What killed a USB Zip 100 drive? - Storage

This is a discussion on What killed a USB Zip 100 drive? - Storage ; Folks: iMac running OS 9.x. A USB Zip 100 attached to it, used very rarely, maybe one time a month for a backup or a sneaker-net file transfer. Time passes. The iMac is on most days, off most nights. When ...

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Thread: What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

  1. What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

    Folks:

    iMac running OS 9.x. A USB Zip 100 attached to it, used very rarely, maybe
    one time a month for a backup or a sneaker-net file transfer.

    Time passes. The iMac is on most days, off most nights. When the iMac is
    off, there's a lamp (probably a LED) flickering inside.

    More time passes. Need to use the drive. Both the yellow and green lamp on
    the front panel of the Zip glow, but nothing happens when a disk is
    inserted. Iomega tools and system profiler don't see the drive. Similar
    results on a G4. Even a PC running XP can't see the drive. It's apparently
    dead, d-e-a-d, DEAD.

    No lightning bolts, no spiders nesting inside. The iMac is fine.

    What kills a Zip?

    Old age? Certainly not wear-and-tear...this drive probably had fewer than
    100 disk insertions in its entire life. Leaving the drive powered while the
    host computer was not? Gremlins? Dust on the case? Yes, I tried the
    usual stuff such as wiggling the connectors and swapping USB cables.

    I've experienced apparently dead Zips coming back to life. Two were SCSI
    Zip 100's attached to very rarely used NT-based PCs. After a few
    years...both were apparently dead. Hooked to the SCSI adapter of a Mac
    G3...one came back to life. (Unfortunately, I tossed the other one. Sigh.)

    Any re-animation techniques to try?

    Thanks,

    Henry

    henryn@zzzspacebbs.com remove 'zzz'


  2. Re: What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

    In article ,
    Henry wrote:

    > Folks:
    >
    > iMac running OS 9.x. A USB Zip 100 attached to it, used very rarely, maybe
    > one time a month for a backup or a sneaker-net file transfer.
    >
    > Time passes. The iMac is on most days, off most nights. When the iMac is
    > off, there's a lamp (probably a LED) flickering inside.
    >
    > More time passes. Need to use the drive. Both the yellow and green lamp on
    > the front panel of the Zip glow, but nothing happens when a disk is
    > inserted. Iomega tools and system profiler don't see the drive. Similar
    > results on a G4. Even a PC running XP can't see the drive. It's apparently
    > dead, d-e-a-d, DEAD.
    >
    > No lightning bolts, no spiders nesting inside. The iMac is fine.
    >
    > What kills a Zip?
    >
    > Old age? Certainly not wear-and-tear...this drive probably had fewer than
    > 100 disk insertions in its entire life. Leaving the drive powered while the
    > host computer was not? Gremlins? Dust on the case? Yes, I tried the
    > usual stuff such as wiggling the connectors and swapping USB cables.
    >
    > I've experienced apparently dead Zips coming back to life. Two were SCSI
    > Zip 100's attached to very rarely used NT-based PCs. After a few
    > years...both were apparently dead. Hooked to the SCSI adapter of a Mac
    > G3...one came back to life. (Unfortunately, I tossed the other one. Sigh.)
    >
    > Any re-animation techniques to try?


    The power suppliesfor the Zip drives are crap, and cook themselves to
    death if you leave them plugged in.

  3. Re: What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

    In article ,
    Kent Clarke wrote:

    > The power suppliesfor the Zip drives are crap, and cook themselves to
    > death if you leave them plugged in.


    Izzat why my two Zip drive power supplies have been plugged in and
    powered up for the last 6 years (not counting the occasional power
    outages due to fires, broken poles, and similar fun) or so without any
    sign of failure? Wow... And here I was thinking that it was just because
    a wall-wart is pretty well bulletproof...

    --
    Don Bruder - dakidd@sonic.net <--- Preferred Email - SpamAssassinated.
    Hate SPAM? See for some seriously great info.
    I will choose a path that's clear: I will choose Free Will! - N. Peart
    Fly trap info pages:

  4. Re: What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

    << I've experienced apparently dead Zips coming back to life. Two were SCSI
    Zip 100's attached to very rarely used NT-based PCs. After a few
    years...both were apparently dead. Hooked to the SCSI adapter of a Mac
    G3...one came back to life. (Unfortunately, I tossed the other one. Sigh.) >>

    I've had a similar experience. I gave an external SCSI Zip to my Dad who
    rarely used it and kept it powered off. After a few months it stopped working.
    I replaced it and brought it home with me. It started working again for me.
    The same thing with an internal SCSI Zip in a 6500. Replaced it and the
    presumed bad one worked in a 7300.
    I've heard a lot of folks complain about the reliability of Zip drives,
    especially early failure after little use, and the "click of death". My best
    guess is that are just very delicate or poorly made.

    Ron


  5. Re: What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

    Don Bruder wrote:
    > In article ,
    > Kent Clarke wrote:


    >> The power suppliesfor the Zip drives are crap, and cook themselves to
    >> death if you leave them plugged in.


