FAQ on Zip cartridges and drives

Summary: Frequently Asked Questions on all aspects of using Zip cartridges and drives in data and file exchanges between Macintosh and PC.
 

Using the FAQ

The Table of contents below contains links to the answers given. From each answer, there is a link back to the table of contents, allowing you to navigate and find the information you are looking for.
Back to Main FAQ Page.

Table of contents

1. How to read Macintosh Zip cartridges on a PC?
2. How to read PC (MS-DOS) Zip cartridges on a Macintosh?
3. How to reformat a PC Zip cartridge on the Mac?
4. How to reformat a Macintosh Zip cartridge on the PC?
5. A valid Macintosh Zip cartridge can't be read by MacDisk
6. Which kind of Zip drives does MacDisk read?


How to read Macintosh Zip cartridges on a PC? Back to ToC

Real Macintosh Zip cartridges are HFS disks and can't be read on a PC without some tools. Our programs MacDisk manage those drives. See our specific page on Zip drives for more information.

How to read PC (MS-DOS) Zip cartridges on a Macintosh? Back to ToC

Normally, all recent Macintosh computers should be able to mount MS-DOS Zip cartridges. Before Mac OS 8.5, only the short filenames were visible on the Mac. Some older drives had a firmware which was uncompatible with the File Exchange extension of the Mac OS.

How to reformat a PC Zip cartridge on the Mac? Back to ToC

For some mysterious reasons, the Mac OS refuses to reformat MS-DOS Zip cartridges. Generally, you get the advice to reformat with Iomega Tools.
You can also do that with any other formatting tool. We use FWB toolkit and never had a single problem. Iomega Tools don't do something special that you could miss.

How to reformat a Macintosh Zip cartridge on the PC? Back to ToC

Against what is often said, Iomega tools don't do anything special while formatting a cartridge. Therefore, just do a right click on the drive and select 'Format'.
You only have to use Iomega tools when the cartridge is write-protected (the write protection of Zip cartridges is not implemented in hardware (cursor or the like), but in software.

A valid Macintosh Zip cartridge can't be read by MacDisk Back to ToC

For their "Tools" cartridges, Iomega use a special formatting scheme which mixes the MS-DOS and HFS sectors. When you install the tools for a platform, the other toolset is locked and the data space is (almost) recovered. When our programs get such a medium, they can't ascertain whether the cartridge is Mac or MS-DOS and refuse to open it, because they find a MS-DOS partition table in the first sector, where a Macintosh volume descriptor should be found.
You can test the 'Brute Force Search' item in the 'Expert' menu. The program will then scan the first sectors to find a valid volume header. Such cartridges should be reformatted as soon as possible.

Which kind of Zip drives does MacDisk read? Back to ToC

MacDisk reads all types of Zip drives (100 and 250 Mb, on the IDE, SCSI or USB bus, as well as connected to the parallel port).

  Back to ToC

 
Logiciels & Services Duhem
3, rue Pierre Haret - F-75009 Paris (France) - Tel. (+33) [0]149 700 455 - SIRET 381 149 996 00047 - EEC VAT FR32 381 149 996
email: sales (at) macdisk.com — web: http://www.macdisk.com