I/O Board Support Page

The following applies primarily to installation of the WarpExpress, F/PortPlus and 1284Port in a Windows 95/98/ME environment.

For support on the WarpPCI, please click here.

For support on the F/Port card, please click here.


In most installations, just following the instructions in the Product Manual will lead to a normal product installation. Between Windows 95/98/ME Plug and Play and the new BIOS's of newer machines, parallel port detection, installation and configuration should be relatively straight forward and simple. Unfortunately, also due to the differences in some system BIOS's, OEM Windows versions, and Windows releases, not all systems work the same. This sometimes causes problems with installing the cards.

Another factor is that every PC becomes unique in some way as soon as you, the end user, begin to load your own programs, customize your installation, and add peripherals and features. This is one reason that an installation is simple for one customer, and near hell for another. Please be assured that even the most advanced PC users can become frustrated and angry sometimes when trying to install what seems to be a "simple" card, peripheral, or program. If you've installed one of the Warp boards and have a problem, read on.

I/O Cards
  • F/PortPlus
  • WarpExpress
  • 1284Port
These are the cards most recommended for operation with products such as the Iomega zip drive, Visioneer Strobe color scanner, and many other tape, CD, scanning and printing peripherals. Although they may differ in some card functionality, IRQ, or connector type, the parallel port installation of the cards are basically the same. In general, the information here pertains to any parallel port peripheral connected to a Warp product and used in a stand alone situation, or shared in a daisy chain fashion.

The information is presented in order of installation:

If you are having difficulty installing a Warp Nine product please read through and try these procedures before calling Warp Nine for technical support. The questions and procedures listed here represent nearly 100% of the problems we've encountered in answering customers questions. If, after trying these procedures, you still have difficulties, please give us a call at (858) 576-4354 or e-mail support.

The vast majority of Tech Support calls fall into the following categories:

  1. My com port or modem doesn't work now.
    If you have the F/PortPlus or 1284Port see here in Random Issues.

  2. I get a "System Resource Conflict" when I boot my PC.
    Try to determine if another system device is using the same resource as the card you are installing (for example, two devices at the same I/O address). See the section "Determining Your Current Pre-Installation System Configuration". The utilities and instructions here can help determine if this is the problem.

  3. Windows does not recognize the new parallel port.
    First, verify that the card is recognized by your system BIOS; you can use our LISTIO utility to determine this. If the card does not show up in the LISTIO report, it is not installed correctly and Windows will not be able to recognize it. In this case, remove the card, double check the resource settings and reinstall it, making sure the gold contacts on the card are firmly and evenly seated in the ISA slot. If you have more than one ISA slot open, you might also try putting it into a different slot. Rerun the LISTIO utility check the status of the port.

    If your BIOS recognizes the card, but Windows 95/98/ME does not, you many need to manually add the card to the device list. Refer to the Software Initialization section of your manual and view these notes.

  4. Everything seems OK except that my zip drive does not work now.
    Click here for this topic under Issues and Common Questions from Zip Drive Owners.

  5. Everything seems OK except that my Strobe scanner does not work now.
    See Issues for the Visioneer Strobe Installation.

  6. I've never touched an electronic device before and I have no idea where to start.
    Carefully read the manual before you install the card. Do things in order; determine what resources you have available, configure the card by setting the appropriate jumpers, install the card and start Windows 95/98/ME to get the operating system to recognize the card. (All of these items are covered in detail in the manual). If you are unsure about a procedure, e-mail or call us.
Before you get started it is important to know what the current configuration of your PC is.

Do you have an ISA slot available for the card installation?

Look here for help in determining if your system has an open ISA slot.

Do you know what your current LPT and COM port assignments are?

Our LISTIO program reads your systems BIOS table and displays the current COM and LPT port assignments. Our PORTENUM program displays your current port assignments as determined by Device Manager.

Using Windows 95/98/ME Device Manager to view system resources.

Click here to see how to use the Windows 95/98/ME Device Manager to view system resources.  

Warning.gif (151 bytes)  Always POWER-OFF your PC before installing or removing any card. Also, static electricity can damage sensitive electronic components. Discharge you body's static electric charge by touching a grounded surface - e.g., the metal area of the computer chassis - before performing this procedure.

After the I/O address, IRQ and DMA jumpers have been setup properly, you may now install the card.

Power off the computer and remove the cover. If necessary, consult your system manual for removal instructions.

Select an empty ISA expansion slot. The card may be installed in either an 8 bit or 16 bit I/O slot if you are using IRQ 5 or 7. If you are using IRQ 10, 11, 12 or 15, the card must be installed in a 16 bit I/O slot. With the slot cover removed, grasp the card by the top edge and carefully seat it firmly into the slot. Fasten the retaining bracket with a screw and replace your computers cover.

