Lion will not save files to a USB ZIP drive?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Photomax, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Photomax macrumors regular

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    #1
    My Dad just got a new iMac.

    It seems that Lion will not save files to a USB Zip drive? I know Zip discs are ancient technology, but he likes using his Zip discs.

    Any info would be great.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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  3. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #3
    Does the Zip Drive mount on the Desktop?
     
  4. Photomax thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    The Zip drive will not mount on the desktop. But if you click on the icon for the iMac's hard drive you do see the icon for the Zip drive listed under "Devices".

    You cannot drag a file from the iMac's drive onto the Zip drive. I then made my Dad test the system by creating a basic test TextEdit file and saving it to the Zip drive: no can do. The existing files on the Zip disc do show but you can't save any edited changes? This seems really odd?

    This is of course not a huge issue. Its just that he is used to backing up a bunch of his files onto Zip Discs. I installed a new drive as a Time Machine backup while I was visiting him last week when we set up the new iMac. I was just curious. He is an older gentleman and is used to his beloved Zip drive even though it is very much 1990's technology...
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    "My Dad just got a new iMac.
    It seems that Lion will not save files to a USB Zip drive? I know Zip discs are ancient technology, but he likes using his Zip discs."

    Try these steps, in the EXACT order presented.

    1. Eject a ZIP disk if one is in the drive
    2. Power down the computer (all the way down to "off")
    3. Have a ZIP disk "in hand" and ready to put into the drive
    4. Press the power-on button on the iMac, and immediately afterwards, push the ZIP disk into the drive.
    5. Let the Mac boot.
    6. When you get to the finder, does the ZIP disk "show up" on the desktop? It may, or it may not.

    Notes for the above:
    All ZIP disks have an "on-disk" driver that will load at boot time (presuming the OS doesn't already have drivers for the ZIP). I'm going to _guess_ that a new iMac has Lion pre-installed, and that Lion probably doesn't have an included driver for the Iomega ZIP drive. In that case, at boot time, the OS _may_ recognize that there is a ZIP drive physically connected, and it _may_ be able to locate and load the Iomega "on-disk driver".

    If that happens, the ZIP disk may mount on the desktop. Once the drive is loaded, you can eject the disk (just drag its icon to the trash to dismount it), and the on-disk driver stays loaded until the next reboot. You _should_ be able to put another ZIP disk into the drive, and the iMac should find it and mount it.

    No promises on the above, because the ZIP is an older technology.

    Another thing to try (again, do it in the order presented):
    1. With the ZIP drive connected, open "Disk Utility" (it's in the "utilities" folder).
    2. In DU's window, you should see all connected devices
    3. Do you see the presence of the ZIP drive? (it may or may not show a disk present)?
    4. If you see the presence of the ZIP, try clicking on it and re-initializing it for "HFS+, with journaling ON"? Any help?

    Questions:
    Was the ZIP drive in question previously used on a PC?
    Could the ZIP disks be in a non-Mac format?
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #6
    The fact that your drive does not mount on your Desktop means that your computer does not recognize it as a storage device. The fact that it is shows-up under Devices means that your computer recognizes it as some kind of USB device. However, your Mac does not know what it is or how to use it.

    I am away from my USB Zip Drives until tomorrow. I will not be able to test them with my Lion-powered MacBook Pro until then. When I upgraded the OS to MacOS X on my PowerBook G3 Pismo back in 2001, I was pleasantly surprised to see my removable Zip drive just work. However, Zip drives were already obsolete then. They have not become any less obsolete in the intervening decade. This is pure conjecture in my part, but my guess is that Zip drives use PPC-based drivers that were never updated for Intel. If then continued to work on Intel-based Macs, then it was due to Rosetta. Rosetta is now gone. PPC code cannot be used in Lion. No more Zip drive.
     
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

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  8. Photomax thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Thanks to all for taking the time to highlight this issue. I will have my Dad try these steps.

    My hunch though is it makes better sense just to add a small USB drive for his files. I installed a Time Machine drive but like the idea of two accessible backups of his files. Most of the files are spread sheets etc...
     
  9. sjinsjca, Sep 24, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011

    sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    #9
    If there's important information on those Zip drives, I'd really recommend getting it off of them right away (using a different computer if necessary). Those things have got to be reaching their end of life. I'm amazed they still work at all.

    My suggestion: Set up a Dropbox account for your dad. Using a different computer if necessary, drag the files off the Zip disks into his Dropbox folder. If he is concerned about privacy, use a Mac to create an encrypted sparse bundle disk image in his Dropbox folder using the instructions found at http://unvexed.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-keep-things-secure-in-your.html

    (If he signs up with Dropbox at http://db.tt/Me4yRjt I'll get a little referral storage-space bonus... ;-) ...and if he signs up with an .edu email address from his alma mater, he'll get 4GB instead of 2GB for free.)

