Zebra Z4M printer problems

This is just a short blerb but I went 15 rounds with a Zebra Z4M (now an unsupported legacy product) today and I finally dealt it a knock out blow!  I literally spent about four hours off an on with this issue.  I don’t know which firmware it was on BUT here’s what happened:

NIC installed – it was a small daughter board on the mainboard inside the unit, you can’t see it unless you unscrew and get into the side cover.  It has a long 10 pin power cable and data cable that goes from the daughter board to the NIC which is about as small as a USB thumb drive that’s mounted on the back of the unit.  I believe Zebra calls them “external”.

Parallel Port – on the main board and hadn’t been used ever.

The problem was even though I was using the correct driver, downloaded from zebra.com it didn’t seem the PC was communicating with the unit.  There was no USB option.  After fiddling with it for HOURS I popped the daughter board out and off of the main board.  Up till this point I tried everything to configure the unit from the front console panel (which is a nightmare until you figure out what it’s doing!).

It turned out that once I got that external NIC unplugged from the unit and power cycled it the PC would THEN communicate with the printer and worked wonderfully!  So, if you have a parallel connection NOT working see if you have a NIC installed on the unit like I did.  Get into the unit, unplug the external NIC, unmount it from the main board, power cycle and retry.

Definitely let me know if this helped you because I didn’t find a solution online, like the majority of what I post nobody’s posted it or made it easy to find.