Iomega Zip drives

Summary: Iomega Zip cartridges are a fine medium to transfer data between Macintosh and PC. Our programs manage all kinds of drives: on the SCSI bus, the IDE/ATAPI bus, the USB bus and on the parallel port.


Our program MacDisk was tested with all types of Zip drives (SCSI, parallel port, IDE/ATAPI and USB, 100 and 250 MB).

SCSI Zip drives

The SCSI Zip drives are quite normal SCSI devices and behave normally when instructed to execute the various SCSI commands. If your SCSI bus is heavily loaded, we suggest putting the Zip drive in the middle of the chain and not using the internal terminator of the drive.

IDE/ATAPI Zip drives

The IDE/ATAPI drive behaves like a SCSI drive under Windows 95/98 and NT. Please note that some versions of the firmware (14D and less) declare the drive as a floppy drive and not as a disk drive. You can observe this behavior in the Explorer, since the drives appears as a floppy drive B: and not as a disk D: or higher. Those drives don't execute correctly all SCSI commands. Please download our TestScsi utility (length 44 KB). Run it on your computer and test all commands after selecting the Zip drive. If you can read data from a Macintosh cartridge, our programs should work. If not, try to get a more recent model. Any feedback appreciated!
You should also check that the drive is correctly set (Master or Slave), depending on your IDE bus.

Parallel port Zip Drives

When the drive is correctly installed (that is, is not run with the guest utility alone), it behaves like a quite normal SCSI drive.
Under Windows 2000, the parallel port Zip drive doesn't behave any more as a SCSI-like drive (against what happens under Windows 95/98 and NT 4). You should upgrade to current version to access those drives.

USB Zip drives

We also tested our programs on the new USB Zip drives. Those drives behave quite normally like SCSI drives and we had no difficulty to read/write/format disks as Macintosh volumes. Please note nevertheless that those drives are not really USB drives, since they need their own power supply and they use non-standard connectors. More, the drive has no connectors to chain other devices.
Under Windows 2000, the USB drives aren't considered as SCSI devices by the system. You should upgrade to current version of MacDisk to access those drives.

FAQ on Zip drives

We also publish on this site a FAQ on some aspects of using Zip cartridges to transfer data and files between Macintosh and PC.

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