[PARPORT] Huge freeze ups with parallel port zip drive (ppa) and kernel 2.2.x

From: Ian David Flintoft (idf1@ohm.york.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 11:53:24 EDT

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         For quite a while now I've been having some annoying
    problems with my old parallel port Zip 100 under 2.2.x
    (x>12) kernels. I'm using the ppa driver as a module, the BIOS
    is in EPP mode and the driver is using EPP 32-bit mode (same thing
    happens when in ECP mode and PS/2 mode). The machine is a pentium II
    running Debian 2.1/2.2.

    When writing a large amount of data to the disk (ext2)
    various applications including netscape, window managers, du -ks
    commands,..... will lockup up for extended periods of
    time. In some cases they do not wake up until the
    zip drive has finished. At the same time the data rate to
    the zip disk seems to drop to virtually nothing, maybe taking
    10 to 30 mins to write 80 MB for example. This makes the machine
    very difficult to use while writing to the drive.

    Reading from the drive is generally OK. Writing a few Mb to
    maybe 10 - 20 MB is OK. It only happens when writing
    30-90 Mb in one go. I suspect it has something to do with
    the buffering. The machine has 512 MB for RAM and if writing
    say a 80 Mb directory to the zip it is not uncommon for most
    or all of the data to be written into the buffer very
    quickly (a few seconds or so). If this happens the problem
    is usually worse and may lock up applications for over 30 mins.
    until the buffers are written to the disk. It also seems to be
    worse when writing a few large files rather than a lot of small
    ones. Once the writes are complete everything frees up.
    The data is always written reliably.

    I used to use the same zip drive on a 100 MHz 486 with 32 Mb
    of RAM and a late 2.0.x kernel and it used to work perfectly
    - usually write a full disk in about 5-8 min without bringing
    the machine to its knees.

    Any ideas would be gratefully accepted.




    Dr Ian David Flintoft Email: idf1@ohm.york.ac.uk Applied Electromagnetics Group Tel: +44 (0)1904 432391 Department of Electronics Fax: +44 (0)1904 433224 University of York Heslington YORK, UK YO10 5DD Web: http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~idf1

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