PowerPro Thermal Printer Troubleshooting

Text & Image Quality

Most issues relating to the print quality can be fixed by doing one or more of the following:

  1. Change the 'print strobe' setting in the PowerPro driver.
    For black printing on silver media, set the strobe to 50 at the start, but do not exceed 65.
    For black printing on white media, set the strobe to 60 at thestart, but do not exceed 75.
    For color printing on silver media, set the strobe to 55 at the start, but do not exceed 70.
    For color printing on white media, set the strobe to 65at the start, but do not exceed 80.

  2. Clean the Print Head with a q-tip dipped in lighter fluid.

  3. Make sure the thermal ribbon is secure on the input and output spindle. A notch is removed from the cardboard tube the ribbon comes on. Make sure the notch hasn't slipped off the peg on the spindle.

  4. Switch to a different type of CD / DVD media. We recommend Taiyo Yuden media.

Label is too light or too dark
Cause: Strobe Setting is either to high or too low. The Strobe Setting controls printhead heat and print density.
Possible Solution: If label is too dark decrease Strobe Setting. If label is too light increase Strobe Setting. Make changes in 5 unit increments.

Colors don't match or aren't bright enough
Cause: Bad media or printer settings
Possible Solution:  Switch media. Get the latest driver from tech support. There are several settings in the printer driver that will change printer output. Strobe, intensity, ICM Color Management, ICM intent, and halftoning.

Graphics appear light or incomplete
Cause:  Some colors in graphic not optimized for CD printer
Possible Solution:  Use Paint or Photo program to increase color density of graphic prior to import to the label program

Text created in CD label program appears light or faded
Cause: Text color not optimized for CD printer
Possible Solution:  From label program change text color to one of the seven solid colors. These colors are shown in Custom Colors area of Color Menu. See Optimizing Color Labels.

Jagged or rough looking graphics or text that has been imported from other program or WebPages
Cause: Low-resolution graphics appear jagged or rough. Graphics re-sized to larger size lose resolution
Possible Solution:  Create graphics sized for label at 300 DPI, then import into CD Label program. WebPage graphics at 72 DPI will become "rough" if resized.

My .bmp or .jpg was missing, corrupt or contained errors.

Cause: The associated .bmp or .jpg image file was not in the same file location as when the CD label was first created.
Possible Solution:  Choose 'embed all pictures' in CDPainter prior to saving. You can also enable the 'Embed all Pictures' under the Settings menu in CDPainter to ensure graphics are saved in the label file.

Marks, Lines, Smudges, etc...

White 'smudge' or black dots across disc at tops of words or graphics
Cause: Media not suited for thermal printing
Possible Solution:  Switch media. White residue actually wipes off. Switch to a different type of thermal ribbon.

Vertical line across label
Cause: White vertical line through label indicates printed requires cleaning
Possible Solution:  Clean printhead, see Maintenance Section of User Manual. If cleaning does not correct issue printhead may be damaged.

Curved marks in graphic
Cause: Strobe Setting is too high. Overheated ribbon causing "wrinkle" marks in graphics.
Possible Solution:  Decrease strobe setting. If needed, clean print head.

Straight horizontal lines across Disc
Cause: Strobe too high or ribbon not properly installed
Possible Solution:  Turn the print-strobe setting down in the printer driver and inspect ribbon for proper tension and installation.

Print Area

Graphics or text are not printed near CD edge or hub
Cause: CD has unprintable areas near outer edge and inner hub, also check template size in CD label program
Possible Solution:   Template adjustment is made from CD Label program, see Settings Menu. Adjust label template to mask unprinted areas. Template mask creates uniform boarder for crisp presentation.

Unprinted area or marks on label
Cause: Possible finger print or dust disc interferes with printing
Possible Solution:  Avoid touching printable area of CD prior to printing.

Middle 1/3 of disc doesn't print from top to bottom
Cause: Media type set to DVD in printer driver
Possible Solution:  If media type set to 'DVD' in printer driver middle 1/3 of disc from top to bottom does not print because some DVD media have a stacking ring on top. If your DVD media doesn't have a stacking ring on top set media type to CD.

