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Stormz
Mar 15, 2011, 07:41 AM
Bit of a long shot, but does anyone remember external Iomega Zip drives?

I have a box full of zip disks, but no working zip drive to copy over the data.

There's one on ebay (a 250 model, USB), but the seller used it on his PC and doesn't know if it will work on a Mac.

Am I right in thinking that the zip drives themselves were multi-platform, and only the disks themselves (and/or driver software) were platform specific?

Also, will a modern Mac even recognize a USB connected zip drive? (I have SL on my main Mac, but also an older Mac running Panther)



MisterMe
Mar 15, 2011, 09:26 AM
Certainly some USB ZIP drives are cross-platform. I see some on Amazon.com that are specifically advertised as such. Check out the specs of drives that advertised as PC/Mac and then make sure that the eBay offering is the same model.

Fishrrman
Mar 15, 2011, 09:29 AM
"I have a box full of zip disks, but no working zip drive to copy over the data.
There's one on ebay (a 250 model, USB), but the seller used it on his PC and doesn't know if it will work on a Mac."

If the ZIP disks you have are "ZIP 100's", you probably should avoid the "250" drives. I never owned one, but heard they were very slow at reading ZIP 100 disks.

You should keep looking for a ZIP 100 USB drive. I don't believe it makes any difference whether it was used with a Mac or a PC. No "internal differences" between them.

As to getting ZIP disks to mount on the desktop once you have the drive, that might be touch-and-go.

Seems to me that OS X, at least in its earlier versions, had drivers that would automatically recognize and mount ZIP disks.

I'm not so sure if the latest versions of the system software still have those drivers.

ZIP disks also have an "on-disk" driver. It works like this:
- Power down computer and ZIP drive
- Apply power to ZIP drive ONLY, insert a disk
- Turn on Mac
- When the Mac boots, it will automatically "scan the buses" (including the USB bus), and will seek out and load any device drivers for external volumes that it finds.
- It will scan and "find" the Iomega on-disk driver and load it.
- Now, when you get to the finder, the Iomega driver already loaded and the ZIP disk mounts on the desktop. You can now eject a disk (drag it to the trash), and the driver will stay loaded, so you can insert a second disk, etc.
- The on-disk driver will remain loaded until the next shutdown or restart.

You might try Iomega's software site to see if they had an OS X compatible version of their "ZIP Tools" utility.

I still have a ZIP 100 SCSI sitting here on the desk next to my g4. I haven't used it in a while, but it worked the last time I tried it with OS 10.3.9.

Back when they were introduced, the ZIP drive seemed to offer a HUGE amount of storage space. How times have changed!

Dimwhit
Mar 15, 2011, 10:49 AM
I still have a ZIP 100 SCSI sitting here on the desk next to my g4.

Weren't Zip drives all SCSI? Or did they move to USB with later drives? That could be a concern. Though there's probably a SCSI-to-USB adapter out there.

I used to love ZIP disks. Crazy how little the storage is compared to today.

Hrududu
Mar 15, 2011, 10:55 AM
I've got a USB Zip 100 drive hooked up to my main setup. I don't use it a lot, but when I want to transfer files to my Powermac 8600 or even B&W G3 I use it instead of USB flash drives. I've probably got 3 SCSI external drives too. As far as being for PC or Mac, I don't think it really matters. Mac OS X just sees them as external drives when the disk is inserted.

CylonGlitch
Mar 15, 2011, 11:39 AM
Beware of the Click of Death!

Yeah, I had the iOmega Zip100 drive for my PC.. might still have it somewhere -- but it did have the click of death, from there it always sucked. I honestly believe that this was one of the major downfalls of iOmega Zip drives; almost everyone I know was eventually bitten by it.

itickings
Mar 15, 2011, 12:43 PM
Weren't Zip drives all SCSI? Or did they move to USB with later drives?

There were all sorts of interfaces. SCSI, Firewire, USB, PC printer parallel port and even IDE. I had one with the latter in my PC.

MisterMe
Mar 15, 2011, 03:00 PM
"I have a box full of zip disks, but no working zip drive to copy over the data.
There's one on ebay (a 250 model, USB), but the seller used it on his PC and doesn't know if it will work on a Mac."

If the ZIP disks you have are "ZIP 100's", you probably should avoid the "250" drives. I never owned one, but heard they were very slow at reading ZIP 100 disks.

...It ain't all that. The ZIP 100 discs should work fine in the ZIP 250 drive. I never had a problem with them in mine.

As for this business about the on-disc drivers, I am not so sure. FAT-formatted discs certainly don't have Mac drivers. Yet, FAT-formatted ZIP discs work just fine on my Macs.

Let us all agree to cut the FUD.

The OP is looking to buy a ZIP 250 USB external drive. I own such a drive. My only concern is that the eBay special is not guaranteed to be the same model as mine. However, it probably is. I just want to OP to be sure.

Stormz
Mar 15, 2011, 04:46 PM
Thanks all for your input.

The model number of the drive on ebay is Z250USBPCM but I can't find any spec lists on the internet for this. It's definitely USB connection but not USB powered - it has a separate power cable/transformer.

Most of the zip disks I have are 100 but a couple are 250. I can live with a painfully slow transfer rate as I only need the drive to copy my data over to my hard drive just the once. Then I will probably never use the Zip drive again.

Stormz
Mar 15, 2011, 04:48 PM
And yes - I remember the click of death! My current Zip drive is giving me the "clickclick...whirr...clickclick...whirr" of death with every disk I put in, hence me looking for a new one :D

vincenz
Mar 15, 2011, 04:49 PM
Wow I remember those things! Are they in museums yet?

MisterMe
Mar 15, 2011, 07:02 PM
Thanks all for your input.

The model number of the drive on ebay is Z250USBPCM but I can't find any spec lists on the internet for this. It's definitely USB connection but not USB powered - it has a separate power cable/transformer.

....This is not my model. The Z250USBPCM sports USB and PCMCIA. As best as I can determine, this drive supports both Mac and PC. However, it appears to be the older version of Iomega's external ZIP 250 drive. My model is the Z250USBPCMBP. It is a newer model and is both exclusively USB and bus-powered. It is also available on eBay (http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m570&_nkw=Z250USBPCMBP) albeit priced higher than the Z250USBPCM. However, I feel that the newer drive--the one that I own--is the better choice.

Stormz
Mar 16, 2011, 05:15 AM
This is not my model. The Z250USBPCM sports USB and PCMCIA. As best as I can determine, this drive supports both Mac and PC. However, it appears to be the older version of Iomega's external ZIP 250 drive. My model is the Z250USBPCMBP. It is a newer model and is both exclusively USB and bus-powered. It is also available on eBay (http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m570&_nkw=Z250USBPCMBP) albeit priced higher than the Z250USBPCM. However, I feel that the newer drive--the one that I own--is the better choice.
Thanks MisterMe. I might wait for a newer model to appear just to be on the safe side.

MisterMe
Mar 16, 2011, 08:58 AM
Thanks MisterMe. I might wait for a newer model to appear just to be on the safe side.What do you mean "wait"? The new model is there now. Click on the link in my previous post.

Stormz
Mar 16, 2011, 10:06 AM
What do you mean "wait"? The new model is there now. Click on the link in my previous post.
I meant 'wait' as in let the Z250USBPCM auction end without bidding on it.

The link in your post was for the US ebay (I'm in the UK) but thanks for posting it anyway. :) And yes, the new model is in later auctions.