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russculler

macrumors newbie
Original poster
I have recently dug out an old box of Zip disks and my old Zip 100 drive. The drive powers up plugged in to my iMac Retina but does not appear in the sidebar as mounted. Disk Utility goes wonky with it connected showing a perpetual "loading disks" message when I start it but I was able to recover files (a System 8.6 update to be exact :rolleyes:) with Data Rescue 4 from an inserted Zip disk.

My question: Is there an available driver for this device that will allow me read/write to the disks under Mac OS X 10.x? As an alternative, how might I go about erasing the many Zip disks I have so I can sell off or give the the whole shebang to a suitable retro Mac user?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,732
12,844
I'll offer a suggestion.
It will cost you nothing to try it.

Do this (in the order presented):

1. Power down -- all the way off (leave ZIP drive connected).
2. Have a ZIP disk "halfway inserted" into the drive
3a. Now -- power on, and IMMEDIATELY (or as quickly as possible)
3b. Push ZIP disk all the way in, and then...
3c. Hold down the option key on the keyboard (keep holding it until the startup manager appears)
4. You should now see your internal drive. Click on it with the mouse pointer and hit return.
5. The Mac should boot. When you get to the finder, do you see the ZIP disk on the desktop?

WHY I asked that you do this:
Every Mac-formatted ZIP disk has a copy of the "on-disk driver" on it.
When you boot with the option key held down, this instructs the Mac to "scan all connected drives" to look for bootable copies of the OS.
Even though the ZIP disk doesn't have a copy of the OS on it, the Mac should scan the USB bus, and load the on-disk driver. Once loaded, the driver should remain loaded until the Mac is shut down or restarted.

Does this work?
It -used to work- some years back...

Aside:
Back in the days of the Classic Mac OS, there was a utility called SCSI Probe that would "scan the bus" while running, and load drivers and drives where found.
Too bad there's no USB equivalent of that now...
 

russculler

macrumors newbie
Original poster
I'll offer a suggestion.
It will cost you nothing to try it.

Do this (in the order presented):

1. Power down -- all the way off (leave ZIP drive connected).
2. Have a ZIP disk "halfway inserted" into the drive
3a. Now -- power on, and IMMEDIATELY (or as quickly as possible)
3b. Push ZIP disk all the way in, and then...
3c. Hold down the option key on the keyboard (keep holding it until the startup manager appears)
4. You should now see your internal drive. Click on it with the mouse pointer and hit return.
5. The Mac should boot. When you get to the finder, do you see the ZIP disk on the desktop?


Does this work?
It -used to work- some years back...

Thank you. I gave it a couple of tries to no avail. Clearly the Mac was reading (or trying to read) info from the disk because I could hear the drive spinning it and the indicator was flashing but an image does not mount and as I said before Disk Utility hangs when the drive is connected. The fact that the app Data Rescue 4 was able to recover files suggests to me that there should be a way to mount the volume. I would like to find a home for the drive and the many Zip disks I have at the very least but I at least need a way to erase them before giving them up.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,732
12,844
You might try either Drive Genius or TechTool Pro -- maybe one or both could "see" the disk in the drive, and I know that Drive Genius offers the option to "shred data" (secure erase).

I believe Drive Genius comes with a 30-day free trial, so it would cost nothing to try it and find out.
 

russculler

macrumors newbie
Original poster
I'll give them a look.
You might try either Drive Genius or TechTool Pro -- maybe one or both could "see" the disk in the drive, and I know that Drive Genius offers the option to "shred data" (secure erase).

I believe Drive Genius comes with a 30-day free trial, so it would cost nothing to try it and find out.

I'll give them a look. I was able to use diskutil list in the Terminal app to see the drive but not able to mount it and I tried erasing the Apple volume using Terminal as well but I am not sure that worked. It occurs to me I only tried mounting the whole disk so maybe I will give a try just mounting the Apple volume therein since clearly the Mac recognizes there is a drive connected.
 

Thunder240

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2011
6
0
@russculler , did you ever figure out how to get your Zip disks to mount?

I'm having a similar problem. I'm using a USB external Zip 250 drive, and trying without success to mount 3 Zip disks, all 100 MB, all Mac formatted. I've tried hooking the drive up to two different macs, one running High Sierra, the other running El Capitan.