    This is a far slicker solution than using those creaking ancient Zip drives, and safer then relying on thumb drives that, in my sore experience, have a lifetime of a few years at best (and often much worse if they're pulled out at the wrong moment). Dropbox serves as an off-site backup solution for him, too. And with that encryption trick mentioned above, the security and privacy are as good as it gets, yet he can access his encrypted files on any Mac (and his unencrypted files on any computer, period).

    By the way, an alternative to Dropbox is SugarSync. (Same deal, subscribe at this link and I get a little storage bonus.) The encrypted-sparsebundle trick works there too, of course. You can even have both services working on the same computers. Plenty of space for your dad's spreadsheets!
     
  10. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #10
    Absolutely. I still have one computer in the house that has a zip drive, but it is a windows machine, built in 2001, and it runs Win2000 (I think). We retired it last year when my wife finally switched to Mac. I think I even have a few zip drives, but I've never seen a way to read them in OSx.

    With technology that old, it's very important to put the data on newer media. I wouldn't even trust a new flash drive - put it somewhere where you can back it up.
     
  11. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    #11
    Smart. I've had flash drives fail for no reason, and others because they came loose and disengaged at the wrong moment.

    The beauty of the Dropbox approach from a few posts up is that everything is backed up on Dropbox's servers, AND on any computer you have linked to your Dropbox account. I do all my current work in my Dropbox... that way my files are automatically backed-up as I work on them. They're even versioned on the Dropbox site, so if I whoops something and need to go back in time, that makes it easy. That's saved me arse several times!
     
  12. shorenuf macrumors newbie

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    Oct 28, 2013
    #12
    It works … somewhat

    Point of info -- I am running Mountain LION on a 2013 27" iMac. The information on my iMac is no earlier than Dec., 2012, so it is unlikely there are any ZIP drivers present on my system.

    My ancient ZIP 100 mounts on my desktop, reads equally ancient disks, and I can drag to copy files to my desktop. I can open them in Pages, AI Illustrator CE 5.5, and/or Photoshop CE 5.5.The ZIP disks, however, are read only now (I don't know the details of what changed but someone here will tell us):), so they will not save new information.

    At any rate, it was rather fun to see this archaic piece of equipment work to the extent that it did.
     
  13. shorenuf, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013

    shorenuf macrumors newbie

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    Oct 28, 2013
    #13
    To save, reformat…

    I have since found out that ZIP disks need to be reformatted to be able to save to them now. So, copy the info on the ZIP disk to your HD, then use Disk Utility to partition the disk with one partition in Mac OS extended (Journaled) format choosing the option for GUID partition table. Then erase the disk.

    I tried this and was able to save to the ZIP disk.
     
  14. mamlukman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    #14
    same problem--Zip was "read only", re-formatting fixed it

    I had a similar problem--I bought a new MacPro and was switching over from a G4 running 10.4.11. Like the other writer, I am an "older" Mac user and like the Zip drives. I also like Beta tapes, and I drive a 93 Camry. In any case, the Zip drive and disk I used for backups worked just fine on a USB port on the G4, but on the MacPro it was "read only" and had no way I could see to change it (no button to slide on the disk itself, nothing in the "get info" window, etc. The Zip disk showed up fine on the desktop, and I could take files off it, but I couldn't write files to it. It was "read only." In any case, after a search I found similar, but not identical problems, and no solution. But the solution above works--simply copy all the Zip files to your hard disk, then using Disk Utility re-format the Zip disk to "Mac OS extended--journaled" and voila, it now sports the Mountain Lion type stuff at the bottom of "get info" (different owners with different rights, and the first two are "read and write.") But you don't even have to mess with that, it automatically is able to read and write files. I didn't do anything with partitions. Didn't need to. Back in business. Thanks to "shorenuf" who thought of that!
     
  15. fritzw1957 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #15
    I know this thread and they are a little old...

    I recently acquired an old Zip100 USB drive and a few ZipDisk 100's when my fire company was throwing them out. (They had been reformatted so no private info was to be compromised in any way!)

    I'm running a quad-core Mac Pro (circa 2006) with OS X 10.7.x and when I got around to hooking up this old piece of tech, the OS saw it just fine ONCE I had put a ZipDisk into the drive and using Disk Utility. That last part is KEY!!!

    I promptly reformatted (re-partitioned) the disk by using Disk Utility (there are instructions how to do this on the 'net… google it! It's really no different than setting up a new hard drive for your system.) and once the disk was formatted for HFS+ with Journaling, it works like a charm, both reading AND writing! :p

    As with doing multiple ZipDisks in your possession, lather, rinse, repeat! Hi Hi
     

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