Printer Installation Instructions for Windows 95/98/2000/NT

Note: Windows XP is supported by the Zebra Universal Driver but only newer printers with firmware version  Vx.10.0 and higher. (Click here for the Zebra Universal Driver) Older Zebra printers can use drivers developed by other vendors. Click here for other vendors drivers supporting Windows XP.

Depending upon the model and configuration of the printer you have, there are many options on how to you can connect your Zebra Printer to your PC and/or Network. This document will cover physical printer installation via a parallel or serial port under Windows 95/98/2000 and NT v4.0.

Your printer supports either a serial or parallel data connection based on the standard or optional interface feature installed. Some printer models support both serial and parallel communications and enables receipt of data based on the setup or by interface activity.

A serial port on your Zebra printer will be either a 25-pin or 9-pin female connector. You will need a null modem cable with the proper pin configurations on each end in order to attach the printer to a PC via the serial port. A standard RS232 cable with a null modem adapter will also work.

The parallel port on the printer will be a 36-pin Centronix connector. The parallel port on the PC will be a 25-pin female connector. You will need a standard IEEE 1284 parallel cable to attach the PC to the printer via the parallel port.

If you are using the serial port for communications you will need to know the printer serial port settings. This can be viewed on the setup or configuration label. On most Zebra printers you can print out a printer configuration label by powering on the printer while holding down the Cancel button. (If your printer does not have a CANCEL button refer to your users guide for producing this label) Hold the CANCEL button down for 4 to 5 seconds, then release. After the printer finishes performing all of it’s power on self tests it will print out a printer configuration label.

After you have the printer physically attached to the PC, you’re read to begin setting up windows. Go to START -> Settings -> Printers. The printers windows will open. Double click "Add Printer" to start the "Add Printer Wizard".

Click Next

Select Local Printer and click Next.

You will then be prompted for the manufacturer and model of your printer. If your software, program or application produces a ZPL output, then use a GENERIC TEXT printer driver. The GENERIC TEXT driver is available as a selection from the Manufacturers selection as "Generic". The example that follows is specific to a Zebra Driver but the generic driver installation is comparable. Make the appropriate substitutions for your installation.

If you are using a Windows application such as Word, Access, Paint or other Microsoft compatible software you will most likely need to install the Zebra Windows Printer Driver. You can download the drivers for Windows 95/98/2000 or NT off of our web site. Click here to download the Zebra Windows Driver.  The drivers will be downloaded as a self extracting file. Once you have downloaded the file off of our web site, run it to expand the files to a temporary directory. I would recommend C:\ZEBRADRV. By default Windows 95/98/NT does not have Zebra listed as a printer manufacturer. You will have to click the "Have Disk" button and tell it the directory you expanded the driver files to. You can then select the model of Zebra printer you have.


You will then need to specify which port the printer is attached to. Your serial ports will most likely be COM1-COM4. Most PCs usually have 2 serial ports. Your parallel port will be an LPT port. Most PCs only have one LPT port, which is LPT1.

If you’re using a parallel connection, choose your LPT port (most likely LPT1) and then click next.



If your using a serial connection, choose your COM port and then click the CONFIGURE button. You will now need to set the Baud Rate (Bits per second), parity, stop bits and flow control settings. You will set those to whatever your printer configuration label is set to. The PC’s com port settings must match the printers serial port settings, other wise the PC will not be able to communicate with the printer. After you have set the port settings, click OK to return you to the select port windows, and click next.


You will now need to name the printer. If you are using the Zebra Printer driver you may add characters to the beginning or end of the string, but you should not remove the default name. The Zebra Printer driver uses the name of itself to determine various configuration parameters for itself. If you remove any part of the default name, the driver will not function properly.

Here are some examples of valid and invalid names for the ‘Zebra s500/105S’.

Zebra s500/105S – Printer 101 Zebra – Printer 101
Printer 101 – Zebra s500/105S Printer 101
Zebra s500/105S Printer
Zebra s500/105S – Production Production Zebra Printer


The use of an invalid name will result in the driver not working properly. You will not get an error message if you choose an invalid name.

You can choose yourself whether you want the Zebra printer to be set as the default printer. Click next and you will be asked if you want to print a test page. The function should work, but you will not see all of the information that is normally associated with a test print. The test print page is formatted for a 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper, whatever will not fit on once label is cut off. You should now be able to print to the printer from most Windows applications to your Zebra printer.

Here are a few URLs from Microsoft related to Generic Text driver problems