With both computers, when the drive is attached and I run a system report, the USB Zip 250 drive appears in system report, and the serial # is detected. When I insert any of the 3 disks, the drive spins for a second, then stops. The light on the drive blinks fast for a minute or so, then blinks slow until I eject the disk. The disks don't mount. They aren't listed in diskutil either, and Disk Genius doesn't see them. (I haven't tried a Tech Tool Pro since it appears to cost money.) I've rebooted without the disks inserted in the drive, rebooted with disks inserted, rebooted and immediately inserted a disk and held the option key, all without success. Other than it showing up in the System Report, there is no sign that the computer sees the drive.

Anyone have other ideas? I was thinking of scheduling a Genius Bar appointment and asking them to borrow a boot drive for older OSes (e.g. Snow Leopard, which is what I think I was running the last time I used the drive).
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,732
12,844
Thunder 240:

I don't know how important the data is to you (on the 3 ZIP100 disks you have), but... if nothing else helps... you might consider going on ebay and picking up a used ZIP100 USB drive, which can usually be had for about $15-20.

That drive may read the ZIP100 disks, that the ZIP250 drive could not...

Aside:
I bought a ZIP100 SCSI years and years ago for my Macs, back when they had SCSI. Of course, today it can't be connected.
The local recycling center has a bin for old computer stuff. One day I peeked into it and someone had thrown out a ZIP100 USB that looked almost brand new (still had the protective plastic over the "window"). I brought it home, plugged it into a USB port, and ... it worked!
 

Thunder240

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2011
6
0
@Fishrrman , thanks for the reply!

I may resort to that. Prices on eBay look to be a bit higher, at least for those not listed "as is" or "For parts".

If you've Got any interest in selling your recycle bin score, or lending it with security deposit, feel free to PM me! My interest is in getting my data off the disks and safely onto a hard disk.

Btw, do you happen to know what version of OS X you were using when you last hooked it up?


Thunder 240:

I don't know how important the data is to you (on the 3 ZIP100 disks you have), but... if nothing else helps... you might consider going on ebay and picking up a used ZIP100 USB drive, which can usually be had for about $15-20.

That drive may read the ZIP100 disks, that the ZIP250 drive could not...

Aside:
I bought a ZIP100 SCSI years and years ago for my Macs, back when they had SCSI. Of course, today it can't be connected.
The local recycling center has a bin for old computer stuff. One day I peeked into it and someone had thrown out a ZIP100 USB that looked almost brand new (still had the protective plastic over the "window"). I brought it home, plugged it into a USB port, and ... it worked!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,732
12,844
"Btw, do you happen to know what version of OS X you were using when you last hooked it up?"

Low Sierra.
The drive I found had a ZIP100 disk inside, that was formatted for the PC.
It reformatted to Mac format easily.
I didn't try the drive with my older discs (I couldn't find them!)
 
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Joe0576

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2018
2
0
I'll offer a suggestion.
It will cost you nothing to try it.

Do this (in the order presented):

1. Power down -- all the way off (leave ZIP drive connected).
2. Have a ZIP disk "halfway inserted" into the drive
3a. Now -- power on, and IMMEDIATELY (or as quickly as possible)
3b. Push ZIP disk all the way in, and then...
3c. Hold down the option key on the keyboard (keep holding it until the startup manager appears)
4. You should now see your internal drive. Click on it with the mouse pointer and hit return.
5. The Mac should boot. When you get to the finder, do you see the ZIP disk on the desktop?

WHY I asked that you do this:
Every Mac-formatted ZIP disk has a copy of the "on-disk driver" on it.
When you boot with the option key held down, this instructs the Mac to "scan all connected drives" to look for bootable copies of the OS.
Even though the ZIP disk doesn't have a copy of the OS on it, the Mac should scan the USB bus, and load the on-disk driver. Once loaded, the driver should remain loaded until the Mac is shut down or restarted.

Does this work?
It -used to work- some years back...

Aside:
Back in the days of the Classic Mac OS, there was a utility called SCSI Probe that would "scan the bus" while running, and load drivers and drives where found.
Too bad there's no USB equivalent of that now...


