Parallel Zip drive to USB?

I know they sell cables that work for printers, but these say they won’t work for Zip drives or Scanners. I have an old parallel zip drive that my wife takes to her older computer at school, and I want to be able to hook it up to my usb port at home. I know this won’t give me much of a speed advantage, but parallel ports on 2000 take over the CPU, so I want to be able to scan while doing something else or save stuff directly to my zip drive like I could on my older, slower Windows 95 computer.

I even had to take up a PCI slot to put in a parallel port that 2000 would recognize my scanner on.

So anyone know of a parallel to USB cable that will work on a Zip drive or Scanner?

I’ve only seen the printer-only converters. Could you use a USB port replicator? It would give you an extra parallel port plus other ports too. I don’t know what the multi-tasking effect would be, though.

I have used a microtech usb to scsi adapter for a scanner i had and works great - the only slowdown is at max resolution which i seldom use and it’s not that much slower then using the isa scsi card the scanner came with came with. It was actually easier to use the adapter then the isa card.

So check microtech. the port rep is not a bad idea except you could buy a new usb zip for the same $$$ most likely.

the more i think of it the more i lean to getting a new zip or scanner instead of adapting it. I kept my scanner because it can scal legal size paper which is sometimes valuable to me.

New USB Zip drives are $ 59.00 at SAMS club and are 1/2 the size and weight of the parallel box you have and I would imagine are also considerably faster. I suspect a parallel-USB adapter (if one exists) will cost a large fraction of this amount and the parallel ZIP drive connected in this manner will be considerably slower in operation than the new direct USB unit.

I have to agree with astro’s take on this - why buy a $40 cable when you can pick up a new Zip© drive for $60?

What i think you’d need to get is USB drivers for the drive as i don’t expect the drivers that shipped with it would work (you could go to Iomega’s website to verify). This was actually one thing that pissed me off about Epson, they had USB drivers for their 850 printer, but the only way you could get them is if you bought a parallel to USB cable from them for $50 (the same parallel to USB cable that you’d get at Fry’s or CompUSA for $40). HP, on the other hand, was no problem, they had all the drivers i needed, free for the downloading and i actually hooked up my 6P to USB.

Lastly, as strange as it may seem, internal IDE Zip© drives are faster than the SCSI drives (no cites on this, but every computer geek i know says it’s true). Go figure…

You guys are probably right about the cable for the zip drive not being much less than the new zip drive. That’s all well and good. I could go that route. However, what about my scanner? The USB version still costs about $100. I know the USB to Parallel to printers is about $30, but it says it only works for printers.

What is this USB port replicator you are referring to? Like a USB hub or is it a USB device that gives you other ports?

Option 2. One end plugs into your USB jack, and the other end is a box that gives you (usually) 1 parallel, 1 serial, 1 PS/2, possibly a network and/or modem jack, and 2 to 4 USB ports. They’re most commonly used to expand laptops. When I was pricing them a few months ago, they were anywhere from $40 to $200.

I ended up going with a different option for the problem I was trying to fix, so I can’t speak for how well they work.

Given the limitations of 2000 per your OP your best bet overall (if you have the required hardware minimums) might be to upgrade to XP home for $99.00 which I would imagine would be a lot better behaved with parallel ports re system utilization.

No offense, but I would rather buy the USB devices that downgrade (IMO) to XP. Yes, XP is supposed to be better, but I haven’t heard anything postivie about it yet.