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Zip Drive Mini-HOWTO Linux

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  Zip Drive Mini-HOWTO
  Kyle Dansie,   [email protected]
  v2.5, 07 March 2002

  This Document provides a quick reference quide on setting up and using
  the Iomega ZIP drive with Linux.

  Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

     1.1 Home of this document

  2. Quick Start

  3. Configuring a kernel for the ZIP drive

     3.1 SCSI version

  4. The ZIP drive

     4.1 Parallel port version Zip100
     4.2 SCSI external version
        4.2.1 The ZIP ZOOM host adapter
     4.3 The SCSI Internal version
     4.4 The ZIP Plus - IMM driver
     4.5 ATAPI version
     4.6 IDE version
     4.7 USB version
     4.8 ZIP250 version

  5. Troubleshooting Install

  6. Using the ZIP drive

     6.1 Fdisk, mke2fs, mount, etc.
     6.2 An existing DOS formatted disk
     6.3 Re-format as a native Linux disk
     6.4 fstab entries
     6.5 The ZIP Tools disk

  7. Performance

  8. Frequently asked questions

     8.1 Can I plug a printer into the parallel ZIP drive ?
     8.2 Do you plan to support EPP/ECP ports in PPA ?
     8.3 Can I run Linux from a ZIP drive ?
     8.4 Can I boot from the ZIP drive ?
     8.5 Why does Iomega use partition number 4 ?
     8.6 How can I have the disk mounted at boot time ?
     8.7 What happens if there is no disk inserted when I boot ?
     8.8 Can I use the parallel drive as a real SCSI disk ?
     8.9 Can PPA be used with Iomega's parallel port tape drives ?
     8.10 Will PPA work with the parallel port SyQuest EZ135 ?

  9. Getting more current information


  1.  Introduction

  The Iomega ZIP drive is a popular, removable media disk drive.  It is
  avaliable in several versions.

  ·  Parallel Port

  ·  SCSI

  ·  IDE - ATAPI

  ·  Plus

     The most popular seems to be the Parallel port version. It has been
     around a long time and it is low cost. The SCSI version has also
     been around for a while but it needs a scsi card that many people
     do not have already, so it it not quite as popular. The ATAPI
     version now seems to be more available. The Plus is the newer
     version of the ZIP drive.  It has the capability to detect what
     port its plugged into, scsi or parallel. This document will focus
     on the Parallel port version, but also offer some tips for other

  This document incorporates information collected and published by
  others, in particular:

  ·  Grant Guenther, [email protected]

  ·  Scot Wilcoxon, [email protected]

  ·  Joe Mack, [email protected]

  ·  Byron Jeff, [email protected]

  I thank them for their important contributions, and accept
  responsibility for any errors that I have introduced.

  A special thanks to Grant Guenther who wrote the 0.26 version of the
  ppa program and also wrote the original version of this HOWTO.  If you
  find any mistakes or oversights in this document, please let me know.
  [email protected]

  1.1.  Home of this document

  The most current version of this document will reside at

  2.  Quick Start

  OK so you have purchased a new zip drive and now you want to use it.
  Some distributions have the modules already built. You can try insmod
  ppa for starters. (Make sure you have it hooked up and a disk
  inserted).  If the ppa program is not there, then configure the
  kernel.  My machine has 2 parallel ports, one for the zip and one for
  the printer.  This makes things easy, no cable switching.

  Configure the kernel:

  ·  cd /usr/src/linux

  ·  make xconfig

  ·  scsi support = Y

  ·  scsi disk support = Y

  ·  Iomega zip support as a module

  ·  printer support also as a module

  ·  save it and exit

  ·  make dep

  ·  make clean

  ·  make zImage or zlilo or zdisk

  ·  make modules

  ·  make modules_install

  Now to use the drive:

  ·  load the module insmod ppa

  ·  build a mounting point. mkdir /zip

  ·  insert a preformatted windoze type disk into the drive.

  ·  mount the disk.  mount -t vfat /dev/sda4 /zip

  ·  use any standard file commands as in  l /zip, ls /zip, df, cp,

  ·  when you are finished  umount /zip

  If you had trouble with any of the previous steps, see the following
  sections for more detailed instructions.

