20 Most Recent Fargo DTC550 Thermal Card Printer Questions & Answers


That error indicates a hardware error of some sort. It could be any of a failed o-ring, the hopper-lift motor, or a hopper-position sensor. As that model is long out of production and considered obsolete by the manufacturer, parts may be hard to come by for any repairs.

The recommended replacement printer is the Fargo DTC5500LMX.

If we can help you further, please just let us know.

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Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Mar 19, 2019


Turning down the lam temp and dwell on the lam unit should have no effect on image color - they affect the processes only AFTER the printing of the card is complete. Make sure you were making adjustments to the LAMINATION settings, not the printing settings.

As to the noise, squeeks and groans emanating from the lam unit usually means mis-loaded lam film. Check the loading of the lam film in the printer and make sure it is not binding on the spools, and that the spools turn smoothly. Other than that, it could just be your printer showing signs of age. They have been out of production for more than 5 years, and do break down with age and usage.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Aug 02, 2017


I had the same problem with my fargo dtc 550.
I changed the "O" Ring rubber attached to the printhead and that solved the problem. No more head lift errors.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Nov 09, 2016


Unfortunately, the DTC550 is in its end-of-life phase of support by the manufacturer (HID Global/Fargo), as of Dec. 15, 2014. There is not a driver or support available for Windows Server 2012.

You MAY be able to configure as a shared device via a separate workstation print host/server, using a supported OS:

  • Win 2000/XP
  • Win 2003 Server
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 7 x64
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 x64
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Vista x64

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Sep 14, 2016


i send you the manual for help,i send you from mail.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Sep 13, 2015


With the Printer powered on:
1. Open the Lid
2. Raise the Print head
3. Remove Ribbon.

The printer's controls will now allow you to move the rollers back and forth. Look into the printer to locate the card and try moving the rollers in one direction, so the card exits the card path.

Card jams usual occur when the card path is dirty and in need of cleaning. Do not attempt to use any house hold cleaners. you need a specific type of alcohol cleaner, otherwise the rollers will dry out and crack. If you do not have a Fargo Cleaning kit, you can check out this link for purchase.


ID Card Printer Cleaning Kits Brien Security

The printer should be cleaned every 3000 cards or every few months.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Oct 21, 2014


Make sure to download the printer's driver before connecting it to the computericon1.png. It can be found hereDrivers Downloads or using the hard disk, including in-box. On this same page, under the misc section, be sure to download the Fargo Workbench applicationicon1.png. It is essential to updating firmware and diagnosing future issues.

After driver has been downloaded and UnZip'd to a folder (I usually put it on the desktop for easy locating), Connect the print to your computericon1.png. the computer should prompt you with "new device" or something of that nature.

Go to Start (bottom left of your desktop) then to "Printers and Faxes" or "Printers and Devices" (depending onlb_icon1.png your version of windows). Check to see if Fargo DTC 550 is listed in your printer section.

Make sure to set the DTC 550 as your Default Printer, on this screen or through the ID badging program you are using.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Oct 21, 2014


- Open the lid.
-Lift the print head.
-remove the ribbon.

Now, on screen you will have the options to move the rollers back and forth. Take a look into the printer, us you move the rollers, to see if the card is dislodged and moving.

Try to avoid using any time type of adhesive-backed cards, as they cannot take much temperature and become warped. Regular CR-80 pvc cards work best with a DTC style printers.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Oct 21, 2014


Go into "Printers and Faxes", found in your start menu. Right click on the printer (Dtc 550). Select Printing Preferences. Under the "Device Options" tab, click "Auto Ribbon Select" (make sure to have the ribbon installed, as you would normally).

After being prompted with a "Success" message, try printing again.

If the problem persists, you need to update the printer's firmware. you can find the firmware file and update utility, Fargo Workbench, here Drivers Downloads

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Oct 21, 2014


Insert the ribbon in the printer, as you would normally. Go to your "devices and drivers" or "printers and faxs" in you start menu. Right click the DTC 550 and select printing preferences.

With the Ribbon installed, printer head lowered, and the top closed. Click the "Device Options" tab. On this screen you will see a button, towards the top, "Auto Ribbon select". Click this, and you will be prompted with a "Ribbon select success".

Now click the "Calibrate" tab at the top of the window. Select "Sensors". Another window will appear. Under Ribbon calibration, click send.

If the problem persists, you may have to update your printers firmware.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Oct 21, 2014


Make sure to download the printer's driver before connecting it to the computer. It can be found here Drivers Downloads. On this same page, under the misc section, be sure to download the Fargo Workbench application. It is essential to updating firmware and diagnosing future issues.

After driver has been downloaded and UnZip'd to a folder (I usually put it on the desktop for easy locating), Connect the print to your computer. the computer should prompt you with "new device" or something of that nature.

Go to Start (bottom left of your desktop) then to "Printers and Faxes" or "Printers and Devices" (depending on your version of windows). Check to see if Fargo DTC 550 is listed in your printer section.

Make sure to set the DTC 550 as your Default Printer, on this screen or through the ID badging program you are using.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Oct 21, 2014


Try updating, or reloading, the printers firmware using the "Fargo Workbench application. it can be found (along with the firmware file) in the "Downloads and Drivers" section, in the Support tab on HIDglobal.com.

Print head errors come in a few ways. Some common issues i see are:

"Print head voltage error"
1. The wire harness, from head to pcb, is loose or damaged.
2. Print head is Damaged and needs replacement. Usually you will see dull lines going straight across your final prints, consistently.

"Head life error"
This error is primarily a mechanical failure. the belts that drive the head life motor have worn, and need replacement.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Oct 21, 2014


On the Printer, follow these steps :

"Menu" > "Setup Printer" > "Sensor Calibrate" > "Cal Hopper Sensor" >Then press "Select".

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Oct 21, 2014


Hi there Go in printer setting & make the print density high. If not done then reset the setting & then try & let me know. Thanks.

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Aug 14, 2014


Doesn't sound good John. First, ensure there's power to the outlet that the power-supply is plugged into, and make sure the plug fits snuggly. Try a different outlet to be sure. Next, verify that the wall-cord is fully plugged into the power-brick (the AC/DC adapter) - sometimes they're not fully inserted, and it wiggles out just enough over time. Next, if you have a volt-meter, set it for DC and check the output voltage of the AC/DC adapter at the printer-plug end - one probe to the outside/shield, the other to the center pin. You should have voltage here - I believe it's either 18v or 24v.

If none of the above, then you likely have a bad power component inside the machine. Usually when this occurs, it means replacement of the main logic-board of the device. Note, the DTC525 is long out of production, no longer supported by the manufacturer, and does not have drivers available for operating systems beyond Windows XP. Frankly, for a machine this age, it's simply not worth fixing if it requires opening it up.

Good luck - let us know if we can help more.

Safe-Card ID Services / www.safecardid.com

Fargo DTC550... | Answered on Jul 01, 2014

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