Question about Alps MD 1000 Thermal Printer

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Alps MD 1000 self tests okay, but printing gives "nonvolatile error" (fast blink)

I tried printing on new photo paper about a year ago. Results were terrible, so I put the printer back in the closet. But now I need just business graphics, and my Alps MD 1000 self-tests that well on high grade copy paper. But it won't print from the computer. It does respond somewhat, by loading the paper (manual load also works okay), and the Ready light slow blinks for awhile. Then it turns to fast blink, which means "the contents of the MD-1000's nonvolatile memory have been lost." And that will go on forever, printing nothing. Have tried printing from Notepad, command line, Word, etc. same result. Using parallel port. Don't know if the cable is bidirectional or not. Cable works fine with my HP 2200.

Any way to check this further?

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Re: Alps MD 1000 self tests okay, but printing gives...

This is a symptom of the following:

You are running XP, and have installed SP3 and, you are using the microsoft driver bundled with XP.

The solution:

The m$ driver will have created a printer with "(MS)" as a suffix. Leave this intact, as it will cause major trouble on every reboot if you delete it.
Download the appropriate driver from the Files section in the Alps YahooGroup found at
With your printer unplugged, install the downloaded driver
Shut down your computer and hook up the printer
XP will detect the printer, and create a new printer in Control Panel without the "(MS)" suffix
Make the new printer your default printer.

The reason why you do not delete the printer with the "(MS)" suffix, is because every time you reboot, XP will ignore the fact that you have the correct Alps driver loaded, and will create a new printer using the m$ drivers, and set it to default. Of course, the m$ Alps driver is fundamentally broken

Posted on May 24, 2008

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Why alps md-1000 printer not responding after driver installed

Can you provide more details about the problem? Will the printer print a self test page? What OS, computer, and cable connection are you using? The ALPS printers were designed to work with Windows 95 using a serial port internal to the motherboard. There is a driver that supports a USB port and Windows XP available. XP will automatically install the MS driver using the plug and play feature. The MS driver is useless and it shouldn't be used, but XP will default to it. Don't delete this driver, but rename. There are no native drivers for Windows 7 or higher.

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How do I test the ALPS MD 1000 printer?

Have you tried to install one of the colour cartridges in to the black slot and just do a mono print. The only problem then is that the colour cartridge could become contaminated, so only do this if you don't want to spend out for a new black cartridge. I know that on some printers you can do this. I have not had much to do with ALPS printers.

So I wish you all the luck.

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Alps MD1000 printer won't do anything.

Do you get the green ready light when you first turn on the printer?

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Here are a couple of suggestions: Try taking the cover off the printer and check for dust near the paper sensor. While you have the cover removed, give it a good spray with a can of air. Be careful, not to break any parts or to pull out wires. Or you can try setting the paper option in the driver to the thick paper. This sometimes helps when I have a paper feed problem.

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There isn't any Vista and Windows 7 drivers for this printer. The manufacturer still hasn't produced any. This is really sad because I have the same printer and I have to stick with XP just to be able to use it.

- HotRatchet

Dec 15, 2009 | Alps MD 1000 Thermal Printer

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Alps MD1000 printer.

MD-1000s hit end of support almost 10 years ago. Chances of getting spares are nil.

Best bet is to get a junker of eBay for spares, or you can get a new MD-5500 from

Aug 04, 2008 | Alps MD 1000 Thermal Printer

1 Answer

Printer will not print from file

The spooled files are not getting to the printer, do the following in sequence:

Start checking usb cable, test it by using a different one.

Check that no device close to usb can create an electromagnetic disturbance, a power adapter can do this.

Disconnect printer from power, Computer from power (unplug cables form power outlet) and printer from computer for 10 minutes (this will reset printer and get rid of electrostatic charges on PC usb).
Connect everything back and try.

If none of the above worked disconnect printer from usb,
remove printer from 'installed printers' in Windows (or whatever OS you are using)
Reinstall driver from printer disk (printer must remain unplugged).
Plug back printer only when required from printer software or after driver setup.

If it still does not work it may be a problem with heads, Alps are quite peculiar printers, in this case you will need to find a servicemen in your area.


Apr 23, 2008 | Alps MD 1000 Thermal Printer

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Have you ininstall the device and reinstall it? Do you have any pending print job?

Apr 22, 2008 | Alps MD 1000 Thermal Printer

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