  3.  Configuring a kernel for the ZIP drive

  To use the ZIP drive with Linux, you must have a kernel configured
  with support for the SCSI system, support for SCSI disks, and support
  for the host adapter you are using.  If you are not familiar with
  building a kernel, you should read up on the Linux Kernel HOWTO
  <> for information.

  You must begin the process of building a kernel with the configuration
  step.  Here, you identify the specific kernel components that you
  need. First step  cd /usr/src/linux. There are several ways to
  actually do the configuration. Under X windows I use make xconfig.
  There is also make menuconfig or make config for command line prompts.
  The easiest way is with xconfig.

  In the section SCSI Support set SCSI support = Y.  Also set SCSI disk
  support = Y.

  In the section SCSI low-level drivers you want to set IOMEGA Parallel
  Port ZIP drive SCSI support = M. The M stands for modules.

  In the section Character Devices find and set Parallell Printer
  support = M

  If you are a bit unsure about any of this, use zdisk for the make
  step. This will build and install the kernel to floppy. If you screw
  it up somehow, you still have a good bootable system on the hard

  Now build the kernel with these steps:

  ·  make dep

  ·  make clean

  ·  make zImage or zlilo or zdisk

  ·  make modules

  ·  make mdoules_install

  hint if you want to create an output log of the make zImage step you
  can use

          make zImage 2>&1 | tee zImage.out

  This is really a good thing to do, if you have compile errors or other
  conflicts in the configuration, now you have a file with the error
  messages or compile errors. This makes asking for help much easier.

  You also need to load the modules somewhere. On my system I just added
  a couple of lines to the boot.local file.

  ·  insmod ppa

  ·  insmod lp

     My system is Suse 5.3 and this file is in /etc/rc.d. The location
     of this file will vary by distribution, but there will be a file
     somewhere, for local changes to be made at start up time. You
     should use the file that is applicable for your distribution.

  Now shutdown and reboot.

  You can also build all or part of the SCSI system as modules.  If you
  do this, be sure to load scsi.o, then sd.o and finally the driver for
  your host adapter, before you try to access the ZIP drive.

  3.1.  SCSI version

  If you already have a SCSI disk in your system, and you are connecting
  the ZIP drive to the same controller, there is no additional kernel
  configuration required.  Otherwise, you will most likely have to build
  a new kernel.

  If you are building a kernel to support the SCSI version of the ZIP
  drive, you should select SCSI support and SCSI disk support.  You must
  also select a driver for the interface card you will use. If you have
  a ZIP Zoom, select the aha152x driver.

  Be sure to read the documentation for your adapter in the SCSI HOWTO
  and any README files in the drivers/scsi subdirectory of the Linux
  source tree.  Pay attention to command line parameters that you might
  have to use to help the kernel initialise your adapter.

  For instance, if you are using the ZIP Zoom card, you will have to add
  something like


  to the boot command (or include it in your /etc/lilo.conf file in an
  append clause).  This tells the driver the port address and IRQ of
  your ZIP Zoom card - be sure to use the numbers that correspond to the
  way your jumpers are set.

  You should also read Paul Gortmaker's BOOTPROMPT HOWTO
  <> for
  information about configuring your kernel with LILO or LOADLIN.

  4.  The ZIP drive

  There are at least five or six versions of the Iomega ZIP 100 drive.
  The Iomega page for these drives is at
  <> They all accept special
  cartridges resembling a 3.5" floppy disk that hold 100 megabytes of
  data.  The disks actually hold 96 cylinders of 2048 sectors each
  holding 512 bytes.  This would normally be called 96 Megabytes.

  The external drive comes in these types:

  ·  Parallel port

  ·  SCSI

  ·  Plus

  The internal drive comes in these types:

  ·  SCSI

  ·  IDE

  ·  ATAPI

  The internal versions can be mounted in 3.5 or 5.25 drive slots.  The
  external versions are in a small blue plastic case enclosure, powered
  by an external wall brick.

  All the drives have a large pushbutton on the front of the drive.
  This is used to eject the disk.  Linux locks the door while using the
  drive, but if the button is pressed while the door is locked, the ZIP
  drive will remember and eject the disk as soon as the software unlocks

  4.1.  Parallel port version Zip100

  This drive is described at

  The Linux driver comes in a couple of different versions. The 0.26
  version of the ppa.c program ships standard with the 2.0.x kernels.
  If your kernel is older than 2.0.35 then you have the OLD program.
  Check out

  David Campbell's page <> for the more
  current version of this program. At the time of this writing the
  current version is 1.42.