JoeM0576
May I offer a simple solution to this compatibility problem, especially with Windows formatted disks. I have installed a small program on all my Macs called NTFS for Mac. It costs around 10 dollars US and allows a Mac to both read and write to any Windows formatted disc or drive. I have numerous Zip drives which store my artwork from my college days and I had misplaced the original Zip drive they were made on. I recently bought another Zip 100 drive on eBay and crossed my fingers when I plugged it in. My iMac running High Sierra immediately recognized the drive and I am now able to read and write to The Zip Drive and access all those works of art I thought were gone forever. Just a thought from a non-computer dunce.
 

fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
3,860
1,292
(Central) NY State of mind
I'd get anything you really want to save onto a newer, more reliable storage medium. You don't want the "Click of death" to render all your Zip Disks unreadable at some point.
 

mpcohen

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2019
1
0
JoeM0576
May I offer a simple solution to this compatibility problem, especially with Windows formatted disks. I have installed a small program on all my Macs called NTFS for Mac. It costs around 10 dollars US and allows a Mac to both read and write to any Windows formatted disc or drive. I have numerous Zip drives which store my artwork from my college days and I had misplaced the original Zip drive they were made on. I recently bought another Zip 100 drive on eBay and crossed my fingers when I plugged it in. My iMac running High Sierra immediately recognized the drive and I am now able to read and write to The Zip Drive and access all those works of art I thought were gone forever. Just a thought from a non-computer dunce.
[doublepost=1554142295][/doublepost]Joe, how did you connect your zip 100 to your mac? i cannot find any cables that will work...
 

Joe0576

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2018
2
0
[doublepost=1554142295][/doublepost]Joe, how did you connect your zip 100 to your mac? i cannot find any cables that will work...

Hello: I have bought two different types of ZIP Drives on eBay (Cheap sometimes). Both came with the original cables. The first one was powered by a separate power cord and a USB cord to the computer which came with the Drive.... (Model Number Z100USBNC). I forgot what I did with the original power cable and plugged in the wrong power supply cable and needless to say killed the drive dead. (My Bad! Hey, I'm 73)... I went back to eBay and bought a ZIP Drive which is powered directly from the USB outlet on the computer. (Model Number Z100USBS). That drive does not require a separate power supply. You just plug it into the USB outlet and away you go. The cord on this drive is a USB head on one end and has the ZIP Drive head end on the other.... Hope this helps.
 

ftyminski

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2019
1
0
Joe: My Zip 100 discs were created years back on a SCSI-SCSI Zip Drive connected to a Mac 7500 (since deceased...). Think I'll need the NTFS to Mac utility?
 

napabar

Suspended
Jun 12, 2008
316
513
You don't need any NTFS Utility. Zip Drives that were formatted on a PC back in the day would have been in FAT 16, which macOS reads perfectly fine. A user would have had to gone out of their way on a NT machine to format a Zip Disk in NTFS. You need no special drivers on macOS to mount or format a FAT 16/32 disk.

However, the Zip Disks formatted on a Mac back in the day were most likely in HFS, which macOS 10.15 can no longer read. Keep that in mind if you're on 10.15.
[automerge]1576103800[/automerge]
 

vjoxyodo

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2023
3
0
Lisbon
Hello,

Just adquired a Iomega Zip 100 USB, and new old stock of IBM formatted disk (Fat 16). Just plugged the USB to my Macbook 13" M1, inserted the disk and it spinned right on and showed on sidebar. Since format is FAT-16 MacOS Ventura recognizes, I was also able to write data with no problem.

If someone has a HFS formatted, you will need a VirtualBox (now already a M1/M2 version) and install MacOS 10.12.6 Sierra, since was the last version supporting HFS that was replace to APFS in High Sierra.

Hope this info helps!

Cheers
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,732
12,844
vj wrote:
"If someone has a HFS formatted, you will need a VirtualBox (now already a M1/M2 version) and install MacOS 10.12.6 Sierra, since was the last version supporting HFS that was replace to APFS in High Sierra."

Huh...?
This is totally WRONG information.

I'm typing on a 2018 Mini running Mojave 10.14.6.

I just dug out my old ZIP100 USB drive, which I found in a computer recycling bin, of all places.
This one has an external power supply.

Plugged it in, stuck in a ZIP100 disk, it mounts on the desktop.
Get info shows it's formatted to HFS+.

Disk utility was able to erase it to HFS+ (Mac OS extended, journaling enabled, GUID partition format).

Works just fine.

Having said that, I never had a ZIP250 drive or disks.
They may not work as well...
 
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