Question about Zebra S4M Thermal Label Printer

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We have 13 s4m Zebra printers. We try to change from thermal to direct. Which was no problem during our initial test. But when we try to change actual printer that was being place inside a cooler we kept getting a ribbon out error message. What could have cause this.

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Changing the setting on the printer The default setting is thermal transfer for this printer. You can change the setting on the printer so it doesn't show you the error any more by doing the following: Press SETUP/EXIT Press Plus (+) to scroll through the different parameters About the 6th parameter is "PRINT METHOD" Press "SELECT" to select the parameter Press Plus (+) or Minus (-) to change to Direct Thermal (no ribbon) Press "NEXT/SAVE" to save your changes If you make the changes to you printer and as soon as it prints it reverts back to thermal transfer, then your label software or your driver are overriding it and you need to make the change there.
Changing the setting in your label software - this will also change the settings for this label only Open your label Make the change under "label setup" or "page setup" inside your label software.
Changing the setting on the driver - this will also change the default settings for all future labels that you create Go to control panel and devices and printers. Locate the driver for your label printer and make the change under "Printing Preferences".

Posted on Jun 21, 2011

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1 Answer

I am using a Zebra S4M Thermal printer with Zebra brand labels. I changed out the roll of labels with a new roll and it will not print. It completed the task like it always does but i only get a blank...


The new labels are probably not thermal labels. Test them by applying heat to the surface and see if they turn black. If they do not change, then they are thermal transfer labels and not direct thermal. Contact your label vendor and have them replaced.

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Go to www.zebra.com and download the S4M pdf user manual. It guides you how to change configuration.

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turn printer off, press pause buton, tur on, wait 5 secunds and relese the button. He goin to print the test label, Pause. check Darkness seting, ajust if necessery. don't forget to save. To go out from the test, turn printer off and on again.
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The labels are Termal Transfer and you don't have ribbon in the printer.

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Warning Ribbon in


If you're trying to print using Direct Thermal and you have a ribbon installed, the sensor will set off that alarm.
If you WANT to print using direct thermal, remove the ribbon.

If you want to print using ribbons change the Print Method in your front panel setup to THERMAL TRANSFER.

Mar 01, 2010 | Zebra S4M Thermal Label Printer

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I cant seem to get rid of the "Ribbon In" error on my zebra S4M


1st change the print method to direct thermal on the LCD panel,  then check the driver on your computer, make sure you are printing with direct thermal 

u can check the driver at printer & faxes , right click the printer and select printing preference . 

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You need to make sure the printer is calibrated correctly. If you press the feed key, does one label come out and stop at the gap? Do the labels have a black mark on the back of the liner? This would tell us if the printer is set correctly. (Mark or gap). We need to make sure the labels are loaded correctly and the printer is set correctly. Then we move to driver and software settings. I have 10 years experience working for Zebra, so I will get you the resolution once we determine the current setup.

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How to reset factory default S4M. I try Pause and feed at starting the printer but it does'nt works. I have a display message: ALERT RIBON OUT.


This may be related to the printing mode you have configured. If you're printing on a thermal paper (direct) and the printer is configured for thermal transfer the printer will notify you that you are out of ribbon.
If you are printing on a regular paper and using a ribbon (thermal transfer) and the printer is configured for direct printing, the printer will notify you that you have a ribbon when you don't need one.

I hope this helps.
Regards,
Fábio

Jan 13, 2009 | Zebra S4M Thermal Label Printer

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