  The auto configuration features of the 1.4x program are very nice.
  You do NOT have to tell the progam what the base address of the
  parallel port is. The program will prob the standard address's for the
  parallel ports and attach the drive when it finds it.

  The most common problem is to load the lp printer module before the
  ppa program.  The ppa program must be loaded before the lp module. The
  lp module will tie up the port that the zip drive needs, this is why
  the ppa progam must be loaded first.

  Also be sure that all cables are firmly attached.

  If you did everything right :) you will see messages like this at boot

    VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem) readonly.
    Adding Swap: 102528k swap-space (priority -1)
    ppa: Version 1.42
    ppa: Probing port 03bc
    ppa: Probing port 0378
    ppa:     SPP port present
    ppa:     EPP 1.9 with hardware direction protocol
    ppa: Found device at ID 6, Attempting to use EPP 32 bit
    ppa: Communication established with ID 6 using EPP 32 bit
    ppa: Probing port 0278
    ppa:     SPP port present
    scsi0 : Iomega parport ZIP drive
    scsi : 1 host.
      Vendor: IOMEGA    Model: ZIP 100           Rev: D.09
      Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 02
    Detected scsi removable disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 6, lun 0
    SCSI device sda: hdwr sector= 512 bytes. Sectors= 196608 [96 MB] [0.1 GB]
    sda: Write Protect is off
      sda: sda4
    lp2 at 0x0278, (polling)

  You can view these messages with dmesg | more.  You can save the
  messages to a file with dmesg > dmesg.txt.  This is often usefull if
  you are trying to debug the installation.

  Also see section ``Getting more information''

  4.2.  SCSI external version

  This drive is described at

  The external SCSI version of the ZIP drive has two DB25F connectors,
  and two configuration switches.  One switch selects the drive's target
  address. The choice is limited to target 5 or 6.  The other enables an
  internal terminator, in case the drive is the last one on a chain.
  The 25 pin SCSI connectors use the familiar Macintosh style wiring.
  The drive is shipped with a Macintosh type cable, but standard cables
  and converters are easily obtained if you are using a host adapter
  with a Centronics or high-density connector.

  I have not seen an internal SCSI drive, but I would expect it to have
  a standard 50 pin DIP header SCSI connector and the same two switches.

  Make sure that the target address you choose does not conflict with
  any other SCSI devices you may have on the same bus.  Also be sure
  that the physically last drive in a chain has termination enabled, or
  an external terminator installed.

  If you have an internal SCSI disk or CD-rom, and you connect your ZIP
  drive to the existing adapter, you should check to see if there are
  any terminators on the card that must be removed.  Only the two
  extreme ends of the SCSI bus should be terminated.  If your bus is
  partly internal and partly external, there should be one terminator on
  the last external device and one on the last internal device, but no
  terminators on the adapter card itself.

  Be sure that all cables are firmly attached.

  The kernel configuration is much the same as the internel version. See
  the next section SCSI Internal version for an example configuration.

  4.2.1.  The ZIP ZOOM host adapter

  Iomega markets a SCSI host adapter under the name ZIP Zoom.  This is
  actually based on the design of the Adaptec AHA1520 family of
  adapters.  It has an external Macintosh type DB25F connector,
  compatible with the cable that comes with the ZIP drive.

  Linux supports this adapter with the aha152x driver.

  4.3.  The SCSI Internal version

  Install hardware as described in the "Installation and Reference
  Guide" noting which SCSI ID, IRQ and I/O Port Address are being used.
  (You'll need this info later.) Things will go smother if the drive and
  adapter card use different SCSI ID's.

  Beware The zip zoom card is hardwired for scsi ID number 7. The scsi
  id in the command line below is for the card, not the drive. The card
  and the drive must use different scsi id numbers. For example if the
  card uses 7 then use 5 or some other number for the drive.

  Recompile the kernel after configuring it to include 'SCSI', 'SCSI
  disk' and 'AHA152X/2825' support. INSTALL NEW KERNEL :-(

  Determine what your kernel command line is:

   aha152x=[I/O Port][,IRQ][,SCSI ID][,RECONNECT][,PARITY]

  For example :


  If your using LILO add your kernel command line to your lilo.conf file
  using the append command.