4. Software Initialization under Windows 95/98/ME

In most cases, Windows 95/98/ME will automatically recognize your installed card as a "ECP Printer Port" and it will install the correct driver. A "Discovered New Hardware" window will be momentarily be displayed on your Windows 95/98/ME desktop in this case. You can go to the Windows Device Manager (or use our PortEnum utility) to confirm that you now have an additional port installed in your system.

If the card is not automatically recognized (no new port listing in device manager or PortEnum utility) you have to manually add it to the device list. Please review the Software Initialization section of your manual for card specific details. It is important to know the I/O base address, DMA Channel and interrupt IRQ setting that you previously selected with the jumper settings prior to making these manual settings.

1. Double-click on My Computer, then Control Panel on your Windows desktop.

If your F/PortPlus, WarpExpress or 1284Port is installed at address 378 or 278 go to step #2.

If your WarpExpress is installed at address 288 or 388 go to step #3.

2. Double-click on "Add New Hardware".

Choose "Next" and allow Windows 95/98/ME to automatically check for new hardware devices.
When this process is complete, the new parallel port should be recognized as an "ECP Printer Port". You can verify this by clicking on the Start button, point to Settings, click on Control Panel and then the System icon. Click the Device Manager tab, then double-click on Ports (COM & LPT). You should see your new port displayed as "ECP Printer Port (LPTx)" where x is either 1, 2 or 3. At this point, your new card is installed and ready to use. If you would like to enable IRQ or DMA, go to step #4. It is not critical that an IRQ (or DMA) be used with the port.

3. For a WarpExpress card installed at address 288 or 388.

a. Double-click on "Add New Hardware". Click on "Next".
b. Choose "No" to allowing Windows 95/98/ME to automatically detect your hardware.
c. Click on "Next"
d. Scroll down the list until you get to "Ports (COM and LPT)". Double click this.
e. On the right side of the window, highlight "ECP Printer Port" and click next.
f. At this point Windows 95/98/ME will display an I/O base address for the card. You can ignore this number and we will change it later.
g. Select "Next". At this point the system may ask for your Win95 setup CD or location. After the system updates your driver Windows 95/98/ME will recommend that you reboot your PC; DO NOT DO THIS! We need to modify the I/O base for the port first.
h. Now proceed to step #4 and select this parallel port to modify. You will change the I/O base address in the window to either 288-28F, or 388-38F.

4. The following instructions will allow you to modify the resources of your card or increase the capabilities of the card by enabling the IRQ and DMA features. It is not critical that an  IRQ (or DMA) be used with this port.

a. Return to the Device Manager until you see the ECP Printer Port you installed.
b. Double-click on the ECP Printer Port that you installed. This will bring up the Port Properties window.
c. Click the Resources tab. This will bring up the port configuration.
d. Click on the box "Use automatic settings". This will clear the box.
e. Click on the box "Setting based on:" and choose an appropriate configuration (see the chart below). Normally, "Basic Configuration 2" would be the choice for a card set at 278 or 378  with an IRQ and DMA channel enabled. (Choose Basic Configuration 3 or 4 if you have the WarpExpress set at I/O 288 or 388).

An extended capabilities port has five possible "Basic Configurations" (0 through 4). Standard I/O ranges means that you have the card set for 278 or 378.

  • Basic Configuration 0 Standard I/O ranges for LPT ports only (no IRQ or DMA)
  • Basic Configuration 1 Standard I/O ranges for LPT ports and any IRQ setting (no DMA)
  • Basic Configuration 2 Standard I/O ranges for LPT ports, any IRQ setting, and any DMA setting
  • Basic Configuration 3 Any I/O ranges for LPT ports only (no IRQ or DMA)
  • Basic Configuration 4 Any I/O ranges for LPT ports, any IRQ setting, and any DMA setting
LPTRESOURCE.BMP (73062 bytes) A list such as this will be displayed. (Your list will look different depending on what Basic Configuration you picked and what settings your card is at).

If the values displayed next to each item do not match the choices you made when you installed the card then double-click on the resource (in this example, the blue Input/Output Range) and modify its setting to match the jumper settings of the installed card. When all of the resource settings match the installed card, click OK until you are prompted to shut down your computer. Shutdown your computer and then restart it. The port should then be ready to use.