Tops or bottoms of letters get cut off
Cause: Ribbon tension
Possible Solution:  A work around is to put a period (.) at the very edge of the disc about 3-4mm above the spot that isn't printing properly. This will bring the print head down sooner

Printer doesn't print when printing from applications
(PowerPro II ONLY)

  •  Make sure printer powered on and 'ready' light is on solid.
  • Make sure PowerPro driver is selected as the target printer or is 'Set as Default' in printers folder under control panel
  • Take printer off ‘auto’ strobe setting and force a value like 45.
  • If the active light comes on when sending a print file but printer doesn’t print try changing the parallel port mode in the computer Bios. The settings that work are ECP and Normal (output only). EPP and ECP+EPP do not work. Some faster computers only seem to print in ECP mode.
Also see PowerPro manual for additional setup tips.

It prints a second time on the same disc
(PowerPro I ONLY)

You may see it print about 3/4 of the disc then shows vert stepper error in the LCD and just makes noise.

The print file sent to the printer was intended for the color ribbon and the monocolor ribbon is installed in the printer. Printer driver must be switched to monocolor.

In WINNT start/settings/printers then right click PowerPro and select Document defaults then select advanced. Set color mode to grey scale or monocolor. In WIN98 start/settings/printers right click the PowerPro and choose properties. Click the graphics tab then click the Color button. Specify 'Print in Black and White only' then OK Apply OK.

In WIN2000 Start/settings/printers, right click PowerPro and select printing preferences, click advanced button then select Monocolor as color mode under Document Options.

In Win XP start/printers and faxes then right click the PowerPro and choose 'printing preferences'. Click 'advanced' button then select Monocolor as color mode under Document Options.

Error Messages

Status LED is blinking 3 times when I try to print or
'CD Not Clamped' error
This error means there was no CD detected when the print file was sent to the printer. Either:

A.  Picker is not dropping the disc correctly into the printer.
B.  The media has difficulty clamping, it ‘pops out’ of printer tray
C.  A malfuction the the clamp itself or sensor associated with it is causing an erroneous CD not clamped condition.

On PowerPro II and III, try manually putting a CD in the tray, press ‘start’ button on printer, then ‘print’ button on printer. If it prints it is most likely explanation A, or possibly B above.

Check alignment of printer. CD is not getting properly seated in printer tray. Make sure CDs are not warped. If printer indicates CD not Clamped when it obviously is clamped printer might have mechanical problems.

Both Powerpro I, II and III work the same way to determine if the CD is clamped or not. There is a mechanism that physically clamps the disc. That mechanism has a flag that can interrupt a photosensor. When the tray is retracted a predetermined distance, that sensor status is checked. If the beam is still being interrupted, the CD is not clamped. If the beam is not being interrupted, the CD is clamped.

On the PowerPro I, the entire clamping mechanism can ‘stretch’ causing the CD to indicate not clamped. It is usually the L shaped clamping pin getting bent so the ‘hook’ not longer has a 90-degree bend. There is also a piece of sheet metal that transfers the force around the hole in the center of the tray. Remove the plate on the underside of the print tray to expose this piece. If this piece ‘stretches’ it can cause erroneous CD not clamped messages.

On PowerPro II and III the problem can have more causes. They can be, but not limited to:

  •   Loose set screws on pulleys that turn gear to advance tray in and out.
  •   Clamping mechanism on tray defective.
  •   Bad placement of the ‘home’ sensor.
  •   Defective photosensor at clamping position.

 Call CopyPro Technical Support at (925) 689 - 1200 Mon-Fri between 9am and 5pm PST for additional assistance.

'Print Process Creation Failure' or 'Unable to Load CdPainter.exe'
(PowerPro II ONLY)

CdPainter was not able to be accessed along with the path to the label file. Make sure CdPainter is installed in C:\program files\copypro\cdpainter. Redesign your label and save it in that directory.

If saving into other folders is desired add C:\program files\copypro\cdpainter to the path.

In win98 add Path=%path%;"c:\program files\copypro\CdPainter" to the autoexec.bat.

In NT or 2000 add ;c:\program files\copypro\cdpainter to the path under environmental variables.

Need Help

Call us at (925) 689-1200 to speak with a technician.