  (ie. append = "aha152x=0x140,10,7,1")

  If your using LOADLIN add your kernel command line to the command you
  use to initiate loadlin.

    (ie. loadlin c:\vmlinuz root=/dev/hda3 aha152x=0x140,10,5,1 ro)

  4.4.  The ZIP Plus - IMM driver

  This drive is described at

  This is a newer version of the external Zip drive. The
   Zip Plus  does not use the ppa driver, instead it uses the
   imm  driver.  Philippe Andersson sent in this excellent section on
  the imm driver for the Zip Plus.  Thanks Philippe.

  First, rebuild your kernel to include the following items:

  ·  modules support

  ·  SCSI support

  ·  SCSI Disk support

  ·  lp as a module (if you need it)

  You'll notice we didn't select any SCSI low-level driver. That's ok --
  we'll build it separately later.

  Then, you need to get the driver source code from Dave Campbell's home
  page (
  <>). Version 0.18 is the
  current one at the time of writing (Aug. 98). Unzip it and untar it
  somewhere (under /usr/src, for instance). Then just run make. You'll
  get the module you need (imm.o). Copy it to

  /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/scsi

  If your lp module was loaded (check with lsmod(1)), unload it (rmmod
  lp), then load imm.o (insmod imm) and you're all set basically.

  If the ZIP drive was not connected and powered on at the time, you'll
  get the message "init_module: Device or resource busy", and the module
  won't load. (By the way, it looks like you don't need to switch your
  PC off to connect the ZIP -- just make sure the module is not loaded
  and the drive is turned off, then plug it in, turn the drive on, and
  load the module.)

  If the ZIP was connected and powered on, but there was no disk in, the
  module will load all right, but you'll get the message that it can't
  read the disk partition table. This is ok, as the partition table will
  be automatically read when you insert a ZIP disk.

  If there was a ZIP disk in, you'll get the full information displayed,
  including a list of partitions defined on the disk and its Write
  Protect status. Here is a sample load-time message:
  vger:~# insmod imm
  imm: Version 0.18
  imm: Probing port 03bc
  imm: Probing port 0378
  imm:     SPP port present
  imm:     ECP with a 16 byte FIFO present
  imm:     PS/2 bidirectional port present
  imm:     Passed Intel bug check.
  imm: Probing port 0278
  scsi0 : Iomega ZIP Plus drive
  scsi : 1 host.
    Vendor: IOMEGA    Model: ZIP 100 PLUS      Rev: J.66
    Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 02
  Detected scsi removable disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 6, lun 0
  SCSI device sda: hdwr sector= 512 bytes. Sectors= 196608 [96 MB] [0.1 GB]
  sda: Write Protect is off
   sda: sda1

  One last remark to mention that this version of the driver also locks
  the drive door while the disk is mounted. If the eject button is
  pressed in this situation, nothing happens, but the drive "remembers"
  and ejects the disk as soon as it is dismounted.

  4.5.  ATAPI version

  This drive is described at

  There was an IDE version of the drive produced for a while.  I think
  that for the most part this has been replaced by the ATAPI version.

  Donald Stidwell sent in these comments on the ATAPI version. Thanks

  I use an ATAPI Zip drive and it works with both 2.0.32 and 2.0.33
  kernels.  I've used it under both RH 5.0 and OpenLinux 1.2 (my current
  used distribution).  To get it to work under OpenLinux, I just enabled
  ATAPI floppy support in the kernel.  OpenLinux does not have this
  support compiled in by default.

  No other drivers are needed.  It will mount as an extended partition
  on partition 4.  I.E, mine mounts on HDB4.  I mount it under /mnt/zip
  as noauto, although I don't suppose there would be any real problem
  with automounting.  I just wonder about ejecting disks.  I always
  dismount the drive before ejecting a cartridge.

  There are more detailed instructions for the ATAPI install in the
  Linux Gazette May 1998 issue. See the 2 cent tip section.

       <url url="">

  4.6.  IDE version

  I have not used the IDE version. Eric Backus sent in these comments.
  Thanks Eric.

  I have one of these.  It came with my Gateway 2000 computer a year
  ago.  I think most of these were shipped by large OEM companies like
  this, before the ATAPI version of the ZIP drive was available.

  The good news about this drive: no kernel modules or modifications are
  needed to support it.  It looks to the kernel like an IDE hard drive.
  It worked for me with no effort with kernel 2.0.31 and 2.0.32.

