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to EPP/ECP or not to epp/ecp? that is the question...

Posted on 1997-11-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I expect this is a newbie question, but i cant find a solution so here goes. Ive got hold of a parallel port scanner. It works ok with the parallel port set up normally. Theoretically i should be using EPP, but: When i set up an EPP port in BIOS, W95 will only install an ECP port which demands a DMA channel that i just dont have free in my system. So:
1) Is setting the port to EPP worth the trouble? The scanner is slow but i knew it would be, will it be significantly faster with EPP?
2) Am i right in thinking an EPP port wont need a DMA?
3) Is there any way of getting W95 to install an EPP port?
4) Could the fact that W95 only recognises ECP mean that my Bios is lying to me and that my Parallel port is not actually EPP compatable??
Feel free to point me to a FAQ, as i cant think im the first person to ask this.
My MB is a little old (ie INTEL endeavor 1/pentium up to 100) so this may be a factor, the BIOS is brand new tho.
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Question by:pog451
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by:j2
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First of all: Does the scanner support ECP/EPP?

EPP doesnt require a DMA.

the spec for EPP has changed a lot over time, are you sure it is actually supporting the "real" EPP?

And as for installing EPP, sure, i have EPP in my system. But i woulndt waste it on a scanner.. Frankly, i wouldnt hook up a paralell scanner at all :=)
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by:pog451
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*Bong* null points - next please


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by:j2
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amazing.. null points, just as many as your expert points.. Anyway.. care to comment on why it was rejected so i can clearify myself? :)
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by:magigraf
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pog451...

Did you try it with none of the above?? What kind of scanner is that, and what did they recommend to hook it?? Or as usual they left you in the dark??

Regards
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by:pog451
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Ok guys,
1) the scanner is/would be EPP (thats why im asking...)
2) So EPP doesnt need a DMA,kewl. ECP does though. My question is how do i get W95 to recognise EPP not ECP when the BIOS settings are EPP
3) no im not sure, the scanner is new (if cheap). I would be happy if W95 did ANY sort of EPP.
4)if YOU have EPP installed, please tell ME how you did it, thats why i asked the Question :-)))

Like i said  the scanner WORKS, i just wonder if it would work BETTER if i could install EPP. Whether its a good idea or not is not the point here.
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by:j2
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I just set my BIOS to EPP and voila, one EPP detected. Your BIOS/hardeware doesnt seem to want to support EPP properly.

What happens if you set the BIOS as a DMA-less ECP and run it as such under win95?
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by:magigraf
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pog451...

Can you feedback who's the manufacturer of your BIOS??
It should be as easy as J2 said, change it in the BIOS and win95 would take care of it.

As for the ECP mode: This is an abreviation for Extended capabilities port, which is good for Bidirectional purposes (e.g.: printers). I don't think that it would be a good idea for your scanner.

Something else that you should know:
The difference in speed between a Parallel peripheral and it's SCSI counter part is Night & Day.  You can't compare the performance of a parallel port with SCSI. ( in few descriptive words SCSI would be about 5~7 time faster in few cases)
To name an example here; take a look at the ZIP drives (parallel and SCSI) We've heavily tested them, and let me tell you, that besides it's portability of being able to carry 100Mg storage and  have handy when I consult my clients (who do not all have SCSI card in their system) I WOULD NEVER buy a parallel ZIP.

The amount of data that gets transfered through a parallel port is minimal and controlled by the capabilities of your port.

Now my question is:
How did you determine that the scanner is slow?? was it faster before, or it's just a presemption that it could be faster??

Will wait for your update.
Regards
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by:pog451
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I have already set my BIOS to EPP, and voila, i had an ECP port in W95 trying to hog a DMA which wasnt free. I suppose this could just mean that my MB doesnt really have EPP capabilties - the BIOS allows you to set it up but its not really there? The board is an OEM intel endeavor 1 with, unfortunately, a proprietary BIOS version (from the german firm VOBIS). I do have the lastest version installed though.
You can manually install an ECP port, why not EPP?
Of course parallel connections are junk for any serious applications (i spent a weekend once burning coasters with a parallel port CDR someone lent me)- this scqanner is a toy but it was more or less free and i only need it once every six months. Im not at all sure itll be any faster with EPP installed, but the handbook says EPP should be used and thats what im trying to do :-))))

Let me clarify and simplify my question:
When i set up an EPP port in BIOS W95 will only recoginse an ECP port. Can i manually install an EPP port (like i can an ECP port or an "ordinary" printer port) or is the false recognition a sign that my sytem doesnt really support EPP (despite the BIOS setting being available)? It just seems strange that ECP can be installed using the hardware assistent and EPP is nowhere to be seen.
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by:pog451
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I have already set my BIOS to EPP, and voila, i had an ECP port in W95 trying to hog a DMA which wasnt free. I suppose this could just mean that my MB doesnt really have EPP capabilties - the BIOS allows you to set it up but its not really there?

The board is an OEM intel endeavor 1 with, unfortunately, a proprietary BIOS version (from the german firm VOBIS). I do have the lastest version installed though.
 
You can manually install an ECP port in W95, why not EPP?
Of course parallel connections are junk for any serious applications (i spent a weekend once burning coasters with a parallel port CDR someone lent me)- this scanner is a toy but it was more or less free and i only need it once every six months. Im not at all sure itll be any faster with EPP installed, but the handbook says EPP should be used and thats what im trying to do :-))))

Let me clarify and simplify my question:
When i set up an EPP port in BIOS W95 will only recoginse an ECP port. Can i manually install an EPP port (like i can an ECP port or an "ordinary" printer port) or is the false recognition a sign that my sytem doesnt really support EPP (despite the BIOS setting being available)? It just seems strange that ECP can be installed using the hardware assistent and EPP is nowhere to be seen.
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by:pog451
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Adjusted points to 150
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by:magigraf
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pog451...

Is there anywhere in your BIOS where you could follow this advise:

Configure the port in your computer's CMOS settings to a non-PS/2 mode (for example, use standard LPT mode, or ECP or EPP mode).

I don't get it?? Win95 should have been wise enough to realise the change in your BIOS.  It looks to me like your motherboard is not resetting the ports properly.

Let me know if you could do what is suggested up here.
Regards
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dew_associates earned 150 total points
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Pog451: The setting up of a parallel port as either a straight lpt port, ecp or epp port is strictly a function of the Bios as it is a device, not an application for which Windows 95 can create a virtual device driver. Although I am unaware of a an early Intel Endeavor motherboard with ecp/epp capable port, doesn't necessaily mean that the board could not be updated. A new bios however, will not enable ecp/epp, as that is a function of the motherboards chipset. If you can determien the motherboards serial number and indentify the chipset, Intel's www site will tell describe the motherboards capabilities and limitations.
Dennis
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by:pog451
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Thanks for all the help, people, i think what it comes down to is that my MB doesnt really support EPP, even though the BIOS allows it to be set up. I still dont really see why W95 allows you to install an ECP port with that blasted DMA and not an EPP, but i suppose thats life. (yes i KNOW i should have bought scsi :-))))
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by:dew_associates
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Pog451: You may want to investigate some of the smart add-on cards with their own on-board bios. This may provide you with what your looking for without replacing the motherboard, although with todays dropping prices on motherboards, that too may be an alternative.
Dennis
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