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Upgrading the Firmware of Your Zebra RFD8500


The article explains how to upgrade the firmware of the Zebra RFD8500 UHF RFID Handheld Sled Reader.

Zebra has utility software to upgrade the firmware called Zebra 123Scan. 123Scan will automatically detect your devices and guide you through programming from start to finish.


A Windows PC with the following minimum specs

  • Pentium Dual-Core E214 1.6GHz or Pentium Mobile Dual-Core T2060 or Pentium Celeron E1200 1.6GHz
  • 2GB RAM 1.2 GB free hard drive space
  • The USB port, 1.1 or higher, for the connection of USB Readers
  • Minimum display resolution: 1024 by 768 pixels
Downloading Zebra123 Scan
  • Download the Zebra123 Scan utility software from the Zebra website
  • Click "Install" to initiate the installation process figure 02: Zebra 123Scan Installation process initiated
  • Click "Next" to continue installing. A license agreement will pop up on the next screen, as shown below in Figure 03.
    Figure 03: 123Scan License Agreement
  • Click "Yes" to finish the installation process, then click the "Finish" button, and a shortcut to the application will appear on your desktop, as shown below in Figure 04
    Figure 04: 123Scan Desktop Shortcut
Connecting your RFD8500 to the Software and Updating the Firmware
  • Click the desktop shortcut icon and a loading screen will appear, as shown below in Figure 05.
    Figure 05: 123Scan Loading Screen
  • Make sure your Zebra RFD8500 is connected to the device you are using the software on. Once the software is loaded, it will automatically pick up the connected device, as shown below in Figure 07.
    Figure 06: Device Connected
  • From the above screen, click "Update scanner firmware"
  • The device selection screen will pop up, as shown below in Fig 07. Select your RFD8500 and click "UPDATE FIRMWARE"
    Figure 07: Device Selection Screen
  • On the screen shown below in Figure 08, Select option 2 to load firmware AND reset factory defaults, then click Update Firmware.
    Figure 08: Update Firmware
  • A screen will pop up that displays the currently installed firmware as well as the latest firmware.
     Figure 09: Verify old Firmware
  • Select the latest firmware and click "Select"
     Figure 10: Select Latest Firmware
  • A screen will pop up asking if you are sure you want to restore scanner settings. Click "CONTINUE"
    Figure 11: Warning Message
  • After confirming you want to restore the scanner settings to factory defaults, the firmware will begin to update.
     Figure 12: Updating Firmware
Regulatory Settings

After the firmware update, you must configure the device's basic settings.

Figure 13: Back to Home Screen

Select the RFD8500.

The screen will navigate to Factory Defaults and show the Configuration File Summary.

Figure 14: Configuration File Summary

Click custom settings and Click Regulatory Configuration → Country of Operations. Select a specific country from the list and click Done.

After saving the configuration file, click Load to the scanner. A popup screen will show the discoverable device list.

Figure 15: Discoverable Device List

Click on to load the configuration file.

Figure 16: Load Configuration File

Once the upload is 100% complete, you can remove the USB cable from the device and connect it to your software application.