  The bad news about this drive: because it doesn't use ATAPI, you can't
  use the SCSI-to-ATAPI translation, which means you can't use mtools to
  write-protect disks (or to eject them, for that matter).

  4.7.  USB version

  This drive is described at

  These drives look very cool and the USB interface also looks good. The
  only problem is that the USB interface for Linux is still under
  development at this time. So for now, this drive is not usable under
  Linux. Check this address for updates.


  4.8.  ZIP250 version

  This drive is desribed at

  This drive is new as of January 1999. I just bought one of these and
  it works very well in Linux. Just use the IMM driver from
  <> Set up the driver the
  same way as the zip plus. Mainly just download the driver, unpack it,
  and run make. Then copy the imm.o executable to the modules directory.
  For example /lib/modules/2.0.35/scsi (The 2.0.35 is your kernel
  version). If you are not sure of the version do uname -r.

  5.  Troubleshooting Install

  If you get errors while giving insmod ppa as given below:

  root# insmod ppa
  Using /lib/modules/version/kernel/drivers/scsi/ppa.o
  /lib/modules/version/kernel/drivers/scsi/ppa.o: unresolved symbol parport_register_device_Rf274b881/lib/modules/version/kernel/drivers/scsi/ppa.o: unresolved symbol parport_unregister_device_Rb0814cd3
  /lib/modules/version/kernel/drivers/scsi/ppa.o: unresolved symbol parport_release_Rf8ec22de
  /lib/modules/version/kernel/drivers/scsi/ppa.o: unresolved symbol parport_claim_R4c7222c6
  /lib/modules/version/kernel/drivers/scsi/ppa.o: unresolved symbol parport_enumerate_Rbc847709
  /lib/modules/version/kernel/drivers/scsi/ppa.o: Note: modules without a GPL compatible license cannot use GPLONLY_ symbols

  The problem is that you did not add a printer to your system in
  'Printer Configuration'.  Before you do 'insmod ppa' you MUST add a
  printer. Click on KDE-Start-Button->System->Printer-Config and add a
  printer by name Now, test the printer which you added by giving:
  /etc/rc.d/init.d/lpd restart . If the lpd daemon starts then the
  printer is configured properly. Now try
  bash# insmod ppa
  bash# insmod lp

  You should not get any errors.

  6.  Using the ZIP drive

  If you have built in all the required components, the kernel should
  recognize your adapter and drive at boot time.  If you are using a
  loadable module for your driver, the following discussion applies once
  that module is loaded.

  For the most part, the SCSI and parallel versions of the drive behave
  identically, except that the parallel version is somewhat slower.

  6.1.  Fdisk, mke2fs, mount, etc.

  Once you know the drive name for your ZIP drive, you are set.  You can
  manipulate the drive with the normal Linux disk management commands.
  fdisk (or perhaps cfdisk) is used to manipulate the partition tables
  on the disk.  mke2fs can be used to format a partition with the ext2
  filesystem - the one most commonly used in Linux.  mount is used to
  connect a formatted partition into your directory hierarchy.

  You should study the manual pages for these tools if you are not
  familiar with them.  Be warned that there are now several quite
  different versions of the fdisk program - be careful.

  I'll describe two common scenarios.

  6.2.  An existing DOS formatted disk

  If you have a ZIP disk with a DOS file structure that was originally
  created by Iomega's tools, the partition scan should say that the disk
  has one partition, /dev/sda4.

  You should make a place to mount the disk, lets say /zip, and then
  mount it as an MS-DOS filesystem:

              mkdir /zip
              mount -t vfat /dev/sda4 /zip

  You could also use msdos instead of vfat. vfat supports long filenames
  where msdos does not.  Now, the files on the disk should appear in
  /zip.  While the disk is mounted, you will not be able to remove it.
  When you are finished with the disk you can umount it to release it
  and detach it from your directory hierarchy.

              umount /zip

  Once you've made the /zip mount point - you don't need to do it again,
  so you could come back later and mount something else there.

  6.3.  Re-format as a native Linux disk

  If you want to erase a ZIP disk and make a Linux native file system on
  it.  You should use fdisk on the entire disk:

              fdisk /dev/sda

  and delete any existing partitions (with the d command).  Then create
  a new partition with the n command, make it primary partition number
  1, use w to write the partition table to disk, and quit with q.