Q. How fast will my zip drive go with this card?

A. Some documents quote 20MB to 30MB per minute with the zip drive. In reality, it is almost impossible to quote a specific performance for a PC peripheral. It is very dependent upon the PC setup, memory, what applications you are running, and how you are measuring. These quoted rates are given for a system under DOS doing nothing else. It's kind of like the color ink jet printers. They say "4 pages per minute" on the box, but it's more like "4 minutes per page". You can get the former if you are printing blank pages, but that's not very useful. What we guarantee is, that with this card you will get the best performance possible with your particular system.

Q. My Hewlett-Packard or Canon printer won't work with the zip drive. What's wrong with the zip?

A. Nothing! The problem is with the software that drives the printers. Many printers don't like to share the parallel port so the drivers refuse to give it up for another device to use. For this type of case, the best solution is to add another parallel port to your system. Attach the printer to the old port, and use the new port for your zip drive and other sharable peripherals.

Q. I added the your card and attached my zip drive to it, but the system can't find the zip drive. What's wrong?

A. If you have previously installed the zip drive to one port and you now want to move it to a new port, you must uninstall and then reinstall the zip drive so that it will be setup properly.

To remove a prior installation:

Go to the Windows Control Panel, (Start|Settings|Control Panel) and click "Add/Remove Programs". Look for a listing for Iomega, such as "Iomega Software". If there, highlight it and remove it using the "Add/Remove" button.

Next, check Windows Device Manager:

From Device Manager (Start|Settings|Control Panel|System|Device Manager tab):

Look for a "SCSI" section (right below Ports section). Remove the "Iomega Parallel Port Interface" if listed.

Then connect the zip to the new parallel port and rerun the zip install program. The zip should then work fine.

Q. If I still have problems is there another method to install the zip?

A. There is a brute force method that should always work. This is only good for Win95/98/ME. Try the following:
  1. Go to the "Control Panel"
  2. Click on "Add New Hardware"
  3. Click on Next
  4. Select 'No' to "Search for new hardware"
  5. Scroll down the components list and double click on "SCSI Controllers"
  6. Click on "Have Disk". Be sure to have the Iomega install diskette in your "a:" drive.
  7. Browse the a: drive and select "Iomega Parallel Port zip Interface"
  8. Select "Finish"
  9. Restart your machine.
  10. Be sure the zip drive is installed on the right port and has power.

Q. How do I know I'm getting the best performance with my new parallel port and the zip?

A. After you've installed the zip, run the Iomega utility "Parallel Port Accelerator". This should set you up with the fastest transfer rate. If you're still not satisfied, or you don't think it worked right, then you can do the following (Win95/98/ME only):
  1. Go to the "Control Panel"
  2. Click on "System". This brings up the system settings.
  3. Select "Device Manager"
  4. Scroll down the list until you see "SCSI Controllers"
  5. Highlight the "Iomega Parallel Port Interface" and click on "Properties"
  6. Select "Settings"

  7. a. For the WarpExpress, 1284Port or F/PortPlus

    If the settings box is empty then you can type the following into the box:
    /mode:smceppecp /port:278 /speed:6
    (the /port:278 should be whatever you set our card to, 278 or 378.)

    b. For the WarpPCI

    If the settings box is empty then you can type the following into the box:
    /mode:eppecr /port:278 /speed:6
    (the /port:278 should be whatever you set our card to, 278 or 378.)

  8. Select "OK" and restart your computer.

This should get you the best performance with your machine.

Q. I've installed my new parallel port and attached my Strobe to it, but the scanner is still not recognized. What's wrong?

A. Sometimes the Strobe does not immediately recognize and initialize itself on the newly installed port. While everything is attached and turned on, gently pull out the cable from the back, left side of the Strobe desktop scanner. Leave it unattached for a few seconds and then plug it back in. Usually, you will see that it now "initializes" itself and you are up and running! If this doesn't work, also try removing the the small black power cord from the dongle (the small unit that the cord from the Strobe is attached to). After a few seconds, plug the power connection back in and see if your Strobe now initializes.
Serial Ports

The F/PortPlus and 1284Port have two serial ports in addition to the parallel port (the WarpExpress does not have serial ports). If the ports are not disabled (or configured correctly) they will conflict with your systems built-in ports and will cause a resource conflict. If your immediate concern is to get the parallel port configured properly, we recommend that you initially disable the serial ports on our card. To disable both serial ports, set jumpers JP1, JP2, JP3 and JP4 all to the right (covering pins two and three). When disabled, Jumpers JP8 and JP9 (serial IRQ settings) are automatically disabled and may be left at the default settings. If  you want to enable the serial ports on our card, it is recommended that you first get the parallel port working correctly and then begin configuring the serial ports. Our LISTIO utility can be helpful in determining your systems current serial port configuration.


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