Ribbon Not Recognized in Card Printer Driver, Getting Out of Ribbon Error

Ribbon Not Recognized in Card Printer Driver, Getting Out of Ribbon Error

Article ID: 96158835




  • Printer displays "Out of Ribbon" when there is one
  • Printing Preferences in driver shows None, No Ribbon or Mono as the Ribbon Type
  • Ribbon Type under Device Information shows "Unknown"
  • Prints only one color panel when printing any test card

Applies To

All Zebra i-Series Card Printers:

  • Value Class: P100i, P110i, P120i, ZXP Series 1 & 3
  • Performance Class: P330i, P430i
  • Security Class: P520i and P630i / P640i


Zebra i-Series ribbons contain a microchip that enables the printer to recognize the ribbon type. The printer in turn, communicates with the driver to automatically select or display the correct ribbon type (i.e. YMCKO). When there is no communication between the printer and the ribbon or the driver, the ribbon type will be unknown.


Check each possible solution in this order to help you resolve this issue:

Ribbon Error - Cause and Solution
 Possible Cause  Solution
 No communication with PC (Driver doesn't see ribbon information)
  • Verify the USB cable (or parallel cable in some models) is connected on the printer and PC side, unplug and plug back in if necessary.
  • If using an Ethernet cable, make sure it is also plugged in. Verify there is communication by "pinging" the IP address or going into the printer's webpage.



Ribbon is not an
 i-Series ribbon or it is not the correct one for your printer
  • i-Series Performance and Security ribbons have a circular white sticker on the end of the supply ribbon core; this sticker has the RFID chip embedded into it along with the ribbon's part number.  If it does not have this label, you most likely have the wrong ribbon.
  • Value Class ribbons have the RFID chip on the left side of the cartridge (looks like a SIM card for cell phones). However, ZXP Series 1 & 3 ribbons are completely different from the other Value Class printers. Make sure you are using the correct ribbon for your respective model.

User-added image

Click to enlarge

Note: If you are not sure you have the correct ribbon, please check the ribbon's box, or contact your reseller or Zebra Technical Support.




 Ribbon is not installed properly
  •  The microchip is not aligning so the RFID module in the printer can recognize the ribbon. Re-load the ribbon.





 RFID chip on the ribbon has failed or it is defective
  • Try a brand new or known-working ribbon; if this one works then you will know the ribbon is defective and can no longer be used. If this is a brand new ribbon, contact your reseller for a replacement.





 The RFID module in the printer has failed.
  • Although this is not very common, the module that detects the ribbon may be defective. In this situation, the printer will need to be serviced. Read More>>







Helpful Information

Where to get Card Printer ribbons Read More>>

If you are still having problems with this issue, please contact Zebra Technical Support.

+ Product Codes

  • P100i
  • P110i
  • P120i
  • P330i Card Printer
  • P430i Card Printer
  • P630i Card Printer
  • P640i Card Printer
  • Performance Class Card Printers
  • Security Class Printers
  • Value Class Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 1 Standard Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 1 Standard Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 3 Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 3 Professional Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 3 with Security Enclosures
  • ZXP Series 3C Card Printers (China Only)
  • ZXP Series 7 Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 7 High Performance Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 7 Pro High Performance Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 7 with Laminator
  • ZXP Series 8 Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 8 High Security Retransfer Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 8 Secure Issuance Card Printer