  Format the partition

              mke2fs /dev/sda1

  (The 1 is the number that you gave this partition in fdisk).  Now you
  can mount the disk:

              mount -t ext2 /dev/sda1 /zip

  (re-using that mount point we created before).

  6.4.  fstab entries

  The /etc/fstab allows you to configure the mount command. I like to be
  able to mount and write to the zip disk from any login id on the
  system. I added 2 lines to the end of the fstab file that look like

     /dev/sda1    /zip            ext2            noauto,rw,user,nosuid,sync
     /dev/sda4    /zipdos         vfat            noauto,rw,user,nosuid,sync,mode=0777

  These entries assume that you have a /zip and a /zipdos directory. If
  you want all users ids to read and write, make sure you set the
  permissions.  For exmaple  chmod 666 /zip . You must do the chmod as
  root.  The fstab entries also assume that your dos disks are
  partitioned as 4 (sda4 in my case), and the ext2(linux) disks are
  partitoned as 1 (sda1).  You can read more about the fstab options
  with man mount

  With the fstab entries as above you can mount a dos disk with
   mount /zipdos If you are using a linux ext2 disk then use the command
   mount /zip

  6.5.  The ZIP Tools disk

  There is some extra work to be done if you want to use the disk that
  comes with the ZIP drive.  As shipped, the software controlled write
  protection is enabled.  Most people have unlocked the disk under DOS
  before ever trying to use it with Linux.  Linux cannot access a locked
  disk, and it must be unlocked with Iomega's tools.

  A native Linux program to manage the write protection feature, among
  other things, is expected to be available soon.

  7.  Performance

  With the standard version of the 2.0.x kernels you get the 0.26
  version of the ppa.c program. This is a very reliable simple program.
  It has gotten a lot of use and abuse and held up rather well. The only
  bad thing about this program is that it's not very fast. On my machine
  I have version 2.0.30 kernel, and 2 parallel ports. This is also a
  low-buck machine pentium 133 - 16 meg memory, 5 gig maxtor eide hard
  drive. The machine cost me 500. U.S. Dollars and the drive was 250. I
  am cheap but so what.

  I had the ZIP drive on the second port and the printer on the first
  port. The second port was an old add in card, no epp mode. This made
  the driver run in 4 bit mode.

  To base line the performance I copied the netscape tar file from the
  hard drive to the zip drive. This file is about 10.6 meg.  Time 7
  minutes 15 seconds. Going from the zip drive to the hard drive was
  about 7 minutes even. Not exactly setting the world on fire.

  I then made 2 changes. First I switched the ZIP drive to the first
  port and went into the bios and set EPP mode on for the first port.
  At the same time I hooked up the printer to the 2nd port.

  Second change I went out and downloaded the new version of the program
  from  David Campbells page <> Then I
  installed this program. Check out the readme file that is included.

  Then I ran the same test again of copying the Netscape tar file to and
  from the ZiP drive. The copy to the C drive was 1:55 seconds. From the
  hard drive to the Zip drive was 1 minute flat. This compares to 7:15
  and 7:00 with the old program. This was a big improvement over the
  0.26 program.  This was also using the zip drive as a vfat file type.

  Next I formated a zip drive in ext2 format. Ran the same test again.
  The copy going to the hard drive was only 50 seconds. The copy from
  the hard drive to the Zip drive was only 40 seconds.

   Performance Summary

  For this test case of moving a 10.6 meg file, the 4 bit standard port
  mode and program version 0.26 is the slowest 7:00 and 7:15

  The new program (1.41) and EPP mode with ext2 file types is the
  fastest at 50 seconds and 40 seconds.

  8.  Frequently asked questions

  These are some of the questions that we get asked a lot.  Please read
  the answers here before asking them again !

  8.1.  Can I plug a printer into the parallel ZIP drive ?

  Yes, but.  Currently, you cannot have both the lp and ppa drivers
  active on the same parallel port.  A resource sharing protocol has
  been designed and is in the early stages of implementation, but will
  not be available before Linux 2.0 is released.

  If you like living on the bleeding edge of things, get the 2.1.x
  kernel and you can have port sharing. See

  The easy way to do this with 2.0.x kernel is to have 2 parallel ports.
  I bought my second one for about 15 dollars and it works great.  You
  can use one for printing and one for your ZIP drive.  Just build a
  kernel with both the lp and ppa drivers as modules. I use the newer
  (1.41) version of ppa, so I just load ppa first (insmod ppa). It then
  finds the zip drive on the first port.  Then I load lp (insmod lp) and
  it assigns the printer to the second port.

