Ok, so my story for today starts about a week ago. I was digging around in some old boxes in storage and came across my old external Parallel-port ZIP drive. Big, purple, bulky. Had a ZIP disk inserted in it. Can't eject it without power, right? Had the parallel cable but didn't have the power supply. But I KNOW I've seen that power supply somewhere before in my house. Just had to find it.
A week later, digging in completely different area, found the power supply. Yay! Plugged it in, pushed the button, disk pops right on out.
So I thought to myself "Hmm, I'll bet after all this time the inside could use some serious cleaning, especially given where it had been sitting this whole time." So I went to take it apart with no directions or instructions.
The top half of the shell literally broke in half. Also, the clear plastic window on top had already come damned near completely loose.
No problem. I have epoxy resin somewhere around here. I can just epoxy cement that thing back together. So I found the resin. It's literally 3-4 years old at this point, stinks like hell, almost impossible to squeeze out of the tubes for me to mix, but I got some done. Cemented the window back, taped the top together with duct tape, then cemented the inner side. Let it sit for a day.
Checked the internal electronics and everything looks ok - no busted or popped capacitors. Read/write heads look ok. Cleaned them with rubbing alcohol and q-tips. Cleaned everything with alcohol and a toothbrush.
Re-assembled the drive - ended up cracking the external housing some more. Like, wow, this is some fragile-a** plastic. Maybe it spent too much time in the sun? I don't know.
Finally pulled out my Windows 95 (1997) computer and the driver floppy I had says it can't find any adapters while it's hooked up. I have no idea what mode the parallel port is supposed to be in, but I also notice I'm having "Primary IDE" and "Secondary IDE" driver issues (yellow exclamation mark on both). Tried to fix THOSE and ended up making Windows 95 unbootable.
Wow. Such fun times. Now I have to reinstall Windows 95 from scratch and re-download the Ethernet drivers for it and put them on a floppy, since the floppy they WERE on is now "not formatted" and any attempt to format it ends with an error, no matter which system I attempt it on.
Ahhhh, fun times in retro-land. I can't even find my Windows 95 CD-Rs, but lucky for me I was smart enough to copy the entire \Win95 folder from the disc onto the hard drive, so I can re-install Windows from that.
Also wondering how many years are left on this 20GB hard drive. Thinking about getting an 8GB Compact Flash card and adapter....just in case? Don't know how well those work and write-levelling, etc. Compact Flash cards on Ebay seem old as hell and probably already have tons of writes on them.
Anyway, tried hooking that Zip drive to my WIn98 PC, and the only drive the floppy sees is the internal ATAPI on installed - no mention of the Parallel Port one. I'm thinking maybe the drive's dead after all this time and I have no idea how to diagnose where the issue is or not. The entire drive has literally been duct-taped together. Wishing I had a friend with a 3D printer to make me a new external housing for the drive.
That's my story.