i, P330i, P430i)

Cause or Overview

When a Zebra card printer (i-series) receives one or more invalid commands across the data line, a command error will occur. For printers that have an LCD on the control panel the message will read "command error". For printers without an LCD, the red LED will light up and remain steady.


Disconnect Interface Cable, cancel all print jobs, and cycle printer power in an attempt to get the printer back to Ready.

Command Error

When a command error occurs, the printer must be reset and the print job re-sent. Cycling the printer power alone may not solve the problem. If data is still being sent from the driver when the printer powers up again, the data transfer timing will be incorrect and another command error will occur. Perform the following to reset the printer.

1. Disconnect the interface cable (parallel, usb, etc.) from the printer. 

2. Go to the printer queue and cancel all jobs for that printer. Wait for all jobs to be deleted.

3. Turn printer power off, wait 5 seconds, and turn back on.

You should now have a "Ready" message or a solid green light indicating the printer status is normal and it is ready for the next print job.


With Zebra i-series printers that have an LCD, if the printer receives 10 invalid commands in a row, the printer will enter a "Recovery" mode. The message on the LCD will say "Recovering" and the printer should reset after 2 minutes. At this time, if there is still data coming down the line, the error will come up again. If you see the "Recovering" error, please follow the same 3 steps listed above.

Helpful information

You can find your printer's User's Guide on the printer's support page.  You can find you printer's support page by clicking the following link and then selecting your printer from the dropdown under Printer Support (see Manuals once on the support page).  Read More>>

+ Product Codes

  • P330i Card Printer
  • Performance Class Card Printers