    > Izzat why my two Zip drive power supplies have been plugged in and
    > powered up for the last 6 years (not counting the occasional power
    > outages due to fires, broken poles, and similar fun) or so without any
    > sign of failure? Wow... And here I was thinking that it was just because
    > a wall-wart is pretty well bulletproof...


    Not bulletproof always though. Iomega had a run of bad wall-warts back
    several years ago. They would either drop voltage too far or fail to
    supply enough wattage, and the drive would appear to malfunction. Use
    a different supply, and the drive worked just fine. Actually, if you
    bought yours 6 years ago, they used better power supplies, and internal
    parts to make the Zip drives. Quality started slipping badly when they
    sourced all of the assembly out of the country to get the price down.
    Remember list prices of $229 for one?

    Joe Heimann


  6. Re: What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

    All:

    Thanks to all of your for your suggestions.

    One thing I have a lot of is Iomega power supplies, wall-warts --don't ask
    why-- and I'll try swapping them around to see if that's the issue. I might
    even figure out a way of checking their voltage under load, but that seems
    like a lot of work.

    Someone somewhere suggested that drives not used for a long time seize up in
    some way -- lubricant on guide rails gets extra sticky or something.

    Anyone remember the days when the Mac's hard drive had a similar problem,
    and we heard drive noises unconnected to what we are doing, because they had
    to un-stick the drives periodically? Same kind of thing, longer term.

    I wonder if the initial seek movements commanded might vary between PCs and
    Macs. One might fail to budge the drive while another might do just the
    trick.

    Thanks,

    Henry

    henryn@zzzspacebbs.com remove 'zzz'




    in article 3f6bbb5a@news-1.oit.umass.edu, Joe Heimann at
    heimann@ecs.umass.edu wrote on 9/19/03 7:28 PM:

    > Don Bruder wrote:
    >> In article ,
    >> Kent Clarke wrote:

    >
    >>> The power suppliesfor the Zip drives are crap, and cook themselves to
    >>> death if you leave them plugged in.

    >
    >> Izzat why my two Zip drive power supplies have been plugged in and
    >> powered up for the last 6 years (not counting the occasional power
    >> outages due to fires, broken poles, and similar fun) or so without any
    >> sign of failure? Wow... And here I was thinking that it was just because
    >> a wall-wart is pretty well bulletproof...

    >
    > Not bulletproof always though. Iomega had a run of bad wall-warts back
    > several years ago. They would either drop voltage too far or fail to
    > supply enough wattage, and the drive would appear to malfunction. Use
    > a different supply, and the drive worked just fine. Actually, if you
    > bought yours 6 years ago, they used better power supplies, and internal
    > parts to make the Zip drives. Quality started slipping badly when they
    > sourced all of the assembly out of the country to get the price down.
    > Remember list prices of $229 for one?
    >
    > Joe Heimann
    >



  7. Re: What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

    mine died too. internal scsi in a beige g3/266MT.
    at first a couple disks wouldn't work or would crash the system. then
    it wouldn't read any without crashing the system. this must be what
    "click of death refers to, right?"
    any revitalization advice, or should i pitch it to the dustbin?
    (or the computer graveyard recycling center-:])
    G

  8. Re: What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

    In article
    ,
    ggs@post.com (greg) wrote:

    > mine died too. internal scsi in a beige g3/266MT.
    > at first a couple disks wouldn't work or would crash the system. then
    > it wouldn't read any without crashing the system. this must be what
    > "click of death refers to, right?"
    > any revitalization advice, or should i pitch it to the dustbin?
    > (or the computer graveyard recycling center-:])


    Say bye-bye to it. Zip drives have been disposable for years
    now. Too bad, I have an external from their first year of
    production that still works great. Seems they let the
    quality slide at some point.

  9. Re: What killed a USB Zip 100 drive?

    Jeff Wechter:
    Greg S:

    Thank yo both for your responses on this thread:

    in article usenet-902469.08135924092003@hermes-ge0.rdc-kc.rr.com, Jeff
    Wechter at usenet@works.ok wrote on 9/24/03 6:14 AM:

    > In article
    > ,
    > ggs@post.com (greg) wrote:
    >
    >> mine died too. internal scsi in a beige g3/266MT.
    >> at first a couple disks wouldn't work or would crash the system. then
    >> it wouldn't read any without crashing the system. this must be what
    >> "click of death refers to, right?"
    >> any revitalization advice, or should i pitch it to the dustbin?
    >> (or the computer graveyard recycling center-:])


    I haven't seen or heard any symptoms like these. The drive lamps are
    clearly alive, but the drive simply doesn't do anything.
    >
    > Say bye-bye to it. Zip drives have been disposable for years
    > now. Too bad, I have an external from their first year of
    > production that still works great. Seems they let the
    > quality slide at some point.


    I have a couple of quite old Jaz drives that are still going strong.

    Usually things break in use. It's very strange to me that a drive is OK
    last month and broken this month. Again, I'm talking about drives used
    very rarely, not dropped on the floor, or otherwise abused, just left
    connected to a machine, powered.

    Thanks,

    Henry


    henryn@zzzspacebbs.com remove 'zzz'



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