I'm grumpy with my zip drive

Place to discuss Slackware
Post Reply
User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

I'm grumpy with my zip drive

Post by Calum » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:54 pm

my zip drive seems really slow compared with the one at work.
it's a parallel port one and uses ppa (not imm) in order to work.
also it seems like it is just as slow in windows ME as in slackware. takes about 25 mins to copy 100MB of stuff from it to hard drive compared with about 7 mins at work.

Could this be a dodgy parallel port of mine? if so is it worth me looking for some PCI card with another parallel port on it?

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:58 pm

Have you tried playing with the parallel settings in your BIOS? EPP, etc...

User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

Post by Calum » Wed Apr 23, 2003 2:28 am

nope, in fact i wouldn't know how to start. still, i will have a plug at it.

User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

Post by Calum » Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:45 am

ok, played with them. they seem to make no odds whatsoever.

i looked in the CMOS settings (what does that stand for anyway?) at work and they say 'ECP+EPP' i think, so anyway i set my home machine to be the same and no difference is apparent. it takes about 8 mins to fill up a zip disk at work (also via the parallel port) and about 35 to 45 minutes it seems to empty it at home. odd though because i remember making the zipslack disk on a zip disk and it took less than 15 minutes i think (that process simply involves copying a directory called "linux" (that contains a 100MB slack system) onto a normal fat32 zip disk.
do you think it might be something to do with the filesystem on the disks? i created the fat32 filesystem on these disks at work using iomega's right-click-on-the-zip-disk-icon-and-you-get-some-options software. oddly my mac formatted disks have 3MB less capacity than the PC formatted ones if i reformat them to be fat32 as well, also the mac ones all seem to have a lot of I/O errors, so i think it's the bin for them.

I should be recovering my USB zip drive from storage at some point in the next month or two, so i might just hobble along with this one till then, of course there will be some problem with the USB one too i am sure! :D

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:05 am

Wow, it's hard to say but I surely wouldn't think it should take 30-45 minutes to fill up a zip disk. I rarely use mine (never) so I don't know how it performs. It's attached to a Pentium 100. Hang on I'll test it....

[edit]
Well I had about 50MB of data on the disk that was in the drive and I just tarred it up to a file. It is very very slow, probably at least as slow as what you are describing. Now, I have one of the first Zip drives produced and it is a really old machine so I don't know whether the bottle-neck is the machine or the zip drive. I suspect that it has something to do with the Zip drive. I know they have changed things on the Zip 100 over the span of time that they have been produced. Maybe you have a newer one at work? But I'm sure it could also have something to do with the parallel port capabilities of the hardware. Of course I am assuming that you are using a parallel port version of the Zip 100 both at work and at home. Is that true?
[/edit]

User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

Post by Calum » Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:43 am

i did think it might be something to do with up/downstream speeds along the cable, but i don't have another cable to try, and i don't know if the problem might be in the plug bit of the computer or the plug bit of the zip drive either (which was why i thought of getting some kind of PCI addon thing with another parallel port on it, in the hope that such a thing might a) exist and b) not cost a lot).

edit: yes i am using parallel port versions at work and at home. also, my one at home is actually an epson zip drive, but both are a few years old (not sure how many as mine is second hand), however my usb one (which i do not have access to right now) is an iomega one and is probably a bit newer than the epson one (although i wouldn't lay money on it).

i think the answer is just to keep using this one as is and hope for the best the usb one will be faster when i get it.

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Fri Apr 25, 2003 11:20 am

Now that I think about it this drive I have has always been extremely slow. I used to have it on a different P-100 Dell machine running NT and it was excruciatingly slow.

X11
guru
guru
Posts: 676
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2003 11:09 pm
Location: Australia
Contact:

Post by X11 » Sun May 04, 2003 8:28 pm

Flash Memory Cards are the future.

Actually CD Rewriters are cheap this days, and so are rewritable cd's.

User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

Post by Calum » Mon May 05, 2003 1:44 pm

i just got my usb zip drive back so will have to figure out how to use it now... hopefully it'll be faster.

and i still think removable media win over solid memory stick type stuff simply because of practicable considerations, regardless of the size/cost issues.

i will be moaning for years when they finally make floppies obsolete :evil:

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Mon May 05, 2003 2:35 pm

Wow, I can't remember the last time I used a floppy for something other than making a boot disk. The internet has made floppies and removable media obsolete for me. I have high speed both at home and at work so that's how I get my data back and forth. But I can't imaging buying a machine without one. It's like a security blanket for me.

User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

Post by Calum » Mon May 05, 2003 4:22 pm

my feeling exactly. i heard ibm and possibly compaq were thinking of bringing out machines with no floppy as standard which annoys me because even though many people don't use them, they come at no cost (well a slight cost in money, but no cost to performance or anything that matters once you have the machine) and can be a great help, as you say bootdisks et c.

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Mon May 05, 2003 4:48 pm

As long as they don't remove the FDC from the motherboard you can always pick up brand new floppy drives for about $15 bucks (well maybe not always but I'm sure for quite a long time from now).

User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

Post by Calum » Wed May 07, 2003 3:25 am

incidentally i got my USB zip drive working in ten seconds. all i had to do was "/sbin/modprobe usb-storage" and then i could mount /dev/sda4 on /mnt/zip and it all works perfectly. it now takes roughly 3 or 4 minutes to copy 100MB from the new zip drive, which is faster than win2k using iOmega's zipware (or whatever it's called).

now i added /sbin/modprobe usb-storage to the bottom of /etc/rc.d/rc.M and we're sorted.

One thing i am a little concerned about however, when i use the USB zip drive, it shows up as /dev/sda4 (why i do not know...) and when i used the parallel port zip drive, it also showed up as /dev/sda4. Now i have no reason to need this, but i want to know how i might resolve a situation where i wanted to plug both drives in and use both of them at once. I can certainly physically plug them both in as i have enough ports but if they both show up as /dev/sda4 then i can't imagine what might happen if i try to use them both (or just load both their drivers) at once.

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Wed May 07, 2003 9:16 am

I believe it will detect if there is something on sda4 and automagically put it somewhere else. For instance, in addition to IDE drives I have a SCSI card with a hard drive and tape drive in the machine my Zip drive is hooked up to. The SCSI hard drive shows up as /dev/sda so the Zip drive gets put on /dev/sdb4. I would assume the same thing would happen if you had two Zip drives.

Post Reply