  If you use the 0.26 version of the program then upgrade to 1.41 or
  newer.  The only answer you will get on qustions about this driver is
  to upgrade the program.

  8.2.  Do you plan to support EPP/ECP ports in PPA ?

  Version 0.26 of the program does not support EPP. Version 1.41 does
  support the EPP. This program is also much faster. See the performance
  section for more details.

  8.3.  Can I run Linux from a ZIP drive ?

  People have done this. It would seem this might make a great rescue
  disk or a way to test an install.


  8.4.  Can I boot from the ZIP drive ?

  This depends on what you are using for a host adapter.  If your host
  adapter has a BIOS ROM with code that can boot from target 5 or 6,
  then yes, you can boot from the SCSI ZIP drive.  You cannot boot from
  a parallel port drive.

  If you have DOS on your main disk and want to boot Linux from a ZIP
  disk, you can do this using the LOADLIN boot loader.  Your kernel
  image must be somewhere on the DOS disk, but the rest of your Linux
  system could be on the ZIP.  Make sure that the kernel you use has the
  correct drivers built in.

  As far as I am aware, there are no installation boot floppies for any
  of the popular distributions that contain the parallel ZIP driver.

  8.5.  Why does Iomega use partition number 4 ?

  This is one of the most popular questions, but I don't think anyone
  has a definite answer to this one.  Could be they had their head where
  the sun don't shine. Maybe there is no reason.

  8.6.  How can I have the disk mounted at boot time ?

  All you need to do is to add a line to your /etc/fstab file.  For
  instance, if you will always have a DOS disk in the drive when you
  boot, you could put

              /dev/sda4   /zip  vfat  defaults  0 0

  in the fstab.  Depending on your distribution, the initialization
  scripts might try to run fsck on partitions listed in your fstab.  Be
  aware that this could cause problems if you forget to put the disk in
  the drive when you boot, or have the wrong disk there.

  8.7.  What happens if there is no disk inserted when I boot ?

  The kernel will try to read the partition table, but the operation
  will time out.  There is nothing to worry about.  Once you have
  inserted a disk, and try to do something with it the kernel will
  notice that there is a disk there now and rescan the partition table.

  HINT: when you change disks, it is a good idea always to use fdisk to
  check the partition structure on the new disk.

  The BIOS on some SCSI host adapters will attempt to read the partition
  table on your disk during the system boot.  If you cannot disable this
  check, you may be forced always to boot with a disk in the drive.

  8.8.  Can I use the parallel drive as a real SCSI disk ?

  The PPA-3 parallel-to-SCSI adapter is implemented as a single ASIC
  chip that Iomega calls a VPI0.  It is embedded on the ZIP drive's
  controller card.  There is an actual SCSI bus present, but not in a
  useful form.

  Although I haven't tried to compare the two cards, it seems logical
  that the VPI0 replaces the conventional electrical buffering circuits
  that would be required if the SCSI bus were extended outside the

  8.9.  Can PPA be used with Iomega's parallel port tape drives ?

  No.  Those drives are floppy-tape drives. There is no SCSI involved.

  Several people have indicated an interest in applying my methods to
  try to determine the protocol and develop a driver for these tapes.
  The first step in that process is to get the DOS driver working under
  DOSemu.  I have not yet heard that anyone has been successful in doing

  8.10.  Will PPA work with the parallel port SyQuest EZ135 ?

  No. The EZ135 is an IDE drive with a ShuttlePort parallel to IDE
  converter embedded in it.

  However there has been some work done on this driver. Check out


  9.  Getting more current information

  More current versions of the parallel port zip drive (ppa.c) program
  and current technical information of the driver can be found at


  Information of many parallel port external device drivers can be found


  Parallel Port sharing or through-port information is found at


  Installing Linux from a zip drive (for machines without a CD)


  An X frontend to the ziptool program can be found at


  Information on configuration of Lilo can be found at


  Information on using bootprompts can be found at


  If you want to install the Linux OS onto a Zip Drive and run the OS
  from the Zip drive


  Iomega's web pages are at


  And if you are looking for general information about parallel port
  programming for the PC, you might want to visit